Response to yesterday’s post from Hackett Group’s Senior Research Director noteworthy by Jon Hansen

Posted on May 16, 2014


Thanks for referencing our 2014 key issues research in your latest blog post. You make an interesting point but unfortunately we do not ask for the respondent’s age in our survey . . . Given that over 50% are VP and above, I don’t think we can draw a direct line yet to the shift in focus being generational… versus evolutionary. Happy to discuss more and certainly something worth exploring in future research. – Patrick Connaughton | Senior Research Director | The Hackett Group 

Two of the great lessons I have learned in life is that 1. the more I know, the more I realize I still need to know and, 2. always try to view information from many different perspectives even if doing so is out of the norm or raises eyebrows.  These to me are the true foundations for gaining knowledge and important insight.

Shortly after my post regarding the Hackett Group’s most recent study was published, I received an e-mail from their Senior Research Director Patrick Connaughton.  Beyond the speed of their response, Hackett’s willingness to not only consider expanding their research to include what I consider to be a key metric but to also provide additional information, demonstrates that they also have a similar view with regard to both obtaining and sharing knowledge.  This to me speaks volumes, and adds a level of creditability to their research that quite frankly I find lacking in the majority of reports from other analyst firms (refer to my January 7th, 2011 post Madison Avenue ooops . . . make that Gartner, names Oracle as a leader in supply chain planning).

This doesn’t mean that I will always agree with Hackett’s or for that matter any analyst firms’ findings i.e. supplier consolidation.  However, and even in disagreement – which I believe is essential to providing true insight on a particular topic, I can at least with Hackett respect the intent of their process if not accepting the outcome.

By the way, here is the additional data regarding those involved in the study’s research:

  1. C-level – 24%
  2. VP – 28%
  3. Director – 33%
  4. Manager – 11%
  5. Other – 4%

While we do need more information, I am at this stage inclined to agree with Patrick’s position that given the level of the procurement professional within the organization who took the survey, the generational impact is not a dominant factor.  On a side note, t Kelly Barner and I are co-authoring a book The Future of Procurement (#FutureBuy) which provides a view of where the industry is headed from both a female and male perspective, I wonder if gender also plays a role here?  Take it away Kelly . . .



Posted in: Commentary