Let's Make Market

Purchasing and supply management professionals - B2B buyers - bring their sourcing expertise to a more sophisticated market environment. As a result, their sourcing efficiencies radically empower the new economy.

It may not be one of those momentous occasions we mark for posterity, but you and I have been making market all our lives. My first time was at the 4-H county fair in Casa Grande, Arizona. Yes, the fair.

At age 10, I sold my first swine (ok, pig) at auction — one of the purest forms of market. Back then, among the woodsy sawdust, rapid-fire calls of the auctioneer and multi-colored 4-H ribbons of youthful winners, all players were in place. The product — a prize winning pig (blue ribbon, thank you); the eager buyer — seeking premium pork; and a market host — the 4-H fair. This market was void of the efficiencies of today’s digital market, but it was fun nevertheless.

Today, enabled markets continue to introduce more and more efficiencies all aimed at allowing you and I to make market. As we evaluate ever-improving e-procurement systems and electronic markets, we discover increased parity as efficientlymatched trading partners do greater volumes of business. Yet, the focus continues to be purchase price savings. But, like a quiet undercurrent, these e-procurement systems and marketplaces display the power of their aggregated data. Electronic market suppliers gain greater geographic reach, reduced selling costs, and new market and channel penetration through today’s electronic structure. This was something I missed out on at the county fair, though we attracted buyers statewide. In turn, electronic buyers can evaluate offerings more strategically through market and industry analysis, source identification and supplier-offered analysis. If my blue-ribbon, Pinal County Fair pig had been evaluated on a net market against a blue-ribbon, Maricopa County Fair pig, would my auction price still have been as high? Probably not.

These are exciting times. As purchasing and supply management professionals, you make the best market. You bring your sourcing expertise to a more sophisticated environment. B2B is bigger than B2C, and will ultimately help B2C. This issue gives a striking indication of your critical role in the market. For example, in the “New Money Makers” on page 58, buyers are the catalysts for turning their departments into revenue centers for their organizations. Never before have purchasing and supply management professionals been given an opportunity to not only support the bottom line, but raise the revenue line. Much of the editorial in this month’s issue reflects your market-making power. And just wait for the next issue. In December we’ll discover that meta-exchanges are one of the next steps in the evolutionary market process to make us more efficient in the market (“Watch for Next Evolutionary Phase: The Meta-Exchange”).

We should keep making market. Let’s just make it better — in a market economy it’s a necessity. Premium pork anyone?