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Book Review: Common Sense Purchasing – New Edition


“The traditional procurement environment dies hard. My advice is to change everything. Job title, roles, nomenclature, even work area change helps. If you are dedicated to cross functional teams a true purchasing professional will be out of the purchasing area most of the time. Do not let purchasing folks regress to old habits. It takes a person at least thirty days to gain a new habit. Get everyone completely out of their comfort zone and starting to do the tough work of relationship building.”

 - Dr Tom DePaoli, Broken Windows Management in Business


Dr. Tom DePaoli has written a series of no-nonsense business books, and I’ve read or reviewed nearly all of them. Starting with Common Sense Purchasing: Hard Knock Lessons Learned from a Purchasing Pro. I reviewed that in 2011, and the post now has over 120K hits – demonstrating the continued need for common-sense advice in procurement. Dr. Tom recently released a new edition of the book, greatly expanding it from 80 pages to over 200. What he didn’t do was add anything that isn’t common sense in order to lengthen the book.

With the longer length comes an equally common-sense new chapter structure, sorting the stories, philosophies, and pieces of advice into topics like Change Management, Compensation and Process Improvement, and Strategy and Tactics. At the back of the book is an alphabetical listing of articles so you can browse and get right to the information you need.

Like some of Dr. Tom’s other books, the new edition of Common Sense Purchasing is less of a front-to-back read and more of a reference book. You can jump to the article or topic you need and then quickly get back to work.

A few of my favorites include:

  • Keep Routine Buys Simple – Do not Add Bureaucracy
  • Selling Procurement to Your Organization and Top Executives
  • A New Way to Look at Paying Procurement

One of the things I appreciate about the expanded new edition is that it brings in some of Dr. Tom’s perspectives on supply chain. Procurement and supply chain need to work collaboratively now more than ever if both groups are going to be successful. The book also includes a heavy dose of his Six Sigma knowledge and expertise.

If you are looking for some common-sense advice on the issues and situations regularly faced by procurement, look no further than the new edition of Common Sense Purchasing.

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