The high cost of choice

March 8th, 2013

If you live in the USA, you are probably accustomed to having an extremely high level of autonomy in how you shape your daily existence.

Please enjoy today’s guest post from Michael Figueroa and account manager at SafeSourcing.

If you live in the USA, you are probably accustomed to having an extremely high level of autonomy in how you shape your daily existence with the choices you make. Our entire culture has great emphasis on freedom, and not just in the areas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Peripherally, we sometimes grandfather this concept into the areas of freedom to choose user experiences, social networks, flavors, styles, displays, and information inputs. Living in the information age has left us more options to choose from than we often know what to do with. There is so much information available in fact, that Google, Microsoft and others, some of the biggest companies in the world, afford their existence off of our need for someone to help us aggregate our information.

There are many opinions about what will come after the information age, though a common theme around most of them is prioritization, organization, and clean-up.  Theories about this “clean-up age” revolve around the recognition that our extreme availability of choices can have high costs for those who haven’t been given the tools to manage it. We have no shortage of problems or information about them, but have not necessarily been taught the logic skills to understand, given the algorithms to sort and identify, or focused on the vision necessary to prioritize.

This overflow of options and lack of direction creates a situation in which we have high opportunity cost. When we only have one choice, we don’t have the opportunity to be disappointed with our choice because there was no better alternative. But sometimes we make decisions and realize after the fact that there was a better alternative. Sometimes the array of options is so huge and complex it is overwhelming, and the decision making process itself is costly, especially when decisions are made out of exasperation instead of deliberation. The more opportunities we have, the greater potential we have to achieve satisfaction, and conversely, the most potential to feel unsatisfied with the choices we make after the fact.

Some of the major considerations we make at SafeSourcing when analyzing purchasing data are;

• What are the client’s objectives

• What are the common denominators

• What is the baseline

This allows us to provide information in a format that is relevant to the project, establish commonalities for side by side comparison, and understand where that takes us in comparison to our starting point. The result is changing information from being paralyzing, to information that is actionable. We take the costly array of choices you have from being dangerously unknown, to understandable for what sourcing choices can be Safe.

To learn more about sourcing safer products and services please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

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