Bus number 221 to procurement 'Nirvana'
There are instances where your 'plan' gets hijacked by something urgent and you're not able to focus on the planning or strategy part of your job. A lot of times there is no time to even sit down and think in solitude about the problem/ situation or a strategy....
Well...what does that mean? Let's find out. Procurement functions have long been grappling with this dilemma of where they should be spending their time and energy. More often than not, due to the nature of the responsibility, it's the urgent that gets priority over the important. How many of you were busy today with at least one of the following?
- An unforeseen delay in supply of some material or service by a supplier and the whole world is on the hotline asking what is being done about it, not to mention the urgent review called by the boss to discuss the same
- A sudden price volatility in some commodity and the organization expects you to know how to react immediately to it
- A quick spend report on some category or sub category/supplier which your super boss asked
- You have a supplier meeting tomorrow and there is no prep done
I guess there are many more such instances where your 'plan' gets hijacked by something urgent and you're not able to focus on the planning or strategy part of your job. A lot of times there is no time to even sit down and think in solitude about the problem/ situation or a strategy. Most of the time, this is done in a rushed manner in some brain storming session where typically you're rushing from one 'storm' to the other. You keep thinking 'when is this madness going to end'?
So is there a solution or are we condemned to a life of living in a perpetual 'crisis' situation in procurement? Well, it appears there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Some wise men (and women) have come up with operational frameworks to enable a better focus for the procurement function. The 2-2-1 Framework is one such way which I believe brings a lot of alignment to procurement's objectives.
So what is this 2-2-1 Framework? It simply states that you spend 2 days in a week (or 40% of your time) with your stakeholders, 2 days (or 40% of your time) with suppliers and 1 day (20% of your time) for internal procurement work. The framework by itself sounds very simple however it needs a lot of enablers for the procurement function to be able to implement it. What is the journey and the steps and actions required to reach the 2-2-1 destination? We'll discuss each of these enablers/actions as the 221 bus takes a stop at each of these enablers along the route. The next stop is: Spend Analysis!