What’s on your procurement tool belt? Is it wizardry, can you slay your procurement dragon alone?

September 25th, 2008

According to Wikipedia a tool is a device used to help accomplish tasks; it serves as a means to an end.

Wictioanry refers to a belt as a band worn around the waist to hold clothing to one’s body usually pants, hold weapons such as a gun or sword or serve as a decorative piece of clothing. This author believes there are too many tools that are acting as decorations for huge integrated Enterprise retail planning systems, supply chain management systems and the like. We all know about these types of tool belts. When shopping, we really know we have a 38 inch waist but try on that 36 inch belt with all the metal medallions and embellishments and then convince ourselves it fits by wearing it around our hips. Ultimately, it hangs in our closet never to be worn again and we go back to the same dull brown belt we have worn for years. Solutions are much the same. They have lots of flashy features that never get used or we ultimately forget how to use them and default to doing things the same old way but with the expensive new tools tucked away in some dark training manual.

This author prefers the belt that holds a sword and let’s me chop down to size tasks that always stood to tall to tackle. It is a simple tool. I don’t need to look too far and once it’s in my hand it does not require a lot of instruction to use. I just start swinging and chopping. Isn’t that what a tool should be?

The SafeSourcing procurement tool belt is simple and easy to use. An intern could build a reverse auction the first time they looked at the tool. If they don’t understand certain terminology they could enter the term into the SafeSourcing Wiki without ever leaving the website. If you would like to converse with other procurement professionals about a particular subject like the price of the resin market, just sign in to Sourcebook it’s as easy to use as MySpace or Facebook and has many of the same features. So, create a group or hold an open threaded conversation. Are you looking for new sources of supply? In less than a minute you can request information sorted by dozens of criteria including proximity to a particular area, category, sic code etc. While all this is going on alerts for over thirty locations such as the FDA, USDA and OU provide you with up to date industry alerts whether it is for salmonella, listeria or melamine related issues. Finally, are you looking for product specifications? Come on now, you know you don’t have them at your finger tips. Now you do with the SafeSourceIt template library. It sounds like you could slay any procurement dragon with this tool belt. This belt is available for use today.

What if the above were also available on your PDA or smart phone like a pocket knife version o the big sword? Mobile procurement which would be a tool even Merlin would be impressed with. But my CTO says I can’t talk about our January release yet.

We look forward to your comments.

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