BellWether Blog


What Does Good Procurement Look Like?

In the current business environment, with the changes, demands, and pressures facing small businesses around the world, what does good procurement look like? Good procurement looks like a challenge. There is a need to raise standards, reach a higher level of efficiency, and achieve greater savings all while delivering exceptional value for money, for every dollar spent. Some may say it is an uphill battle. Others may say it is an opportunity to transform procurement once and for all and for the better. In many ways both would be right.

Now is the time for businesses to elevate in every area, including procurement. Good procurement can elevate quality and value like never before. Together, every small business, working toward the same goal can impact the global procurement landscape in ways you would never have considered looking at your business alone. But do you operate your business in a vacuum? Of course not, we are all a part f this global economy. Both the good and the bad.

Together, as each and every one who makes up part of a procurement team, works toward best practices, continues studying and learning, we can all make a big difference. Sometimes it is hard to see so it is important t keep the big picture in mind as well. Do you remember the old analogy of a butterfly flapping its wings on one continent can start a hurricane on another several weeks later? Or maybe you’ve seen a movie with time travel where the character(s) travel back in time making one small change only to find when they return to the present how drastically different their life would have turned out and those whose lives intersected theirs.  Small changes you, as an individual make, add up to bigger changes for your entire team, and changes for your business, that result in industry improvements, and so on.  This is an example of the butterfly effect at work.

In the business world you may be more familiar with the term chaos theory.  According to Wikipedia:

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.

Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an unlikely behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems. For example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill may roll into any surrounding valley depending on, among other things, slight differences in its initial position.

It’s time for the procurement industry to elevate and lead the rest of the business world. It’s time for you to exercise greater purchasing power by capitalizing on good procurement practices and the further development of professional competence. The journey ahead may look long and tedious, but with everyone working together toward the same goals, each little change can affect the greater good of all involved.

So what does good procurement look like? It’s about having quality, well-trained people in place at every level. It’s about following best practices through implementation of highly efficient processes. It’s about strategic leadership. It’s about maximizing partnerships within the industry and without. Good procurement looks like YOU because that is where it all starts.

April 8, 2014
BY Bellwether

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