melonstationA bit of sustainable sourcing and purchasing training 101 with a current client’s recent new hire. Thought it was good to share with those who may be interested in some guiding principles. Namely, best practices that will make life easier and put to life a true transparent partnership.

A transparent partnership in sustainable supply chain gets talked about a lot, but to realize or “operationalize” it takes some work that includes:

  1. Live the Golden Rule – what pressures do your requests put upstream?
  2. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match – finding the right vendor is like dating.
  3. Dr Seuss “Green Eggs and Ham” – don’t be too precious on your specifications that you’re unwilling to try new items. Try it, you might like it.
  4. Firefighting can be lessened – plan products wisely with internal and external communication.
  5. Like the Army, communicate, then overcommunicate – sometimes. Don’t air out all your dirty laundry with your vendors.
  6. Objectives-led decision-making – one late delivery doesn’t mean it “always happens”.
  7. Use a dashboard of key metrics – to help you lead to #6, and takes out the guessing game.
  8. Inventory management – don’t use too many numbers (including #7), use it as a compass.
  9. Make a Business Case – when your boss asks you for XYZ reasons, present a solid pros/cons discussion including quantitative and qualitative thought process.
  10. 80/20 Rule – 80% of purchases account for the top (20 or so) items. So, focus on the top movers.

Practicing these principles will lead to a sustainable supply chain and transparent partnership filled with happy folks and products.