Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto

Our colleagues at Spend Matters US produce regular papers that are always informative and insightful. They often focus on technology to a significant extent, but a recent example is interesting to anyone in procurement, technologist or not, and everyone whether based in the US, Europe or anywhere.

The title is Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto, and the paper was jointly researched and produced by Spend Matters (with Jason Busch in the lead) and Vroozi, one of the new breed of procurement software providers (see more here).

We briefly mentioned this when it was launched, and in manifesto style, it starts like this:

“Be it resolved that the world surrounding the buying of goods is changing faster than transactional purchasing itself. And this, of course, is not sustainable if procurement is to remain influential, relevant and helpful. Change must come, and it must come fast, for procurement organizations that have not yet fully understood nor embraced new buying styles and modes.

In consideration of the New Purchasing world at hand, we recommend and proclaim to those who aspire to either competency or leadership, regardless of organizational size, small or large, and without discriminating by public or private entity, industry or other qualifier, the following:

The authors drop the antiquated, charming style pretty quickly, and get into 20 short, sharp points that I guarantee will get you thinking. They focus on technology as one of, in fact perhaps the biggest driver of change, but also talk about how the procurement role and function will change in coming years. It is an optimistic view as well; take this for example, the fourth point.

4) Complexity will yield to elegance and simplicity.

"Complexity does not have to bring confusion or latency. Problem solving will become quicker and more elegant. From new data collection methods to processing horsepower (in the Amazon cloud, for example) to crunch through data, the answer to complexity does not have to be more complexity. There will be simplified and elegant solutions that can do much of the heavy lifting for us (e.g., configuring a custom dashboard in Tableau in hours rather than spending months configuring a similar front-end and collected reports in Hyperion)."

The authors see that one of the key roles for procurement will be “guiding the business (from individuals to business units) through periods of uncertainty and adapting strategies and tactics as the world changes.” And systems will increasingly be automatic and guide anyone who purchases through all stages of the process – “Said another way, procurement autopilot with Siri takes over.”

It is a bracing and stimulating read, but very accessible – and only 5 pages long, so not something you need to set hours aside to get into! Highly recommended, and you can download it here, free on registration.

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