The Journey from Strategic Sourcing to Category Management – The Secret Sauce OR Opening the Kimono

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There was a time, not too long ago, when I was hiring some of the biggest and best-known consulting firms in the industry and paying them oodles of fees.  I often wondered why they were able to produce results that my own people could not.  The people that I hired were as smart as the high-priced consultants.  And of course, when I asked the engagement partner this question, he had no satisfying answer – why kill the goose that was laying golden eggs?  Now that I am on the consulting side, I’ve never been asked that question by any client, but I would not hesitate to answer.  You have already heard us talk about developing strategic competencies in your organization and one of them is consulting. In our upcoming webinar “The Journey from Strategic Sourcing to Category Management – The Secret Sauce OR Opening the Kimono”, we will explore how we add so much value so fast (and that’s not an idle boast).  We are often asked how we help our clients get to Category Management and we have decided to share the recipe.  Over the next three webinars we will be sharing our secret sauce and the Top 10 Big Ideas that we deploy on behalf of our clients.  While we won’t have time to go deep into every topic, you will still get a good idea about how we do it.  Here are the 4 topics that we will be covering in the first webinar.

  1. Right Stakeholders/Business Intent: Too often, we take the easy way out and go with the obvious and known stakeholders.  It’s not until we force ourselves to expand our pool of stakeholders and identify their need that we discover the true business intent of that category.  One of the most dramatic examples of that is when we were asked to source text books for the largest for-profit academic institution and by the time we had identified and talked to the right stakeholders (including their supply base), it became obvious that the right answer was not to buy books cheaper but rather not to buy books at all!  Join us on the webinar for this fascinating case study.
  2. Change Management: Without deploying a robust Change Management capability, all consultants can do is leave behind pretty decks. Successfully challenging people to change behaviors and how they make decisions is critical in getting to adoption of any set of recommendations..  Without getting alignment around the deliverables we leave behind, we add little to no value.
  3. Seek out Value Drivers: Knowing the real Value Drivers of your stakeholders is key to converting their resistance to proactive support.  Trying to convince your Chief Marketing officer to support your cost saving initiative of 2% on the print budget is a lost cause because that’s not his/her  Value Driver.  This also drives our approach to metrics – measuring yourself on efficiencies of your process or your activities is of little value.  Measuring yourself on what is important to your key stakeholders is critical and the key to becoming a strategic business partner.
  4. Context vs. Content: You’ve heard the statement that “Context always trumps Content” yet organizations invest millions of dollars in “Content” and are surprised when the results are not there.  We start every engagement – every single engagement- with an Environmental Scan or a study of the context.  And our recommendations are always a mix between changing the context as well as the content.

Joins us to learn how we tackle these issues for our clients with actual client case studies as illustrations.  We will open our kimonos (fair warning – it may not be a pretty sight!) and share our secret sauce with you.

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Dalip Raheja is President and CEO of The Mpower Group (TMG). Dalip has over 30 years of experience managing large organizations and change initiatives. He has worked across the spectrums of supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and management consulting.

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