Evaluate Your Sourcing Team’s Effectiveness with Key Questions – A short Lesson Learned from Nick Saban the Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama

If you are a CFO or CPO or any C-level executive who is committed to improving the effectiveness of your sourcing team and systems then today’s post should be thought provoking for you.
Self-evaluation is a necessary step if you want to improve your team’s results. Nick Saban is the head football coach at Alabama and a true legend in the game of college football. At 63 he has certainly earned the right to slow down but that is not part of his DNA. Earlier this month his team had won the national championship in college football. On the plane ride home he was reviewing game film of their win. He wasn’t basking in the glory of his team’s fourth national title in seven years. He was pushing forward to get better.
If you are interested in job security then major college football shouldn’t be your career choice. Mr. Saban is constantly looking for ways to improve his team effectiveness in all areas of the game.
Today I will give you a quick self-assessment test. I am quite confident that if you and each member of your sourcing team answer each question thoughtfully that opportunities for improvement will be obvious.

1. What systems and processes do you use to manage supplier contracts and large purchases?
2. Do you have a formal RFP/RFQ process for significant contracts and purchase categories?
3. What is the minimum threshold purchase for an RFP?
4. How would you describe your current procurement process?
5. Are all parts of your current sourcing process contained in one multi-functional system?
6. Does your procurement team own or have influence over all sourcing events in your organization?
7. If your procurement team doesn’t control all sourcing events, what percentage do they control?
8. What suggestions or complaints have you received from your service providers, suppliers and internal customers?
9. What internal recommendations and/or requests have been made by your team in the last year?
10. What percentage of those recommendations and/or suggestions have been fully implemented?
11. What areas of sourcing and vendor management would you like to work more efficiently and effectively?
12. What are the most common vendor and supplier issues that you encounter?
13. How would you describe the system that you use to manage and correct these issues?
14. How do you manage supplier on-boarding or vetting and the corresponding risk?

The answers to these questions should provide you with a clear picture of the areas in sourcing and procurement that can be improved.
You should also know that these are the same questions I ask when I first start speaking with a prospective client.
Action Step: What would be the next step?
I would start by asking the questions and requiring everyone included in this “survey” to respond in a week or less. Time expands to time allowed so this will communicate to your team the importance of this self-evaluation.
Once you create a summary of the answers you will be in a great position to conduct an internal plan or you can ask me to help you. Either way your sourcing group should be able to create a clear path to become more efficient and effective.
Next week I will continue on this same theme so your organization can improve your bottom line.
If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©
Think about it.
Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life
Mike Jeffries