A couple of years back, I penned a Spend Management Wish List for Santa -- and even thought about doing one for Hanukkah Harry as well (too bad Kwanzaa does not have a mythical gift-giving figure). In today's post, I'd like to offer up a few updated requests to our fat smiling friend in the North Pole before he buys his carbon offsets for his worldwide trek next week. So, here's my Spend Management wish list for 2007:
1) Santa, first off, we would like to see you help us build corporate interest in sustainable procurement practices for the right reasons in North America (and the world, for that matter). By this, I mean encouraging businesses to implement sustainable supplier practices not through mandated regulation but by realizing that such practices can actually lead to better profits and returns (e.g. the Wal-Mart approach). This US-centric carrot model to sustainability rather than the EU-centric regulatory stick is something that I'm hoping more companies realize in 2008 and beyond. Santa, please prod them in this direction. Just make sure the prod is made of recycling plastic.
2) Santa, we implore you to send us a new frigging CFO who does not keep referring to us as "purchasing" in name and role. Our current guy, you know, the one who dreamed of becoming more strategic and stepping up to a CEO role but instead will soon be hitting the links the rest of his life in some second tier resort community. We all know his story down here in the procurement dungeon -- he never quite banked enough to go first class and is facing early retirement because of the way he treated us. Sure, he enjoyed watching a few auctions, but he never invited us to budgeting meetings or treated us like an integral member of the organization. Please, Santa, send this guy out to pasture and give us someone new who gets Spend Management (or supply management, if that's your flavor).
3) Santa, our last wish list item is more of a stocking stuffer. But it's one that we can't afford to be without. And that's the metaphorical equivalent of a MacGyver gadget designed specifically to help us get more from the investments we've already made. Maybe with this tool we'll be able to magically implement more of the ERP SRM seats we've bought, or onboard and manage more suppliers in our procure-to-pay environment. Or maybe we'll actually use the optimization stuff we bought and tried out once. But please, help us do more with what we already have!