Daily Archives: November 24, 2013

The Right MindSet is the Foundation for a Successful Procurement Career but

the mind has to be prepared for the job at hand to succeed.

A recent post on the right mindset: what does it take to have a successful acquisition career today over on the Public Spend Forum (powered by Spend Matters and the Censeo Consulting Group) by David Wyld did a great job of outlining twelve traits that procurement professionals need to succeed in supply management today. However, while these traits may do a great job of laying the foundation for a procurement career, they are not sufficient on their own to prepare one for a successful procurement or supply management career.

SI would add at least six additional traits to the list, three major traits and three minor traits. The major traits that SI would insist are necessary for success in today’s Supply Management space are:

Technological Competence

Modern Supply Management runs on modern supply management technology – without it, best-in-class status is unobtainable as sophisticated spend analysis, decision optimization, and decision support systems are need to analyze, manage, and squeak cost savings and efficiency out of modern supply chain networks.

Risk Awareness and Risk Averseness

The rate of supply chain disruptions is increasing year-over-year and the chances of a major multi-national not experiencing a disruption over a twenty-four month period is 2% or less and dropping fast. In order to succeed, a supply manager needs to be aware of risk and have a mindset to mitigate it before it happens. Contingency and mitigation are the new modus operandi.

Project Management

Sourcing is no longer three-bids-and-a-buy. It is a sophisticated process that typically involves sophisticated supply market research, should cost models, deep category expertise, fact-based negotiations, and in-depth analysis. In addition, most sourcing exercises are category-focussed and need to be managed as category-based projects.

The minor traits that SI would insist are necessary are necessary for success in today’s Supply Management space are:

Habitual Change (Management)

Supply Management is in a state of constant flux these days as technologies, best practices, and global trade regulations are constantly changing and shifting. In order to stay on top of the supply chain game, a practitioner needs to be ready to adapt as needed.

A Sustainable Mindset

Oil reserves are limited. Demand for rare earth metals is increasing. Food reserves are hovering near all-time lows. Water is becoming scarce. Energy production is limited in many locales. A Supply Management professional needs to not only be thinking about the environment, but needs to be focussed on sustainable alternatives in order to keep production going.

Cost Conscious

Inflation is back, and hyper-inflation might be just around the corner. Manual processes are costly, and a lack of data is costlier. A Procurement Professional has to always have cost at the back of her mind and identify unique and creative ways to contain costs going forward.