Procurement Espresso

Know thy
Washing Machine

The quirky tale of washing styles
and sourcing impact

Next time when someone tells you that Procurement function has nothing to do with customer centricity, tell them they are wrong and cite the following story:

Majority of the fabric softeners sold in
Europe use the molecule TEA-Esterquat;
while in the U.S. Methyl diethanolamine
(MDEA) based Esterquat is preferred

Detergents are anionic (negative charge)
while fabric softener is cationic (positive
charge). Fabric softener is added in a fresh
float i.e., after washing off the detergent

Any unwashed anionic detergent will
react with cationic fabric conditioner,
reducing the degree of softening

TEA is not suitable for American washing
style, as most machines follow single
rinse cycle as opposed to European
machines which takes longer to wash!

Hence, sourcing decisions are based on the quirky
washing styles that exists on both sides of the Atlantic

Customer Centricity -- Procurement teams of detergent majors don’t go for a one-size fit all solution.
On the contrary, they procure different types of fabric softeners according to customer washing styles!!

Telecom Expense Management

can deflate ballooning corporate phone bill

Can 3D holograms substitute real-time meetings?

  • Holographic telepresence helps attendees in multiple
    locations to see each other through a projected 3D image
  • Estimates indicate $215 billion is spent on business
    travels each year
  • 3D holograms can be cost effective when compared to
    alternatives though production can be time-consuming
  • This technology has been used in media and political events.
    Examples include holographic projection of Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards
  • Category managers are exploring this technology to
    reduce travel time and expenses

Dear Sourcing Managers, do you think 3D holograms can become an effective substitute for real-time meetings?

Your Procurement colleagues from 2600+ companies are already on the discussion forum

Sins that
you wouldn’t
want to commit


Herd mentality

Resistance to supplier replacement

Poor communication

Obsession with savings

The Ivory Tower syndrome

Wedded to legacy systems

Adopting text book KPIs


Contract Failure

Unsafe bet

Confusion all around

Expediency trumps strategy

Puts team work at risk

Supplier monitoring to be time consuming and inefficient

Ineffective measurement of supplier performance


Assess and accept your procurement team’s maturity before choosing how you engage with your supplier

Be open to new, competent suppliers

Ensure an active two way communication channel with the teams

Besides cost savings, consider other imperatives such as Flexibility, Innovation and Quality

Building a multi-functional team

Embrace new technology adoption

Frame KPIs that are specific to the business needs of your organization

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