I hope that you have enjoyed the article “‘Outbuying’ Your Internal Customers, Part II.”

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As you may have guessed, this article was preceded by “‘Outbuying’ Your Internal Customers, Part I.”  You’re kinda smart like that 😉

Anyway, this whole “outbuying” concept is rooted in the notion that a procurement department should be better at procurement than their internal customers.  Sounds almost irritatingly logical, but one of the main reasons that procurement policies fail to get solid compliance is that many internal customers think that the procurement department doesn’t buy as well as they can.  Sadly, some of them are right but that’s beside the point.

Now, a well-trained procurement department should be able to do the seven things described in these two articles much better than any non-procurement professional can.  But, that’s not the end of it.

These seven things are pretty foundational and don’t even address the more strategic ways that procurement can contribute to organizational success.  Try this…

Imagine yourself on a game show.  Your job is to answer questions better than your opponent does.  In this case, your opponent is an internal customer of yours…and let’s say that this internal customer is your procurement department’s most vocal critic.  You know, the one who always buys from his own suppliers.  A maverick.  A rogue.  And he not only wants to win this game show, he wants to annihilate and embarrass you!

Ready for the questions?  Here we go!

  • How do your procurement activities activities contribute to an improvement in the quality of goods and services throughout the organization’s supply chain?
  • How do your procurement activities help the organization produce goods or perform services faster?
  • How do your procurement activities increase the service ratings given to the organization by its customers?
  • How do your procurement activities improve the job satisfaction of the organization’s employees?
  • By how much do your procurement activities reduce (or adversely affect) the organization’s carbon footprint?

Hopefully, you’ve imagined yourself outshining your internal customer/opponent.  If these questions have made you a little uncomfortable because your procurement department doesn’t exactly have its act together in these areas, it may be time for a little (or a big) improvement.

Never let your internal customers outbuy you!


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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