Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Procurement Transformation: Which Path Are You Traveling?

The starting point in any supply management transformation needs to be the overall business strategy and objectives for supply management at that company.

By ·
By ·

With all of the hype regarding the promises of the latest technology, now seems to be a good moment to dust off one of my favorite blogs from the past. If it can save just one CPO their sanity, and their job, it will be worth it.

Don’t make the mistake a new CPO made a few years ago, when he launched right in to a technology implementation – without the benefit of an agreed-upon strategic role, with the right objectives and resources, and understood best practices and policies, for his department.

The starting point in any supply management transformation needs to be the overall business strategy and objectives for supply management at that company.

If, for example, your company has relegated supply management to a very tactical role, that will have a fundamental impact on your processes and technology debate. You might be encouraged to think principally of processes and tools that support the efficient processing of purchase orders, and not much else.

If, on the other hand, your company’s senior management understands the value of supply management and has given it the strategic role that it deserves, then you have a much different agenda. (see Figure below)

That’s why we say it’s all about leadership. Have you created an awareness among your executive team, and among your internal clients, about the opportunities for top-line and bottom-line improvement through world-class supply management? That’s step one.

Once you’ve created that awareness, you need to outline your vision and strategic objectives, and the transformation roadmap to get there. What are you trying to achieve in new, genuine cost reductions during the next 3 to 5 years? What are you trying to support in revenue growth? What are you striving to achieve in working capital improvements? How do you plan to get there?

These are all strategic objectives. If you develop them properly, and with appropriate stretch, you are going to have a lot of executive support and interest in your efforts. And, that’s the first step toward being able to evaluate and select the right supply management technology and tools.

To say it another way, technology is an enabler. Enabling what is the key question. If you have strategic stretch objectives that relate directly to overarching corporate objectives (such as improving Return on Invested Capital (ROIC), and Earnings per Share), that will necessitate consideration of a certain type of enabling toolset. If your objectives are ill-defined, or tactical, don’t expect to get a lot of support from anyone (executives, finance or IT) for spending money on new technology.

(Note: for more information regarding how to “Get on the right path” see chapter 4 of Next Level Supply Management Excellence


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

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Order Promising in a Competitive World
Promising customer orders with greater reliability through a holistic and automated approach enables companies to reduce expedites, improve on-time delivery and increase customer satisfaction.
Download Today!
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
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Supplier Performance Management
You've negotiated a contract with your supplier, signed the deal, and then what? In this webinar, procurement expert Mark Trowbridge will explore 10 places where additional value can be found in a company's highest-value provider relationships throughout the supply chain - AFTER the contract has been signed.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Fitch Ratings Issues Cautionary Study on Ocean Cargo Supply Chains and Ports
According to a new report, traffic growth in the ports sector is likely to remain well below...
New Study Says Global Ocean Cargo Industry at the “Tipping Point” of Digitization
Study Finds Huge Opportunities to Improve Performance and Customer Service Through Better Use of...

APICS Addresses SCM Talent Gap With Expanded Supply Chain Stem Program
K-12 program teaches supply chain concepts with interactive games, provides resources for teachers...
Global 3PL Market Report Includes Estimates for 190 Countries in 2017
2016 was a “mediocre year” for third-party logistics in the U.S., said Armstrong, with net...