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Unformatted text preview: wn costs and increase service and quality levels. For them, the
relationships with suppliers are considered to be an important element of their overall
business success, and they are reluctant to hand them over to a third party –– even if doing
so would help them leverage volume or otherwise reduce costs.
Historically, companies have turned extensively to management consulting firms to help
them understand and apply best practices within their purchasing departments. Normally,
the consulting team begins by assessing the company’s situation and improvement
potential, and develops a set of customized strategies and action plans. Subsequently, the
consultants work jointly with purchasing staff on a set of “pilot” spending categories to
execute the improvements and provide training in new techniques, which the client is
expected to use on an ongoing basis without additional consulting support.
While it sounds good in theory, and has often provided a strong short-term payback, many
companies are finding that institutionalizing these improved strategies and purchasing
techniques is a major challenge. Achieving the benefits typically involves applying a
disciplined and complex methodology t...
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- Spring '08