In procurement, we often find ourselves complaining about the timing of our internal customers’ purchase plans.

It’s usually that they want everything unreasonably quickly.  Or, it’s that they don’t involve the procurement department early enough for us to do a good job.

But, sometimes procurement should encourage internal customers to speed up their plans.  This is especially true when all signs point to an imminent and significant price increase.

I thought about this today when reading about US President Donald Trump’s predicted imposition of tariffs targeting $200 billion of Chinese imports.  According to Bloomberg, this may happen quickly as it is believed that Trump intends “to pull the trigger…once a deadline for public input closes” tomorrow.

How soon those tariffs would go into effect is not known.  Nor is it known how long it will take the higher costs to trickle down to the consumer.

But, we know that higher tariffs will certainly trickle down to the consumer if the tariffs go into effect.  And, it seems like there is a high probability that they will go into effect.

And if they do, the smartest time to buy any of the affected goods is now.

You’re an expert in the markets you deal in.  Think about the categories of goods and services that you buy.  Is there any writing on the proverbial wall that any of those goods and services have a high probability of substantially increasing in price?

If so, it is not just a good idea, but your duty to share that expertise and insight with your internal customers.  If you need to encourage them to buy sooner rather than later in order to best serve your employer, then by all means encourage them.

Tell them, in so many words, to hurry up.  Light the fire under their butts.

Boy, won’t that be a welcome role reversal of sorts!

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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