Readers’ comments from last week – the best yet?

I think last week was perhaps our best ever for the quality of the comments from readers. Thanks so much for everyone who reads us regularly – and even more to those who take the trouble to comment.

They ranged from discussion around whether procurement can or should be more scientific, to learned comments from “Flog” on Kraljic and his matrix,

One of the ‘challenges’, I’ve found, when getting people to use Kraljic-type/based matrices to analyse their procurement is that, while on paper the matrix is presented as 4 equal segments in reality, the horizontal and vertical dividing lines need, respectively, to be closer to the bottom and left.... insight to CIPS Council from an ex member,

It doesn’t surprise me that the Council voted to abolish itself. In my 3 years on it, it always voted the way the board told it to. We had one controversial matter, which caused much debate, and they all ended up voting for the board’s proposal apart from me and one abstention. I shed no tears for Council as it was a totally ineffective organisation.

And a very funny elevator pitch from “Huhh?”

I am taking the many ludicrous and short sited edicts that you and the executive team have made and attempting, through unpaid overtime, to translate them into something that will not be a complete disaster for our organisation”

But the post that caused the most comment was on the Ariba 2020 Vision report and our look at the report’s views on whether procurement will survive as a function. If you haven’t seen the comments, I recommend you take a look here . They’re far more insightful than my original post! Here are just some excerpts to whet your appetite. And thanks again to everyone.

In my current organisation we are outsourcing activities and a large part of my role as CPO is ensuring the budget holders have the skills to manage the bought-in services. We provide the specialist support to let the contracts in the first place and then manage any commercial/performance issues that arise through its life. Relationship management (both inside and outside the organisation) is becoming a key skill! (Tim Leaver)

I always remember two things: firstly that, broadly, most ‘developments’, especially within large corporates, are ‘cyclical’....  Secondly, for procurement to operate at its optimum level, other related functions (and the business which it supports) and the related supply markets, must also be at the same level of maturity. And in my experience, over the last two decades, they never have been. (Rob)

Procurement as a function may morph into the supply chain finance function where suppliers will be forced to complete scorings, benchmark reports etc before being accepted onto major customers books as a ‘preferred supplier’. (John Mardle)

Have the 2010 visions from 2000 come true? (Bitter and Twisted)

I recall sitting amongst the well known great and good in early 1997 and asking the question “so what sort of impact do you think Ariba might make?” (I’d seen a beta version) and most of them, if not all, shook their heads wondering what I was talking about. Technology is certainly making a big impact – shaping opinion in many ways – but you still need a high performance driver to get the most out of a high performance car, or “garbage in, garbage out”. So, then we’re back to starting grid. (Final Furlong)

I believe that procurement as a capability has some way to evolve in most organisations to understand and align to the core business objectives. To understand what value means to the organisation and ultimately how procurement can enable the acceleration to achieving this value. Silo mentalities should be abandoned for a more pragmatic approach that identifies what are the value generating activities and where the activity should sit, whether it is internal or with an external procurement provider. (Abdi Azimi)

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First Voice

  1. john mardle:

    Excellent post as its the cash recovery processes that will deliver the supply chain and procurement efficiencies needed.

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