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The Dark Side

June 5, 2018

There is so much buzz around the need for stronger relationships, the importance of collaboration, the value to be achieved through partnering.  Business today demands personnel who deliver these qualities and who welcome diversity, the use of judgment, the eradication of prejudice.

So why is it that a major professional association would allow its publications to refer to Sales as ‘the dark side’?  Continuing to encourage procurement professionals to perceive suppliers as ‘the evil enemy’ undermines everything that our society is trying to achieve.  It assumes innate opportunism, dishonesty, lack of moral concern – and in so doing, mimics the precise behaviours it claims to despise.  Further, it demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of business and economics – in the commercial world, procurement jobs exist only because of successful sales people.

In the public sector, far too many failed programs and wasted opportunities can be at least in part traced back to these confrontational techniques by procurement staff.  They lead to a culture where suppliers are dismissed as readily replaceable and the buyer denies responsibility for outcomes.  In these situations – sadly still too common – low price and risk transfer is the mantra of success.

Value destruction is a choice

Any function or group that creates barriers of this sort destroys the potential for achieving value. Today, the levels of interdependency between organizations are greater than ever.  This ‘old school’ procurement is outdated and – quite honestly – unacceptable. It is also fast becoming irrelevant.

Looking at the amazing growth of an organization like IACCM, it owes its success to its inclusiveness and the fact that it focuses on shared integrity, not adversarial compliance.  Yes, members challenge each other, but that is healthy and contributes to self-realization. Every professional or specialist group benefits from a dose of reality.  But they benefit even more when they work together, operating to shared standards and in an environment of respect.  That’s what happens when they undertake IACCM training, participate in research or attend IACCM events.

Our world is one of enlightenment. Let’s eradicate the dark side!

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