Procurement: Banned From the Pub

In a recent post, Alan Buxton cited a fictional column from an IT trade rag that takes place in of all distinctively English places, a pub. The topic of conversation this month happens to be which types of people the bitter-quaffing chaps would like to ban from their establishment. One IT staffer in the conversation suggests that procurement is the group who should be voted off the island, so to speak. Our Spend Management detractor notes that a "procurement manager ... would spend 15 months talking to you about the quality of [your] beers, only to buy a cheaper pint down the road ... [T]here is not enough beer in the world that would make us want to spend time with a procurement manager. You're barred."

I wonder why procurement seems to be developing a less than stellar reputation with IT types. Here's one take. If I look at the demographics of many IT trade rags -- a number of which I've penned op/ed columns for in the past -- I find that most tend to attract a mid-level audience. Few appeal to more senior IT executives. And it's precisely these managerial types who are often dealing for the first time with procurement's active involvement in the sourcing of IT hardware, software, consulting, and outsourcing services. So perhaps it's not surprising that they want to ban us from the pub. But if they do, let's make sure they get the cheapest possible routers and servers. And let's take away their Linux environments and force Vista on them while we're at it. Then they can drink their beers, alone, as we contemplate how most cost effectively to move their jobs to lower cost locales.

Jason Busch

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