Sourcing Scurvy – And How to Fix It

Scurvy – “often presents itself initially as symptoms of malaise and lethargy. As scurvy advances, there can be open wounds, loss of teeth, jaundice, fever, neuropathy and death.”  Sound like your strategic sourcing initiative yet?

I thought of this as SIG (Sourcing Interests Group) wrapped their Summit here in Nashville, TN last night (and I’ll give you some more updates on the SIG activities later). Here’s one observation that stood out: a lot of companies still don’t have any real sourcing tools in place!

Companies attending SIG are Global 2000 firms, various consulting companies that work with them, and procurement solution providers that cater to both audiences – and participants from all three categories brought up examples of substantial organizations (Fortune 100 even) that still run their sourcing events via emails and spreadsheets and emailed spreadsheets...

As a procurement solutions analyst, I readily admit suffering from a professional bias toward looking at cutting-edge solutions, and working with early adopters.  That said – it’s not that I wasn’t aware of the many laggards out there – it's just really disappointing to hear about this ongoing sad state of affairs.  It’s especially sad to hear it spoken about matter of factly: “sure, company X doesn’t have any eSourcing tools, other than Excel, ha ha!”  Really?  This is an acceptable way of life?  The sailors of old could have said: “look, ol’ Charlie’s teeth are falling out, but he’s too cheap to buy any citrus fruit, ha ha!”

If you’ve seen our list of sourcing solution providers to pay attention to you know that you have many good options to choose from.  Price points are quite reasonable – there’s something for every budget.  From $50K per year to a few hundred thousand per year will buy you an impressive set of capabilities driving immediate savings.  Implementations can actually be done in as little as a few days!  You really have no excuses left. None.  Just do something.

Even if you were to pick a lemon off our list (and don’t worry, they’re actually all good – but you need to determine if you are good for them – it takes two to tango) it’ll get you revitalized, stop the bleeding of your gums and keep your teeth!

Any selection you make will force your organization to up their game, get structured, organized – more professional – which will increase visibility, time to market, improve stakeholder buy-in, drive adoption, boost spend and contract and management, and of course deliver savings.  Especially healthy TCO savings, not just PPR sugar rushes.

So, go boldly forth and make a selection!

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