The 12th Day of Christmas – Optimising Drummer supply with Market Informed Sourcing

Strategy Paper - Drummers Drumming Category

Our requirement for Drummers Drumming is significant and growing, so we have been thinking about how to improve our procurement strategy for that particular category.

When we first identified this requirement some years ago, we quickly outgrew our one internal resource (Old Dan the Drummer), and decided on an outsourcing approach.  We initially sourced our Drummers through retail channels – “Drummers R Us” were our first supplier.  We then entered into a call-off contract with a local wholesale supplier – Dartford Drummer Supplies (DDS).

Last year, our requirement grew again and we ran our first formal tendering process, issuing an Invitation to Tender to four leading suppliers we identified after some basic desk research.  UK Discount Drummers won and became our preferred supplier, although we still purchase a small quantity from DDS to maintain a second source for security of supply. But our requirement has grown again for 2013, so we have been considering alternative options that might release further value.

One option is to run an electronic reverse auction. The market is broad and with few supply constraints - indeed Drummers Weekly recently commented that “ prices have softened due to over-supply, with two million new Drumming graduates coming onto the market this Autumn”.  Our specification is fairly generic, so we are confident that a reverse auction would lead to us obtaining excellent value for money. (It is worth noting however that Dave Grohl has already indicated he won’t participate in such an event).

However, we are also considering the use of “Market Informed Sourcing” (MIS – or “optimisation” as some firms call it). There are a number of suppliers who can provide us with a portion of our Drummer requirement for  certain periods, or for certain of our locations, but cannot meet our entire needs. There are also some skill variations which we need to consider, and obviously different prices from different providers.

Having read these two very informative Spend Matters papers, (available free to download here and here), we feel a multi-criteria bidding process, that allows suppliers to suggest how they can best supply us, with a powerful optimisation engine so we can look at options, constraints and run different scenarios, should give us even better results than the auction.

I therefore intend to speak to the leading MIS software companies (as identified by Spend Matters) with a view to running a sourcing exercise with our chosen software early in 2013, and achieving the best possible Drummer supply for 2013.

Happy Christmas!

PS Here is one of our preferred suppliers...


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