This summer, e-Sourcing Forum ran a three part series on Procurement’s Role in Investor Relations (Part I, Part II, and Part III) that was quite interesting. In the series, the author, David Henshall of Purchasing Practice outlined the four essential roles played by procurement in investor relations. In a nutshell, these roles are:
- Ensuring the Investor Community has a Timely and Accurate Picture of Supply Side Activities
- Helping the Investment Community Comprehend how Supply Markets Impact Strategic Decisions
- Delivering Shareholder Value by Maximizing Opportunities and Minimizing Risk
- Supporting Senior Management in Making Strategic Decisions
And they must be fulfilled in the terminology and metrics understood by the investment community – EBITDA, ROIC, EPS, etc.
And these are key roles, but in today’s profit-focussed economy, the importance of the following roles should not be de-emphasized
- New Market Identification
Supply Management is likely already sourcing from the markets the company wants to expand into to spur growth, the investor’s holy grail.
- New Product Design & Introduction
While engineering and marketing can come up with great ideas, they are typically not the most cost effective ones in their initial instantiations. Supply Management can suggest alternate materials, components, and services to lower costs and suggest value-adds to increase revenue. Profit margins can often be doubled or tripled and everybody wins.
- Brand Development
Sometimes, the best way to get a quick boost to the brand is to partner with another brand that already has a great brand. For example, we’re all familiar with “Intel Inside”.
The importance of Supply Management cannot be understated, especially given the centrality of supply management to value creation.