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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What's in a word - Procurement

Rarely a workshop goes by that I don't get everyone up on their feet and sharing the words they associate with the word Chocolate.
That is helping those there to understand that it's very easy to miscommunicate, even when using simple words like chocolate.

The reason for using the word chocolate is it reinforces that we're on a very sticky wicket when we use words like procurement, category management, supplier management or supplier relationship management. That is the chances of having a common understanding with other stakeholders is negligible. Yet we often forget this fact, and make other assumptions about reactions we're getting to what we're saying.  

On a recent workshop I asked the delegates what they thought the definition for Supplier Management was for 3 different groups - see their response for Procurement (blue), internal stakeholders (green) and the supplier (red).

As you can see they thought Procurement defined supplier management very positively, internal stakeholders with a degree of fear, and suppliers negatively. Whether their assessments are correct is open for debate. Even so it provides further insight into the challenge of adopting Supplier Management in an organisation.   

To find out more about the content of recent workshops follow the links for category managementsupplier management and team building. A lot of the focus of the blogs are on the soft skills required to do the job well rather than the procurement processes to follow.

Tomorrow I'll share a recent example of miscommunication, and the use of the words 'personal care', in the NHS!

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring change inside and out  (more here on why that's important)
+44 (0)7770 538159

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