My Love-Hate Relationship With Spreadhseets

December 15th, 2014

What do you do when you have just lost 3 hours of work because you forgot to save it?

 

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

Through the years the one lesson that should have been burned into my consciousness but somehow still gets missed is to back up your work regularly.  Whether that is a word processing document, spreadsheet or backing up the files on your hardware the practice in the business world should be second nature….and yet….it happens.  Hours of work down the drain that must be started from scratch. 

As much as it drives me insane when it happens, some of the best final output has occurred for me in these situations.  For me this occurs in some way or form because of opportunities, whether new, missed or false, these concepts can apply for our world of procurement when we stop and take a step back from rushing to get prices and deals solidified, racing onto the next project before the one we are on is barely finished.  While it may be uncomfortable for some us, taking a step back to re-evaluate where we are with a category can lead to some of the same good results as having to start that spreadsheet over.

New opportunities – Taking a step back from a current view of category has its advantages.  It provides an opportunity to examine and look at new opportunities in the form of new companies, new technologies and new processes that may not have been there when the work on a category was done during the last contract.  When companies plow ahead trying to close as many projects as they can, these opportunities might get missed and an opportunity to leverage early with it.  If the time can be spared, starting as many projects off with a quick RFI of the industry can help uncover some of these options.

Missed opportunities – Like new opportunities, missed opportunities generally get passed by when companies are trying close projects quickly without taking a step back.  These can be situations where a strong supplier was not asked what they could do to adjust their final offer before a decision was made.  Sometimes this results in missed savings but other times it results in a missed opportunity to leverage something else the vendor may do that is not part of the current project.  If two suppliers are close in price and overall offering but one offers a portfolio or products/services the company can also leverage, this is an opportunity with that vendor to get a better deal with the possibility of getting more business that will benefit the company.

False opportunities – False opportunities arise when companies are too quick to make an award decision without digging to see what that decision with that vendor(s) will mean to the company.  Changeover costs, industry reputation, hidden costs are all part of what can come back to bite a company if the time look at what they thought they wanted is not invested.  Many suppliers will tell you if they have missed a piece of a project that should be included but do not be afraid to ask that of the vendors during a sourcing project.  It may increase the scope and overall cost of the project but at least it will be known and on the table. 

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you take a step back and really look at these 3 classes of opportunities, 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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