A cautionary tale for procurement professionals

Steve Johnson is director at Simply Joined Consulting

With the oil price tumbling, Steve Johnson has adapted a nursery rhyme for those working in the sector.

Jack and Jill went out to drill
To satisfy their cravings.
The oil price dropped,
Their dreams were cropped,
So needed to make savings.

Jack took the strategic route
Identifying excess.
He checked his spends
To find loose ends
And analysed the process.

Jill called her suppliers up
Demanding they cut prices
Some did adjust
But then went bust
And her plans were now in crisis.

Jack stood fast and made real plans
To manage key supply chains.
He met suppliers
Of goods and hires
Identifying some real gains.

Jill continued to play hardball
Demanding that she give less
Suppliers went cold
But did as told
Through fear of losing business.

Jack got through the great downturn
By avoiding the price squeeze race
He shared some pains
To realise gains
And retained a loyal supply base.

Jill came through the troubled times
By squeezing suppliers hard.
She lost their trust
And some went bust
Her reputation marred.

Jack is now progressing well
His clients are so pleased.
His supply chain’s robust
He’s maintained business trust
And supply chain risk has eased.

Jill is still in business but
Her market share is low.
She can’t compete
Or deadlines meet
So her business cannot grow.

Jack is going from strength to strength
New suppliers try to find him.
His clients pay,
He’s on his way,
With troubled times behind him.

For Jill however, times are bleak
Her business is stagnating.
The supplier pack
Wants to work with Jack,
He’s got better client rating.

Soon enough, we’ll see the oil price up
And the industry back on track.
Treat supply chains fair
And you’ll get your share
Would you rather be Jill or Jack?

Steve Johnson is director at Simply Joined Consulting

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