Drafting the perfect Procurement Supplier Team….

June 4th, 2015

How can the strategies used by millions of rabid NFL fans be wrong?


Today’s post is our SafeSourcing archive

Over the next two weekends, scores of NFL fans will be coming together to reenact the most important moment of their sports lives for the year….the fantasy football draft.  This is the time where seasons are made or broken based on the selection of real football players in a make believe environment.

If you are one of these people, you are now instantly connected to this blog and if not, you now probably think both I and fantasy football are stupid but read on as I put it in the perspective of the procurement world.   Both worlds may make a little more sense when we’re done.

Beware of the rookies – One of the biggest risks someone can take in putting together a lineup of real NFL players to compete for fake fantasy points based on their individual performances is to draft a first year player. They are unproven and usually come with nothing but potential and risk. In much the same way, unproven, unknown vendors who try to buy your business constitute a similar risk.   These vendors promise the world of potential and often come at bargain prices only to disappoint and fail on delivering their potential.  Therein lies the risk because in some cases (read that C.J. Spiller, Arian Foster) the rookie not only pans out but delivers at levels few veterans can.  Research the company, research the solution, research their history and then know the risk you are taking.

The changing team – Every fantasy football owner I know would love to put out Requests For Information to each NFL team every summer.  If they did this is what they would ask: “Are there any major changes in management expected in the next 6 months?”;  “Do you plan on having a major shift in offensive mission statement before the season starts?”;  “Are you looking to acquire new talent that would affect how you do business in the next 3 months?”  The reason these types of questions would be important is because they affect the value of the services they are looking for from a player in much the same way companies like to include these types of questions when determining the value of a solution they are interested in.  By itself the solution may be a leader but unfortunately changes to that vendor’s infrastructure can render a terrific component useless.

The handcuff – Fantasy Football owners, please skip down in this block while I explain the concept of the handcuff.  The handcuff is a player who is the backup of a major starting player on a football team (usually a running back) that people draft when they already have the starter on the team and they want insurance of also having the backup in case anything happens to the starter or the starter does not perform according to expected levels.  When you have both, you have security in the same way procurement professionals like to have the security of a primary and secondary supplier for mission critical categories.  Having a backup to take over for your primary player/supplier gives you the flexibility and security to focus on other areas that need more attention.

At SafeSourcing we pride ourselves on trying to view procurement projects from different angles as well as the traditional and successful approaches and hope you enjoyed today’s “out-of-the-box” comparison to a very popular activity.  We hope to get a chance to show some of this creativeness for your companies.  For more information about SafeSourcing 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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