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The Procurement Process and It’s Indirect Problems

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The Procurement Process and It’s Indirect Problems

The Procurement Process and It’s Indirect Problems - Procurement Definition addresses the complications introduced by the psychology of those involved with producing the goods and services we seek to acquire as part of the procurement process.  

Ostensibly, in global supply chain management such considerations fall under the domain of the team manager when the time arrives to solve and sort out any issues related to meeting production and quality control goals.  

Unfortunately, the manager is always human and subject to the same caprices and shortcomings as his charges. Many supply chain jobs are at risk of being lost due to simple human nature. And by association, a supplier can compromise the job security of those with purchasing jobs if things aren’t handled correctly.  

Suppliers with heavily dysfunctional corporate cultures cannot be easily fixed, and it is usually best to avoid those firms during the procurement process provided a worthy substitute for your desired product or resource exists.   

When a supplier continually produces below-average quality products or consistently fails to meet its deadlines, basic human nature has superseded the profit motive.  

The organization’s control structure has failed and the inmates are now running the asylum, so to speak. Such a failure in rests on two principle causes: the inability and failure to properly assess blame and the reluctance of employees to share information.  Together, they inevitably complicate the sourcing process.

If during procurement you encounter consistent problems with suppliers who provide no easy remedy or who are unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem, the production and design process has come under the influence of those who greatly overestimate the quality of their work.  

Overestimating the quality of one’s work also further fuels the already rampant tendency to assign blame to someone other than oneself.  This behavior is unaffected by education levels or socio-economic status.  

Whether the person in question is a college professor or a simple assembly line worker, an organization’s troubles are always thought to belong to someone else.  

Rather than working toward results driven solutions, workers instead spend a significant amount of time employing the slippery slope of reasoning that generously excuses their failings and castigates their coworkers’ failings in a truly unforgiving way.  

No one is interested in jeopardizing their livelihood at the expense of a mistake that can be easily rationalized away if it is their fault or assigned to someone else if the source of the fault cannot be clearly pinpointed.  

Ambiguity serves to provide a worker with a convenient excuse, at least internally, that a problem has almost nothing to do with their handiwork.  This leads to the second problem, the reluctance to share information inside an organization.

Information is valuable whether it is shared or not.  Freely sharing information about your mistakes and shortcomings has an obvious disadvantage. Sharing valuable information unrelated to your performance can be just as compromising.  

A programmer or system administrator may be clearly uncomfortable with providing information designed to be used after they are no longer with their employer.  Employees often compete with one another and will be reluctant to provide advice and information that destroys their competitive edge.  Subterfuge requires hiding information.  

If competition is out of the question, undermining your fellow employees may provide a practical alternative.  And finally there is the problem of disinformation which tends to hide legitimate information regardless of its original intent.

Although all companies face these problems to one degree or another, a purchasing manager normally has little or no control over his strategic sourcing partners, and he should move on when it is apparent the problems being faced are both deeply rooted and chronic.  Pragmatism rather than loyalty must win out in the end.

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