Procurement and Marketing

Achieving Value through Partnership

John Stephens
Microsoft

Since the economic downturn of 2001, and the impact of the 9/11 attacks, procurement and sourcing organizations have had an increasingly important role in many large corporations. Traditionally focused in direct materials purchasing, innovative procurement organizations have translated their strategic sourcing methodologies to drive improvement in many nontraditional areas such as professional services, product development, and marketing services. Work in these less-defined categories of spend has driven the focus away from merely price reduction and toward strategic partnerships, both internally and externally, to redefine the entire purchasing process. From requirements definition and supplier selection to ongoing management of the supplier relationships, this approach has focused on the objective of reducing the total cost of ownership in obtaining these services on behalf of the organization.