ICYMIM: January 8, 2018

Source One's series for keeping up with the most recent highlights in procurement, strategic sourcing, and supply chain news week-to-week.  Check in with us every Monday to stay up to date with the latest supply management articles.

Conrad Smith, Spend Matters, 1/4/2018
It's obvious that every company requires a right-sized Procurement department. Developing a Procurement department that aligns with key business goals is far more important that developing a world-class one. Siloed and self-centered Procurement departments can stifle that innovative spirit that's especially important to emerging companies. While Procurement should push for maximum involvement within an organization, it's essential they understand precisely where they stand on "S curve" and strive to mature organically. Early on in the growth curve, sophisticated Procurement techniques might not be the most effective. Experienced sourcing professionals rarely like to hear this, but it's an important fact.
Michael Lamoureux AKA The Sourcing Doctor, Sourcing Innovation, 1/4/2018
Wary of artificial intelligence? That's nothing to be ashamed of.  So far, AI solutions have tended to over-promise right before under-delivering.  The Doctor presents Auto-Buying and Auto-Classification as effective introductions to these technologies.  Companies should consider leveraging automatic purchasing for tail-spend products and services available at the market average.  Once they've instituted this system, they can put their computers to work reducing tail spend.  No one knows what benefits true artificial intelligence will bring.  For now, companies should employ computers for the tactical work we know they're capable of. Letting AI handle bulk computation and analysis frees up Procurement teams to engage in valuable, strategic work. 

Jonathan O'Brien, Spend Matters, 1/5/2018
Psychologists have debated and attempted to identify the various components of personality since at least the days of Jung and Freud.  Recently, Costa and McCrae listed five different dimensions: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.  Too much or too little of any one dimension could contribute to a personality that makes negotiations difficult.  O'Brien suggests Procurement professionals attempt to develop a personality to display exclusively during negotiations. Self-awareness and reflection are key in developing what he calls a "negotionality."  It's equally important that individuals learn to tailor this negotionality to benefit conversations with particular suppliers. Though he urges caution in affecting new identities, O'Brien suggests that continually reworking one's personality can offer distinct advantages.

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