Your Procurement Sucks … and Here are 3 Likely Reasons Why.

Yes, SI is trying to get your attention and yes there is the vanishingly small possibility that nothing SI says in this post applies to you because you are the top 8% of the top 8%, but let us face facts. The possibility that the entirety of this post does not apply to you is significantly less than 1% and we can say with near 100% confidence this post will benefit you.

Procurement May Not Be Dead (as per our four part series on Procurement is Dead! Long Live Procurement!) but that doesn’t mean your job isn’t if you don’t eliminate the situations on this list and enter the modern age of Procurement. So take careful note of not only what is wrong with your Procurement, but the hints we give you for addressing these problems.

You’re drowning in paperwork

Invoices. RFPs. Catalogues. It’s not the 90s anymore, it’s the teens. If you don’t have a modern e-invoicing, e-RFX, and e-Catalog/e-Shopping solution there’s no hope of you ever getting your Procurement on track because you’ll never be able to process the mound of paperwork that is getting bigger and bigger every day as your organization grows and more invoices go in, more RFPs go out, more suppliers respond, and more suppliers send you their catalogues that get bigger every year.

You’ve never sourced Marketing, Legal, HR, or any spend outside of MRO and For-Sale Products

If all you are sourcing are office suppliers, MRO, and resale products, you are likely only sourcing half of the organization spend, at most. These areas, T&E, and other areas you are not sourcing are accounting for greater and greater portions of organization spend. Many studies indicate that 10% is the magic number for marketing spend. With more and more work being assigned to contingent labour, consultants, or outsource partners, this can be 20% of spend. T&E is also 10% of spend at many organizations. Then there is legal, which can be quit high, p-Card spend, event, spend, etc. If Procurement is only responsible for half of spend, why is it even needed at all? A third party can manage MRO, a GPO can manage office spend, and VMI can manage products for resale.

The only metric on your scorecard is savings.

This might have been a great metric in the noughts when inflation was essentially zero, many suppliers had inflated margins during the right-sizing craze of the eighties and the outsourcing craze of the nineties to record highs, and new suppliers were desperate to win business at any cost and double digit percentage savings were the norm in sourcing events across the board. But inflation is on the rise, hyper-inflation is around the corner, margins have been trimmed to low single digits as a result of over-use of auctions, and savings is a word that will soon only appear in the history book. We’re in the age of demand management (for consumables and internal spend), spend management (to keep cost increases in line with actual inflation), and value management (where value-added services that can increase revenue is sometimes more important than reducing spend).

If any of these situations applies to you, fix it fast, or your procurement will remain in the dark ages. Not a situation you want to be in.