Have you seen MONEYBALL the movie? What’s your e-procurement strategy?

January 20th, 2012

Someone once said if you keep on doing the same thing the same way you are going to keep getting the same results.

We have some friends in town this week. So, last night we decided to rent the movie MONEYBALL. According to wikipedia, The movie is based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (ISBN 0-393-05765-8)  by Michael Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane.

First of all the game of business is unfair, so let’s just accept that as fact. There are winners and there are losers. As I have mentioned in prior posts I tend to look at the world in terms of our profession of procurement. In the aforementioned movie, two things stuck out like a sore thumb. The first was the inability of professionals that have been in a job for a long time to accept change. The second was the benefit realized by those that are willing to embrace change and often this is not the earliest of adopters. In the case of the book, the Oakland A’s won a lot of games by using a new philosophy of player acquisition through specific data points. The Boston Red Sox used the same formula to win a world series that had eluded them for almost a century a couple of years later. Does this still mean that bigger companies using the same philosophy will always win? Or, does it allow the smaller company to compete on a more even playing field

So what does this mean to the procurement professional? Relative to the first point it means being open to change and not thinking that you already know everything. An example might be that reverse auctions of today do not run the same way as the reverse auctions of yesteryear. These tools have been rethought by companies that are newer to the space and not restricted by legacy thinking. To the 2nd point, it is never too late to think through how you are doing things. An example might be thinking through whether or not it makes sense to run an RFI with every RFQ? How do the savings compare in this environment versus the historical way of doing things.

What’s your plan to do things differently?

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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