I just wanted to share a quick thought before retiring for the night…
When procurement managers are charged with implementing improvements, they often look to benchmarking initiatives as a place to get some ideas on what needs to be done.
That’s excellent. But it requires a degree of caution.
When benchmarking, procurement managers often look at what the “best in class” are doing. And they aspire to do the same things.
The trouble arises when the “as is” and the “to be” models are drastically different and the procurement manager tries to do everything at once. You see, the best in class, be it Wal-Mart or General Electric or United Technologies or anyone else, didn’t get that way overnight. Their procurement processes are the result of years and years of small, incremental improvements.
Trying to become like GE in one fell swoop is almost a ticket for failure. You would literally have to demolish everything procurement-related and build from the ground up!
This approach would risk major disruptions in operations and be a change management nightmare.
So, proper benchmarking should culminate in a well-prioritized plan that has a near guarantee of success, not an instant upheaval that will likely not be fixed before the procurement manager is looking at our Web site’s purchasing jobs page!