It’s not the price you pay, how business savvy you are, or how excellent your negotiation skills are.
Don’t get me wrong — these are essential skills as a supply chain professional.
If your day is consumed with purchasing activities, you know your time is spent planning, sourcing, processing, chasing, and tracing aircraft material and orders, you know exactly how complicated it gets.
That’s why the most important skill to obtain to make your career and life easier is by being organized.
The reason being organized is the most important skill.
Think of your day.
You get demands from many people, both internal and external.
You have colleagues requesting things from you. You have parts to source — orders to place. You also have to chase your orders to make sure nothing get’s missed.
In all of the chaos, add on your day-to-day activities, suppliers asking you questions, canceling orders, requesting payment, and the list of requests is endless.
For you to succeed and not waste your time, you must be organized.
If not, you’re gambling with wasting time and missing something critical.
You need to a plan and follow through strategy.
Before getting organized, you must start with the end in mind.
Before you can get organized, you first need to know what your primary objective is.
If it’s the lowest price, then you’ll have a different purchasing procedure. If it’s reducing total material costs, that too will come with a different objective.
If it’s 99% on-time deliveries for all your orders, then your objective will be based on that.
For example, we work with a medium sized operator who has a purchasing objective of all requisition requests being filled within five days.
In this instance, they know there KPI, orders placed.
Sure price and total costs play a factor, but it first starts with their desired result.
Once you have your desired result, reverse engineer how you’ll achieve that by being organized and efficient with your time.
Let’s take our previous example…
Because they have a KPI of Purchase Orders placed in 5 days or less, they can spend hours searching material on listing databases or blasting RFQs out to an email list of 300 people.
That takes time.
They have to process all that information and make decisions.
If they’re seeing out mass RFQs, they’ll encounter choice overload and decision-making fatigue. They’ll likely miss their five-day objective and make poor decisions.
In this example, their best solution to maximize productivity and to hit their desired outcomes is by strategically partnering with a handful of trusted material partners.
Why not use many vendors?
Because the law of too many choices is a real problem.
Too many options slow your decision-making process.
It clogs your email.
Your phone calls.
You’ll have too much data to process.
Let’s say you send out an RFQ to 300 people. Those are 10 - 50 quotes you must process. 3 - 15 questions you must answer. People will call. People will message you.
By doing it this way, you create MORE WORK for yourself.
Now multiply that once you place an order with 3 - 10 suppliers and you have more orders to process, more orders to follow-up on, more AWBs to trace, more questions to answer and more issues to resolve.
I get overwhelmed just typing it.
Whatever you want to call it, being organized, having time management skills, or being a productivity guru, it’s a skill EVERY purchaser and buyer needs to have in a world with a complex supply chain.