As many of you know, our company specialises in procurement and other related technologies, with an emphasis on growing people.

Like many small business owners our desire is to leave a legacy: To create employment, develop young people into good leaders, give our children the best education and support the under-privileged.

We understand that many of our customers owe their initial success to a unique strategic position involving clear trade-offs. All our activities were once aligned with that position. But I am wondering how many of us have compromised that alignment to synchronise with our rivals.

Although our company has only been around for four years I find myself drawn back to our founding place, to reconnect with our initial strategy.

Here are six things I am contemplating, that I hope will resonate with fellow procurement executives:

1 Do we understand what makes us unique?

That best practice or leading practice benchmarks are just ways of offering efficiency and, though critical, are not enough to create a sustainable strategic advantage over our rivals.

2 How are we tailoring our activities to those unique differentiators?

Does our culture reflect these? Are we investing in our people to ensure that it is achievable?

3 Are we clear on the trade-offs?

Do we know which activities are most valuable to our strategy? Are they clear to our procurement staff?

4 Are we offering end-to-end optimisations or are we stuck in solo mode with an isolated and skewed view of the value chain?

5 Are we creating activities that are sustainable or do we work inefficiently and disjointedly in some areas?

6 Do our customers understand and agree with our brand promise?


Please feel free to share with me your thoughts and challenges.