Purchasing should not be making complex buying decisions

The title of today's blog comes from the copy of an article / book review that I came across this morning in a Supply and Demand Chain Executive feature piece.

I'd encourage everyone to take a look at it not so much for the insights it provides — it does not provide much — but rather how the pundit featured in the article, Jeff Thull, seemingly looks at Spend Management from a 1970s viewpoint. Perhaps this is not surprising as, and I quote directly, Thull has "gained the reputation for being a thought leader in the arena of sales and marketing strategies for companies involved in complex sales."

So what is a "Sales and marketing" thought leader looking at Spend Management for? Good question. Thull clearly misses the mark in much of his analysis. If he knew anything about the modern purchasing organization, he'd know that total cost and quality calculations go into making complex purchasing decisions. And he'd know that commodity managers do not look at buying sand the same way as buying a complex solution. Granted, as Thull has done, it's easy to find the laggards who mistake price for quality, but I'd reckon that the majority of Spend Management adherents are light years ahead of Thull's thinking in this article.

Enough of my rant ... sometimes its good to be reminded about how "purchasing" is perceived by outsiders. Clearly, the Spend Management movement has a long way to go to educate the Jeff Thull's of the world. Our work is cut out for us.

-Jason Busch

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