A BOOK THAT HAS MADE AN IMPACT
ON MY CAREER:
I received a copy of the FM 22-100 Military Leadership field manual by the U.S.
Department of the Army as a high school freshman in Army JROTC class. This
manual puts in simple terms how leaders must act. Summarizing the manual takes
only a few sentences: “There is no substitute for leadership by example,” and the
two duties of leaders are the “accomplishment of the mission” and the “welfare
of the troops.” I witnessed this leadership firsthand when, as an Army private, our
company’s executive officer regularly worked in the office, but if his soldiers were
out in the bitter cold during a field training exercise, he packed his pup tent and
sleeping bag and joined us. In the morning, he would drive his Humvee back to his
office for the day, but he would return in the evening. His dedicated actions have
stayed with me all these years.
Strategic alliances and strategic purchasing are key. Implementing a strategic alliance allows a utility
to move from low-bid transactional
purchasing and potentially obtain
value-added supplier services. A
strategic alliance guarantees a supplier
a certain amount of business or all the
business in certain cases.
More specifically, a vehicle strategic
alliance reduces the fleet of vehicles
to one alliance partner’s brand, which
leads to maintenance and operational
efficiencies. Aerial trucks, for example,
lend themselves to be sourced through
a vehicle strategic alliance. Among the
advantages: You can ( 1) standardize
and reduce your mechanics’ training,
( 2) reduce your inventory of spare parts
because you no longer must carry
different brands of an equivalent spare
part, ( 3) reduce inventory-carrying
costs and ( 4) achieve volume discounts
via economies of scale.
Using strategic purchasing, a utility
can consolidate its supply base to a
few core suppliers, thereby assuring
those suppliers a sizeable amount of
sales and the utility volume discounts.
Strategic sourcing lends itself for
purchasing of noncritical maintenance,
repair and operations (MRO) products.
Strategic purchasing makes sense if the
MRO products can be easily purchased.
Because a utility needs to have an
alternate source in case a supplier
is unable to provide a critical part or
service, strategic purchasing may result
in consolidating to a core supplier and
a backup supplier, with both receiving a
certain amount of the utility’s business.
Strategic purchasing (and strategic
alliances) may be difficult to implement
in municipally-owned utilities. This
is due to ( 1) their socioeconomic
statutory requirements to purchase
from disadvantaged businesses and
( 2) political mandates to use local
preference rules when awarding
Additional benefits of using strategic
alliances and strategic purchasing are
establishing centralized procurement,
minimizing maverick purchasing and
reducing backdoor selling.
WHAT ARE SOME
FOR WORKING WITH
SUPPLIERS IN THE