Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Transforming Procurement – Myth or Reality...?


I took the opportunity to attend the final Real World Sourcing Series expert briefing of 2013 last week in London. This time the excellent session was delivered by the ever-green Peter Smith, and in amongst the brilliant quiz jollies – it had some really great content that got me thinking… 

Firstly the definition of “What is transformation” raised a few interesting points; it was re-iterated that the usual continuous improvement we ‘should’ all be aiming for constantly is absolutely NOT transformation - it’s nowhere near big or fast enough, it’s not even in the foothills.
In addition, change – no matter how transformative – is not going to be viewed as transformation unless it has a real impact outside of the procurement function, this needs to be a mountainous journey for all to see, just accept it.

Secondly, in assessing when to start a procurement transformation programme, not surprisingly it all shakes down to the sense urgency, the size of the prize and resultant support going to be made available.

In simple terms: “How deep are we in the sh*t” and “do others in the organisation really give a sh*t”. If the answers to these are “not very deep” and / or “not really bothered” then Peter only recommends proceeding with a transformation programme if “you have the X-Men on standby” to stand any chance of driving it through…

If however we’re in deep and we really do care, then transformation should hold no fears – the only way from where we are is up.

I’ll come back to some actual transformation considerations in a couple of days, maybe with an odd quiz question thrown in for good measure!




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