Skills or Competencies—Which Are Your Priority?

By Robert A. Rudzki, SCMR Contributing Blogger
August 13, 2010 - SCMR Editorial

Today’s guest blogger is my colleague, James Baehr, who in addition to his broad experience with Strategic Sourcing, heads up the IT Strategic Sourcing practice at Greybeard Advisors LLC. Jim has had management roles in IT sales, IT operations, and IT procurement at major firms, before joining Greybeard. Jim can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


For a Supply Chain group to be successful it needs to be staffed with skilled professionals.  However, what skills are needed?  How are skills defined?  Do a web search and you will find numerous definitions and long lists of what are considered skills. There is no consistency.  Skills can range from “basic” - the ability to type in orders or do simple math to “advanced” - being able look at production planning and make associated forecasts. 

Almost a decade ago Larry C. Guinipero and Dawn H. Pearcy prepared a paper titled World-Class Purchasing Skills: An Empirical Study.  In their work they collected information from numerous sources to identify the skills of a “world class Purchasing professional”.  The paper calls to attention just how much research had been done to that point in time without reaching a consensus on the exact skills needed. The discussion is even more complex when differentiating between tactical and strategic skills (which, unfortunately is important only if your Procurement organization has committed to being truly strategic).

Individuals come to their assignments with skills but if they don’t convert their skills into competencies, they won’t be successful.  Competencies are acquired through training, practice and experience.  Competencies are the difference maker.  Why?  Because, competencies represent understanding which, in turn, converts to predictable and measurable performance. 

Being tactical or conventional implies reacting to conditions and requires basic skills.  A competent Procurement professional anticipates and understands the needs of a Stakeholder and uses his or her experience to strategically address these needs.  Successful organizations understand the difference.

 



About the Author

image
Robert A. Rudzki
SCMR Contributing Blogger
Robert A. Rudzki is a former Fortune 500 Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer, who is now President of Greybeard Advisors LLC, a leading provider of advisory services for procurement transformation, strategic sourcing, and supply chain management. Bob is also the author of several leading business books including the supply management best-seller "Straight to the Bottom Line®", its highly-endorsed sequel "Next Level Supply Management Excellence," and the leadership book "Beat the Odds: Avoid Corporate Death & Build a Resilient Enterprise." You can reach him through his firm's website: http://www.GreybeardAdvisors.com

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

83% of surveyed manufacturers either already have IoT implementations in place or plans to deploy within a year.

While the Port of Oakland agrees that Saturday gate operations might ease congestion, they have a few "concerns" of their own

The four international marine container terminals at the Port of Oakland have announced they are developing a program to operate their terminal gates on Saturdays to reduce weekday congestion at the port.

Private fleet managers are facing a remarkable set of challenges in today's demanding business environment. The "from any place at any time" omni-channel fulfillment mindset is just one significant development that companies have had to adapt to in their quest to keep customers and business partners happy.

This is the first guaranteed weekly service direct to the U.S. from Singapore as part of the company’s initiative to enhance its LCL offerings serving Trans-pacific needs.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.