16 Do’s and Don’ts of Strategic Sourcing

In the age of Procurement 4.0, we are bombed with all the news about technology changing our daily work, new concepts in management models, volatile economy, globalization and increasing number of suppliers.

Thus, every sourcing specialist must bear in mind the fundamental rules of strategic sourcing.

    1. Do not see RFI as the only path and neither you shall use eSourcing and eProcurement tools as a crutch

      Be multichannel, do call, expand the inquiries and don’t blame the eSourcing tools -they are made to assist, they don’t think (yet) – you do!


    2. Do not stop looking for leverages

      Finding added value, in any form, is always a great thing to do. Think of the best ways to assess it. Keep your mind open.


    3. Do not forget to write things down

      Any thoughts? Ideas? Email to be sent? Comment from the manager? RFI number? Supplier’s new solution? A company worth checking out? Memo from a colleague? Simple task from the boss? —  Remember the fourth question…? You get the point.


    4. Position yourself as an attractive partner to do business with

      Two words – ethics and integrity – meet the commitments you have made to the suppliers, create a win/win approach, motivate and reward.


    5. Prepare well

      More effort you put in sourcing project at the start, the less sweat you will have with finishing the project – understand the objectives of a project, research the category, pay attention to longlisting.


    6. Be the knight of savings…

      No one has to be convinced that savings are the best – remember that cost may be different than money.


    7. …but remember that value(s) comes first

      Identify the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), confront it with catalog price. Ask the supplier what value does the product/service bring to you and your company.


    8. Don’t lose attention to details

      Read carefully, don’t skim on the surface of problems/issues – be as specific as possible (but don’t over-specify).


    9. Keep in touch

      Start creating a relationship right from the first contact, don’t hesitate to call and ask, be polite and respectful. Know the etiquette and NETiquette. and finally… – answer your phone!


    10. Be a human

      Remember that on the other side of the phone/internet cable, there is a person. Be polite, be forgiving, respect their personal life. Remember that people are different, representing different cultures and values.


    11. Be open-minded and elastic

      Opportunity knocking? Welcome it. Be mindful of the possibilities, never resist the unfamiliar, bend your rules and exit the comfort zone (from time to time).


    12. Negotiate only in the sourcing stage

      Be a step ahead and finish all discussions in the sourcing stage.


    13. Be a team-player

      Integrate into/build a devoted team, motivate others, look for ideas and suggestions – participate.


    14. Pre-evaluate, visit, and audit

      Develop a perfect supplier profile and benchmark it against your longlists; visit and audit if necessary or just in case.


    15. Drive productivity with constant communication

      Decide when to be transparent, engage people internally and externally, an information has its power when it is shared information.


    16. Make time for risk assessment and see the big picture

      Looking at the bigger picture is not possible without assessing the overall risks – find time for analyzing the situation, be aware of the likely future outcomes. In the smaller picture, try to keep your legal team updated and with access to risk-marked documents.

 Worth reading: 6 trends to shape procurement in 2018 – READ NOW 

OPTIBUY Sp. z o.o.


ul. Jana Kazimierza 3
01-248 Warszawa

Tel: +48 22 661 52 60
Fax: +48 22 661 52 61
Email: info@optibuy.com


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