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Is Your Purchasing Organization a “Back Office” Function?

I’m going to keep this week’s blog short due to my very hectic travel and training schedule.

Why is it?  Why is it that Sales is recognized by every CEO as the money maker inside the corporation, but Purchasing is a back office function?

Change the System
If not now, when?

Why is it that Sales is recognized for generating revenue, but purchasing is not recognized as generating profit?

Why is it that Sales is given a huge budget for elaborate training and fancy tools while purchasing has to train each other and create inadequate home-grown tools?

This is not a whine session.  I just keep hearing these things over and over and it merits discussion.

This change is not going to happen overnight, folks.

But what cannot happen is you giving up. And that’s what I’m seeing a lot of these days, especially in certain sectors.

The minute you say “I’ve stopped trying, this is never going to change”, then you suddenly become dead weight.  And not just to your organization, but to yourself as well.

My advice to you?  If your management doesn’t accept certain types of savings, such as indirect/soft and avoidance savings, report them anyways. Keep reporting them until you push the tides in your favor.

When the tides finally are in your favor, look at how much trend data you will have on your value add!

Constantly coach your manager on how you’ve added value.  Don’t let your manager manage you.  You have to manage him or her.

Get into your customer’s staff meetings and give quick updates on what’s going on and how purchasing has added value.  Make purchasing a household name.

Put posters up in the hallways about purchasing’s value add.  I’m serious.  You really think only other service provide departments should be allowed to do this, such as HR? Says who?

Post graphics in the purchasing department showing cost savings and completion of other deliverables.

Put articles in your company’s intranet news page about the purchasing department’s accomplishments.

Don’t give up the fight.

It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep pushing, purchasing will get out of this “back office” function that it’s being perceived as and it will be recognized as the value added center of profit that it is.

Now go out and make it happen.

Be your best, and talk with you next week,

Omid G


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