Collaborative buying has been typified by one or more companies joining together in some form of cooperative arrangement to increase their buying leverage in the marketplace, mostly with the aim of maximising price leverage.
When I started my newly created director role in the early 2000’s, the job description evolved during the hiring process from head of purchasing to also include ’administration’, with additional responsibilities such as engineering and office services. But I quickly found out that the true interpretation of my administration role also included “accommodating anything else which doesn’t clearly belong to anyone”. And so this was my first ownership of operational responsibilities…
Thought Leaders is a series of regular posts from experts from across industries and regions, looking at the issues procurement faces today. In this, the latest in a sequence of posts by Novartis Pharma’s Sammy Rashed looking at the development of the procurement function, he looks at how procurement can better understand supplier relationship management and use it to create opportunities to create topline value.
Early in my career I was told by a senior leader in our company that the ultimate recognition came when stakeholders reached out and asked you to take part in something not directly related to your formal role – in other words where they wanted you involved rather than having to. This happened to me a few years ago when a regional executive requested me to take the lead and manage a project that had barely anything to do with the procurement process.
My first real encounter with Global Business Services (GBS) was a few years ago during an Asian Procurement benchmarking exercise. I was meeting with a large company discussing their set-up when they mentioned they were part of a GBS organisation. I spontaneously replied "I’m so sorry to hear that – it must be difficult being so far from the business and a hairline away from being outsourced".
The next option for growing procurement’s role was ranked the most feasible (based on perceived organisational readiness and capability proficiency scale) by the 100+ respondents who participated so far in the Beyond Procurement survey issued last month (click here to take part).
Amongst the top options for growing procurement’s role, this is the one I’m most excited about given that it assembles existing pieces together in a new way, hence minimising the complexity/risk and allowing immediate visible returns.
During a recent coaching session I was referring to my own career progress and the path taken, and realised something interesting: a similar logic to the one used for evolving one’s career could also be applied to develop the procurement function.
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