Let the Games Begin – The Sequel – Part II of II

December 9th, 2014

What if you could develop new ways to train incoming procurement professionals that fit the talents they already have?


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

In yesterday’s blog we covered some of the areas a video game type training program for new procurement professionals would have to include in order to train them in as mainly strategic sourcing scenarios as possible focusing on the analysis of spend, handling complex projects and engaging suppliers.  Today we will take a look at a few more areas that would round a solution like this out.

Awarding the business – It would seem to the novice user that once the pricing has been provided and the details about what is being offered are on the table the award decision would be clear-cut and at the beginning it would be.   As the game progressed the difficulty of knowing how to award would not be as obvious.  Running a temporary labor project for 50 locations across the country where local, regional and national companies all performed well and all three levels are currently servicing the company today in some way.  The project may have had good proposals from the incumbents and some not so good.  It may have produced 3 or 4 new players that the company has never done business with before.  The question becomes “Do I have enough information to make a decision and how much of the business should I award to any particular company?”  In a good video game training tool the answer to these questions would be slightly different with each project depending on the variables.

Tracking the performance – At this point the user has progressed and has mastered the sourcing projects from beginning to end and has awarded suppliers millions of dollars of business.  Any good training program would then take all of those GREAT results and throw them out the door as the new contract pricing fails to be realized due to a glitch the suppliers invoicing system or some other factor.   Being able to creatively develop ways to track realized savings with analyzing every invoice may be another element of this program.  At advanced levels the game may require the user to track the performance location by location instead of across the entire company increasing the difficulty even more.

Controlling the savings – The final piece of the training module for each project in this training program/game would be the ongoing management of the category and contracts.   As the user progresses through the program they may forget about that $100,000 contract they wrote for copy paper that has gone unchecked for 5 years and is now a $250,000 contract without increasing the volume of copy paper the company is getting.  The tool would have a built-in contract manager that would help the user keep track of these details and alert them to upcoming deadlines on old projects right in the middle of trying to work new projects. 

Obviously Sony does not have a game like this for the PlayStation (yet) but until that time there are still practices that can be put in place to help develop new procurement team members.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in this area, 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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