Sourcing Accelerated

Let’s talk about Sourcing being stuck.  Being stuck in the mid 1990s.  Being stuck in the same 6, 7, or 8 step sourcing process that was designed before there were concepts like category management or supplier relationship management.  It was designed before technologies like Ariba even existed.  The Sourcing process was designed when Full House, 90210, and Clueless were the rage.

Now, I loved the 1990s – I got jiggy with it for sure.  But, it is 2017!  It is time to fast forward, literally.  Many other areas in business have been focused on speed to value where we have been focusing on periphery, needed, improvements like P2P solutions, CLM, Spend Analysis, outsourcing, cost savings through FTE reductions in source through pay.  We have also done brilliant things like integrated supplier management and proving that we can add more value than cost savings.

However, there are few that are focusing on the core, sourcing process.  This is our achilles heal.  How often do you experience this:

  • Hey Procurement, we have already negotiated this agreement, but can you sign the contract?
  • Sure Procurement, you can help us, but you only have 3 days to get this agreement signed?
  • We are trying to get this new product to market ASAP and we do not have time to take it to bid.
  • Ummm…yeah…your goal is $25M more than last year.
  • Or – my favorite – How long will this RFP take?  Procurement professional – well, our average SLA is anything between 4 to 6 months.
What in business today takes 4 to 6 months???  Really?  No wonder stakeholders do not want to use Procurement.
What if we accelerated the sourcing process?  What if we reduced the cycle time dramatically?   Think about this.  If we were able to accelerate the sourcing process, we would be able to get more spend under management.  We would be able to offer faster solutions to meet business needs.  We would be able to drive compliance by taking away a large excuse.  It would be speed to value.  (By the way, I am not talking about e-auctions.  They have a time and place, but in a different article.)
There are technologies out there that somewhat help with this need.  They help with complex scenario analysis and provide templates that can be used to reduce development time of the RFP itself.  If deployed correctly, they can help create this acceleration.
However, there still could be so much more with the technologies that are emerging in the market.  There could also be so much more if we, as Procurement professionals, actually focused on this.
It could make your 2017 more like 2017 vs 1994.  Are you all in?

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