Things are different. If we learned anything in the last 18 months it should be simply that, things are different. We absolutely cannot expect to work business as usual when it comes to how we do our business. It is a drum beat I have been hearing every day. There are big opportunities out there. They are waiting for senior procurement professionals to seize them and say, THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT!
It is time to stop pointing at indirect materials cost savings and thinking its enough. That just will not play in this kind of business environment. Manufacturing companies have a unique opportunity to be more aggressive about cost savings than any other kind of company. Yes, it is possible to save a million here and a million there on things like travel and office supplies, but when measured against the fat in a direct materials supply budget it isn't a contest.
It is a lean time in the manufacturing world and there is aggressively competitive capacity to be had. Don't be afraid. Find it. Don't just identify cost savings. Achieve it.
How does a progressive company really achieve cost savings?
They come into the process ready and willing to change suppliers. They come into the process ready and willing to look in new geographies for suppliers. They come into the process without hesitation and take full advantage of what the last 18 months have left us. The landscape is new. Look at it with new eyes.