Good post on sustainability in procurement


Peter Smith at Spend Matters takes a look at the sustainability issue, and his thoughts are pretty much in line with those of the TPS report. There is nothing controversial in what he says, but for the environment at all costs crowd, there will be. Check it out here.

From an observer of business, as well as a participant, I do find these sorts of trends and kicks that rush through the world of business a bit amusing when taken from a historical perspective. The good news is that the sustainability kick is adding additional analytical tools and encouraging people to be more thorough in their analyses. The only note of caution that TPS report would like to strike is that sustainability is not some entirely new area of study.

There is a balance between these risks and other risks, and we need to take the whole picture into account. If we rush from one risk to the next, conducting deep dive analyses at every turn, we may lose focus on the big picture, up to and including focusing only on risk. Innovation from the supply base is another hot topic (if there is such a thing in the procurement world), so there is upside to be had through hard work as well.

It is also tempting to spot risks that come to fruition, and blame people for not seeing them. However, this is one of the chief ways in which people are fooled by randomness through selection bias (we hear about the risks that happen and are quick to blame, but don’t hear about the risks that don’t happen).

If Yoda were here, he’d probably say something like ‘unlimited, resources are not…focus wisely.’


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