The Festive Shopping Experience


The Festive Shopping Experience and Procurement Organisations

By Mark Hubbard |

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The mad scramble for last-minute gifts, fingers crossed that the perfect present is still in stock and can be delivered just in the nick of time, the very real danger of supply chain overload, and the challenge of budget management are experiences shared by shoppers worldwide.

Interestingly, this frantic activity is not just limited to personal gift shopping. It’s remarkably similar in many procurement organisations, as stakeholders rush to utilise their year-end budgets.

The Unwanted Gift

We’ve all been there – buying something that seemed like a great idea but turns out to be about as useful as a chocolate teapot. You either stash it away, hoping to pass it off as a treat for yourself later, repurpose it, or, if you’re lucky, send it back. It’s one thing when it’s an unappealing ornament, quite another when it’s a costly report from some big-name consultancy.

The Gift That Brings Buyer’s Remorse

You’ve done it – snagged the most sought-after gift, only to realise later that it wasn’t really needed, or wasn’t what you thought. A bit of a bummer if it’s a questionable jumper, far more concerning if it’s an entire software system.

I Got You This Instead

Ever had to opt for Plan B because what they really wanted wasn’t available? The disappointment is palpable, whether it’s seen in a child’s eyes or reflected in the reaction of a CEO.

You Bought It and They Want to Exchange It

There’s always the risk of getting the colour or size wrong. It’s too good to just throw away, leaving you with the awkward decision of whether to offer the receipt for a return. Tough when it’s a pair of shoes, but a real headache if it’s something major like a treatment works.

The Parking Fine

Ever popped to a Christmas market, parked somewhere in a hurry so not quite right, only to find a parking ticket waiting for you? This parallels the disappointment in corporate life when a favour backfires, hindering your deliverables and objectives.

Perspective and Relaxation

This happens every year: we know it and yet, we still dive into the festive frenzy. It’s part of being human and just one of those things in life. Let’s not forget to take a step back and gain some perspective on this end-of-year rush. Things will quieten down in January, and we’ll return to our usual routines.

As the year winds down, remember to relax and take time to be happy.

Wishing you a fantastic festive season from everyone at Future Purchasing!

Further reading

Blog post: Improving supply chain resilience by rebalancing business requirements

About Mark Hubbard


30+ years experience in procurement and supplier management, in line and consulting roles
Previous employment: Positive Purchasing Ltd, SITA,
QP Group, BMW, SWWS, Rover
Education: BSc in Engineering Metallurgy, MBA University of Plymouth
CIPS: Current Member