To save you some time, the doctor has compiled a list of the most important.
1. I WILL NOT READ PREDICTION ARTICLES
As the doctor has stated repeatedly, most predictions are old news or remanufactured shoes, as clearly explained in our long series on The Future of Procurement where we tackled the same predictions you hear year after year after year and explained how some are, sadly, as old as commerce itself. Thus, there is no need to waste your time on them.
2. I WILL IMPLEMENT AT LEAST ONE NEW BoB MODULE OR SYSTEM
Let’s face it — even if you are 1 in 12 organizations and in the Hackett Group top 8%, I can guarantee there is at least one major Supply Management system or Source to Pay module you are missing (or lacking critical functionality in). In order to do a great job, you need a great system. This year, resolve everything to do everything you can to get at least one more tool that you need to be effective, or more if you are missing any of the following:
- spend analytics with near-real time updates (at least weekly)
- catalog buying or e-requisitioning system
- optimization-backed sourcing
- you have to understand what you are spending, otherwise you have no baselines and can never know if you are improving — plus, you need to catch overspends before the contracts run out to get supplier credits
- all purchases, even if they are not on contract or not sourced due to lack of time, need to get in a system for analysis and tracking
- your suppliers’ performance is your performance, you need to understand what suppliers you are doing business with, how they are doing, and have a platform to collaboratively define and implement corrective action and development plans
- for complex categories or high dollar events, you need to be optimized; even 2% savings on a 10M spend pays for a senior buyer with overhead and bonus for an entire year!
3. I WILL IMPROVE AT LEAST ONE TIME CONSUMING TACTICAL PROCESS PER QUARTER
There is no value in tactical work. This is where you hand over as much as you can to the machine that can do it faster, better, and cheaper than you. You can’t do millions of calculations and comparisons a second — it can. You can’t consolidate data from 20 different sources into a 20 page report in less than a minute — it can.
What you need to focus on is strategic work. Analyzing the top recommendations that come out of the Cognitive Procurement system to make sure they make sense, that the system didn’t miss anything, and that it works for your organization. And then figuring out if you have the experience and expertise to ignore a system market buy recommendation to go negotiate a better deal with top (incumbent) suppliers because your 20 years of insights gives you an edge that cannot be encoded. Or if the projected results from a market auction with the top 6 suppliers is better than your team would ever do with their complete lack of category experience. Your value is your ability to use your intelligence, not your ability to push paper. Let the dumb machines do that, and do what you were hired for!