Measure your savings against lost lunches

24 February 2011
Alison Smith, procurement professional and life coach and Supply Management guest bloggerIf someone asked you about your current objectives, what would you say? I’ll hazard a guess that making savings might feature prominently, especially in the current economic climate. And I agree this should possibly be the priority. But what I really want to know is 'how' you have gone about achieving the objective. The level of savings may accurately represent how well you applied world-class practices but I’d like to know more. Are the relationships with your manager and peers improving? Have you ensured stakeholders aren’t alienated? Are suppliers continuing to thrive? I believe it’s these things that will sustain what you’re doing. It’s easy to ignore these and pretend that a supplier going out of business was their own fault for accepting the pricing - even though they felt they had no alternative. Or to ignore the stakeholder or colleague who now won’t speak to you, assuming their opinion doesn’t matter or you’ll patch things up with them later. Or to ignore the aches and pains because you just need to get through this week, month or year, and then you’ll think about that holiday or eating, sleeping and exercising properly. If “what gets measured gets done” (as the phrase goes) then it should come as no surprise that we need additional objectives to ensure the sustainability of what we’re doing. You could try adding these:
  • Percentage of savings supported by internal stakeholders
  • Percentage of savings with active participation from suppliers (working together not through negotiation)
  • Percentage of holidays taken
  • Percentage of lunches missed (well, perhaps that goes too far, but you could start with the percentage of lunches missed per month)
Are you measuring the “how”?
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