Sometimes, I can’t turn my procurement brain off.

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Such was the case a few weeks back when waiting to pay for my family’s meal at Denny’s. At that time, I saw this solicitation for donations to MDA…

And I started to think…”Hmmm. I’ve seen flu shots for a lot less expensive than $25. And one minute of research for $85? That’s $5,100 per hour!”

Despite considering myself a philanthropic guy, there was something inside me that hesitated about making a donation. I felt that perhaps through less-than-world-class procurement, this charity was not making the most effective use of its donors’ dollars.

Of course, I don’t know that for sure. They may indeed have an effective procurement department and these represent better-than-market costs.

But it was enough to make me question it.

When it comes to charitable organizations, every dollar saved is a dollar that can be put directly to the mission of the organization. To me, it would make sense for larger charities to focus on procurement as a core competency. The ROI would be worth it.

After all, negotiating a 5% discount on that research (assuming that it doesn’t compromise quality or efficiency) would allow the organization to sponsor more research, leading to new cures or treatments faster, right in line with the mission of the organization.

What I’d like to see this type of charity’s procurement team do is enumerate its savings in a similar way, reporting things like the amount of money Procurement saved enabled our organization to provide:
“X” more flu shots
“Y” more minutes of research
“Z” more support group sessions
Just something to think about (as I can’t help but do)…

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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