I do a lot of reading about next-generation strategies, trends and tactics being employed by leading procurement organizations. Often, I find myself confronted by the notion of “best-in-class.”
As procurement professionals, we are always striving to achieve the best total cost of ownership with the products and services we purchase. We’ve seen the negative impact that bottom-dollar pricing can have with respect to quality and delivery. We’ve seen how over-engineered products with high price tags can erode our margins. Our constant aim is to look at each purchase holistically and measure its total value to the company we represent. So why don’t we look at our procurement teams the same way?
Like most people, coffee is one of the most important rituals in my morning routine. There’s something about the aroma and taste that kick-starts my ability to have a great day. So, imagine my surprise when I found out that a favorite coffee shop was closed before I had to jump on an early-morning flight home. The employees were in the shop, but the gate locked out coffee aficionados, like me, who really needed that jolt of caffeine.
As enterprises make significant investments in their sourcing and procurement function, they rightfully expect a solid return on that investment. One of the more significant value creation elements of a sourcing and procurement function is the team and process that focuses on strategic sourcing.
University of London Professor David Faulkner has written extensively about the need for cooperative, rather than purely competitive, strategic business relationships and alliances. Since the early 1990s Faulkner has studied the “essence” of competitive strategy, and the challenges involved in integrating cooperation as part of the competitive mindset. One of his books is International Strategic Alliances: Cooperating to Compete (1995). The strategies of cooperation has been his most common theme.