Hi Nicole - I'll give it a go, as it's not good to sometimes wee posts like this without replies.
For mine, it's great that you're working with finance and legal - too often legitimate partners like this seem to be ignored when thinking about procurement, and what it can do.
I guess my question for you is what do you see the procurement function in your organisation doing ? I ask because I think this thinking should dictate then your processes, systems and structures. You might see it simply as a person or team supporting finance processes and decisions made by the business. Alternatively, you might see them in the more strategic role that is often spoken discussed - leading the business along, being significant inputs into business strategy and driving partnerships with suppliers.
If you'd perhaps be able to make that a bit more explicit, then hopefully others will have made it a New Year's resolution to help out others and pass on anything relevant that they might have.
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oops - not good to sometimes see not wee....although I am sure that I do have some Scottish blood in me somewhere...
• Isle of Man Government
First thing good luck, what an exciting time and opportunity, enjoy every brain racking moment !
Based upon experience I strongly suggest you spend your greatest time obtaining buy in from the major business stakeholders, by demonstrating the added value your function will bring and setting out the policy/ies with their involvement. You can have the sweetest processes and procedures in the world, but if business stakeholders haven't bought into what you're doing things will go nowhere and failure isn't an option. Equally I've found that if stakeholders have helped develop the policy, they're pretty relaxed about how you go about delivering the benefits.
One last thing; make sure you have all stakeholders engaged and in agreement, discord is your enemy.
Product replacement or discontinuation is obviously quite usual - but that doesn't alter warranty obligations. The manufacturer should have stocked sufficient to meet likely needs. Without knowing the value. It is hard to know whether it is worth pursuing them; right now it sounds like they are ignoring you in the hope you just give up.
Thanks for your viewpoint and I couldn't agree more with you on this.
However, they have actually discontinued the product and their revised e-catalogue confirms this. I am sure they understand that a Purchase Order from us would just add on to their revenue in multiples at best, to risk such ignorance. Of the 28 product categories they have supplied, the issue affects only 1 of the 28.
The query deals around with
(a) non availability of spare parts of the product and
(b) non availability of the product itself.
• Isle of Man Government
Experience suggests this will boil down to the terminology used within your warranty document. It may be unreasonable to expect a supplier to maintain full stocks for all warranty potential on discontinued products (Tim already mentioned value...). More commonly, suppliers offer repair or replacement with the direct alternative product. If the 'standard' warranty were considered unacceptable at the outset it would be appropriate to develop the warranty model to include a recommended spares holding based upon MTBF, or more onerously full replacement of the product range used including mobilisation costs. Either way both parties are fully aware of expectations and obligations from the outset.
Contractually speaking if the warranty document is deficient you are really only left with negotiation. An option being to approach the supplier for access to the original product production drawings and look to have bespoke replacements made.
As a compromise and considering the actual failure rate seems quite low (5# out of 1500#) - though in no way trying to belittle the frustration you must feel - are there visual aspects where use of the replacement product may be viable and use the original products from those locations for the more visible locations ?
In the US, Texas or New York are largely considered "neutral territory" whereas in Europe, until very recently UK law was considered neutral. I think that may change with the recent political upheaval.
• Ministry of Defence
Or try international trade law?
• Legal and Commercial Training Limited
In the case of one party proposing Indian law and the other proposing Singapore law, the parties may well choose the law of England and Wales as both Indian law and Singapore law are based upon English and Welsh common law. (Note that there is no such concept as "UK law" as one commentator has suggested below).
However, a party should consider a wide range of factors before proposing a particular governing law and should weigh up the legal and commercial advantages and disadvantages of all the options.
One factor may be the degree of certainty that a contract will be interpreted in a particular way. English law adheres to the doctrine of binding precedence. Some legal systems do not. This could lead to significant uncertainty as to how the law will be applied.
In English law, it may be perceived that the courts allow a greater degree of freedom of contract. Subject to certain exceptions, freedom of contract in English law means that commercial parties are completely free to make disastrous bargains. This illustrates the comparative reluctance of the English courts to interfere on policy or other grounds to rewrite the parties' contracts for them.
For example, in English law it is possible, provided very clear wording is used, to include an exclusion clause that excludes any and all liability whatsoever, even for a deliberate breach of contract. And there is still no recognition of a duty of good faith being applied generally to commercial agreements (but watch this space!). This may or may not be an advantage to you but it remains the case that the courts are likely to give effect to the wording of the contract without imposing their opinions as to what does or does not amount to good faith.
And you may wish to consider the approach of a particular legal system to particular clauses.
For example, in English law, a liquidated damages clause will be subject to the clarification set out recently by the Supreme Court with a subsequent judgment, applying that test, indicating that a freely-negotiated LD clause is likely to be upheld subject to the requirements set out by the Supreme Court. Under UAE law, such a provision would be subject to Article 390(2) of the Civil Code and either party may apply to the court to adjust the agreed amount of compensation so it is equal to the loss. If Indian law were to apply, we would have to consider the effect of section 74 of the Indian Contracts Act 1872.
