The journey to a more collaborative and strategic purchasing organization started with a fact-based approach to determine the right level of management—global, regional or local—for different categories. Leaving emotions and internal politics aside, Bain helped the company pinpoint common purchases across business units and geographies that could be pooled or bundled to generate savings. We then assisted with external research on supplier market structures to clarify the feasibility of such synergies in light of the supplier structure: local, regional or global.
The next move was to create a laser-sharp definition of responsibilities across the purchasing organization and the necessary functions involved. Bain used a proven framework named RAPID® (a loose acronym for Input, Recommend, Agree, Decide and Perform) to assign accountability for the key elements of the decision-making process.
Finally, we developed a systematic approach to skill-building that trained and strengthened the procurement staff. With the help of external experts, the existing procurement talent pool was assessed with well-defined criteria, including standardized tests, and then individual and group programs were devised to bring the organization’s skills to the next level.
A combination of internal and external analyses laid the groundwork for determining whether different categories should be managed locally, regionally or globally