Your procurement organisation: the analogy of the citrus orchard

We all love a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice at our breakfast. Starting the day with such luster helps you to make your day meaningful. We also want this in our business. But achieving this is hard work; every day and every week of the year.

I am a happy owner of a citrus orchard and experience this. This requires walking through the orchard almost daily. Reviewing the shape of the trees. Cleaning the young shoots that keep growing continuously at the trunk of the tree and that will never bear fruits. Cutting the branches that just take away light and air from the branches that will carry a lot of fruit. Removing the old fruits at the end of the season that were missed out during the crop. Make sure the trees get sufficient water. And fertilizer from time to time. You get the picture?

This is what you need to do with your procurement organisation too. Review the shape and staffing of your organisation weekly or monthly (yes, not once a year at budget time). Take out those employees who do not contribute directly to your results. Take out too low level roles. Reshape the structure and hierarchy in line with the current business goals and priorities. Take out middle managers with ego. Take out those employees of whom you do not remember their contribution over last year. Make your selected people grow.

This sounds a bit harsh and …. yes it is: to actually do it! But this is what your company pays you for. And only by doing so your procurement team can deliver results nobody imagined before and exceeding all expectations.


Hanne Goebel

Senior Consultant / +31 6 10 90 86 88