The “Procurement Swimsuit Issue?”

How Can A Swimsuit Magazine’s Principles Apply To Procurement?

PurchTips Edition #369

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3, author of this procurement article on procurement leader purchasing manager.By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

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Every year at this time, it’s hard to escape the media buzz for the release of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Believe it or not, there are actually three principles of the Swimsuit Issue that procurement professionals and leaders should apply to their work and departments.  They are…


  1. Be more revealing. Every year, the bikinis in the Swimsuit Issue seem to show more and more skin. Likewise, Procurement should strive to be more revealing of its supplier selection criteria and methodologies. Procurement is often distrusted. Internal customers don’t know how or why certain suppliers were selected. When “left to the imagination,” internal customers may even think that procurement was bribed by successful bidders. So, being more revealing can inspire trust and compliance. Of course, there are some things – like strategic plans and trade secrets – that should be saved for “special someones” in the organization. But, in general, the more you reveal, the better.
  2. Keep up with the times. If you compare the earliest Swimsuit Issue covers with the most recent ones, there’s quite a difference. Not only is the swimwear smaller, but the hairstyles, makeup, and bodies of the models have changed. If this year’s cover model looked and dressed like the 1983 cover model, there would be outrage among the Swimsuit Issue fan base! So, think about your procurement processes. Are they more like the modest procurement processes of 1983 or the smoking hot procurement processes of 2017? There should be a constant focus on modernizing procurement processes.
  3. Be incredibly reliable. Imagine if, one year, Sports Illustrated issued a press release saying “Oops, there was a problem. We won’t have a Swimsuit Issue this year.” There just may be riots in the streets! But that doesn’t happen. Sports Illustrated delivers, on-time, year after year. Everyone expects the Swimsuit Issue at a certain time and, regardless of any challenges, Sports Illustrated never disappoints. Every procurement department should strive to be perceived as being equally as reliable as Sports Illustrated is in publishing the Swimsuit Issue.


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Copyright 2017. This article is the property of the Next Level Purchasing Association and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Click here to request republishing permission.

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3