Retailers sourcing strategic plans sometimes have too many guidelines and to little action

March 12th, 2010

In yesterdays post we discussed the elements of successful strategic plans. Now that we have a guideline in place let’s focus on how tactics can be developed in order to carry out your strategic plan.

From a retail perspective buyers and category managers have a lot to do. Try to get some of there time and watch their phone ring of the hook if you don’t believe me. So in the retail vertical let’s start implementing specific short term tactics that can drive some immediate results…

A great example of the above might be augmenting the manual process that many retail sourcing professionals use today to find new sources of supply interested in bidding for their your rather than continuing to live with the same small, known group of suppliers that you have used for years. Historically this has been a very time consuming practice that results in few if any new sources of supply. This represents a great opportunity to deploy a tactic that can have an immediate impact for an organization without the need to implement an entire new sourcing strategy.

There is a specific process to follow that will encourage new sources of supply to want to bid for your companies business beyond just calling or sending them an invitation. Simply having your buyer assigned the task of picking up the phone and calling new sources of supply will not result in new suppliers agreeing to bid for your business. There are specific objections to overcome and questions to answer that require a specific skill set.  This is a perfect opportunity for Software as a Service implementations of supplier research. Skilled providers in this area can provide companies with as many as a half dozen or more willing new sources of supply in as little as thirty minutes  that may in fact reside within a companies existing zip code or area code. In most cases you will never have heard of these companies and they will have solid reputations and good references.

Sourcing tactics can be isolated procurement related actions or events that take advantage of opportunities offered by the gaps within the strategic plan such as lack of new sources of supply mentioned above.  So our tactic here would be to find additional sources of supply that you can invite to compete for your company’s business across a variety of categories. The fact is that additional sources of supply competing for a companies business will result in compressed pricing and often better quality products and better terms. There are also an optimal number of suppliers that will encourage optimal results.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

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