Let me set the context…I am at the Omni in Amelia Island and have just finished packing after a successful Summit. A member of the SIG team, Kim Parisi brings me a book to read on behalf of Kelly Barner, who co-authored it and asked her to pass it along to me. I thanked her, then put in in my briefcase. From there the book, Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals, ended up on my nightstand, where it sat until a few nights ago. On Monday, I woke up around 4:30 am and grabbed the book thinking that if I read a few pages it would help me go back to sleep. Boy, was I WRONG. I flipped to the table of contents and realized there was much more in there than I'd expected. I quickly read through the Preface, became intrigued and realized this book was NOT fluff. So much for going back to sleep. I stayed up and read until I left for the office (very late, I might add), with a plan to continue reading that evening.
Having now finished the book in a mere 2 ½ days, I can say without question that this is a must read for all sourcing professionals. The first 100 or so pages are dedicated to explaining how Supply Market Intelligence is gathered and why we need this insight. The rest of the book is PACKED with resources as to where to go to garner this intelligence. Although the risk assessment section is light given today's cyber-security issues, the book still manages to nail the ways to address risk. Each chapter brings new insight. I've reviewed some of my favorite parts below.
Chapter 5, The Business Case for Supply Market Intelligence is, in my opinion, one of the best in the book because it makes you think about how to justify the additional effort required to make this investment…and it starts with running a Supply Market Intelligence pilot before you launch a full-scale effort. The quality assurance chapter (Chapter 6) is also a great one because it focuses you on the need for third party validation. Even after 20 years in this space-12 in consulting and 8 running SIG-I am still shocked at how many organizations rely on supplier data to determine how well they are doing as a sourcing organization. My favorite section of this chapter is on "Triangulation." The idea is that when you can have three or more data points that all end up with a similar conclusion you might have a valid assumption to work with. Triangulation works in all aspects of our life, from where we send our kids to preschool, to what is appropriate attire for our teenagers to what vehicle is the right choice. Yet most people want to work with only one or two data points to determine their direction because the third one may not validate their first choice.
Part II of the book is content rich with everything you want to know about where to look for Supply Market Intelligence. This entire section would be great for our members. While the written form will quickly become dated, the "soft" form can be constantly updated. Let's see if Kelly (and her co-author, Jeanette Jones) take the bait and allow us to post this, shall we? In conclusion, this book is a must read! It is a primer, a study in how to build a business case and a great resource for you and your team!
On a completely different tangent, but equally relevant to sourcing professionals, I want to put in a quick plug for Immercio, the Nearshore Executive Alliance Annual Conference in NYC, where I will be moderating a panel on the progress of women in leadership roles particularly in more male-dominated industries. This is a great opportunity to come and network with industry experts on Nearshore capabilities. Consider attending this live event to determine if Nearshore is right for your organization. Sometimes we can do as much online research as possible but still miss the big picture. Come meet with global companies who have embraced Nearshore and hear how and why the region is evolving.