Daily Archives: September 16, 2016

Procurement is Still the Rodney Dangerfield of the Organization and Land of Confusion Is Its Theme Song

Why else would we need an egalitarian Procurement Revolution where we must work collectively to shape and drive change?

But in all seriousness, the numbers don’t lie. If you check out Five Imperatives for Creating Greater Procurement Agility, which was recently (and still may be) temporarily free from The Hackett Group, you see that the average Procurement Function Operating Budget is forecasted to increase a mere 1.1% this year. Now, that’s better than last year where it was forecasted to increase a mere 0.7%, but when you consider the average annual US inflation rate from 2000 to 2015 was 2.25% (which you can verify on a number of sites), relatively speaking, Procurement is still getting further and further behind every year!

This is despite the fact that world-class procurement (which needs to be properly funded), has an average payback that is twice that of the Procurement peer group. And, as far as the doctor is concerned, the argument that, since world-class procurement organizations have 18% lower operating costs than the peer group, Procurement doesn’t need as much money, doesn’t pass muster because “operating” costs are different from “capital” costs and might or might not include “training” costs or “travel” costs.

If the organization is doing a lot of outsourcing, then a lot of travel is needed by procurement, engineering, etc. for relationship and quality control site visits, and if all of this has to come out of the Procurement budget, as opposed to the operations budget, that’s not fair. If Procurement is not allowed to spend “capital” to acquire a new system, but must instead use a SaaS solution so it can be expensed monthly under the “operating” budget, while manufacturing and warehousing gets a budget that does not include the ERP upkeep, that’s not fair. If Procurement is subject to the across-the-board training ban, because people should know their jobs when they are hired, and are deprived of the ability to advance their skills, not only is that not fair, but that can be costing the organization millions of dollars as sometimes a better informed and prepared procurement professional can shave an extra percentage point off of a hundred million dollar buy, which makes the 10K it cost to send the person to a 3 day workshop paltry in comparison.

Plus, when sales has to increase revenue by $10 to equal the same savings that Procurement often makes by taking $1 off of the bottom line, it should, logically, make sense to throw money at Procurement instead of the marketing mad men or the house of lies consulting firm. But it doesn’t, proving that most board rooms are still cemented in the land of confusion and Procurement is still the Rodney Dangerfield that don’t get no respect with a kick-me sign on its back.