We believe that businesses are great at finding solutions to their problems. However…
… our experience and research has shown us that businesses commonly miss out on significant opportunities because they don’t understand their business well enough to diagnose and address the underlying problem or they are viewing the problem through a single lens.
The end result are inefficient and expensive supply arrangements that fail to deliver the outcome the business requires.
Just think about your friend that doesn’t know much about cars but is forever spending money replacing their tyres. You point out that a simple wheel balance would save them hundreds of dollars.
At Acquire Procurement Services, we believe that every supply arrangement is just one solution to a commercial problem. We believe that by truly understanding the value chain of where the problem resides and seeing the problem with a different lens, many more solutions can be found – some eloquently simple and unbelievably inexpensive.
Acquire’s Director, Simon Thompson, talks “Supply by Design”
Supply by Design
We call this way of thinking “Supply by Design” and we are using it to help businesses shift from procuring products and services to procuring business outcomes.
The philosophy stems from Design Thinking which helps professionals like industrial designers to truly understand the problem users are trying to solve when they are designing a product. Design Thinking has been used to develop products like Smart Phones, Computers, and Medical Devices.
With Supply by Design, we start with the business’ fundamental requirements and, by asking the right questions, we look beyond the scope of the current supply arrangement to identify the real commercial need – the real problem. We then work backwards to form a range of possible solutions. Finally, we refine these to achieve the simplest, most efficient, and most effective commercial solution. In some cases it may actually remove the need for a supply arrangement at all.
Procuring Business Outcomes: A Short Story
Buying the Outcome – Procurement Parable of Pete, Tom & the lawn mowing contract
A Simple Business Example
Take the following example. A company is looking to engage a supplier to move water between two locations with a truck. Typically, the supply team will take the scope from the operations team and compare quotes from three or more suppliers to move a quantity of water a certain distance.
At Acquire Procurement Services, we start by asking “Why is this service even required?” in order to better understand what it is that the business hopes to achieve. We ask: Is this a new problem? What is driving this demand? What has changed? How else can we solve this problem? In this example, we found that previous constraints no longer existed which therefore allowed a pipeline to be installed. This simple solution, saved the company over 95% of the original contract’s value – clearly, a much more satisfying outcome than we could have achieved bargaining with the transport company on rates.