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Today's procurement function can be so much more than just the buying arm of the enterprise, focused only on getting the lowest cost. By emphasizing purchasing efforts in product categories that are critical to the business, the procurement and sourcing organization can build and manage supplier relationships that deliver results for the enterprise.
In the APQC study Supplier Category Management: Driving Value Through the Procurement Organization, one finding was that procurement functions in best-practice organizations become involved early in the product development process. By offering unique perspectives before product development choices have been solidified, procurement functions can lead organizations to choices that carry long-term benefits.
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