Ace is the place . . . for procurement excellence (Procurement Foundry Special)

Posted on February 3, 2020


I had the opportunity to talk with Ace Hardware’s Senior Manager – Corporate Procurement, Fraz Baig regarding why his company’s procurement practice is so successful.

In the following excerpt from my article in Procurement Foundry, I share some of the interesting insights from Fraz. I would, of course, encourage you to click on the link at the end of this post to read the article in its entirety.   

For most people, there is often a lament with any change that it never comes easily. Whether it is because of comfort with the familiar or fear of the unknown, there is always a natural, almost reflex hesitation to embrace a new idea or way of doing things.

It can be especially challenging for organizations that have been around for a long while. If you have ever read Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, you will almost immediately get the drift of what we are saying.

In talking with Ace Hardware’s Senior Manager – Corporate Procurement, Fraz Baig one is immediately “struck” by the confident energy with which he speaks about the emergence of a new procurement mindset. Specifically, stepping beyond the traditional role in which a “buyers” contribution was “measured” by cost savings and cost avoidance.

Instead, he talks about the need for procurement professionals to become more collaborative with a focus on being in contributing alignment with the executive vision.

There is almost an unsettling excitement listening to Baig speak with such certainty, especially since he works for what many consider to be a venerable retail brand that first came into existence as Ace Stores in 1924. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why Ace’s indirect procurement group – which came into existence 7 to 8 short years ago is quickly becoming the model to emulate in the emerging digital age.

The Right Stuff  

A recent industry survey reports that 83 per cent of organizations have had trouble recruiting suitable candidates in the past 12 months. While several factors contribute to this significant challenge, candidates not having the necessary work experience, or the right skills were two of the top three.

Regarding this article, these reasons are notable because Baig spoke about them – but not in a way that you would expect.

Use the following link to read the rest of this article, and while there, check out the many other interesting articles and resources on the Procurement Foundry site.