Tools to Assist You in Gathering Data and Expediting the Sourcing Process

IN CHAPTER 10, we discussed the importance of gathering market intelligence and how it can be used to leverage better pricing and better results for your organization. Fortunately for supply chain and procurement managers, a variety of tools are available to assist in gathering data as well as expediting the actual sourcing process. In this chapter we discuss, at a high level, some of the most important tools of which you should be aware.


One obvious but often overlooked method of staying informed is to subscribe to the biggest publications that relate to your industry, as well as any publications in the procurement or supply chain space. The good news is that most publications are free, and can be delivered either in electronic or hard copy format.

By reading case studies in these publications, you can learn from others’ successes and failures and perhaps even incorporate the ideas and strategies that have worked for other organizations into your sourcing process. Analysts, researchers, and practitioners also contribute to publications and may talk about specific information that relates to a product or service you are buying, such as cost of oil, prices of plastics, or the capacities of shipping companies. One of the most important things that industry publications provide is an ongoing update on the market and the direction in which trends are moving. ...

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