Procurement’s role in sustainability is predicated on its ability to influence suppliers’ compliance to sustainability policies, essentially policing the agenda. Yet given its unique role within the supply network, procurement needs to push for a more transformative role.
The world is on fire. The financial markets are teetering. Confronted with this kind of environment, now would surely not be the appropriate time to boast about achievements? In fact, that kind of thinking is bogging down business and functions and we’re seeing that forward-thinking companies are prepared to shout about what they’re doing well.
Charles Dominick, CEO of Next Level Purchasing, recently wrote an interesting blog on certification. In it, he asked, "What is a more professional job: corporate purchasing or fingernail painting?" The answer seems obvious, yet, Dominick wrote, every state requires nail technicians to get training before they get licensed. There’s no such requirement to work in procurement, he says, nor any requirement for certification or licensing.
One of the big procurement stories from this year continued to rumble on this week as Foxconn, supplier to technology companies such as Apple and Dell announced that it would be raising staff wages and decreasing working hours after the Fair Labor Association (FLA) carried out its inspections at factories in Apple’s supply chain.
If procurement doesn’t act as a pipeline for innovation coming from the supply base, a business can die. Or how about another way – if procurement doesn’t listen to suppliers warnings, it can be painfully slow to jump when cracks start to form in the market. When you look at companies that failed, you have to ask: did they listen to suppliers?
What makes a good and reliable data source for procurement? According to our latest research, CPO Strategy 2012, one-fifth (20%) of senior procurement executives believe it is social media. Some might see this as a good sign; others will think this number could be higher.
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