Maverick Buying: 6 Steps For Stopping It

PurchTips edition #272

 

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By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

How Can You Stop Maverick Buying?

As defined in my book, The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies and Techniques for Supply Management Professionals, "maverick buying" happens when a purchasing department "establishes an enterprise-wide contract, yet many users within the organization still buy from other suppliers." Eliminating maverick buying requires a plan with multiple components, including these six steps:

Step #1: Prohibit maverick buying as a company policy. The most important component of preventing unauthorized purchasing is to ensure that top management adopts it as a company policy, not just a purchasing policy. With company policies, there is an implication that, if you break the rules, you will be disciplined. This serves as a strong deterrent.

Step #2: Establish clear processes. There should be clearly defined ways of properly buying goods and services. The purchasing department should document how goods and services are to be bought and this documentation should be a source of reference for any employee who needs to make a purchase.

Step #3: Educate potential offenders. It is important to have an education program, led by the purchasing department, that helps people understand what the approved and prohibited ways of purchasing are. Many times, the primary reason employees engage in maverick buying is that they are unaware of what they should be doing. Additionally, educational programs enable purchasing departments to also explain why it is important to purchase goods and services in accordance with company policy - many employees do not know such rationale and think that policies are just put in place for the sake of bureaucracy.

Step #4: Use technology. Technology, such as eProcurement systems, can be implemented to ensure compliance. By funneling potential offenders to the correct goods, services, and suppliers and making it the easiest way for them to purchase in that manner, compliance can be easy. Plus, eProcurement systems offer controls that can prevent unauthorized purchasing.

Get steps #5 & 6 on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/b2ftqtr

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