The CPO’s New Year’s procurement resolutions

Happy New Year to all our readers!

Are you a CPO or other senior procurement executive looking for ideas for your New Year's resolutions (other than going to the gym 3 times a week, giving up smoking, drinking, eating unhealthy foods, or generally enjoying yourself in any way...)?

If so, here are our Spend Matters top 10 (serious) ideas for you to consider.

1. I will keep reminding myself and my team that competitive advantage is fundamental to what we do.  If we can't provide that, we shouldn't be here.  (And if I'm in the public sector, that shouldn't stop me following the basic principle of trying to be better than my peers - but then I should tell them how we've done it).

2. That means we must challenge our strategies, capability and activities in all spend areas.  We won't see outsourcing as a panacea, but where we don't have scale or capability, we'll consider it openly and honestly.

3. I will make sure we understand the drivers, aims and objectives of our senior colleagues and budget holders, and we'll look to help them achieve those without jeopardising our own.  Where they clash, we'll discuss that openly and if necessary point out to the Board that they can't have everything!

4. Risk, risk, risk.  We'll hold two full-day workshops in January - one for the procurement team, then one with internal colleagues, to identify major supply chain risks.  We'll then set up a properly resourced programme (including using external data sources) to manage and mitigate the key risks.

5. If we don't have good spend data and some spend analytics capability, we'll get it.  It's not expensive investment these days; if we can't justify it, I shouldn't be here (either I'm not up to the job, or I'm working for idiots)....

6. We'll review our investment and strategy for eSourcing and P2P, even where we already have providers and platforms in place.  Things are moving fast..   If we're already reasonably well served here, we'll look at the potential for 'add-ons' that have high rate of return, such as invoice automation, optimisation / complex auctions, or VMS (services procurement platforms).

7. I don't want to fire people, but we'll make sure our performance management is robust enough that I'd know who I would fire if I had to.

8. We'll agree a balanced scorecard approach to measuring overall procurement performance; we're going to survey both internal users and suppliers this year; and we're going to implement a fully auditable and honest savings measurement system.

9. I'm going to stop talking about capturing supplier innovation and supporting diverse / local / smaller suppliers and do something tangible about it.

10. We're going to embed use of social media, blogs and other 'new' resources as part of our supplier and market intelligence efforts.  That means reading Spend Matters every day for a start...

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