Dad STILL Wasn’t Wrong About Too Much

June 16th, 2014

How are you using the advice from dad to your advantage as a procurement professional?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

Last year I wrote a blog about Father’s Day and this year it means all the more to me so I have decided to refresh and repost it again this year.  I have enjoyed another year of my Father’s sage advice and wisecrack jokes and have graduated from normal Skype to video Skype which has been even better than I could have imagined.  As I reflect on this day it makes me think of all the advice that fathers, mine and millions of others, have given their children over the years and how simple the ideas are and yet at the same time how powerfully applicable to the business world we all live in every day.

In today’s blog I want to go back to some of that advice and see how much value still stands in concepts that are so simple.

If you keep doing the wrong things it WILL catch up with you – So many procurement departments have begun and are being run based on practices and principles that are not only not sound but are potentially damaging to the company.  Having weak supervisory controls for buyers, no or poor management of the company’s contracts, and not researching the background of your suppliers are all things that can leave an organization vulnerable.  Like living without auto, home or medical insurance, in time it will catch up with you even if it has been years since anything bad came as a result.

Treat people as you expect to be treated – The procurement space can be brutal.  Suppliers are trying to deliver value and make money; customers are trying to get as much value as possible while controlling costs.  These two things can often create clashes and tension as both sides work to get the things they want out of a business relationship.  The key that comes here is to remember that the same suppliers you are beating up on price will be the same ones you are asking for rush service and special assistance on down the road.  Creating partnerships with the best value and cost is the goal.  Everyone is a supplier and everyone is a customer at some level and applying this simple advice can help forge the greatest value for your company.

Plan your work; work your plan –  I have heard this advice over the years from many people I have admired and respected.  It is simple and encompasses everything that best sourcing projects need in two pieces.  1.  Plan the work (create the project); this involves research and a knowledge of what you are going after that goes beyond a 15 minute Google search.  It means researching the market, indexes, new technologies and trends, new suppliers and new government regulations that may affect your goals.   Knowing your category allows you to plan the work with measureable milestones teams can follow and be a part of.  2.  Work the Plan you have created with little exception.  Once you have created the plan for the project, stick to the timelines and employ leverage where you need it to keep projects moving.  Everyone is always going to be overloaded with work, so if you are not the one working your plan every day you will be replaced in our people’s priorities by someone else who is.

Don’t spit in the wind and don’t take any wooden nickels –  I will be honest, I still have no frame of reference by which to link these sage pieces of advice back to the world of procurement, but they both still seem like really, really good ideas.

We, at SafeSourcing, hope your Father’s Day was full of great memories and happy times!  We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week and hope you find value in it.   For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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