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Cheap and Ineffective

I recently came across the idea that may deserve an award for "very cheap and also highly ineffective."

By ·
By ·

There are a lot of ways to save money in your department budget. Some ideas are short-term fixes, others have longer-term merit. I recently came across the idea that may deserve an award for “very cheap and also highly ineffective.”

As background, we were approached by the procurement leader of a medium-sized company. His question to us: could we help them assess the current state of their skills and competencies, and develop a curriculum and training program, with appropriate coaching of their teams through one or more “waves” of sourcing projects. The short answer was: yes, that’s a large part of what we do for clients.

We were asked to work with the director who had overall responsibility for both training and the department budget. In a separate meeting, away from the department head, we had the opportunity to ask some foundation questions. One of the questions we asked was: is there currently a Strategic Sourcing and Negotiations Management (SSNM) process in use?

For info on SSNM:
http://strategicsourcingtraining.com/index.html

His reaction was classic: a grimace, an awkward smile, and then he reached into his filing cabinet, and extracted a multi-page memo. The memo had been issued about one year earlier by the department head, and outlined the leader’s view of what a strategic sourcing process should be. The memo was issued, and everybody was expected to “follow the process.”

The department head, who was a reasonably smart guy with an advanced degree, assumed that everybody who received the memo was smart enough to understand the instructions and appreciate all of the implications. No training was provided, no toolkit was provided, and no coaches were made available. And yet, this procurement leader was surprised that his “new process” was not being implemented!

Stay tuned for a future installment in this series:

“How Serious are You About Talent Development: a Litmus Test”

For related articles click here.


About the Author

Robert A Rudzki
Robert A. Rudzki is a former Fortune 500 Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer, who is now President of Greybeard Advisors LLC, a leading provider of advisory services for procurement transformation, strategic sourcing, and supply chain management. Bob is also the author of several leading business books including the supply management best-seller "Straight to the Bottom Line®", its highly-endorsed sequel "Next Level Supply Management Excellence," and the leadership book "Beat the Odds: Avoid Corporate Death & Build a Resilient Enterprise." You can reach him through his firm's website: www.GreybeardAdvisors.com

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From the May-June 2017
Too often, working capital pressures roll over supplier relationships without regard for what happens to supply chain risk. But now that new supply chain financing tools and techniques are proliferating, companies have a fresh chance to implement a coherent business strategy that balances the legitimate concerns of the buyer’s finance department with those of the company’s supply chain management experts.
How they did it: Supplier Trust at General Motors
Supply Chain Negotiations: Creating Leverage
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