Change management

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Change management within purchasing


Purchasing professionals face three challenges when managing change. They are: managing change within their own organizations, managing change with suppliers, and coordinating change among multiple buyer-seller departments. Over the last twenty years the need to effectively manage change has increased dramatically due to rapid changes in technology, the need to respond to rapidly changing markets, an increasingly changing global competitive environment, and constantly changing work forces and supplier bases.

Twenty years ago, true supply chain management was almost unknown within most of the industries. Manufacturers usually made most of the parts that went into their finished products. When they needed to buy materials or services, they relied on purchasing departments that were seen primarily as order takers and order placers. These departments had little visibility, had little perceived value to the bottom line, and enjoyed little respect from other parts of the organization. That scene has changed dramatically.

Although few companies are as strategic as they need to be, and few apply best practices to maximum benefit, almost every company today understands the link between supply management principles and strategic goals.

More and more companies now understand the concept of becoming lean—the ability and competitive necessity of getting waste out of processes. They understand why integrating suppliers into new product development is important. Over time, the tactical purchasing function has given way to supply management processes in which highly trained professionals take a systemic, strategic approach to the drivers of total value.

The reason for the change? - A changing world.

As demands increased for better quality, faster delivery, and better overall value and know how about the total effect the product have on people, planet and profit. Companies that will adopt best practices such as supplier development, cost management, supplier integration, strategic sourcing themselves in combination with value engineering will stay ahead of competitors and will be positioned for future success.

The good news is that change management within supply chain management can work for any organization and any size that wants to eliminate waste, improve quality, and move more quickly with its customers and overall conduct sustainable business.

No two organizations are alike, and no two organizations will apply purchasing and supply management in exactly the same way.

Whether it is a commercial firm, nonprofit agency or government entity every organization must be guided by its structure, mission, culture and strategic goals. It is also true that change is seldom easy.

Old ways die hard, even when there is wide agreement that change is needed. We have seen organizations struggle helplessly to implement change, and we have seen organizations transformed into powerhouses through their ability to innovate and adapt.

There is no doubt that if a company’s leadership believes that purchasing and supply management will help achieve strategic goals, the change will be implemented successfully.

We know from experience that change is most difficult when there is no perceived crisis. We also know from experience that crises arise only when change is not made in time.

PPS Consulting has extensive experience to drive change from various organizations within purchasing. We can offer you our experience and take part in your journey for change management within purchasing.