The Five Principles of Sourcing – The Future

If you have followed the progress of our “Five Principles of Sourcing” series, you will know that in the four briefing papers we have published so far, we have looked at the overall concept, and then described all five of the principles.

The idea was (and is) to provide some useful underpinning principles that can inform what good sourcing practice is all about – along the lines of the corporate guidance and credos that firms like Mars, Johnson & Johnson and P&G use to define their culture and operating principles. Coherence, Alignment, Rigour, Openness and Commerciality are our five principles. So, you are asking yourself, what on earth could this final paper be all about, if we have covered all of those already?

In thinking about how to pull the series together, we decided that looking to the future was the obvious – and hopefully interesting – answer. So in this final paper, we look at how sourcing might develop over the next few years. We’re not getting too far into the future, we’re not talking settlements on Mars and Sunderland winning the Premiership, but looking maybe two to five years hence, and that includes both how the process might evolve (which is inextricably linked to technology advances) and what that means for the organisation and individuals involved.

And having carefully considered these likely developments, our view is that the five principles are robust enough to be fully applicable for some years to come – none of these predictions seem likely to invalidate the importance of sourcing in the wider business environment.

We’ll be back with some excerpts from the paper, but you can download it now from the Trade Extensions website. And as this is the final paper in the series, we want to say thanks to Trade Extensions, to Garry Mansell and Nik Pettifor in particular, for being great to work with on this series, and indeed on everything we have done with the firm. They have been very supportive, allowed us to write independently, but provided useful and constructive comments where appropriate.

And if you have not looked at advanced sourcing techniques and tools (optimisation / expressive bidding/ market informed sourcing or whatever you want to call it), then you really should. The most successful firms in the world are doing so already, we can guarantee that.


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