Will Vista Redefine the BASS Method?

When I first heard about the "BASS" method of analysis from Pierre Mitchell years ago during one of his presentations, I chuckled, knowing full well that the number of companies using spreadsheets to develop and manage sourcing strategies still far outnumbered those using specialized sourcing, procurement, and supply chain applications. And unfortunately, I don't think things have changed that much since that time, as Excel is still the preferred tool to conduct cost, performance, and other analyses for many practitioners and consultants that I know. For very small companies, this is fine. But for larger ones, spreadsheet-based analyses are impossible to scale and roll-up (which is the main reason why one-off scorecarding efforts are virtually all doomed to mediocrity and isolation). Unfortunately, despite the billions that Bill Gates and Microsoft have poured into Vista and Office 2007 -- which were just released last week -- I doubt we'll see much of an improvement in the scalability of the "big ass spreadsheet" method of procurement and operations analysis. There's always hope -- and I'm sure like many others I'll eventually upgrade and pay the "Gates" tax -- but I doubt it will make our lives much easier.

Jason Busch

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