A few purchasing resolutions

A top-five list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for procurement professionals

December 20, 2011
by Michael Power

Purchasingb2b November/December 2011 print edition

There’s nothing like the end of one year and the beginning of a new one to put one in the list-making mood; everyone seems to compose lists of resolutions of what to avoid and what to start doing in the year to come. In the spirit of the season, here’s a top-five list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for procurement professionals going into 2012.

Go back to school, constantly – Organizations such as the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) and CITT offer courses of interest to procurement and supply chain professionals. Those groups and many others also provide myriad webinars, conferences and breakfast presentations that can help professionals stay on top of their game.

Get (and keep) that room at the top – It’s been a common theme throughout 2011: procurement is getting noticed and appreciated more and more by their organization’s C-suites. Supply chain professionals must be ready to sit at the most important tables in the company. This involves expanding one’s general business knowledge and knowing what’s happening outside of the procurement world. And the more of a focus you can put on strategic thinking, the better.

Push the sustainable agenda – Not only is there a moral imperative, but also a business case for pursuing sustainable procurement policies. The experts quoted in our sustainability feature on page 12 offer a blueprint for achieving a more sustainable procurement agenda. There are also other great resources offered by the experts we quote, such as CivicAction and the BuySmart Network. Or, check out what other companies have done to advance their sustainability agendas.

Know the total costs – Procurement professionals must remember to look at the enitre lifecycle—the total cost of ownership—of a product or piece of equipment, from planning to end-of-life. It can be easy to look only at how much it costs to buy a product or service. But there’s a risk in thinking you’ve got a great deal without accounting for disposal costs down the road.

Diversify – Looking at a range of potential suppliers can have benefits like enhanced reputation, competitive advantage, innovation and improved stakeholder relationships. Purchasers can also remain confident of the potential ROI of engaging supplier diversity.

To add some seasonal cheer, salaries continue to increase. Our 2011 supply chain salary survey saw the average salary hit $82,800, up from $81,000 in 2010. Not a huge increase, but still a gain. Let’s hope that continues into 2012. Have a great New Year!