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Unleashed - How to Thrive as an Independent Professional

Mar 6, 2023

Show Notes

Will Bachman and Niul Burton discuss procurement and strategic sourcing. Procurement is the function of acquiring goods or services as inputs to a company's operations. Strategic sourcing is a subset of procurement that focuses on the sourcing of goods and services in order to maximize value and efficiency. Niul explained that procurement involves identifying, negotiating, contracting, and working with suppliers on an ongoing basis. He also discussed the importance of understanding the needs of the company, the market, and the supplier in order to ensure that the best deal is being offered. Finally, Niul stressed the importance of building relationships with suppliers in order to ensure successful and long-term collaborations.

Functions of Procurement

Procurement is the process of buying goods and services from external suppliers. Strategic sourcing is a subset of procurement that takes a big-picture perspective to maximize value from spending. Other functions within procurement include contract negotiation and purchase to pay, which is the day-to-day operational execution of requisitions, purchase orders and invoicing. Third party risk management is an evolution of procurement that includes managing risk for external suppliers, licensees, and distributors.

Strategic Sourcing to Drive More Value

Strategic sourcing is an evolution of the procurement function to drive more value for an organization. Historically, purchasing was simply a department that executed purchase orders. Now, strategic sourcing is focused on creating value, as more than 50% of an organization's revenue goes out to their supply base. To manage costs and drive value, procurement and the relationship with the suppliers creates a tremendous opportunity. Procurement is now also doing more supplier risk management, which is a subset of third parties. Strategic sourcing is focused on understanding the current market, developing the right supplier relationships, and creating a competitive environment to drive the best value for the company. The process typically includes conducting a market analysis, negotiating with the suppliers, and implementing a contract.

Strategic Sourcing – A View on Spend

Strategic sourcing is a way of taking a new view on how money is spent. It involves centralizing contracts and purchases, standardizing specifications, and creating competition in the market. A former client of Niul was a big manufacturing company which had 36 different agreements for different sites, each with different terms and conditions and pricing. Strategic sourcing enabled them to look at the situation from a bigger picture view, and negotiate a commercial relationship with the supplier which was worth $1.5 billion over five years. Some of the levers used to create more value included consolidating skews, reducing the number of vendors, and having one standardized contract. Other strategies included aggregating volume, aligning to industry specifications, creating new competition, and process improvement.


00:01 Procurement and Strategic Sourcing 101 

02:07 Exploring the Different Functions of Procurement

08:12 Leveraging Value Creation Through Process Improvement

09:25 864 different strategies that can be deployed in strategic sourcing

12:13 Assessing the Procurement Function

15:47 Category Management

30:59 The internal process

39:38 The difference between RFI RFP and RFQ



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