A maverick is defined as “a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates. Synonyms: nonconformist, individualist; free thinker; loner, lone wolf.” A maverick is also defined as “a person pursuing rebellious, even potentially disruptive, policies or ideas: You can’t muzzle a maverick. Synonyms: rebel, cowboy; loose cannon.”
Depending on your group or crowd, being a maverick can have a certain appeal. That is not the case in enterprise procurement. Maverick is bad and maverick is wrong, plain and simple. Maverick spending is counterproductive and it erodes the value that procurement creates.
And yet, over the past week, I have had the occasion to brief three separate companies who either have currently or plan to develop solutions which capture the details of maverick purchases and provide visibility into that spend. The solutions support a parallel process for these purchases and keep them within the larger framework of the application. The concept is not new and this capability has been available in some solutions for a few years.
The argument for this functionality is that maverick spend will never be eliminated, so, gaining full visibility into it is better than nothing.
Now, obviously having visibility into spend is better than not having it. But, the question is, does this type of functionality encourage more maverick spending? Does it enable “loose cannons” and do we want that?
Email me your thoughts as we chew on this over the next few days….