Procurement: Overview

A topic that has intrigued me throughout my life so far is the topic of procurement. Not because I think it is very attractive or sexy, but because it can enable or be a show-stopper to implement great ideas. Two weeks ago, I had, with a variety of customers, colleagues and friends in various settings and about a variety of topics, discussions that ended up being about the same core process: procurement. When further asking around, I realized that in the transport industry, we have often a very ancient perception of procurement resulting in purchases that do not fit any future looking strategy.

Over the next week, I intend to write down some of my thoughts on how modern procurement could look like and what that would mean for purchasing organizations (i.e. transport undertakers) and supplying organizations (i.e. OEMs and others). I would like to cover the following aspects that I think are relevant:

  • Make or buy
  • Procurement Strategy
  • Functional vs. explicit specification
  • Market sounding, yes or no
  • Future value chains
  • Procuring technology and innovation
  • The future role of IPRs
  • Mastering a procurement process
  • WTO/GATT requirements
  • Reseller and agents

What will guide me through that journey is a, in my humble opinion, remarkable tool: the Wardley Map. This tool developed by Simon Wardley helps not only to plan one’s system (any kind of system) but also helps throughout the procurement process. It points out which approach might be appropriate to tackle the challenge at hand. Anybody who’s interested in it can find lots of information under this website: http://www.wardleymaps.com/

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