Only in a Beer Company — When Two Worlds Collide: HR and Procurement

At first I thought that this story in Procurement Leaders about how SABMiller has appointed a single individual to run both human resources and supply chain was a bad joke. I mean, the one function that procurement had bragging rights to look down upon for the longest time -- before it rose in stature and had no need to have a superiority complex -- was human resources. You know, HR. Talk about the dregs (or is that kegs) of a company. Perhaps excess capacity HR staffers will perform quality control for testing outsourced canning and bottling -- snap pop snap pop -- might even expedite union negotiations.

But maybe it really does make sense in a beer company to have the two fall under one banner (even if you're not drinking). Consider, in an organization of 70,000, how important outsourcing or contract labor might become. If SABMiller already has their direct materials and inventory management under control, perhaps this really is a sign that services spend and outsourcing should be a top priority for procurement organizations. That, or the entire Board had a few two many cans of Miller Lite …

- Jason Busch

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