The Six Commandments, err, Philosophies of Procurement, Hindu Style

A few weeks ago, on Canada Day, while LOLCat was proactively learning the pledge of allegiance (which LOLCat will need when Canadians re-elect Harper), Mr. Smith asked what were The Ten Commandments of Procurement that you adhered to that were absolutely, unarguably, true under all conditions.

To get your creative juices flowing, two weeks ago, Sourcing Innovation gave you the Ten Commandments of Procurement, Christian Style. And in case that wasn’t enough, last week SI gave you the Ten Commandments, err, Precepts of Procurement, Buddhist Style and told you that SI was going to tackle at least one more style, because everyone deserves equal opportunity. Today we’re going back to the third most followed religion on the planet and give you the six commandments, err, philosophies, of Procurement, Hindu Style.

6. I will not make assumptions on prices, demands, or needs before collecting the appropriate information and market intelligence.

We all know the saying about people who make assumptions, and what they make of themselves. I know this to be true so I will always select categories for sourcing events, estimate demand, and negotiate, based upon research and fact and not upon gut feeling or inflated GPO claims.

5. I will take a holistic logical view of cost and return and use the appropriate tools to understand the true costs and build a realistic picture of the expected value of a product, service, or supplier relationship.

Cost is more than just the price. It’s the transportation. It’s the import and export duties. It’s the temporary storage. It’s the utilization. It’s the reclamation and return (under warranty). And the value of each product is not just limited to the cost I pay, but the quality, reliability, and other intrinsic value in the mind of the consumer. I will understand both before pursuing a product, service, or even a supplier relationship.

4. I will not be vain or assume that just because I am the expert, I am always right. I will listen with an open mind and continuously seek to learn and better myself.

I am the expert in Procurement process, and will generally know more than my peers, but I am not necessarily the expert in the product being bought, the market being bought from, the market being sold to, all of the transportation options available, or the intricacies of production or utilization. Moreover, I recognize that the market research I acquired may not be fully up to date or take into account unusual characteristics of the organization’s needs, the suppliers capabilities, or sub-markets. I will listen to others in the organization who have this knowledge and consider all relevant input before making any decisions.

3. I will be socially responsible and only work with suppliers who have the same views.

I am not just a lone Procurement professional in an ivory tower, I am a human being and a citizen of this planet and every decision I make will have a ramification on others that could go beyond just my coworkers, my suppliers, and my customers. Moreover, every effect I create has an effect on me as well and I will have to live with the effect I create on others and my self, so I will endeavour to create the best effects I can.

2. I will not succumb to pressure and make hasty Procurement decisions because any mistake I make will cost the organization in the long run.

All organization suffering results from mistakes made in the past that were produced by activity that was the result of insufficient knowledge or a lack of (social) responsibility. As a result, I will not rush a sourcing decision and cut a contract or make a buy without adequately considering all of the facts and options available to me in order to make sure I make the best decision for the organization that can be made at the time I make it.

1. I will not act without forethought and planning for what I do dictates what I will get.

The effect I get is pre-existent in the action I take. So not only will I make the best sourcing decision I can, but will also ensure that all of the actions I take with respect to contract management, performance management, supplier management, and risk management are carefully considered and made in line with the organizational goals and carried out with responsibility, respect, and an open mind.