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Maverick Buying: Ways to Identify & Stop Maverick Buying

Maverick Buying Ways to Identify & Stop Maverick Buying
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Unlocking the key strategies to curb maverick buying, this insightful article from Zycus delves into practical approaches for procurement professionals. Learn to streamline processes and mitigate risks with these essential takeaways:

  • Define clear procurement policies.
  • Educate stakeholders on compliance importance.
  • Implement robust approval workflows.
  • Leverage technology for real-time tracking.
  • Foster collaboration between procurement and other departments.
  • Regularly review and optimize procurement processes

What is Maverick Buying?

When someone from within the organization purchases a product without involving the procurement department, it is called Maverick Buying. Maverick Buying doesn’t take into consideration the entire purchasing procedure and disregards any price comparison, negotiation, or contract agreement. You can also read the genesis of the concept here.

80% of a company’s procurement spend can be maverick buying, it stated in various industry reports and surveys, including studies by consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture.

Identifying Maverick Buying

Identifying maverick buying is not easy and requires a systematic approach to analyzing spend data. Below, we’ve listed a few steps to analyze spend. Once the analysis is ready, it can help bring down Maverick Buying.

 Learn More: Five Ways to take Control of Maverick Spend!

Steps to Identify Maverick Buying

  • Severity of On-demand Purchase

    Firstly, it is essential that a report is generated to understand the severity of On-Demand purchases. Higher the spend on less severe On-Demand purchase; higher is the rate of maverick buying.

  • No. of Communications

    Secondly, when procurement happens in compliance with internal policies and procedures, the volume of communication is lesser when compared to uncontrolled purchasing. Tracking this can give some insight.

  • No. of Invoices Processed

    Thirdly, a greater the number of invoices processed per supplier, higher the chances of Maverick Buying

  • Supplier Participation

    Fourthly, the procurement team is always in the know of its core suppliers. A drop in this number may be a prompt to check if they are doing off-contract business with anyone outside the procurement function.

  • Compare Contracts

    Fifthly, another way to track Maverick Buying is by comparing the ratio of contract versus non-contract agreement.

  • No. of Contracts Renewed

    Finally, if there’s a noticeable dip in the number of existing contracts versus renewed contracts, you can track such figures as well. It could reasonably indicate your suppliers involved in off-contract transactions with people outside the procurement function.

64% of organizations struggle with enforcing compliance in procurement processes is often cited from surveys conducted by organizations like Procurement Leaders or research conducted by consulting firms like KPMG or PwC.

Steps to Stop Maverick Buying

  • Spend Visibility

    The procurement function is prone to Maverick Buying when visibility is low. You can control maverick spend through greater spend visibility. An estimation of the cost of maverick buying is an excellent premise to start. Conduct spend analysis audit to identify loops across spend data categories so you can come up with a suitable action plan to increase visibility.

  • Technology

    We have to identify why employees settle for out-of-procurement purchasing practices, which is mostly because of obsolete technology. Upgrade to eProcurement software which is easy-to-use and factors in both direct and indirect spend and seamlessly integrates with an existing ERP. This way, employees who resort to maverick buying will be encouraged to follow standard practice.

  • Training

    It’ll not be right to expect every employee to know about the cost involved in invoice and payment processing or expense reimbursement. Here, as a designated purchasing manager, you may consider educating the employees about \”WHY\” they should be compliant with your purchasing procedure. Regular sessions will help reengineer the overall purchasing behavior of the company.

  • Shared Accountability

    We understand that as a purchasing manager, it is virtually difficult to assume full responsibility for controlling Maverick Spend. Yes, if the situation is hard to manage, initiate a dialogue with the remaining decision-makers to explain how the management of Maverick Spend is of shared accountability. Employees need to be aware of available discounts to prevent paying a full price elsewhere.

  • Other Measures

    a) Convene a meeting to eliminate the usage of P-cards as such transactions are difficult to monitor. b) Standardize supplier onboarding procedure and limit access to indiscriminate onboarding of new vendors. c) Place a C-suite approval metric for all non-contract and out-of-supplier-network expenses.

~ 60% of maverick purchases involve non-preferred suppliers can be found in procurement-related research reports from organizations such as Gartner or Forrester, as well as industry-specific surveys.


Indeed, in the business of procurement, we cannot allow whimsical expenses. More than the financial aspect, which is, of course, the primary concern, Maverick Buying may lead to lawsuits and therefore, reputational damage. Therefore, the steps discussed in this article are therefore going to be useful in helping you track and tackle the various challenges with Maverick Buying.

Related Read:

  1. Blog – Benefits and Challenges You Didn’t Know about Spend Management
  2. Blog – 6 Successful Purchasing Negotiation Tips for Every Buyer
  3. Zycus Guided Buying Solution
  4. Research Report – Hackett Purchase to Pay Benchmark Report
  5. Press Release – Zycus positioned as a Leader in Contract Lifecycle Management for Buy-Side by an Independent Research Firm
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