Traditionally, the New Year is a time to think about how we can become better people … and of course, the chance for writers and analysts to sit at their keyboards with a cold beer and make a list of wild guesses, predictions and ill-informed comments, desperately pretending we have some particular insight into the world!
Peter Smith, Ten New Year Resolutions for 2012
the doctor has insight into what you need to do today, but has no more insight into what the Supply Management world of tomorrow will look like for your company beyond what anyone else has. He can predict what is likely, but all it takes is one earthquake, political uprising, or stock market crash to turn everything on its end. Fortuntately, Peter’s paper is filled with advice for today and not tomorrow.
In particular, the doctor likes resolutions:
2. I will make sure we do proper risk assessment on our key supply chains – and that doesn’t just mean our “top ten suppliers”.
How exactly are you keeping track of your key suppliers’ financial situation, their accreditations or quality record? What is your mitigation strategy in case of supplier failure or natural disaster, for each of your critical raw materials / sub-components? Do you have any sense of which firms at second or third tier level in your supply chains could actually cause your organization severe problems? What about corporate social responsibility issues? the doctor would bet that you are not keeping track of key suppliers’ financials, not keeping an eye on the quality metrics, don’t know which 2nd or 3rd tier suppliers could bring your supply chain to a grinding halt, or know about the poor working conditions at the factory in Da Nang.
5. I will put the supplier closer to the heart of our process and technology strategy
As Peter says, if the supplier screws up, you have failed in the eyes of the IT / Marketing / Production VP. So look at your supplier information, risk, development, relationship management strategy — closely. If you don’t help your supplier to succeed, you ultimately won’t succeed.
7. I will move to the next level of Spend Analytics sophistication.
As per SI’s recent white-paper on Spend Visibility: An Implementation Guide, almost any attempt by an organization to analyze spending patterns is likely to be fruitful, especially if there hasn’t been a serious prior attempt. It is easy to find thousands of breathless testimonials about a particular product or method — independent of the quality of the product or method — because almost any product or method will find savings if a spend visibility initiative has never been launched before. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king“. But, what is not so obvious is that this initial burst of savings is short-lived; and that many of the “quick saves” that result are unsustainable. The key question is what to do next; in other words, how to implement a true strategic spend visibility initiative that will return value and keep returning value over time. There are too many spend visibility products that are lying unused or on the shelf, after the first burst of excitement has passed; and too many organizations who are tired of hearing a spend visibility message that has no further relevance to them. That’s why you have to take spend analytics to the next level and why you should download the FREE, no registraiton required, Spend Visibility: An Implementation Guide today (if you haven’t already).