We Are All Spend Mavericks At Heart: Indirect Spend Challenge No. 3

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With apologies to an unnamed friend and expert in the sector who goes by the nickname “spend maverick,” one of the major challenges of indirect spend is that we’re all truly mavericks at heart about our buying activities. And no one e-procurement tool would change this.

Seriously, ask yourself (take off the procurement hat for a minute), isn’t circumventing policy (or pleading ignorance) often much easier than following the rules? It absolutely is. And we can often find better pricing by circumventing rules and system rather than following them, especially for less frequently purchasing items and services.

Another related challenge is a lack of ability to procure indirect goods and services (that we want), which holds us back from completing many of our jobs effectively. We all have preferred suppliers. In cases where we want to do our job well – including the fact that non-specified items may in fact help do our job better – “cheating” can sometimes feel like the right policy for our company, let alone ourselves.

Perhaps most important, however, without the big picture, we optimize for what we can see in front of us. With policy – and the reason for policy and suggested or required practice – explained at the user level, we’ll do the right thing as we see it and miss the indirect forest because we’re staring at a tree that blocks the view right in front of us.

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