A Toast to Technology this Thanksgiving


If you’re like many Americans, you’re scrambling with last-minute preparations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps you’re just now thinking about the menu items, decorations and supplies you’ll need, the guest list and what side dishes everyone is bringing.

To pull off Thanksgiving successfully, you need to rely on many people, hope the stores have plenty of inventory and trust your guests will arrive on time bringing their promised meal items.

If you think about it, the strategy of planning for a Thanksgiving gathering is very similar to devising and executing a procurement strategy. There’s:

  1. Analysis—Consideration and inventory of supplies. Analysis of last year’s budget and items to see if changes should be made to improve the timing of meal delivery or costs.
  2. Strategy—Goal setting and determining what a successful event look like and then modifying plans in order to improve the experience.
  3. Planning—Creating detailed plans for executing the event. Devising a budget and planning out logistics, headcount, sourcing, and estimating.
  4. Critical Factors—Risk management such as planning for additional guests and forgotten food items; considering alternate plans for missing ingredients; and managing waste and food safety.

If any comparisons can be drawn between Thanksgiving and procurement it’s this—technology makes both much easier, streamlined and in many cases cost-effective.

For holiday planning we now have Alexa to help us put together our grocery lists, Pea Pod to deliver our groceries, on-demand cooking tutorials and an abundance of holiday recipe blogs and websites. With these resources at our fingertips, even the most novice host is assured success.

The same is true in procurement. Leading-edge technology platforms have removed resource-intensive, error-prone manual processes to provide end-to-end visibility into suppliers and facilitate a highly-effective sourcing methodology to open up more possibilities and options.

If you’re still operating your procurement department much like you do your holiday planning (via spreadsheet, paper files and a calculator), maybe it’s time to it’s time to embrace and be thankful for the technology available to help you be more successful and profitable.

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