This term comes from the field of purchasing management, or more precisely, from strategic purchasing. As such, Maverick Buying describes unwelcome behavior in the field of corporate purchasing management. In brief: It concerns the description of the phenomenon in purchasing in which services and materials are obviously purchased outside purchasing and procurement processes that are intended for this purpose.
Maverick Buying – the origin of the term
If translated and related to a person, the word Maverick can be described as follows: A Maverick describes a person who thinks and acts independently and often behaves differently than expected or in a way that is considered normal: autonomously, as a renegade, solitary. The term Maverick originates from the cattle breeder Samuel Maverick, who, among his other claims to fame, was known for not branding his cattle, as the legend goes.
In terms of the purchasing process, Maverick Buying could therefore be referred to as “uncontrolled purchasing”.
Problems and consequences of Maverick Buying
The resulting consequences are straightforward to describe: A lack of transparency surrounding the purchases made and associated, but hidden burdens for the company.
- Purchases are often made at poorer conditions and not at the contractually agreed ones
- Problems then arise during the subsequent procurement process: with the receipt of the goods, the receipt of the invoices and the accounting. As the purchasing takes place outside the procurement process, nothing is logged for the other departments.
- The benefits of framework agreements are not used, e.g. existing price advantages, as Maverick Buying undermines the process
- There is no price comparison outside the purchasing process which would otherwise be available within the process
Maverick Buying therefore poses considerable problems for all the business units involved in procurement: The lack of transparency results in distorted monitoring and, as a result, planning uncertainty. In other words: Nobody knows what was purchased for which price and where it was delivered to. After all: Only the “uncontrolled purchaser” knows that.
Avoiding Maverick Buying – possible solutions
For the reasons referred above, uncontrolled purchasing should be prevented at all costs. To this end, binding processes must be introduced for all employees. What is the easiest way to do this?
Establish digital procurement processes
An initial step towards binding processes is achieved with the use of a software solution that covers all the sub-processes in the procurement process. If the employees are encouraged to send purchase requisitions and orders via an e-procurement solution only, the scope for Maverick Buying is therefore significantly reduced.
Define individual procurements as exceptional cases
It goes without saying that in certain situations there will be a need to place an order outside the digital procurement process. However, these exceptional cases should be integrated in the procurement process, i.e. process rules should be defined that determine what has to be done in such cases. In this way, you are able to minimize the impact of Maverick Buying.