At the recent Prime Advantage Spring Conference, supply chain expert Dr. Russell Morey held a professional development session tackling the current issues in purchasing and supply chain management. According to Dr. Morey, the skill set required to be successful in this arena is changing. More than ever before, a premium is being placed on analytical, negotiation, and conceptual skills. Procurement professionals need to be adept at understanding costs, navigating supplier relations, and have a firm grasp on domestic and global markets.
To be truly prosperous in purchasing, there are several objectives that must be met when managing supply. Here is a checklist for those goals:
- Emphasize the total cost of purchasing and supply management.
- Minimize inventory levels and maintain high inventory turnover.
- Maintain a continuous and seamless flow of supply.
- Sustain consistency and continuous improvement of quality.
- Maintain a world-class supplier base as well as reliable alternate sources of supply.
- Reduce the cost of acquisition and ordering.
- Develop positive supplier relationships and understand the entire procurement cycle.
- Become an active part of the organization by cooperating and coordinating activities with all stakeholders.
- Strive for accuracy in maintaining information.
- Encourage the acceptance and implementation of integrated information systems.
- Continuously assess supply options, including outsourcing.
- Assist in minimizing disconnects within the organization.
- Continuously strive for process improvement.
What’s the best way to hit these objectives? According to Dr. Morey, leaders in procurement provide clear expectations and have a keen eye for strong supplier performance. They take interest in their suppliers and assist them with tools for success. Purchasing leaders develop and grow their vendors and communicate progress and performance. And they value their vendors’ opinions and always strive for true partnership.
It’s never been more challenging to master supply chain management than it is today. But those with the proper strategic focus will benefit immensely and be the ones we all look to for the procurement standards of tomorrow.