Balancing the books - Supply Management

Balancing the books

10 September 2013
Since the American accountant Robert Kaplan and his colleague David Norton devised the concept of the balanced scorecard in 1992, organisations of all shapes and sizes across the world have found it a useful management tool for ensuring corporate performance adheres consistently to corporate vision. Because it helps ensure that everyone remains focused on the company’s overall business objectives, the balanced scorecard is a methodology that all procurement professionals should understand and consider how best to apply whenever contracts are being drawn up. Not only could it help improve supplier performance, it could also make the company a better customer. And as a way of demonstrating procurement’s ability to contribute holistically, it’s the kind of grown-up thinking that all readers should be eager to embrace. CEOs will be impressed. How to get onboard is outlined by Sam de Silva, head of IT and Outsourcing at the law firm Manches and a speaker at this year’s CIPS Annual Conference next month. And the importance of understanding the process is underlined by a recent survey from the consultants 2GC, which showed that as well as linking their balanced scorecard to planning, budgeting and quality, organisations are increasingly using them to get a tighter grip on risk management, surely the issue of the day. We’ve another equally useful guide if you’re involved in buying services from marketing agencies. A controversial area this – not every internal marketer is thrilled at procurement’s perceived trespassing on their patch – but the solid advice imparted here should quickly help you win over sceptical colleagues. The reviving economy also presents opportunities (the positive word for challenges) to demonstrate procurement’s value. Tender costs are steadily rising, and will need careful handling as we begin to enter a commercial climate last seen before 2007/8, and one many younger practitioners may never have previously encountered.
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