We recently caught up with Andrew Bartolini, Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners and publisher of the site, CPO Rising (www.cporising.com), to see if he had any advice for sourcing professionals . These were his recommendations:
1. Manage careers aggressively. Start by asking for a raise.
We believe that experienced and talented sourcing professionals should ask for raises immediately, especially those who have not done so since 2008 or 2009. If they’ve been part of sourcing teams that have delivered savings over the past few years, hit — or, in many cases, crushed — their numbers and helped their companies make it through very difficult times, the time is now to make their cases. We believe it’s reasonable to request a reward and believe there are many deserving sourcing professionals who have been overly patient. Strategic sourcing skill sets are extraordinarily valuable assets. When we interview or survey chief procurement officers, many cite staff capabilities among their primary constraints to driving and achieving success. Professionals who understand the strategic sourcing process and have driven large complex projects successfully are very valuable to CPOs.
2. Source more, source everything. Adopt the eSourcing 2.0 doctrine.
As a reminder, the eSourcing 2.0 doctrine states that any supplier negotiation that results in a contract should leverage a sourcing solution for the negotiation. While we believe that any number of platforms can be useful in adopting eSourcing 2.0 as a policy, an eSourcing solution clearly makes the most sense for sourcing professionals. As a reminder, this policy does not mandate that every bid must be competitive. Users can determine their preferred sourcing strategies – reverse auction, sealed bid, one-to-one negotiation, etc. – but must use the tool to capture final requirements and bid information. Adopting an eSourcing 2.0 mentality can fast-track any procurement transformation and have the most significant, broad based, and long lasting benefits of almost any strategy that could be enacted this year or any time over the next five or ten years.
3. Think Globally, Act Globally
The increased importance of procurement within the average enterprise has been caused, in no small part, by globalization. While many sourcing pros have been thinking globally, now is the time to start acting so. To do this, sourcing pros need to develop and/or access broad market knowledge. Many of the innovative production advantages that were held by Western suppliers have shrunk or disappeared as the global market of suppliers has exploded. Sourcing teams cannot afford to mismanage or poorly manage their categories because erosion in value can very easily cascade across their enterprise’s goods and services. Our advice is to begin with a category and staff capability assessment to catalog an organization’s capabilities and knowledge and to prioritize their management.