Daily Archives: December 21, 2014

After Two Series on the Future of Procurement – What Have We Learned III

In our first post we noted that, after two series, fifty (50) posts, and almost seventy five (75) pages on the “future” of Procurement, we learned that while the majority of trends being positioned as “future” trends weren’t future trends at all, they were trends that your organization will encounter as it matures and grows and the sooner your organization ploughs through them, the sooner it can get to the real future trends.

We then reviewed our series and noted that most of the requirements for dealing with these trends fall into a baker’s dozen plus one of high-level categories. Today we will break the last seven categories down into the most important sub-categories:


  • get up to date on &
  • get systems in place &
  • get BOM visibility for
    • Environmental Regulations
    • Financial Legislation
    • (Free) Trade Agreements / Zones
    • Trade Security
  • to make sure, among other things, that you don’t
    • get activists on your case
    • join Fox in the box
    • get burned on duty rates
    • lose your cargo

Risk Management

  • supply chain visibility to detect issues and disasters as they happen, not three months later when the delivery doesn’t show up
  • mitigation planning for when disruptions occur
  • (natural) disaster response for when disaster strikes
  • rare earth minerals plans for when costs skyrocket
  • food reserves plans to reduce waste and deal with rising costs as reserves shrink
  • supplier failure responses ready

Supplier Development

  • co-design of product and services
  • cost avoidance when market costs (for labour, energy, raw materials, etc.) rise
  • new supplier identification if current suppliers aren’t improving
  • performance tracking to make sure suppliers are performing as expected and to identify areas where continued improvement is needed
  • value generation from supplier relationships

Supply Chain / Inventory Flexibility

  • Faster production cycles to keep up with faster product life cycles
  • Flexibility to ramp production up or down with demand
  • (Better) Forecasting for better volume determinations pre-contract negotiation
  • Innovation from suppliers and partners and customers for market advantage
  • Just-In-Time (JIT) production / distribution when needed


  • Development – EQ / IQ / TQ is analytical, technical, and emotional skills all need continued advancement
  • Collaboration between team members, departments, suppliers, partners, and customers
  • Fiefdoms must be disbanded and the heads cut off
  • Management to insure regular collaboration, development, and team-building


  • applicability / usage management to make sure the right technology is used for the right task
  • support the right processes subject to the 80 / 20 rule as core systems must support the common (mass) requirements (and niche solutions can be brought in for the rest only once the base-line is covered)
  • design & implementation management as many of the greatest supply chain and corporate failures have been due to failed technology implementations
  • S2C & P2P -> S2P -> S2D (Delivery) as the entire product lifecycle needs to be managed, not just identification
  • complete roll-out of the right platforms to all users who need access
  • mobile management as mobile devices proliferate like Fibonacci’s rabbits


  • Mode Planning taking new options into account
    • Panamax vs Post Panamax
    • 787s
  • FTL & Inventory Management vs LTL & JIT to minimize cost and maximize flexibility as needed
  • Supplier vs. 3PL vs. In-House depending on efficiency and cost effectiveness

Overwhelmed? We hope not! While getting these categories and sub-categories under control is a good start for any organization wanting to progress in maturity and capability and get yesterday’s trends under control, in terms of what an organization has to know and deal with, it is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s even more a Supply Management organization has to know, and master, to be best-in-class and take the enterprise to the next level of performance. And, like you would expect, SI will address these requirements in one or more future blog series. Stay tuned!