Are you too content with your sourcing practices?

Posted on December 4th, 2014 by

Photograph of a happy toy

One of my first meetings as a consultant was with a gentleman who is a leader of a manufacturing company that primarily made metal screws.  I was introduced to this person via the president of a chamber of commerce (a warm introduction) who I was networking with, and thought to myself that this gentleman is going to truly want to save money.  After all, who doesn’t?  

I figured that as the head of a few-million dollar company, he was going to want to save lots, and I was going to be able to make it happen.  Our lunch was set-up for a day later, which made me even more excited, knowing he was interested in meeting sooner than later.

Saving money & time through eSourcing

I met with Steve at a local restaurant for lunch.  We talked about family, friends, our mutual acquaintance who introduced us, the history of his company, his career and many other subjects. After pleasant conversation, we started to talk about why we were there.  Then he was asking about my work history, my experiences, why I’ve chosen to go into this field, why I found it rewarding, and why did we come to lunch, besides the good food and company.

I explained to him what eSourcing is, how it can save him money, how it’s utilised throughout the world, why it works, why people who utilize it love it, and why people who bid to provide goods or services, typically hate it. We also talked about how the e-sourcing process works and that it creates a better and more efficient way of doing things – it saves money without ruining the bid.  And, when executed properly, the bid can show significant savings.  

Steve seemed genuinely intrigued by the possibility of utilizing a system and a process that would make his buyers’ lives easier and save him money. We agreed that we would talk the following day, which to every person who is in sales, we know that’s a good sign. The next day came and went.  Along with the following three business days.  

Photograph of content cat

The fear of change

We finally connected a week later, and he told me that he was happy with their current sourcing process.  I asked him if he was interested in me reviewing their process to receive an outsider’s professional view, and his answer was a definite  “No”. Despite trying to talk him around, he wasn’t interested in speaking more about it.  What he did tell me was that they have a process in place that works, and he doesn’t want to push anything onto his team.

I didn’t mind that he decided to not utilize our services – he was in no way obliged to.  Nor is it that he didn’t want to save money – because it was very obvious in our first meeting that he did.  I was bothered though that he was content with a process that wasn’t what sourcing professionals would call ‘Best in Class’.  

Change equals evolution

It’s very true that managers shouldn’t drive change that’s not in the best interest of the company.  But many companies are scared of changing employees’ roles and responsibilities, and if they do, they panic that they may lose good people.  

It’s worth considering though, what’s the cost of keeping that good person who is against change – change that will save money and time – and how do you know if they are utilizing their time the best way possible?  

How do you feel about change?

When I talk to people about moving forward and stepping into the future, I ask them if they could imagine doing their job without a computer. Every time, the answer is, “Definitely not.”  My next question is why, and when I receive a look of shock that I would ask such a question, I respond with telling them that eSourcing is the computer – it’s only going to make their life easier. Oh, and the other benefit: save some money and accelerate the process!

Contentment has many positive connotations, but it can also imply laziness and complacency. Whilst being content is a fine state of mind, I believe it’s important to temper contentment with an inquisitiveness as to how you can improve.

If you are thinking about making the change to eSourcing, call us on 0333 9000 350 or email [email protected].