The “Future” of Procurement: Old News Part I

As per yesterday’s post, today we’re going to dive right into a discussion of the list of the 33 “future” states that the symposium speakers are thrusting upon you in their halogen halo. But unlike the halo of an angel*, these are man-made halos and far from heavenly, so we must take care not to be suckered in by their splendour, because prolonged exposure to these halos might just give us skin cancer. So we’re going to debunk the deceptions one-by-one as soon as we repeat our warning that a duck will be called a duck, a spade will be called a spade, and a red-assed baboon will be called a red-assed baboon. If the thought of brutal honesty makes you uncomfortable in any way, you can always hop over to Spend Matters for the week where they have an editorial team that’s usually a little more PC.

33. Governmental Regulations

Government regulations have been enabling and restricting trade since trade between nations began. Why would it suddenly stop being an issue? Yes, the regulations and trade agreements will be in constant flux as governments are full of big egos (who constantly want to gain the upper hand for their country and look like a hero) and greedy grubbing con-men who weren’t quite psychopathic enough to be big business CEOs** (and instead went into government and push for whatever legislation is favoured by the lobby group that gives them the biggest bribe … err … the lobby group that loses a suitcase of money in their office and never claims it, making it legally theirs after they try, but fail, to find the person who lost the suitcase full of money). However, because of the due process of law that must be followed in all countries, and the fact there are always egos that will be damaged and special interests that will be disadvantaged by whatever trade agreement is made or law is passed, these changes take time and can be prepared for if you keep watch and stay on the ball. Now, some regulations will be so onerous (such as the ones being proposed in the TPP) that they might just make it impossible for your business to compete in one or more of its current markets, in which case you will have to decide whether you want to change product and service offerings, change markets, or shutdown the business while it is still profitable (so that the investors can take their earnings and start something else while they still have the chance). But that’s just the way it is, and things usually aren’t that bad. And any expert who thinks you don’t know this already, like the moron who thought his CD Tray was a Cup Holder and really was too dumb to use a computer, is in fact too dumb to even be writing future trend pieces (and, unfortunately, also too dumb to realize that he’s too dumb to be writing future trend pieces and, as a result, pumps them out faster than Harlequin pumps out their lushy romance novels).

32. Globalization

Globalization is not new. Soon after trade between neighbouring nations began, the more aggressive traders looked for ways to expand their trading reach and increase their wealth, power, and influence. They formed caravans. They used ships. And they got as far as they could. And some of these routes lasted for thousands of years. Consider the Silk Road, which was, as per its name, a major trading route for Silk dating back to the Han dynasty, starting around 200 BC, approximately 3000 years or so after the establishment of trading routes between Egypt and Mesopotamia for pottery, lazuli, and obsidian. Moving forward, the Vikings established the Volga trade route back in the 9th century and traded along it for about 300 years. Then, another 300 years later, Elcano completed Magellan’s attempt to circumnavigate the world, creating the first global trade route. Yes, faster travel options, the outsourcing and rightsizing crazes, and the internet accelerated the pace of globalization beyond the wildest dreams of the early industrialists, and opened the global marketplace up to smaller enterprises, but globalization has been with us for a long, long, long time and it’s here to stay. And any future trend talk focussed on this should be relabelled “More Facts from Mr. Obvious”.

31. Increased Competition

To be fair, an idiot, and maybe even an imbecile, might not be aware that Globalization is, obviously, going to lead to increased competition and that as the pace of Globalization increases, so does the pace of increased competition because it does require some basic logic skills to deduce this, but not much more than your average middle year child is going to use to try and convince you to buy him / her that new video game. Of course you are going to face increased competition as a result of globalization. Globalization means you will be entering markets that already have providers that offer competing products and/or services, which can now enter markets you are already in. Not realizing this is like not realizing that the same stairs*** that you used to walk up to the second floor can also be used, gasp!, to walk back down.****

For more ranting and raving, come back tomorrow. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little closer to puppies and rainbows*****, check out Spend Matters and come back next week. the doctor should have worked his way through most of the sheer lunacy by then. No guarantees, but that’s the goal!

* Where we are using the popular perception of what an angel is under the Christian influence.

** Many of the best business leaders, where best is defined according to Wall Street, are psychopaths. Multiple studies, summarized on patheos, confirm this.

*** Stairs, not escalators.

**** Which, sadly, is a fact that has escaped at least one lawyer! (See Things People Said, Courtroom Quotations).

***** No guarantees!