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In a world where customization has become commonplace, can companies still standardize their purchasing practices? The increasingly complicated and globalized nature of supply base suggests that standardization may not be so easy to implement. This article delineates how a European-based multinational corporation (MNC) implemented a common supplier segmentation initiative and established improved control over the purchasing operations of its globally dispersed divisions. The article identifies four contextual factors that contributed to the lack of synergy and describes how a “one-size-fits-all” supplier segmentation model helped the MNC to standardize its procurement efforts.

Photo: Getty Images/Anucha Sirivisansuwan

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