Procurement Needs to Expand its Horizons

On Friday, Pierre Mitchell published a great piece over on Spend Matters on how Procurement Needs to Stop Benchmarking Itself Against Procurement. According to the post, most procurement organizations know to benchmark themselves against others outside of their own industry, but they often don’t look to completely different functions, processes, technologies, techniques and even cultures to help them find and deliver new sources of value, of which there are many.

Some of the best ideas presented in the post are to:

  • use knowledge management to gather/store intelligence, catalog transformation projects for storyboarding, and model skill supply for resource planning like management consultants
  • get a grip on supply chain network design
  • master competitive intelligence and content/intelligence tools
  • predict model building using all data available to you
  • transition from quality control to supplier enablement and
  • manage the Procurement brand .

Taking these one by one, Procurement can definitely improve by:

  • documenting what it learns from every project and using that to define improved processes and transition management,
  • looking at the entire supply chain before defining the category and the bid,
  • making use of all of the market data available to it to determine how well it is doing and how well it could be doing,
  • building predictive trend models to understand likely order volumes for seasonal / limited life span products,
  • find new potential sources of innovation, and
  • improve the Procurement brand and the reach of Procurement.

We’ll discuss a few of these in upcoming posts, but for now check out Pierre’s post and remember, as we’ll also discuss in an upcoming paper series later this fall, improvement comes from reaching beyond Procurement’s current limited boundary.