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Agents 86 And 99 Strike Back At KAOS And Get Smart

By Art van Bodegraven | 01/05/2018 | 11:38 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


Unlikely as it seems, Don Adams and Barabara Feldon (Agents 86 & 99) are taking their revenge, foiling the best efforts by K.A.O.S. to trip them up.  The secret lies in (pun intended) getting smart in the procurement sector.

Many, even most, organizations struggle with procurement.  It's no big problem to make tactical purchases, which can save an easy 2 or 3 % of total spend.  Getting at the hard part, realizing the 8-12% that is found in world-class operations is tougher.

A multi-talented procurement team can provide great insight, business intelligence, and leverage. But, in a siloed organization, bits and pieces of savings are seldom bundled, and overcoming organizational dysfunction takes time, basic intelligence, and powers of persuasion.

The real secret is in the creation of collaborative partnerships, in which responsibility for target accomplishment is shared among business units.  The intelligence that emerges is powerful, especially when it identifies sub-par procurement.

It's also uswful in making sure that claimed savings really happen - and stick.  It's that bits and pieces thing again, in which aggregate results never show up in the financials.

At day's end, the game is about, not savings, but about investment.  Here's a seqeunce to contemplate: Buy well; buy better; spend wisely; spend for tomorrow; spend - and collaborate - to cement supplier relationships.

More: Get a handle on demand; design to cost or to functionality; reduce systems and process costs; spend the savings.  It's a cost well worth the expense.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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