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.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, 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.

The Simplest of Questions For Supply Chain Managers

Sales and operations planning is a well-documented and mature process.

By ·
By ·

Editor’s Note: Jim Baehr is the Lead for the Sourcing Strategies Group LLC (SSG)

“Do your Procurement professionals spend any time with your Sales professionals sharing best practices?” 

This is a question I’ve been asking during client engagements for the past two decades.  It’s simple and direct.  The answer is likewise simple and direct - “no”. 

Sometimes it’s enhanced with “no, but it’s an interesting idea”. So, if the answer is often “no” why even ask?  Because, for me, it’s a mystery why the combined knowledge and experience of these two critical functions, within the same company, seldom come together to share information on the state of the market or best practices.  Full disclosure, I have a bias. 

Not only have I been in Supply Management for more than two decades, I also spent more than a decade in Sales. I’ve been on both sides. I firmly believe there could be much sharing across the two disciplines.
Immediately, there will be readers who will challenge the premise of this article with “yeah, but we do Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP)”. 

Sales and operations planning is a well-documented and mature process.  Done properly, there’s an increase in communication, greater attention to service levels, decreased costs and better capacity planning.  All absolutely good. But, based on what I’ve been told, and what I read the process can be a shotgun wedding for those involved - something they must do.
 
It’s also been suggested that a joint meeting of of Sales and Procurement could be illegal.  Really?  In some cases, there could be restrictions as some companies are both buyer and seller to another company.  If this applies, a conversation with your Legal Department can confirm if it’s okay, or a problem. If you’re a reader who can say “yes, we do share across the Sales and Procurement groups” then congratulations on being progressive. Keep up the good work!

Colleagues have suggested that I shouldn’t be overt in my support of this practice.  That it’s a betrayal of the Procurement profession.  Again, really?  More disclosure - I’ve been privileged to conduct sessions that are called Sourcing Training for Non-Procurement Professionals.  This started when I was still a practitioner and was called upon to assist with the development and delivery of the training for our various sales groups.  Strategic Sourcing was emerging as an accepted practice. 

Our Sales professionals were aware that we were an early adopter of sourcing and negotiation management and they genuinely wanted to know more.  They approached us.  They understood that being knowledgeable of sourcing and the associated rules of engagement were critical to collaborating with customers in this new environment.

Since then I’ve delivered several - training Sales about Procurement - sessions.  These sessions follow a predictable path.  The first request is “tell us more about purchasing tactics” hoping to be made aware of some “silver bullet” for beating Purchasing at its own game.  The next step is to decry Purchasing professionals as evil.  There’s still a great deal of distrust. 

The third, final and most important step is the participants acquiesce to wanting to know about practices like sourcing, category management, structured negotiations and what it takes to work with Procurement to succeed.  It’s hard to determine if Sales professionals fully buy into the need to collaborate but at least Sales people are interested in learning more. 

What about Procurement professionals attending Sales training?  Know any?  Hopefully, there are more than I’m aware of.  Anecdotally, many Procurement professionals are obstinate when asked if they would benefit from Sales training.  “Nope, don’t see the need.  My job is to buy stuff.”  Some Procurement professionals have the view that anything to do with Sales and/or selling is toxic. 

This attitude may be contributing to the challenge routinely called out by senior Procurement executives about their need to better collaborate internally.  Attending some form of Sales training for Procurement professionals could help in two ways - first, having a better understanding of what it takes to sell - second, understanding how to sell internally.

Sales has and will continue to view itself as the most important role in almost every business.  As Sales sees it, it’s all about the top line.  But, the flip side of selling is buying.  Procurement should want to establish itself as the second most important role in the business.  Procurement leaders and professionals should want to elevate their stature to approach parity with Sales as a contributor to revenue rather than being seen as just another business function. 

Procurement needs to convince business leadership of its contributions to the bottom line.  Instead of arguing for the proverbial “seat at the table” maybe Procurement should do what it can to earn the respect of its internal competitor - Sales.  Having Sales as a partner and supporter could make a big difference.
I’m a firm believer that both Sales and Procurement are engaged in Supply Management.  As such, both are revenue generators.  It’s time for Procurement to abandon its harden silo and request to be more engaged with its Sales counterparts.  This will give both sides the occasion to discuss and better understand the selling and buying processes.  This is all about awareness, knowledge transfer and the subsequent respect that comes through collaborating with colleagues in your own company.
 
“Do your Procurement professionals spend any time with your Sales professionals sharing best practices?”

While the question is simple it needs to be taken very seriously.  Sales people should be trained on Procurement and Procurement people should be trained on Sales.  At the very least there should be knowledge sharing - internally.  It’s time to move away from being polar opposites within the same company. It’s time to accept the reality that for both groups it’s all about collaboration, awareness, and mutual enrichment.  Revenue improvement just might come as a byproduct.  Otherwise, you’re missing a great opportunity.

 

 

 


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
The E-commerce Effect: The Modern Supply Chain Disruptor
In this whitepaper, take a closer look at how this new e-commerce world is affecting different segments of the supply chain.
Download Today!
From the November 2018
The combined forces of a strong economy, e-commerce growth and a tight labor market are making it more important for distribution center (DC) operations to find ways to make their existing infrastructure and people more productive. Software and automation continue to prove to be a vital part of the solution.
Shining a light on the “black box” of transportation
Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) -enabled demand forecasting improve supply chain efficiency?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) in Manufacturing
Is Digital Transformation a risk or an opportunity? This webinar will detail Manufacturing industry challenges and how using IoT can address these challenges through optimizing logistics, improving processes and gaining meaningful insights.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators Signal Global Supply Chain Resilience
So far this year, international merchandise trade has risen by 10.6%. Emerging markets and North...
A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council Predictions Released
GBPC’s 10 major predictions, fleshed out in the study, are based on continuous scanning of the...

New Research Indicates Greener Supply Chains Mean More Profit
Transparency is key when selecting new suppliers as 85% of businesses want to achieve a...
New Survey Measures Potential Impact of Tariffs on U.S. Supply Chains
The proportion of total output produced abroad is meanwhile expected to rise very marginally.