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Buyers must be ready to throw out everything they know and open themselves to new ideas, say procurement advisers Positive Purchasing.

If they want to achieve the best results they must be prepared to “think the unthinkable”, ditch the comfortable status quo and build new scenarios for the future.

In the latest Thought Leadership article from Positive Purchasing, Thinking outside the unthinkable blue skies box, director Mark Hubbard says procurement professionals are often presented with the chance to break with tradition.

The challenge is to seize the opportunity, Hubbard says, and turn it into an “alternative future”.

He writes: “Thinking outside the box, thinking the unthinkable, blue skies thinking - hackneyed though such buzz-phrases may be, they point to an essential concept for business people.

“To really make a difference, you must be prepared to throw out everything you know and open yourself to completely new ideas.”

He cites the example of a buyer who had worked with the same supplier for many years. Relationships were well established, but the supplier was seeking regular price increases, delivering late and providing poor quality. An alternative supplier presented none of these problems, but was only supplying 10 per cent of the volume of the key component.

For this buyer, Hubbard says, it was time to “think the unthinkable” and consider swapping suppliers.

“It’s the kind of situation we see repeated around the world. The challenge is to ditch the comfortable, well-worn status quo and adopt a way of thinking that opens up new possibilities. To do this, we need to ask certain key questions.”

Key questions include “if we were starting from scratch, what would we do?” and “what is it that makes us buy from this supplier?”

Hubbard concludes: “This search for alternative futures must become a guiding principle in purchasing. If we do the same tomorrow as we do today, nothing will change.

“Breaking the mould, going for broke, call it what you will: there’s no doubt that thinking what we thought was unthinkable will create opportunities we never knew existed.”


Notes for editors

Thinking outside the unthinkable blue skies box can be downloaded at:

About Positive Purchasing

Positive Purchasing is a leading strategic purchasing consultancy providing education and training, procurement transformation, best practice purchasing tools and online learning and resources. Positive Purchasing enables today's global companies to develop their purchasing function to achieve greater effectiveness.

For more information please contact:

Mark Whitehead
Headline Media
+44 (0)208 348 3103
+44 (0)7906 720141

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