The disaster of decision-making at multinationals

Pieter Kinds

Pieter Kinds

March 11, 2015 - 16:23

With the globalization of the last 20 years, many multinationals have greatly expanded their global footprint, increased their revenues, acquired other companies and, in general, have grown just a lot bigger. Staffing also has increased in corporate functions and, by and large, the procurement function has become way more important in the corporate world during the last 10 years.

Many managers and directors saw their responsibility reduced drastically but instead gained nice abbreviations on their business cards in return: EMEA, APAC, LATAM, NAM and you name it. Different regions, different managers however regions so large that corporate managers easily get bypassed by the country or local managers. When you add to this stretch a procurement function on different levels and in different regions and you ask for a global solution with your provider you end up with so much frustration with suppliers that eventually ends up in a post that I am writing now.

Disasters and decisions nowadays

Nowadays people have more ambitious targets than ever before, however, have less capacity, ability and responsibility than they used to have. To add to that, it seems that many people in corporate functions have excellent analyst skills and a strong educational background but ever less hands-on experience in dealing with suppliers, people, and outside relationships. Fear of making decisions is easy to be masked by "building the business case", "working on buy-in", "creating the ROI analysis" and doing endless comparisons between providers and having strategic discussions about "what direction we are going to take".

All valid points but nowadays with a changed internal landscape with many regions and people in the organization one should not forget to make decisions and to move forward and not be afraid to steer while going somewhere. Decision-making at large corporates has turned into a complete risk-averse practice. The entrepreneurial spirit when line managers/directors could still decide something on their own without having to consult with their manager and their manager and the procurement manager and his boss seem to be long gone.

ControlPay - Global Processing of Transport Data

Pieter Kinds
Director Business Development ControlPay