Cross-Functional Sourcing Teams

When users contact purchasing with a specific need, we say that purchasing is operating in a reactive manner. When purchasing works directly with internal customers to anticipate future requirements, such as during new-product development, or physician councils in a health care setting, purchasing is being proactive. What does it mean to anticipate a requirement? If purchasing is part of new-sourcing requirements team, then the opportunity exists to see product designs or service specifications at early stages of the process. Purchasing can begin to identify potential suppliers for expected requirements rather than reacting to an engineering requirement at a later date. Anticipating requirements can contribute to faster cycle times and better supplier evaluation and selection. As firms continue to be forced to reduce the time required to develop new products, cross-functional interaction will increasingly be the means through which organizations identify, and hopefully anticipate, material requirements in the purchasing process cycle.

However the need is clarified, the point here is that a requisition document is completed by a requisitioner. A requisitioner is someone who is authorized by purchasing to complete the needs clarification process. In some cases, the person who expresses the need can also be the requisitioner. This occurs in cases where the supplier has already been qualified, and the individual who has the need can go to a supplier’s online catalog, order the product or service directly (e.g., through Amazon), and pay for the item using a company purchasing credit card. In such cases, the item is typically low cost, and it is not worth the expense and trouble of completing an entire requisition and going through the entire P2P cycle.

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