We’ll be calling much more attention to our recently (and quietly launched – shhhh!) Spend Matters Mexico y America Latina in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, I wanted to give a shout out to a post by Jesus Campos, a new analyst and contributor in the region (Jesus works with Xavier Olivera, who is our director for Spend Matters Mexico and Latin America, as well as our new P2P solutions analyst). In his recent musings, Jesus hits on a topic that is relevant regardless of your geography: procurement scarcity in transactional buying.
I’ll translate some of the key elements (from Spanish) of his post below:
A complaint [we hear] from buyers is that they never have time to do more than the usual day-to-day activities in transactional buying. Some of the reasons include:
- We're not [exactly] sure what the business needs [including detailed specifications beyond price], making it challenging for buyers and suppliers to collaborate efficiently.
- Procurement has not acted proactively and is just responding more slowly than needed.
- The suppliers [which business users want us to work with] do not know us.
- The suppliers require more information than the business has given us to work with.
- The parties are waiting for an individual to provide further details to others, and things do not move for long periods.
- The buyer cares about the outcome of today and is not motivated to resolve outstanding issues related to past activities.
The bottom line: Transactional buying resources and time are scarce. The business does not stop with (often incomplete) demands. Suppliers are given incomplete information. And procurement is caught in the middle – and had to jump to its next task yesterday. Which is why, of course, considering some type of partial or complete outsourced approach (BPO, managed service, GPO, etc.) to tail spends categories makes perfect sense.