A global strategy which works seamlessly in a local environment

In every business, there are challenges, aspirations, realities and ideals. Industry buzzwords come and go, destinations change and accepted wisdom shifts with the passage of technology and time. In procurement, the current golden ticket is the idea of creating ‘glocalisation’ or in other words a global strategy which works seamlessly in a local environment.

The difficulty in achieving this is that the two objectives simply don’t fit together naturally. On one hand you have an organisation’s top-level buying strategy with all of its quality assurance, pricing agreements, technical specifications and procurement structure. This is agreed by Head Office but needs to be implemented all over the world in local geographies where supply might be limited, regulations may differ and quality is questionable. The buyers in each region want to act within the rules, but feel restricted, under pressure and isolated by the apparent lack of local understanding from the ‘powers that be’.

The misalignment of goals and intentions starts with the initial capital expenditure of equipment and supplies. But it causes even more complications and quality assurance issues as it moves into maintenance and repair operations.

Make the right process better than the rogue one!

The trick is to make it easier to stick to the global strategy than to veer too far from it. Glocalisation sounds like a great idea and is a perfect merger of the two words, rolling easily off the tongue and summing up the ideal. But it is nothing more than an empty catchphrase unless it can be executed correctly. Too many individual agendas and complicated engagements get in the way of the very best of intentions.

At a global level, it is important to pick good partners and suppliers and make the right decisions for the business. This can only be done well, however, with a clear view of the bigger picture. To truly glocalise these decisions you need a sophisticated management tool and processes that can translate the strategy into each local area. This will allow for two-way communication, empowering local buyers within the global rules and (perhaps most importantly) compliance with quality objectives.

It is about engagement over mandate

In any international organisation, there is the danger that a ‘them and us’ culture will develop, especially if local entities begin to feel isolated or misunderstood. Creating an environment of equality, clear communication and simplified procurement processes that meet global dictate within a local market is the ideal scenario.

True glocal management is no longer a myth. It is possible to make it easier to choose the right way over the rogue way. Who wouldn’t choose that option if it were always available? Cutting corners and looking for cheaper alternatives locally is a false economy and a sure fire way to blow a hole in quality assurance, opening up the possibility of serious global consequences. With today’s super fast multimedia bad news can spread in a moment and a local mistake can become a global headline in an instant.

Technology is the best enabler in today’s ever changing and perpetually challenging global procurement markets. ProProcure’s Geneus solution can be (and in many real-life scenarios, already is) the catalyst for turning the myth of glocalisation into a fully manageable strategy.


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