3 Steps to Strategic Total Sourcing

  • By Mark Hudson

Strategic sourcing business illustration

Supply chain management is an integral part of doing business, but sourcing is about more than simply acquiring resources. Strategic sourcing can lower your overhead, increase value for shareholders, and even decrease the total cost of ownership. To get the most out of your suppliers and resources, a strategy is essential.

1. Assessment

This is the first and arguably most important step. Understanding and identifying your present competencies is necessary to establish a plan for future advancement, development, and improvement. Desired requirements should get you where you need to be, but they’re practically worthless unless you know where you currently are. The identified performance gaps will aid you in crafting a roadmap to follow.
Competency models must consider several functional competencies. Common examples include: supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and supplier development. It’s important to keep this list manageable. Spreading yourself too thin is easy to do, but it’ll deprive you of much-needed progress. Ensure that your measurements for success are identifiable and achievable. Don’t be afraid to be courageous, but your model needs to have clear milestones and metrics.

When establishing your model, it has to be validated against your company’s mission, goals, and culture. Taking these characteristics into consideration is key. Once you have the model in place, you can measure current competencies against your targeted goals. Your performance gap is merely the difference between your present competencies and your eventual target.

2. Strategy

After a thorough assessment process, it’s essential to establish specific strategies to close the gaps. Obviously, your executives will have to very any strategies that are proposed. Without adequate support, progress will be limited at best or impossible at worst. Training and policies are capable of significant impact, but you should remember that they can’t deliver everything you need. A comprehensive strategy must be able to address the entirety of your business, as well as all relevant departments and methodologies.

Expectations have to be reasonable. It’s tempting to try and accelerate the process, but doing so could negatively impact productivity. Time is required for training and learning how to implement that training in real-world scenarios. There really is no substitute for hands-on experience. Trying to force faster development may cause daily business and regular workflow to be hindered.

Financial graphs near binder labeled global sourcing

3. Implementation

Your strategies create a roadmap for transforming your competencies. This is clearly valuable, but it doesn’t fully deliver without proper implementation. Training is always needed, but it has to be planned well. Going into your training blindly or with limited information and resources will only require corrections and adjustments after the fact. The consequence could be unnecessary delays or missed opportunities for progress. Be sure to outline learning paths. They create a visual way to identify who will learn what and how it will be arranged and advanced over time.

Ultimately, organizations always have to be careful with applying and crafting new strategies. You have to align your training with appropriate tools, and develop policies and procedures that coordinate correctly with your end goals. You simply can’t afford to ignore planning and supervision along the way. Everything should be planned and arranged in such a way that your competencies are addressed and progressed.

When considering development strategies and total sourcing, it’s essential that you have the tools necessary for success. Contact the professionals at CBX Software to learn more.

Share:

Contact Us