Imagine a company leader saying the following:
“We’re not interested in learning about the features of the new version of Outlook because we don’t use email at our company.”
“We don’t pay attention to interest rates because our company doesn’t use banks. We keep all of our money in a safe in the basement.”
“We don’t need any employee training on avoiding sexual harrassment because our company doesn’t have a no-sexual-harrassment policy.”
You’re probably thinking that anyone uttering these words is stupid, right?
Of course. Instead of saying “We don’t need to worry about new Outlook features,” the company leader should be thinking “Should we be using email?” Instead of saying “We don’t need to worry about interest rates,” the company leader should be thinking “Should we be using a bank?” Instead of saying “We don’t need sexual harrassment training,” the company leader should be thinking “Should we have a sexual harrassment policy?”
That probably sounds logical, almost silly. Yet, there are tons of procurement departments who keep themselves in the Dark Ages by having a similar attitude. Here are examples of things that procurement leaders say every day…
“We don’t need to think about evaluating eSourcing software, we don’t do reverse auctions here.”
“We don’t need to keep up with changes in customs laws and practices, we don’t do international sourcing here.”
“We don’t need any training on project management, we don’t use project management principles here.”
“We don’t need a contract template, we only use purchase orders here.”
I could go on and on.
If these were true procurement leaders with an insatiable desire to continually improve performance, they would be asking these questions:
- We currently don’t do reverse auctions, but should we?
- We currently don’t buy from international suppliers, but should we?
- We don’t employ project management principles here, but should we?
- We don’t have a contract template, but should we?
If you find yourself not employing best practices that leading organizations use, you should be asking yourself “Should we?” It’s an attitude adjustment that is long overdue in some procurement organizations.