By examining the current state of strategic sourcing through the lens of an ongoing effort at a large U.S.-based manufacturing company, this paper presents practical guidance and examines how strategic sourcing capabilities are evolving among leading practitioners. This guidance begins with a revealing question: How do we want to move our strategic sourcing activities forward? The question is important at a time when many efforts have reached a plateau in their evolution.
The insights in this paper include a discussion of the obstacles-internal reluctance, supplier resistance and research challenges-that most strategic sourcing efforts encounter. The paper also examines the key drivers of success, including executive support, fact-based research, concrete action plans and a commitment to continuous improvement, so that strategic sourcing operates as "lifecycle sourcing."
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