After reading what advanced procurement decision-making is like in my previous post entitled “Good Procurement Decision-Making At The Advanced Level,” you may think that it is the pinnacle of procurement decision-making. And you’d be close.
There are only seemingly subtle differences between the advanced procurement decision-maker and the expert procurement decision-maker. But they are really significant differences.
Like the advanced procurement decision-maker, the expert procurement decision-maker also uses Total Cost of Ownership Analysis as the basis for measuring cost differences between suppliers. Plus, the expert procurement decision-maker also exhausts every bit of data in an attempt to predict adequate, if not superior, supplier performance.
But the expert procurement decision-maker goes beyond that.
The expert procurement decision-maker relies on her “gut feel” for those things that cannot be reduced to a spreadsheet. The expert procurement decision-maker is often entrusted with decisions where there is no historical data to rely upon. Those decisions may be related to designing a cutting edge new product, engaging strategic advisors to reorganize the business or a portion thereof, or any other activity that cannot be evaluated until it is actually complete.
This “gut feel” is part natural and part ingrained into her persona. By making so many good decisions over the course of a long career, the expert procurement decision-maker seems to have an instinct to determine the best course of action in very tough situations. In his book, “Think Big & Kick Ass: In Business & In Life,” Donald Trump gives advice that can be applicable to how an expert procurement decision-maker can operate when confronted with challenging decisions where there are no data that can be used for prediction:
“Practice listening to your instincts. Play with this skill, and test it out on small decisions. Learn to trust it.
“Many things are hidden from us that we cannot articulate logically, but somehow we know they are there…If you have a good feeling about something, go ahead with it. If the feeling is bad, proceed with caution. Your instincts are there to guide you. Use them.”
In terms of innovation, the improvements coordinated by the expert procurement decision-maker are massive in scale. Game-changing, if you will. These innovations may drastically alter how the procurement decision-maker’s company does business.
I hope that this series helps you understand all that is possible in procurement. Aspire to be an expert. Make great decisions. And welcome opportunities to make decisions that have less certainty. You will learn and grow from those opportunities, even if you make the occasional big mistake, as we all do. Good luck!