CAN REAL HUMAN BEINGS BE GOOD AT PROCUREMENT ?

I'm Ovidiu Slimac and I am from Timișoara in the western part of Romania, a beautiful town which was just declared the European Cultural Capital for 2021.

I have worked in procurement for 15 years now. And yes, I'm human. I'm a human being. And if we believe what the researchers and scientists say, all of my purchasing activities and buying decisions are made with an emotional input – even the ones I made for my company.

The question is : does being human disqualify me as a good procurement professional ?

Because I want to do a good job, I start each purchasing process with a few key data points and the goal of obtaining the best price possible. I also follow a logical set of steps or a documented procedure. It’s not as though I'm going shopping without knowing what I want to buy, what budget I have allocated, what color it must be, the desired quality and quantity, and if there is any chance to have it delivered to my home for free.

And yet, it is hard to stay focused on the purchasing process without allowing my attention to be drawn to other factors that may ultimately affect my purchase.

For example, take how people shop in the supermarket. Some shoppers are very attentive to the shopping list in front of them. Others are on their phone while they are moving the trolley around the store, and in many cases they are being given instructions about what to purchase by the person on the other end of the line. The more closely they follow the instructions they are given, or their own notes to themselves on their list, the harder it is to allow new (and potentially relevant) information to be included in the decision making process.

Today we are in the supermarket with a defined need : we want to buy salami. The CEO – whether that is the person in charge of our company or the person ‘in charge’ on the other end of the phone – told us to buy salami and that if we also found eggs, to buy 10 (of them). But because we can only retain so many details, we got back to ‘headquarters’, not with salami and 10 eggs, but with ... continue reading here

 

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