I use it. I’m not ashamed. It’s likely you use it, too.
amazon.com has become as common in most people’s lives as the corner gas station and pharmacy. It is now the go-to online source for almost every product and, having achieved a high level of success there, has begun to supplant many brick-and-mortar stores as well.
In short, the amazoning of the American consumer is in full force.
Now, I’m not a big fan of making verbs out of nouns. But in this case, it fits. We have now become so comfortable with 1-click purchase that we believe it is the way everything is purchased. It is not. And that is particularly true of IT systems.
Purchasing and procurement cannot (or should not) be used interchangeably. Despite similarities, they occupy different places.
Purchasing is a subset of procurement. Procurement is not a subset of purchasing. You make a purchase at amazon.com in part because amazon.com has already done the procurement. It has selected vendors, established payment options, selected products and (possibly) even vetted them, negotiated contracts and in some cases purchased the actual goods for resale to you. Once all of that work is done, you can make the purchase of what you want.
That works great with batteries, paper towels and even flatscreen televisions. It doesn’t work with IT purchases, and there’s a simple reason why.
Strategic procurement is the smart way to approach purchasing.
Since purchasing is only a subset of procurement, there has to be another factor introduced: strategy. The smart way to do business is to have a strategy associated with every purchase, and you can only do that if you vet each purchase through the filter of procurement.
It sounds a little like corporate gobble-dee-gook. But consider these questions:
- What is required to do the job we need to do today?
- What will be required to do the same job tomorrow? Next month? Next year?
- Are we growing? How many people will we have this time next year?
- Is our current platform scalable?
- Are we happy with our current systems? What works? What doesn’t? What are the trade-offs?
- Are we cost effective in the ROI of systems in place and systems in consideration?
- Who are the up-and-coming suppliers? How do they compare in cost, service and offering?
If you ask these questions and others like them, you realize a simple reality.
Purchasing is one aspect of procurement.
So if procurement is macro, purchasing is micro. You have a plan, a strategy and a vision. Now, it’s time to make the purchase. Purchasing isn’t to be discounted as something easy. But it is one component of procurement.
NetCare™ Procurement is your solution.
Too many companies confuse the two. That’s why we’re here—to be your full lifecycle partner in IT systems. We may not like the practice of turning nouns to verb, but we amazon the process for you so that, once you make your purchase, you’ve selected the right tool, the right unit, the right platform for what you need to achieve.
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