King of the deadpan, Steven Wright once quipped that “there’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” (click link to view actual quip)
Wright is right[i]
There is more to fishing than meets the eye, serious fishing anyway. Don’t believe me? Ask our friends over at www.learninghowtofish.com, a site that, you undoubtedly surmise, was “created to introduce fishing knowledge for [sic] the beginning angler and fishing enthusiasts through a series of how to fish articles, how to fish tips and fishing instructional videos.”
After reading through the site, I have come to believe that there are some similarities between fishing and sourcing. After all as I noted in our last article – “Source for a Team and They Save for a Day, Teach a Team to Source and it Saves for a Lifetime“
As an example, let’s look at what the experts at “Learning How to Fish” promise its readers and then perform a little exercise.
Learn how weather patterns and moon phases affect fishing, understand fishing strategies and successes through reading fishing maps, learn why fish use structure and cover, learn about the underwater world of fish, the different types of water, classifications and seasonal changes that occur while fishing.
- Replace “weather patterns” and “moon phases” with “internal requirements” and “commodity and business cycles”
- Replace “through reading fishing maps” with “by leveraging automation and best practices”
- Replace “structure and cover” with “bundling and different pricing strategies”
- Replace “underwater world of fish, the different types of water, classifications and seasonal changes” with “supply markets, the different types of suppliers, categories, and market changes”
- Finally replace “fishing” and “fish” with “sourcing” and “suppliers”
The new paragraph reads
Learn how internal requirements and commodity and business cycles affect sourcing, understand sourcing strategies and successes by leveraging automation and best practices, learn why suppliers use bundling and different pricing strategies, learn about supply markets, the different types of suppliers, categories, and market changes that occur while sourcing.
Something that seems so very simple like fishing (or sourcing) is actually quite nuanced and demands skill and preparation. Those that have developed an expertise in fishing (or sourcing) outperform the competition and should command a premium in the market. Chief Procurement Officers do themselves and their companies a huge favor by working to ensure that their teams have the best
tackle tools and capabilities.
I guess you could say “there’s a fine line between (strategic) sourcing and emailing out RFPs like an idiot.”
The question is – what side of the line is your team on?
[i] I would describe my ‘fishing’ experience as being more similar to standing on the shore like an idiot than “angling.” Did I write this last sentence because I was “angling” for a joke? Yes, I did. Am I an idiot for writing it? Yes, I am. –> Sorry, this short week must have gotten to me.