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126: Why Global Buying Strategies Are Often Doomed to Fail & What You Can Do About It, w/ Brian Bancroft

Brian Bancroft, the Vice President of Direct Procurement at The Coca-Cola Company joins me today as my guest on the Art of Procurement.

The diversity of our conversation today matches the depth and breadth of Brian’s career. Brian has enjoyed multiple VP of Procurement and CPO roles at companies such as Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola covering both Direct and Indirect spend, while also having P&L and operational responsibility for other business segments.

Listen in to hear Brian’s perspective on a wide range of topics, from how to be successful moving between Indirect and Direct procurement, why global sourcing strategies are often setting buyers up for failure, and how working with procurement as a stakeholder shaped Brian’s approach as a CPO.

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“We need to separate global procurement from global sourcing. It is very easy to set up a global procurement organisation, but more difficult when you talk about actually buying globally. I don’t know of any company that operates under a single P&L, it might roll up that way, but they don’t operate that way. And once you have separate P&L’s you have separate decision-makers, separate goals, separate objectives, separate markets. In requiring global suppliers we have set a lot of people up for failure.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why Brian focuses on helping The Coca-Cola Company achieve top line growth, and how he works with business stakeholders to determine which projects will have maximum impact on the end customer.
  • Brian’s perception of procurement while he was a client of procurement services, and how that impacted his approach to delivering procurement services.
  • Differences between working in Indirect and Direct procurement, and how procurement professionals can be successful making the leap between the two.
  • Brian’s approach to balancing the need to help the business achieve its objectives and the need for cost savings – when those two may be in conflict of each other.
  • Why requiring global buying strategies is often counterproductive and can set up category and sourcing teams for failure.
  • What kind of categories lend themselves to global or local strategies?
  • Brian’s advice to procurement professionals who want to continue to develop and build their procurement career.
  • What Brian looks for in procurement professionals as he identifies those who have the ability to step up and stand out from the crowd.

Links and Resources:

About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.