Deadly Mistake #1:

Managing Rogue Internal Customers

It’s gotten to the point that I’m ready to pull my hair out.   Purchasing professionals in every company, in every industry, even in every country I talk to are complaining about rogue customer behavior.

How does this continue?

This is the 21st century, shouldn’t this problem have been solved about 20 years ago?  We never hear about finance being upset because people are signing their own expense reports or accounts payable being upset because someone circumvented the payment process. People get unceremoniously fired for that kind of thing.

So how come we in purchasing are still plagued by internal customers that engage the wrong suppliers, disclose budget information to suppliers, tell suppliers that “we have to  get a deal done with them”, and sometimes even solicit quotes and start negotiations?!

To add insult to injury, instead of getting reprimanded, these customers will blame purchasing, stating that “purchasing is a roadblock”.   That’s like getting pulled over for speeding and telling the officer it’s their fault for being a roadblock!  The logic is just mind-boggling.

Just how much of your time do you think is spent dealing with rogue internal customers?  I bet it’s way bigger than you would ever believe.  It’s a lot like taxes, if somebody could add up all the taxes you pay through so many different avenues, the total would be shocking.  That’s what happens with the after effects of rogue customer behavior, and the net result is “death by a thousand cuts”.

If you don’t believe me, let’s run through it.  I’m warning you, it’s painful though!  Maybe you should take an anti-depressant first!

Rogue customer engagements with suppliers have the following problems they create:

Losing leverage in negotiations with suppliers due to budgetary disclosures

 Losing leverage in negotiations with suppliers due to disclosure of your company’s need to work with them and the fact that a deal must get done

Having to put deals in place with the wrong suppliers because everything’s been pre-cooked

Extra time spent trying to educate customers after incidents

Extra time spent trying to educate customers before other incidents occur

Extra time spent trying to later reduce the supply base as a result of accumulation of unwanted and unnecessary suppliers

Lost cost savings due to lack of aggregation of spends due to accumulation of unwanted and unnecessary suppliers

Extra time spent reviewing and placing purchase orders (either by you or somebody else in purchasing)

Extra time spent trying to proactively performance manage extra suppliers due to the accumulation described above

More suppliers = more supplier excursions to chase down, and more supplier points of contact to work through to fix them.

Diluted commodity and category management strategies due

Lack of time to properly prepare for your other critical negotiations because of the above

Lack of time to get to some negotiations at all

How does that list above strike you?  And do you really think this doesn’t affect your performance reviews, your career growth, and your income potential?  Not to mention your sanity!  All of this is devastating, actually.  You may have gotten used to it or accepted it, the same way you get used to a headache.  That’s no way to live.

It would be pretty easy if every company had a Chief Purchasing Officer reporting to the CEO who would force the CEO’s hand and require that a corporate policy be published that everyone must engage purchasing up front in transactions over a certain amount, and laying out hard and fast rules for how customers must work with purchasing and with suppliers – with clear and firm consequences in place for those who don’t.

I’ve been doing this since 1995, do you know how many companies I’ve met with this policy in any form whatsoever?  Exactly zero.  Shocking! Meanwhile, all the other disciplines – human resources, finance, accounting, information technology, etc lay down the law fast and hard.

Further, they don’t have to educate or implore anyone to do as they ask.  They don’t even ask in fact. I don’t know why I even used that word.  They just tell you.

You’ve seen their communications…  “Starting Monday, the new HR policy for conducting internal interviews is _____________ and all hiring managers are expected to comply.”  No pleading with end users, no entertaining road-block discussions, no customer presentations, no debates over value add or justifications, no negotiations, and no compromises.

Why can’t we do that too?  It’s a big tragedy actually.

What we need to do is completely change the paradigm of how we work with customers and how they work with us.  The way it’s being done today is clearly a broken model.

There is a better way, with a specific and proven process methodology.  In going through these steps, the customer comes to you because they want to (intrinsic motivation) and not because they have to (extrinsic motivation).

This results in a completely streamlined process where we have MUCH more time to focus on strategic negotiations with the right suppliers, supplier continuous quality improvement efforts, more preparation time for negotiations and more time to get to negotiations that are falling off the plate today.

Every purchasing professional should have at least 40 – 60% of every day to spend on these activities – time completely blocked out on the calendar that doesn’t get eaten up due to emergencies or sudden priorities.

If you don’t have that, then that’s the sign that there’s a problem that’s going to drive you nuts at work and kill your career and income potential.

Now that we’ve clearly defined these major obstacles, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know and must do to use my proprietary methodology to streamline this process and blast those obstacles out of your life.

I’ve just put the finishing touches on a step-by-step training system for you to follow. You’re going to be blown away by this systematically simplistic, career catapulting, stress melting, life changing training. I promise!

This new course is called POWER PURCHASING PRO. You’ll learn the secrets of how to eliminate the 7 most deadly mistakes Purchasing Pros are making every day.

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