Procurement people have an easy life…discuss

I've written a post for Spend Matters following up my Sunderland - getting-hammered-by-Chelsea theme, but discussing whether it has a message for procurement people.  I think it does; that generally, we don't get to be publicly humiliated like footballers do!  But that has a down side; it is often hard to know whether a procurement person is performing well.

Here are the last couple of paragraphs of my post; the whole thing is here.

"Because of that, to be blunt, it is easier for poor procurement performers to go unpunished or even unnoticed at an individual or organizational level. That doesn't happen in sports -- or in sales. Poor performers get weeded out quickly; the best are rewarded (see another recent post here on that topic, which in a sense identifies the difficulties of measuring good procurement performance, as well as poor).

So -- and this is just early thinking -- do we need to focus more on the measurement of both organizational procurement performance AND on individual performance? I think procurement executives need to be put under some of the pressure that a sales person feels daily, or a soccer player, weekly. How we do that, I'm not sure. Perhaps we need to see procurement people justify their actions or strategies more publicly and under some challenge (presentations to peers and stakeholders? Confidential supplier and stakeholder surveys at an individual level? More personally targeted objectives and measures)? What I do know is that the prize for organizations that can crack this must be huge. And Sunderland lost again today.

Voices (2)

  1. Richard Snowden:

    Peter,
    I personally believe individual performance is a key factor in any organization, in agreement with you.
    However… (there are always exceptions!) In any organization there exist individuals contributing who may be misunderstood, quite frankly because senior management doesn’t have the experience or understanding of the procurement element to analyze benefits regardless of the number of PPT or spreadsheets presented.
    I invite everyone’s feedback – experiences, both good and negative. Your thoughts?

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