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Bob Price, director of global sourcing, expected to uncover some savings opportunities when he invited a group of 50 key suppliers to walk one of his Kimball International plants during the company's first-ever supplier conference. But he didn't predict $1.2m in savings from a one-day plant tour.
"The unexpected synergies came about because we had different suppliers watching each others' products in action and they could collaborate and feed off each other's ideas right there on the plant floor," he recalls of the walk-through that changed his perspective. "Unlike a typical event where you meet with suppliers one at a time, in this model you've got your whole supply chain represented in front of you, which brings a much more comprehensive view. We didn't plan that, but it was definitely a plus we recognized early on."
It's just one of the ideas that Price has implemented since joining the Office Furniture Group of Jasper, Ind.-based Kimball International two years ago with the goal of transforming the procurement organization from a tactical group to a centralized strategic organization.
Source: Purchasing, http://www.purchasing.com
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