A Road Map for Transformation

Readers write to say that the decision whether to outsource procurement requires a deep analysis of current practices compared with best practices; and that few corporate leaders know how to communicate in a way that inspires their staffs.


CFO welcomes your letters. Send them to: The Editor, CFO, 253 Summer St., Boston, MA 02210

E-mail us at ScottLeibs@cfo.com, or contact a specific author by clicking on his or her byline. You can also post a comment directly on CFO.com by clicking on the appropriate link at the end of any article.

Please include your full name, title, company name, address, and telephone number. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and length.

There is a growing awareness among CEOs and CFOs that procurement and supply management can be a sustainable source of significant value creation ("Buy It for Me," Topline, November). Value creation through supply management can manifest itself in numerous ways: revenue support, cost reductions, improved working capital, and improved capital project procurement — all of which combine to create better ROIC, EPS, and cash flow. And, there are other benefits, such as enhanced risk management.

The first step in achieving those benefits is not to hand your daily procurement activities to someone else to do it for you, as tempting as that may appear. Rather, conduct a candid and comprehensive assessment of the "current state" at your company, and compare it with supply-management best practices. That gap analysis leads to an "opportunity assessment" and also provides input to a road map for transformation, one aspect of which would address the degree, and type, of external support that might be worth considering under various scenarios.

Robert A. Rudzki
Greybeard Advisors LLC
Fortune 100 Chief Procurement Officer

Working on a Dream

In your article "The War for Talent Is Still On" (November), I was a bit disappointed that you didn't spend more time on what you brought up in your last paragraph — giving yourself. I have worked both in a public accounting firm and for a multi-billion-dollar construction company, but I have yet to have a manager or supervisor truly inspire me.

I would have loved an open relationship where we could talk about the company and how all of us fit in. I wanted my manager to be the salesperson for his/her job. All I saw was that that person was overworked and stressed and I knew that I didn't want that, so I moved on. It is OK to be stressed, but [you must] also let your staff know why you love your job, the industry, and the company. I still hope that one day I will work with someone who inspires me, but in the meantime I will work on inspiring others and helping them find their path.

Cathy Iconis
Virtual CFO & Consultant


In "Are You 'Strategic'?" (November), Spencer Stuart counted 83 people with CFO experience from a list of current Fortune 500 CEOs, not CFOs, as the article states. In "When CFOs Take the Top Spot," also in November, the reference to Global 500 CEOs should have read Fortune 500 CEOs.


Read next:

Finance At BeyondCore