David Holland- Why Procurement is a Nightmare


Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed David Holland .

About the interviewee

David Holland is the President and Chief Executive Officer at DataSource (DSI). Holland joined DSI in 2007, and oversees its strategic development, growth and all business operations. Holland managed DSI’s sale to Inverness Graham Investments in 2012, providing a strong platform for continued growth and corporate development. He is now driving DSI’s transformation from a broad-based supply chain leader to a marketing and brand-focused partner to the world’s most admired retail companies, enabling them to integrate national and local branding, CRM and training initiatives.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).  

The firm, headquartered in Kansas City, MO but with offices in St. Louis, MO and the Greater Dallas area, currently employs 137 professionals.

What type and size of companies do you have as clients?

DataSource works with franchisee or corporate owned businesses spanning restaurant, retail, healthcare, and financial industries. Examples of clients include Blue Rhino, Applebees, IHOP, P.F. Chang’s, Radisson, and many other household name brands. Many of the clients DataSource works with have hundreds, and even thousands of locations, each requiring effective, and localized branded content. DataSource’s services assist companies in developing and delivering multi-channel branded campaigns to these local markets, streamlining the marketing process and providing expert support at both the macro and micro levels.

Tell us what the procurement process means to your business?

Efforts to use less people, less time and lower the overall impact to the bottom line have caused companies to examine their procurement and distribution processes. Many companies now report procurement functions directly to a company president, CFO or board of directors. This is happening because procurement and distribution tasks are a major area where a company can create cost savings and efficiencies.

What are the challenges of procurement for most businesses?


With an increased exposure of procurement and distribution tasks, companies are discovering these tasks are spread across several individuals in their organization, each responsible for supplier selecting, budgeting, executing orders, invoice approval, directing distribution and managing supplier relationships for their individual departments. This procurement model is called “Silo Buying,” meaning, each department in the organization is lacking knowledge and awareness of what other departments are doing.

Each of these departments has their own vendors, ordering methods, pricing agreements, distribution and invoicing processes. Allowing each separate department to specify and purchase their own product does not let the organization take full advantage of efficiencies in the print market. While the function and messaging of these departments are different, their print production needs are often very similar. Purchasers in each department may also send work to friends, family and suppliers with whom they may have maintained long-time personal relationships. Often, these transactions are given to an incumbent because it is easy to do so and takes the purchase task off of an employee’s desk quickly.

Gaining knowledge and understanding of what each department needs to procure and distribute allows for centralization of all procurement and distribution tasks yielding opportunities for cost savings. Successful organizations eliminate Silo Buying by partnering with a Supply Chain Management company to centralize these procurement and distribution tasks.

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