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Posted by Jan Erik Aase on October 14, 2011
I'm a Forrester analyst, but lately I've been feeling more like a marriage counselor. Not that I mind that role; you get to hear all sorts of juicy gossip and sordid tales of woe. But I didn't anticipate it in my job at Forrester. I've spent many 30-minute counseling sessions (inquiries) listening to Vendor Management dudes (professionals) complaining about their Procurement spouses (colleagues) and vice versa. It appears that both parties are approaching married life (work) from two different sides of the bed. It feels like this arranged marriage is doomed to fail. But enough with the marriage analogy; this is a serious issue that seems to be pretty prevalent in the corporate world today.
So what are the major areas of disconnect?
So if both groups are operating with the intention of "protecting the interests of the company" and mitigating risk, why is there a disconnect? The problems seem to lie in the execution. Procurement Professionals often feel that Vendor Management Professionals are too soft and concerned about relationships when interacting with outside vendors. Vendor Management Professionals feel that Procurement Professionals are only concerned with chasing the next dollar savings and are willing to sacrifice the relationship in order to hit their savings goals.
Lutz Peichert and I will be hosting a great action session at the upcoming Sourcing and Vendor Management Forums in Miami and London next month. The title of our session is: Ebony And Ivory: Creating Alignment Between Procurement And Vendor Management. As we are putting final touches on our session, we are very interested in hearing both war stories and stories of successful partnerships from the lines of battle.
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