A recent discussion with procurement consultant, Bill Young, caused us to reflect on the use of ‘supply positioning’ as a model for developing strategies to add value through procurement. We considered the possibility of positioning procurement projects rather than purchase items or supply categories. I concluded that this application had potential but also had practical difficulties. The use of supply positioning by Procurement, without the engagement of other stakeholders, is dangerous. As supply positioning is often misapplied, I thought I might share my thoughts here. Continue reading
The concept of Cost to Serve has been around for many years (to my knowledge at least 20) and is an important tool in consumer packaged goods industries. Cost to Serve is a method of identifying profitability of individual products and customers. It is also used to unravel the complexity of multiple supply chains and channels to market. The analysis of the cost of each activity across the supply chain also provides data and insights to enable supply chain optimisation.
The focus of Cost to Serve is usually the in-market or post-launch costs of serving a product to a customer. Cost to Serve rarely looks at the development and launch costs of new products, which is the focus of this article. Yet product development teams can gain benefit from Cost to Serve methodology. Continue reading
A recent post in Purchasing Insight, “What can game theory teach us about Financial Supply Chain Management?” highlights the overall financial impact of paying suppliers as late as possible. The key point is that the working capital cost to supplier usually far outweighs the savings to the customer, thereby increasing the overall cost to the supply chain. The post got me thinking about a much bigger issue: how businesses manage their supply chains – a cross-functional collaboration or a collection of functional silos? Continue reading
This blog is inspired by Rudi Verheyden who posted a question “Does Supply Chain LEANness mean that the Supply Chain organisation is also agile, or are these 2 elements rather conflicting or independent from each other ?” in the Supply Chain Optimization Group on LinkedIn. (The same question is also posted in the Inspired Supply Chain & Logistics Executives Group but at time of writing had no comments.)
This is a very big question, with many facets to be explored. I look forward to following the discussion. My immediate thoughts are that there is some conflict, some consistency and some dependency. Continue reading
Judging by the limited references in the literature on purchasing practice and purchasing organisation, it would seem that purchasing activity analysis is a much underrated tool.
Why is activity analysis an important tool in determining purchasing organisation and establishing good practice? Continue reading
Where does cost saving sit in your Procurement’s scheme of things?
In a recent series of articles I have been examining the reasons why procurement cost-saving initiatives frequently fail to meet expectations, particularly in term of delivering measurable improvements in business profitability. There is undoubtedly a bigger question: where does cost saving sit in Procurement’s scheme of things? Continue reading
Few customer-supplier partnerships are equal. Buyers need to be wary of entering into dependent relationships where the supplier will gain a dominant position. This is the second part of a 2-part article which sets out to examine how and why Procurement might consider the supplier’s perspective when selecting suppliers. It is particularly relevant for strategic supplies, where value creation and value capture are key objectives. Continue reading
Today I ask, “How are you to know that your procurement ‘cost saving’ initiative will not deliver to the bottom line?”
Regular readers of my blog will know that, recently, I wrote a series of articles on the reasons why, when many large organisations embark on centralised procurement initiatives with the promise of substantial savings, direct increases in profitability fail to materialize within the business units. Continue reading