Category Archives: Politics

Global political issues relevant to the business community.

United States’ Strategic Sourcing Initiative using e-Governance

USA, the largest economy in the world is facing a fiscal crisis, even now. Ever since 2003, its major economy bearer states like California, there was a major projected budget deficit. The Government took adequate care to approach the problem and to tackle the imminent crisis, but even though the black ages are gone, the repercussions from the shock still exists. The goverment launched many programs, one of which is the majorly popular California Strategic Sourcing Initiative, to control spending and stimulate the revamp of the economy. These focused primarily on the way the state purchased goods and services.

These programs aimed to identify saving opportunities. The focus to do so was through strategic sourcing. This was achieved by establishing new contracts or renegotiating existing ones. A team consisting of key professional procurement staff was created to achieve this goal, and not only at a short term goal, but to look towards achieving this as a sustainable long term process. Rather than a one time program, these initiatives were designed as an ongoing program to save money in the long term and position the United States to com out of the economic slump.

e-Governance played a crucial role in the revamp of the economies. Information Technology was widely used to issue electronic RFPs and conduct reverse auctions. The usage of these technologies also helped to streamline processes and speeded up the savings potential. Consulting firms like A.T. Kearney helped in the processes by developing cross-agency and departmental training programs, in which the procurement staff members were taught new skills in the area of spend analysis, e-sourcing, reverse auctions and e-negotiations. This training, which took place in classrooms and on hands, ensured that the team was well positioned for the change. Change management was the crucial success factor in this initiative.

In the coming few years, these strategic sourcing initiatives are expected to create savings in the tune of billions of dollars. The first wave of the program is already completed, and thus the spend categories have been identified, addressed and initial savings have been achieved which helped to forecast future savings. This e-governance strategic sourcing initiative has demonstrated how economies can be revamped using e-governance and information technology.

Corruption is Business:Part 2

This is a sequel to the article with the same name and is meant to provide some of the possible counter-arguments to the arguments provided in the previous article. Thus this article is meant to prove why the practices like black-marketing of movie tickets and forced donations demanded by some schools are corrupt practices.

The solution to the first issue is about authorization. When a company is selling packaged food to customers at a higher price than what food of that sort would cost the customer, it is providing a service to a section of the market that are pressed for time. While the ticket-blacker does the same, he does so without the authorization of the people who are providing that piece of paper with its value. While even the Railways have such service for people who book tickets late, the benefit is going to the Railways, but the ticket-blacker does not share his profit with the movie theatre or the producers of the movie. Neither does he have a contractual permission to sell the tickets to the customers at a higher price than what the movie theatre has decided.

Coming to the second case, a high-profile school would generally have a higher fee as compared to other ordinary schools, but if they are demanding a donation on top of that it is like the waiter at a posh restaurant asking for a huge tip even before the customer has been served. Whether the exact value of tuition or other fees charged by the school is appropriate or not is a different issue, but if the school demands a donation for providing the candidate with the opportunity of getting a better education, then they must remember that they have not provided a service yet. A waiter can’t ask for a tip without providing some service first. Similarly a school can’t ask, leave alone demand, for a donation without providing the satisfactory service to the student for which he wants to go there.

These are but some of the possible arguments and I will be glad if the readers can provide even other arguments to validate these points.