Procurement & Cultural Trends/Movements

PurchTips edition #290

 

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By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

What Is Driving Tomorrow's Procurement Trends?

Procurement is an exciting and fast changing profession. But, unlike marketing or IT, it tends to follow changes rather than drive them. Many times, you can look at today's culture and predict how current trends will manifest themselves in procurement tomorrow. While "twerking" may never become part of procurement, here are three current cultural movements that may affect procurement in the future.

  1. Supplier Pre-Payment. In consumer markets, "crowdfunding" has become a popular trend, with merchants being able to pre-sell things from inexpensive, yet-to-be-created music albums to hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of industrially-produced electronic devices. Once considered a procurement sin that facilitates poor supplier performance with little buyer recourse, supplier pre-payment has been increasingly used by buying organizations seeking innovation from small or new, but nimble and unique, suppliers who may have access to too little funding of their own to quickly ramp up their capacity to meet major procurement needs.
  2. Digital Wallets. Digital wallets have begun becoming more popular with consumer purchases. So popular, in fact, that credit card companies are even acknowledging a "transition from plastic to digital." If credit cards become obsolete and replaced by digital wallets, you need to plan for how that will affect your organization's P-card program.
  3. Same-Sex Marriage. It's not my desire to debate whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized around the world, but it must be acknowledged as a fact that legalized same-sex marriage is becoming more prevalent. How does that affect procurement? Well, government agencies have begun writing legislation influenced by the proliferation of same-sex marriage, such as proposed laws that would require government suppliers to offer benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of their employees. Similar approaches are likely to be adopted by the private sector as well. In fact, UPS has included a category for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender-Owned Business Enterprises in their supplier diversity program for over five years.

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