One Observation from CVM Supply World

When I touched down in four cities for CVM Supply World earlier this month I had the chance to talk to a number of professionals at all levels in the procurement and supply chain world. But one conversation stood out the most -- which speaks to how serious some organizations are about thinking about the bottom line. The gentleman who shared this story was a procurement executive with a large, well-known organization earning a highly respectable compensation package (low to mid six figures). He received a call recently from an investment organization (hedge/private equity fund) looking to hire a procurement leader to work within their organization and presumably some of their portfolio companies. When the topic of salary/bonus came up, they practically laughed at his current compensation package and used a number significantly higher as a starting point of negotiation (not to mention a promise of doubling his bonus if he exceeded certain targets).

Now, this is not someone in the early or even middle stage of his career -- we're talking serious bucks here. Granted, it's not the multi-million dollar compensation package that many in the investment area make at the senior level, but still, the numbers suggest that even those companies who can afford to overpay on the buy side are getting serious about cost cutting and are looking -- and willing to pay -- for the best talent. But I suppose when a seasoned Spend Management pro like our executive in question here comes in and mandates that the investment professionals fly business class on a particular airline -- rather than flying private or first -- to save seven figures a year through better negotiated rates then senior management will have a second thought about whether or not they really want to cut costs.

- Jason Busch

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