If you’re like me, you enjoy a good conspiracy theory or two. Knowing half the time they are BS but enjoying the mental gymnastics people create to get there. It really makes me feel like I’ve cracked open their brains and caught a glimpse of the journey they go on.
That’s why I figured I dedicate a blog to the conspiracy theories around the sourcing/procurement functions. To set the so-called “record straight” once and for all. If you really, and I mean really want to know the truth!
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Procurement Conspiracy Theories
1 – We are only after your budget, or saving money to be able to give it to finance.
Fiction. We’re after your budget AND of control of how you manage it. It’s why they hired us. We know things.
2 – We don’t care how your business is run, because we don’t understand it
Fact. Our years of experience and paid market research, talking with colleagues, have proven to add no value. Especially when we’ve come from the business side.
3 – We enjoy slowing down the business
Fact. We’re hourly, not salaried. We all could use all the OT hours we can get.
4 – We are Secret Spies for other Finance Functions
Fiction. We’re just nosy people by nature.
5 – We don’t have good relationships with Suppliers
Fact. We work like the Mafia and live to beat them into a bloody pulp, and until they scream for mercy (to get out of their contracts).
All jokes aside, let’s take a serious look at these theories.
1. Fact: Savings goals or value efficiency goals, are part of our yearly goals. But I can also confirm, they are only one. Of many. It’s not the only focus we have.
And I can’t speak for other organizations, but by no means would it even logically make sense to force a bad decision (wrong supplier, et .) just to save a buck. That’s also why we use more than one metric to rate a supplier. Assurance of supply, quality, innovation, and risk also plays a major part.
I’m here to get your more for your dollar at the same or better quality (without harming the business). Nothing more or less.
2. Fiction. We spend tons of time and energy trying to stay current with the latest trends in understanding what your business is purchasing, why and how it should be purchased. From conferences to market research, to other tools it’s a huge focus of our job.
While some may have more experience than others in this area, I promise you we have a good grip on what and why your buying things. We may not be the SME’s, but we can support your decisions to be better educated.
3. Fiction. Yes, processes take time and effort, but it’s not to slow you down. I pinky promise! And there are ways of keeping things moving and even speeding them up when you run parts of a project in parallel.
So as much as you think we are only around to become another bottleneck in the process, we can actually do the opposite (and help with other parts and expedite such as adding suppliers, getting PO’s approved, and payments) if you let us try! Being part of the finance organization, sitting next to those people have advantages.
4. Fiction. Yes, we have to work with finance to verify and validate savings numbers, but we aren’t their spies. And we aren’t in cahoots with them either. We have just as many issues (and animosity) as you do!
5. Fiction. Part of our job is literally having relationships with suppliers, ensuring QBR’s take place and they comply with their contracts. It’s called ‘SRM’ or Supplier Relationship Management. So I promise you, I know you work with them and have stronger relationships due to daily interaction, but we have relationships too. The focus is just more strategic.
Let me address and confirm some of the real conspiracy theories:
Fact. UFO’s exisit. Where do you think I come up with all my blog ideas from? Sheesh.
Fact. JFK was assassinated by an alliance between the Mafia, KGB, and Mr. Rogers (His show didn’t start till 1968, he totally had the time).
Fact. The Illuminati is real. We have board meetings every third, Thursday of the month. Let me know if you want the dial-in.
Fact. The earth is flat. Just ask Amelia Earhart, she’s still alive as she found the key to immortality in her travels.
Fiction. Global warming is real. Just ask the flat-earthers. They’ve got solid proof the icebergs were never there.