How Industrial Manufacturers are Rounding-Up and Reigning-In the Mavericks in their Organization
Sorry Top Gun fans, it’s got nothing to do with sending Tom Cruise to the grocery store. Maverick buying is one of those frustrating, head scratching occurrences that happen at companies both large and small. Most commonly this is an issue that afflicts large manufacturing businesses, and costs millions yearly in wasted time and lost revenue.
Essentially, maverick buying is when an employee purchases goods without authorization. We’re not talking about buying items that have no place being purchased for the business, like a neon palm tree for their office. We’re also not talking about stealing or embezzling, what they’re doing is legal it just isn’t in the company’s best interest. Maverick buying is when an employee purchases goods, parts or materials for a project, going outside of the accepted buying channels of their organization.
There are several types of maverick buyers that exist within a manufacturing organization. Some are more dangerous than others.
“The Wrangler” Type C Maverick Buyer:
This happens when an engineer specifies a part of a product for a design, which is not supplied by an approved or preferred vendor. The purchasing department (begrudgingly) acquires the part for the project because the maverick left them with no option. The purchasing department doesn’t have the buying or negotiating power they would have when sourcing parts through their usual, preferred suppliers, costing the business time and money.
“The Cowboy” Type B Maverick Buyer:
This is when an employee buys a product outside of their purchasing department, circumventing the internal buying channel for the company. Although they are using preferred parts and suppliers, they are not taking advantage of the purchasing department’s skill, expertise and vendor relationships, and costing the company money.
“The Rustler” Type A Maverick Buyer:
This is when an employee goes completely rogue, procuring products both outside of the company purchasing department and using a non-preferred vendor to supply the product. This is the worst-case scenario, an expensive deviation from standard practices.
So, what’s the solution?
With PARTsolutions Standard Part Management software, engineering and purchasing can work together. The software removes barriers and gives both visibility and access to the other’s information. Purchasing can set preferred vendors for engineers to select parts for their designs so they can be properly integrated, they can also set vendors who the designer is not to use. Engineering can see purchasing data about the parts they have to choose from, including price and availability. Neither purchasing nor engineering like it when maverick buying happens, by working together and utilizing the proper tools they can make it a thing of the past.