Jeanette Jones and Kelly Barner’s take on market intelligence for procurement professionals is spot on. “Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals” tackles one of the most important, yet least tangible aspects of the sourcing profession – how to get access to good, relevant information about supply markets quickly, and then maintain that information so that you have it when you need it. The book provides insight into the importance of market intelligence, and explains why getting that information not only helps sourcing professionals do their jobs more effectively, but also how it can help them bring value to the organizations they serve in terms of access to new products or technologies, grabbing up capacity so your competitors cannot gain access to it, and making the best business decisions in regards to hedging, spot buys and long term contracting. The book creates a business case for market intelligence with vivid examples that make it easy to understand the applicability and necessity of MI to the procurement profession at large.
Part I of the book provides a detailed overview of supply market intelligence, and how MI fits into a best in class procurement organization. Their assessment is useful and insightful, and would be valuable to anyone from an entry level procurement analyst to a seasoned CPO. Part I goes on to detail how procurement professionals can collect, analyze and utilize market intelligence, and the importance of continuous data collection as well as quality assurance – double checking your sources before making decisions based on your findings. These are absolutely critical, and often overlooked aspects of supply market intelligence gathering.
Part II of the book then performs a deep dive assessment of all the market intelligence resources available to procurement professionals, including free and paid directories, consulting firms and blogs, market research firms and subscription services. As comprehensive as the list is, where the book really provides some unique and thorough research of its own is in providing a list of market intelligence sources, by commodity, for a wide variety of industries and spend categories. From commodity indexes and supplier directories for chemicals and agriculture, all the way to resources that can help attack marketing and IT projects, this comprehensive list of sources is by itself something many organizations might pay tens of thousands of dollars to gain access to. The amount of independent research required to put together such a comprehensive list is staggering in the opinion of this market intelligence junky!
The authors also understood that even the best sources of market intelligence aren’t stagnant, they are constantly changing and updating as new information, technologies and processes becomes available. Therefore, they have also made all their market intelligence sources available online, so they can be updated as required.
I want to congratulate both Jeanette and Kelly on a job well done. In a world where access to good, independent market intelligence is incredibly hard to come by, they have put together a user’s guide to MI that should stand the test of time in an ever evolving procurement industry. Get your copy of the book today!