I read a book written in 1970 titled Future Shock
Today’s post is by Steve Schwerin; Account Manager at SafeSourcing.
I read a book written in 1970 titled Future Shock. Though the title sounds ominous, it wasn’t about the apocalypse or ancient calendars reaching their terminus. The authors were trying to communicate the coming changes in world economies not due to negligence, greed or regime change as much as due to technology.
There were opportunities in these disruptions that I think procurement professionals should constantly be reevaluating. The authors could see the day when much of the current tasks being done would be automated and human creativity could use the new technology in ways only dreamed of before as well as some not yet dreamed of. I suspect that the author of Future Shock would put procurement professionals squarely in the category of people facilitating this change. Why? Procurement professionals are constantly facilitating technology making its way into their organizations and often how. We see this in various ways.
More Products– We now have more of almost every product available than ever before which makes the marginal cost of using and selling most products less than ever before.
Different Products– Cars, computers and even blogs did not exist at one time. Variety allows for targeting pockets of micro-demand not possible before the internet and mass production.
More Services– Food services, pest control and B2B services didn’t exist in their present forms until recently. For instance, it wasn’t until recently when eating out became a common occurrence for the average person. Pest control? Grab a mouse trap. And B2B? I guess lick that envelope quicker? What we are seeing today is that scalability allows vendors to add some services at very little extra relative cost, though it may take a little discovery and negotiation.
Different Services– Web design didn’t exist before the web, and what was the form of the customized packaging industry before technology provided for blister packs and plastic bottles in every conceivable shape? Can any of these services add value for your customer?
Better Services-One thing to keep in mind with services is quality verses quantity. Can taking another look at SLAs, SOPs, or SOWs add value while costing little verses their benefit to anyone involved in the procurement process.
Adding value and constantly achieving higher levels of service have largely made the above mentioned deliverables possible. It takes a human mind to recognize and implement any of this, however. Why not take the bull by the horns in the new year?
What Future Shock was largely predicting these changes would usher in was a more customizable world. Cost cutting is still perhaps the best way to impact your bottom line. At times, cost cutting might take the shape of adding something-read customizing-while keeping the cost similar. What might actually be more valuable to your client is a different product or perhaps a more customized product than others are offering. Who is in a better position to address this than the procurement professional?
To understand more about how we can help you begin to find your new opportunities, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.
We look forward to your comments.