When people purchase anything but a boring econobox of a car – or the Prius, which is really just Toyota’s excuse to find a way to charge close to $30K for something that without the eco-weenie component should cost half, judged on performance – it’s unlikely that they’ll ever drive the thing near the limits. Yet even my trusty Honda Odyssey is capable of doing some pretty spectacular things if you know how to push it. This is true of so many procurement tools as well, especially on the sourcing side.
One common theme at Bravo’s customer event so far is that a number of the attendees are actually doing some pretty advanced sourcing events using optimization. Perhaps its just the sample of folks I’ve spoken with, but there are some outstanding case studies (especially in the logistics area) in how to take a basic advanced sourcing toolkit and truly make it look that the minivan in the video above (while still carrying a full load of cargo, mind you)!
Also, one larger customer that previously relied on Bravo to help set up these complex sourcing events with thousands (or tens of thousands) of different line items and flexibility for alternative bid specifications is now taking this capability in-house, having used Bravo to “train the trainer” to the power users internally.
This observation was reinforced during an early morning jog with someone on the Bravo team who echoed how they’ve seen a roughly 2X uptick in the use of sourcing optimization in the past year, as judged by the number of events run using flexible data gathering plus constraint and scenario-based analysis. Moreover, more customers are jumping straight to the use of what Bravo calls its “Business Center” solutions – think category management on steroids for individual complex categories like transportation and packaging – rather than migrating from individual tools such as sourcing or spend into an integrated category suite.
In short, Bravo’s customers are learning to drive fast. That doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen by simply putting a tool in someone’s hands.
As with sourcing, advanced driving lessons for various road conditions are needed to avoid these types of situations. And Bravo understands knowledge transfer and training as well as any provider I’ve ever personally encountered. On that note, I’m planning on writing up the ADKAR training sessions that I sat in on with Bravo’s John Shaw (who is both professorial and passionate in his teachings on change management and education) and I believe one of the reasons that so many Bravo customers learn to downshift and pull some real “G”s in the corners with their tools.
Now, personally, as to driving fast, if only my wife would let me take the old family minivan to the track…