Positioning procurement

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

We continue to conduct reviews of procurement and guide organisations as they seek to position procurement in the organisation. Despite the fact that we are in 2011, procurement remains a reactive, transactional operation in too many organisations. The fact remains that many functional specialists are in no doubt that they can carry out buying, despite no training. We could write a book about the problems that this creates. A recent example relates to a failure to investigate the supply chain. The engineer thought that the product was 100% made in the UK but has now discovered that it was largely made in China. There was a very significant fault that needed a quality investigation. When the quality documentation was sought, it was provided, but printed in Chinese and with sections omitted. The documents were headed ‘Draft’. So, now there is a dispute and you may wish to guess who has been asked to sort out this mess. Yes, it is procurement. The contract is being interrogated to find clauses dealing with sub-contracting, inspection, quality audits, material default and jurisdiction. Watch this space!