What began as a broad concept evolved into a dynamic (I hope) and often unpredictable (definitely – sometimes I even surprised myself) series that took a different look at the key strategies, technologies, metrics, and approaches (which we simply called “tools” during the series and the rest of today’s article) that Chief Procurement Officers and their procurement organizations use to drive value and transform their organizations.
For those that followed the games, you would certainly have noticed a different writing style, one that is much more akin to or worthy of a “tournament” that sought to match these different Chief Procurement Officer tools in head-to-head competitions. It was refreshing to adopt a different tone and style for this series, but rest assured, next week we’ll be back to business as usual.
1. The concept of The CPO’s Final Four was an attempt to have some fun while trying to define the most valuable tools at disposal of the average procurement organization and offering a critique of (1) the things that work for CPOs, (2) the things that really work for CPOs, and (3) the things that could work for CPOs if more of them were adopted.
2. We believe that Strategic Sourcing was, is, and will continue to be an important weapon in every procurement department’s arsenal. Is it a better tool than all the others? is a question that is almost beside the point. Each procurement department will ultimately have to decide how important strategic sourcing is to its operations and performance.
3. Each procurement department will have to decide how important the thirty-one other tools are to its operations and performance.
4. Thirty two tools seems like a large number, but in reality, there are many more. All have value [Sidebar: except for Procurement ROI] and most can drive significant value. Procurement is a complex business process/function that requires the use of a broad set of tools to optimize value. If it was easy, anyone could do it – it is not easy, and that’s what makes it such an interesting profession.
5. Back to Strategic Sourcing – I do want to highlight that, as with any process that has been around for decades, different groups will perform it differently. One group’s process is not necessarily superior or inferior to another. One key element that we’d like to reiterate is that Strategic Sourcing in 2012 uses technology (Please remember this and quote it ad naseum). If you or your consultant are not using technology (BTW, desktop applications like Word and Excel are not what we’re talking about), you are getting substandard results from a process that will be difficult to sustain or repeat.
6. Speaking of kings, Paul Martyn of BravoSolution won the CPO Bracketology tournament. It is clear that Paul knows his CPO tools having selected seven of the final elite eight, two of the final four, and one finalist [Sidebar: Paul also knows a little about manufacturing and direct materials sourcing]. Congratulations to Paul!
7. I hope you enjoyed the tournament and had some fun with it too. We’ll will continue to mix up it and keep it interesting on CPO Rising as we go forward. Thanks for cheering, procurement fans.