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The Pent Up Demand for Purchasing Training

Robert Menard, Certified Purchasing Professional, Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant

Robert Menard, Certified Purchasing Professional, Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant

The panicked rush to dump training budgets is as understandable as it is irrational. The motivation may be to preserve cash and earnings but the balance sheet reality is that every dollar saved by educated and trained purchasing pros flows undiluted to the profit line. It is a statement of mere economic reality that purchasing is a far more efficient generator of  profitability than sales – at least ten times greater for a 10% net company and 20 times greater than a 5% net company. Why then, in downturns when top line growth falls and savings to be harvested from the supply chain are bountiful, is purchasing and negotiation training thrown out like yesterday’s newspaper?
Cycles don’t change and people don’t either
The answer is that in good times and bad, purchasing training is almost always sacrificed in favor of sales training. Nevertheless, successful riders of business cycles know that when the upsurge returns, companies will scurry to find premier talent to reinforce cost reduction, supplier management, negotiation, and other training initiatives.
What is more, this pent up demand will spike as the intellectual capital acquired in the form of experience, skills, and training & education walks permanently out the workplace door. This baby boomer exodus will drastically deplete that intellectual capital as they head toward the exit ramp by choice or otherwise. Employers frantically trimming the work force of the higher paid older personnel to cut costs are actually building a tidal wave of training needs that all of business will feel as soon as or before the economy begins to turn.


What and who manage that wave?

Veteran and proven trainers are positioning themselves to direct that wave to benefit their customers. One immediate way is through online learning and training. Online is a cheaper and acceptably effective way to accomplish training. It is easy to access, self paced, and culminates in achievement of the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) designation (and several others). CPPs earn more money and are hired more easily than their non designated competitors.
blog 65 concessionThe American Purchasing Society  offers more than two dozen online courses for busy purchasing pros ranging from Body Language to Purchasing Ethics, Foreign Trade, Business Law, Negotiation, and so many more. The APS also provides CPP prep courses and most importantly, and individual response from a real live person to your questions.

Customized in house training

Customized purchasing and negotiating training provided to in house corporate groups and trade/industry associations has been and will continue to be the gold standard for training. While scarce in the market now, this bulwark will return, in some industries sooner than in others. Indeed, in some countries less affected by the global slump such as private industries India and China are actively pursuing this option. There is also a steady demand in requests from foreign customers seeking training in negotiating with American sellers to buy high quality US made goods. Driven by the low US dollar, this source of training is not likely to go away any time soon.

Popular services sought in narrow or specific focuses include Purchasing Policies and Procedures, Cost and Price Analysis, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, to cite a few. Clients should start with smaller training providers to solve these problems. These individuals offer greater talent and know how. Most are veterans of the profession who have also acquired the requisite adult education and training skills necessary to effectively hold the interest of and deliver value to fellow pros. Larger mega houses usually have little for talent other than academics or juniors whose hands on and ability is limited.

Do a web search, or better yet contact folks and organizations you know and trust for bona fide recommendations of these smaller training organizations. One such proven source for trainers and consultants is the APS. Call Rich Hough at 630.859.0250 or email him at rhough@propurch.com

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