Despite all of the economic news that says the worst is behind us, let’s face it: the economy isn’t exactly back to full health. Unemployment remains near 10%. The stock market stumbles once it seems it has legs again. No one feels recklessly confident.

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Why isn’t the economy taking off? Wasn’t there supposed to be “pent-up demand” that would put people back to work?

Well, I have observed things in multiple aspects of life that are showing a disturbing correlation.

First, at home…In February, we had a blizzard here in Pittsburgh. Record snowfall that month. Unfortunately, the insane weather took its toll on a number of homes, including mine and several of my neighbors’. Insurance companies declared it a catastrophe, so we were written out checks for repairs and our rates didn’t go up.

Sounds like it would be easy to recover, right?


Neither I or my neighbors can get a contractor to complete the work! And it is four months later!

We have had people make appointments to give us estimates. Many times, the contractors don’t show up. Those that do show up won’t get back to us with estimates or to schedule the work.

There is a ton of business there for a contractor. But they are all too busy with their status-quo labor force to accept new business.

With nearly 10% unemployment, it would seem like a ripe time for these contractors to recruit good quality workers who will work cheap, but these companies seem to have no ambition to grow. They would rather turn work down than grow their business.

And this is not just in construction. My second example comes from Next Level Purchasing Headquarters. Our business is growing and we are ordering more from our suppliers. However, one of our suppliers who stands to gain from our growth told us that they “don’t have the manpower” to handle our increased requirements.

Well, that’s simple, right? Acquire more manpower! Our volume of business would justify it.

But, just like the construction contractors, this supplier has no interest in growing her business.

I know that I’m not the only one seeing this trend. Where is the entrepreneurialism? Where is the hunger? Isn’t anyone motivated by the opportunities that are out there for the taking?

Unless we, as a business community, get more ambitious, I can foresee the return to 4 – 5% unemployment being a very, very slow journey.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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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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