Sourcing The 12 Days Of Christmas.pngAs any “true love” knows, January 6th is the Twelfth day of Christmas, always a nightmare for the Professional Buyer.



As we work through the Purchase Requisition, already we see that the requestor has tried to combine two different commodities together, when they obviously come from different suppliers. The Partridge and Pear Tree need to be split into two separate lines.



A lotting strategy is needed to focus the spend on a smaller number of suppliers, and this would make sense to combine the avian line items into a single lot : Partridge, French Hens, Calling Birds, Turtle Doves. Combining lines into lots simplifies the purchasing process, and encourages suppliers to compete aggressively. In addition, this gives a rare opportunity to use the first UNSPSC code 10 (“Live animals”)



The request for five Gold Rings is more problematic since the price of gold is likely to fluctuate over the period: so the supplier should consider index-linking their price to the London Metal Exchange spot price. Both the Swans and the Geese should have performance based contracts to hold the supplier accountable if they do  not a-lay, or a-swim up to the expected standard.


It is possible that the Ladies could also be encouraged to be Maids if sufficiently skilled labour could be sourced. It might be worth posting an RFP for Dairy Workers with appropriate Ballroom skills. The good news is that these enterprises are likely to be women-owned, so this will increase our supplier diversity.



A total of 21 Pipers and Drummers fall seems a little excessive. As Purchasing Agents know, often requesters have little idea of the quantities needed when a request is placed. We could suggest that  a smaller number could be sourced initially, and the quantities increase later in the contract. Also, it is likely that the musicians will need to know more details from the requestor, so some form of on-line collaboration would be helpful here.

Twelve Lords-a-Leaping is probably the most challenging line item on this requisition. Lords can only be sourced from the UK, and are therefore subject to EU labour regulations regarding the amount of leaping allowed per week. In addition, with leaping not being covered by our workers comp insurance, a review of the suppliers safety certificate is suggested.


If 2013 has many more Purchase Requisitions like this, then it is probably time to review some of the additional capabilities of Ariba such as Supplier Discovery, Collaborative Sourcing, Performance Management and Services Procurement.