New products, evolving specifications, world market fluctuations, evergreen contracts and more lead to higher costs and significant frustration for procurement professionals.
Procurement and other supply chain professionals have developed and nurtured existing relationships within their incumbent suppliers for years and in some cases decades. Too often, this has led to incumbent suppliers becoming to comfortable. The feeling of entitlement begins to creep in and some suppliers feel as though their business will be renewed annually. Too often this is true.
This author has often said that the job of buyers, category managers, procurement executives and other supply chain knowledge workers is the most difficult job in all of retail and retail distribution. These professionals are literally swamped. Quality, safety, environmental issues coupled with the enormous amount of new product offerings is overwhelming. Just conducting the basic research required to identify potential new sources of supply, finding the correct contact information as well as determining if the company has the capability to meet your needs. All of this is before you even sample, price or test new offerings. No wonder it is so easy to just stay the current course. This however would be a mistake.
A general rule of thumb that this author has always ascribed to is if you are doing business with a current supplier for more than three years and are only negotiating with that supplier, your prices are probably too high. The question is how can you find out?
That is where e-procurement tools come in to play. I won’t advertise here, but if you were to Google e-procurement or reverse auctions etc. any number of companies will come up. Or if you were smart, you just click this link and have measurable savings in less than 30 days and often faster. Visit SafeSourcing.
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