Has our profession made strides over the last 7 years? – Part 1

Best practices , Gem , What's Happening in Our Profession Feb 27, 2018 No Comments

Results of two time-staggered surveys

As you may know, back in 2003, we asked people to fill in an on-line survey to help Purchasing Professionals gauge their organization’s overall purchasing effectiveness.

We asked 7 questions that touched on senior management attitudes, corporate systems in place for gauging purchasing effectiveness, and the activities that consumed purchasers’ time.

We repeated the Purchasing Effectiveness Survey last month and over 600 people participated. We now have enough information to compare results and determine if anything has changed since 2003.

We plan to review one question each week. Here is the first one.

Statement #1

Our senior management views Purchasing as strategically important and understands its potential to create competitive advantage.


% Agree Disagree No opinion
2003 66 16 18
2011 68 14 18


Good news and bad.

First the good – A little progress seems to have been made.

In 2003, 66% agreed; 16% disagreed & in 2010, 68% agreed; 14% disagreed.

Now the bad – a whopping 1/3 of our colleagues still work in organizations where they feel their role is unappreciated. What a pity, both for the individual and the organization!

Deming’s famous quote: “Everything is management” certainly applies here. Scarce resources (like money, training, research) go where management decides to put them.

Without senior management support and participation, achieving Purchasing‘s profit-adding potential is difficult at best; a lost cause, at worst.

The overarching question is: what can we do about it? Please take a moment to comment. Your ideas will be most appreciated as we probe this subject and try to come up with ideas and solutions.

If you’d like to take the Purchasing Effectiveness Survey, click the previous link. It takes less than 3 minutes to complete and you get immediate feedback on how your answers compare to everyone else who has taken the survey.

Rod Sherkin

Rod is a former senior executive, responsible for Purchasing, for both Pillsbury and Ball Packaging back in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, he has continued to work in the Purchasing field as both a consultant and founder of the website Propurchaser.com.

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