While Hackett Group has traditionally been best known for its benchmarking efforts, they're increasingly developing a reputation as truly strategic advisors in the Spend Management arena. In some ways, Hackett is looking more like a data-informed strategy consulting firm advising on procurement and supply chain related issues than anything else. A couple of weeks back, Supply and Demand Chain Executive picked up on some of their recent research findings noting that "in working with hundreds of procurement leaders and their staff, Hackett said it has found that successful procurement organizations not only inevitably hit a 'tipping point' where the business seeks procurement's involvement, but also move through five discrete evolutionary phases."
While the initial stages are levels of Spend Management evolution that most of us are probably already familiar with, the final two are more interesting. Supply and Demand Chain Executive notes in their write up that "the final two stages shift 180 degrees to customer management and switch the focus from supplier relationship management (SRM) to a set of customer relationship management (CRM) processes that help Procurement get the Voice of the Customer and 'assurance of relationship' with spend owners, allowing them get more value from their spend." When the whole strategic sourcing journey began a couple of decades ago, who would have thought that turning inward rather than outward would be the final ticket to maximize procurement returns?