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Donald Trump vs Enabling Procurement : the 100-day match-up


Donald Trump vs Enabling Procurement : the 100-day match-up

On 20th January Donald started a new job. On the same day Enabling Procurement also started a new job: the transformation of a procurement function in a company in the retail industry. How do they compare?

First I need to declare to the reader that that the reason I choose to call him Donald is that I personally believe that the man has more in common with the cartoon duck than he has with his predecessor. Having said that, we both face situations that require bringing together different communities and quickly showing how we can add value. In the case of EP, our client was a retail and industrial group trying to bring together 40 different business units – they asked us to establish the procurement department.


Donald has been elected to drive a powerful country toward protectionism. On the contrary, we were tasked with creating a new “country” (department)- and reaching out to others by creating solid value. Enabling Procurement was “elected” because we could manage the overall transformation required but at the same time provide real on the ground support.

Executive orders

Yes, from day one we used “executive orders” to immediately implement our pledges, but instead of dividing to conquer, our purpose was to find and highlight common ground. Within 10 days we started 6 sourcing projects where the need to work together was obvious to most.

The team and the way of working

We had no interest in spending as much time as possible in a private club and didn’t select our team based on their compliance rather than their competence. Instead, we blended with the new client team and worked hand in hand with them to achieve our common goal.


We understand all the issues around changing the law, but instead of working against the other departments we worked with them to create a bilateral engagement. By day 60 we had a procurement policy signed by all the business units, as well as a recognized Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to follow all the procurement projects, including spend cube creation.

Wall building
We have not been tested on this one as our program did not include building barriers but since we had done in excess of 22 eRFPs in the first 100 days (Enabling Procurement does not allow its consultants to send any RFQ/RFP via email) we could have found all the contractors necessary to build a wall by now, and certainly on a lower budget.


Again, we did not try that one, rather the opposite. MDs and FDs called us in to come and help their team on new projects, nobody was trying to show off or impress the others, instead we simply all tapped into the solid ground we set up for procurement transformation using our strong 6-step process. We listened to what was needed and over-delivered on our promises.


I fear that Donald will also claim that he achieved all his goals, so to avoid boasting I will just state some facts: Target saving for the year was 5% saving (Ebitda measured by Finance not procurement). After 100 days we had 20% of the savings delivered, implemented and validated by finance, with another 18% in validation mode, and a pipeline to deliver 120% in total. But we also had a policy and processes in place and adopted by the BUs, a platform allowing us and them to follow each project, the savings relating to these projects, a contracts database and a clean data cube plus an eRFP suite on which all the buyers were fully trained.


Yes our task was minor in comparison to that taken on by the new POTUS, but from a green field, we have managed to create a procurement department now recognized as professional, equipped with modern tools and delivering, while focusing on the overall business value (not its own).

We, at EP, are not the biggest fans of Donald but we have to have some respect for a man prepared to take on the biggest job on the planet. Could we do half the job he is doing? Of course not, but Donald when you read this (we’ll probably need to tweet it to you line by line) I hope you will see the power of collaboration and togetherness when aiming to meet and exceed your targets.