Entrepreneurial Approach to Purchasing, Essay Example

In most cases, when the question of what is needed to successfully launch a supply chain management program, the first thing that come to mind is technology. However, in most cases there is more to Supply chain management than technology. There are other key factors that play a huge role in influencing a successful supply chain management program. This paper will aim to prove this fact referring to the case study of Babson College; Taking an EntrepreneurialApproach to Purchasing.

Human Resource

The human resource function of the supply chain management plan is very crucial in determining the success of any company(Kim). The quality of a company’s employees in the form of skills and knowledge areas have a huge impact of the supply chain management plan employed by any company. This is evident in the way Russo has moved his team towards achieving professional certification in the field of supply management.

He and two key staff members participated in the participated in certification training, and both staff members passed all the requirements and achieved their Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) status. This has enhanced the supply management team’s common knowledge, experience, and camaraderie while illustrating hisgroup’s desire to continually enhance its professionalism.

Organizational Design

This is the practice of evaluating and choosing the formal system and structure of division of labour, communication, control, coordination, responsibility and authority that is vital in the realization of an organization’s objectives and goal, including the supply chain objectives(Grubbström and Hans).

Babson College and Russo’s team have managed to achieve this by improving the competitively bided buying process. This required the research and evaluation of multiple optionsto determine needs, best price, and service levels and is sent to multiple supplierssoliciting their bids. Examples in this category include laptop computers,kitchen equipment, laundry services, and construction projects.

Information Technology

The 21st century has seen the development of IT software and platforms that have been design to provide support for end-to-end supply chains(Mentzer). Such include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). These new technologies not only enhance cooperation within the parties involved in the supply chain, but also efficiency of the whole supply chain.

This pillar has been critically employed into the Babson College supply chain through the creation of an interactive purchasing website for both internal customers and suppliers. This has eliminated the use of manual entries and multiple data inputs which used to involve POs being faxed across campus and then re-entered by hand into the system.

The campus willalso have a master supplier list with links to company websites, eliminating the time-consumingsearch for basic products and suppliers. Tis makes the supply and purchase process quick and efficient. The suppliers will also benefit, with access to complete information on how to do business withBabson and forms for each online process. Every aspect of the website can be continuallyrefined, adapting to the appropriate circumstances. As their workload is reduced by automation,both the purchasing and accounts payable departments will be able to explore new,improved ways to serve customers.


Measurement is a fundamental pillar of a successful and efficient supply chain. However, there exist a number of challenges that hinder the effective application of this pillar(Zuckerman). Namely;

  • Debate over the valid metrics
  • Too many metrics
  • Old data
  • Constantly changing metrics

This has been the challenge for the supply chain team during the survey of the customers’ buying needs. The use of a Request for Quote (RFQ) mitigated these barriers and obstacles to achieve only the required results in the survey that can be adequately applied in the transformation process of the supply chain.

Works Cited

Grubbström, Robert W. and H. Hinterhuber Hans. Supply Chain Management. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2002. Print.

Kim, Bowon. Supply Chain Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Print.

Mentzer, John T. Supply Chain Management. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2001. Print.

Zuckerman, Amy. Supply Chain Management. Oxford: Capstone Pub, 2002. Internet resource.