Sometimes, buyer training organizations forget the little, tactical things that buyers need to know that make a difference. Embarrassingly, I wish that we incorporated this little tidbit into our fundamentals of purchasing online training class.

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Buyers and suppliers often speak to each other in part numbers. Miscommunicate or mishear the part number and there can be big, hairy, unnecessary problems.

One little tool that I always found helpful in my buyer days was the phonetic alphabet. This is a standard way of communicating that helps ensure that “T’s” aren’t mistaken for “B’s” and “H’s” aren’t mistaken for “8’s.”

It can also save time so you’re not thinking “‘P’ as in, uh, well, um, ‘Phish’” or something else. You can just rattle off the part number “Papa India Tango 123.”

So here is the tool that we, like every other buyer training organization, forgot to include in our fundamental training…the phonetic alphabet.

Alpha
Bravo
Charlie
Delta
Echo
Foxtrot
Golf
Hotel
India
Juliet
Kilo
Lima
Mike
November
Oscar
Papa
Quebec
Romeo
Sierra
Tango
Uniform
Victor
Whiskey
Xray
Yankee
Zulu

I’m not sure why I’m having this flashback, but I hope that it helps some buyer somewhere out there!

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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