English law will also recognise an asymmetric jurisdiction clause.
And it may be that the choice of law clause will be reflected in the choice of jurisdiction. So, English law and the English courts. If the choice of courts is to reflect the choice of law, it may well be the consideration should be given to the efficacy of the court system and the technical expertise and other qualities of the judges.
• Australian Red Cross Blood Service
Here are a couple that I just quickly came up with:
1. Can you recall the last time that you engaged with our team. Was it;
a) In the past 7 days
b) In the past 4 weeks
c) In the past 3-6 months
d) More than 12 months ago
c) Who is this?
2. When you engaged with our team, did you know the name of the person you were contacting?
a) No, I had to look someone up using either the contract, website, intranet, LinkedIn
b) Vaguely, I have spoken to a few different people in the course of business
c) Yes, I have regular communications with a consistent point of contact
Good evening Abdullah - I'll contribute an observation on the first one. Perhaps others who have been doing contract management and procurement for longer than me might have a different view, or say it more eloquently, but here goes....
Purchasing is a subset of procurement. It is the giving effect to a lot of the procurement work that you've done earlier (i.e. establishing what you want, identifying suppliers etc).
That said, I think that you can purchase without doing procurement, and in fact, I'd go so far as to say that you can even get the same outcome.
However, only by procurement can you demonstrate that you've got the right outcome. If you only purchase, and don't understand your needs, identify the market and consider the offerings against your needs, you can't demonstrate that you've got the best outcome for the business.
And this is where I think we as a group can demonstrate our worth to the business. We can show with procurement the outcomes that we've avoided (goods not matching requirements, getting better pricing outcomes, repetitional damage etc) by running a fair and robust process ensures that the business is better off.
On many occasions I've seen my team has moved someone from their initial fixed ideas into better outcomes by taking the time to show them what's possible and what good looks like. Do that enough times, and you have more and more allies in the business to encourage others to use your services.
Check out this article in the IACCM Library, 'Procurement' and 'Purchasing' Are Different:
Having looked at this topic, there is actually already a lot written on the question of the difference between purchasing and procurement. As they observe, for the typical person they are probably the same, but apparently 'the experts' in procurement know the difference! Though once you start reading, there is plenty of contradiction...
When it comes to Supply Management, it is yet another variant and clear as mud whether it is actually different from Procurement. Supply Chain Management is certainly a more holistic activity of which procurement is part, but that's about all you can really deduce.
The net is, these terms are used with a high degree of variability and tend to mean whatever anyone wants them to mean; the only common factor is that they are all associated with the act of buying!
Years ago Procurement and Purchasing were often used interchangeability. These days they have very different meanings. Procurement refers to the end-to-end activities from strategic category management, through to the operational analytics of spend and performance, to the tactical buying and sourcing activities which can happen in-house or in shared services.
As the Procurement function has 'grown up'it has become far more strategic, so although the term Procurement refers to all the activities conducted by the function, it also implies more strategic perspectives. The scope is also overlapping with other related functions like Finance (Accounts Payable as part of the purchase to pay process) and supply chain (Supply Planning, product innovation and supplier performance management). The increasing focus on digital in Procurement is also seeing more collaboration with other functions for example, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and machine learning, process automation and contract management, and predictive analytics.
Purchasing is clearly the administrative activity of raising a purchase order, managing the goods/service receipt notice and approving to pay. More advanced companies use on-line catalogues to support this along with automated workflow routing and defined delegations of authority. Put simply, Purchasing includes the tactical purchase and approval activities to support buying.
When we speak about supply chain today, we tend to talk about a value chain. Some organizations are now including supply chain and Procurement in one organization given the overlaps, but predominantly they continue to be separate, but related functions.
Supply chain will include demand planning and forecasting, distribution planning, warehousing and logistics, manufacturing (which may also be a separate function), supply planning and often new product development.
Where Procurement gets involved most is in supply planning and supplier performance management, for instance, using contracts to enforce performance, and collaborating with supply chain and marketing for product and service innovation by tracking supply markets and innovations.
Conceptually, the Procurement function has shifted from managing costs to providing value. Using advanced analytics of COGS and SG&A data, digital tools and advanced supplier market research, the function is working far more collaboratively with other functions. As business cadence increases, functions are becoming more linked and lines between which function does what is blurring.
Whilst it's the way that a lot more suppliers seem to be going, if you think about this in with your procurement hat on - and that is what's going to happen at the end of 3-5 years - it's tough to see you doing anything but just rolling this over (and over and over again) as someone else has all of your data on their server.
At the risk of being awfully contentious, my own experience is that in a lot of circumstances, there's little consideration of whole of life costs - especially with that thinking about what's to happen in 3-5 years. Right now, many of these purchases done right now are flying under the radar of procurement teams because they're below procurement limits or just being called operational expenditure within business delegated authorities.
That said, one of the benefits that I've also seen is that upgrades happen automatically on the server of the host without the business having to create teams to do this, especially where there was a major upgrade - which were previously a big financial impact on many businesses.