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Agile Procurement: A New Value Proposition for a Volatile World

by Author and Radio Show Host at The PI Social Media Network on Oct 15, 2010


eWorld Purchasing & Supply Conference ...

eWorld Purchasing & Supply Conference
Day 1 - September 28th, 2010

09:30 to 10:05 AM Agile Procurement: A New Value Proposition for a Volatile World


The procurement function has certainly proved its worth over the past few years, as many organisations cut costs rapidly to survive the economic downturn. But opinion is still firmly divided on the economic outlook for the next few years, with the only consensus being unpredictability. So would the same purchasing efficiencies be available second time around, if a ‘double-dip’ recession takes shape? Or will procurement’s contribution quickly be forgotten if a global recovery emerges instead? Chris Sawchuk from the Hackett Group puts forward the case for a new value proposition that can cope with unprecedented levels of uncertainty – challenging existing models in favour of increased flexibility and agility throughout the procurement and supply chain functions.


Chris Sawchuk, Global Procurement Practice Leader, The Hackett Group



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  • mgillett44 mgillett44 Nice presentation, but beware before you engage this second tier benchmarking firm that outsources its data collection and analysis; Hackett tells a great story but at the end of the project, you have no tangible guidance on how to become world class. Just ask BP or Rio Tinto or my company.

    Our last meeting with Hackett: My CPO: 'So Chris, this is a nice presentation of a collection of best practices, but I'd like to understand how we compare to our competitors and our industry.'

    Chris Sawchuck: 'Well you have to understand that what we agreed to deliver a roadmap to world class. We've done that.'

    CPO: 'No! You have not. You have taken some standard slides of best practices included some discussion of staff interviews and given us recommendations that may or may not be applicable to what we do. There is no indication from you that any of this is applicable to what we do. Help us better understand the relevance of this presentation.'

    Chris Sawchuk: 'We'll have to refine this and get back to you.' -- His famous last words. More than 12 months later, we are still waiting. I guess he is more interested in presenting at conferences than helping his clients.

    I know, you don't believe me. Well, just ask Hackett employees (quoted below)

    * 'No methodology, Knowledge repositary is a real mess - just try to have someone really define 'world class' and you will see what I mean. Scary fact about Hackett: World Class has no basis in research, it's not a real measure/metric of what is happening in the market today. It is a series of nebulous company characteristics that the advisory teams make up and then backfill with 'research' stats.'
    * 'Take a hard look at the Senior Director and Vice Presidents - - most do not practice the Company philosophy and are only interested in billing the client for as much as they can get away with.'
    * 'In terms of their Transformation/Strategic (Mgmt consulting) group: There was a inability to define a strategy and build content and reputation in the area - all things to all people results in the strategic advisory team being very ineffective with clients.'
    * Hackett's long term strategy seems to change on a regular basis. The company is always trying to catch the next trend, unfortunately its often a day late and a dollar short.'
    * 'Everyone has an opinion, but no one can execute. Lots of smoke and mirrors especially the procurement advisory team.'

    Source of quotes: 'http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/The-Hackett-Group-Reviews-E7906.htm
    3 years ago
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