But here at MetalMiner and Spend Matters, we argue that where a functional priority or concern falls is less important than the collaboration between procurement and supply chain and the actual intersection of the two functions. Here, we believe a concept we've used for close to five years now is most appropriate -- lean sourcing -- a practice that truly merges supply chain and procurement tenants and goals together.
For procurement, we often observe four primary benefits of bringing lean to sourcing. The first is greater buy-in and engagement of key functional areas inclusive (but not limited to) operations and purchasing. Second, lean sourcing can help bridge the gap from identified savings to implemented savings following either a sourcing event or identification of another cost reduction or working capital improvement initiative by bringing together multiple parties to work on a shared and previously agreed-to outcome. Third, lean sourcing improves quality and reduces waste, potentially at multiple levels on the supply chain. And perhaps most important of all, lean sourcing creates the opportunity for ongoing additional savings.
In a short refresher series of posts on the stages of lean sourcing maturity, we'll share how these benefits can come together based on organizational sophistication.