I spent the last weekend binging all the Jurassic Park films slumber party style with my nieces. I’m not sure if it was the many, many hours of watching dinosaurs but I have been seeing them everywhere (not literally in real life to be clear, but online)
I logged into LinkedIn and have read around ten posts now about how procurement needs to be less of a dinosaur. I can’t help but have the image of hundreds of T-Rexs sitting at a desk unable to type due to their little arms!
I started to ponder on what animal Procurement should be like, and after watching one of the most magical documentaries of my life, My Octopus Teacher (hugely recommend a watch!) I realised that actually we as Procurement need to be more Octopus…
An octopus embodies agility and adaptability. With its multiple limbs and exceptional problem-solving skills, an octopus can swiftly navigate through complex environments. Similarly, modern procurement needs to be more like an octopus – flexible, quick, and capable of multitasking.
Embrace Digital Transformation
To shed its dinosaur-like image, procurement must fully embrace digital transformation. Implementing procurement software and automation tools can streamline processes, reduce paperwork, and enable real-time data analysis. This digital foundation empowers procurement professionals to make informed decisions quickly and efficiently.
Foster Supplier Collaboration
An octopus is known for its ability to reach out in various directions simultaneously. Likewise, procurement should focus on fostering strong relationships with suppliers. Collaboration and communication with suppliers can lead to innovative solutions, better negotiation outcomes, and a competitive edge.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Octopuses have a highly developed nervous system, allowing them to process information rapidly and make informed decisions. In the same vein, procurement should leverage data analytics to gain insights into spending patterns, supplier performance, and market trends. This data-driven approach enhances decision-making and strategic planning.
Agile Sourcing Strategies
Just as an octopus adapts its hunting techniques to different prey, procurement should adopt agile sourcing strategies. This involves diversifying the supply chain, exploring alternative sources, and being open to innovative procurement methods such as e-procurement and reverse auctions.
Supplier Risk Management
Octopuses use camouflage and ink clouds as defence mechanisms. Similarly, procurement should proactively manage supplier risks to protect the organisation from potential disruptions. This includes assessing supplier financial stability, geopolitical factors, and potential environmental impacts.
Sustainability and CSR
Octopuses are known for their ability to blend into their surroundings – a valuable lesson in sustainability for procurement. Integrating sustainable practices and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) considerations into procurement processes can not only improve a company’s reputation but also contribute to a more environmentally and socially conscious supply chain.
So there you have it – be more octopus!