Swim Like A Shark

February 15th, 2018

Sourcing strategies learned from the behavior of sharks.


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

As you read this today, imagine the image of a great white shark. Perhaps, you’re picturing it attacking its prey as in one of those nature documentaries. I simply picture the great white shark swimming through the water. I’d wager that when you think of sharks, you don’t immediately equate that image to those of us in the procurement field. But should you? In my own observations, I see sharks as powerful creatures that possess the tools and the skills to execute against their goals. For sharks, those goals are all related to hunting and survival.

Procurement professionals are sharks. Their goals also include hunting and survival. They hunt for savings and they are critical to the survival of any organization.

Sharks, as hunters, have incredible focus. If you try to imagine how to think like a shark, you may imagine being on the hunt looking for the splashing motions of a tasty meal. If you’re in procurement, you are looking for contract expirations, the length of time since categories have been competitively sourced, Market conditions, and other key indicators that tell you when you need to focus on a particular category. Once you have your sights set on a category, you are focused and driven in the hunt for savings.

To swim like a shark in procurement is to adopt the traits of the shark in your own behavior. A shark would not be deterred by some of the traditional objections to sourcing a category. Sharks would not care that the vendor has been a partner for 15 years. Sharks would not care if the vendor rep plays golf with the Vice President every week. Sharks expect a price decrease based on indices, not just increases. Sharks would see the potential savings objectively and would apply determination and ferocity until it had completed the task at hand.

One more interesting trait of sharks is their confidence. Sharks seem to know that they are sharks. Great white sharks appear to realize their place in the food chain. Procurement professionals too should know that they are sharks and realize that they have a very important role to play as well.

Go and swim like a shark. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

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