After some time spent as a professional retail buyer in different organizations, I became aware of the universal and seemingly never-ending conflict between buying and sales/marketing (operations).

In simple words the whole conflict is reduced to “purchasing did not get us the right product/ right prices” while buyers blame “operations are not capable of selling our wonderful products”.

There are many reasons why this conflict is always bubbling over. It has to do with organizational culture, with the strong ego of company leaders, with the lack clear management accountability, etc.

The one key-word, actually the one key-action everyone forgets about is cooperation.

David Aaker wrote a great book about this organizational internal conflicts and he explains how this so-called “organizational silos” becomes obstacles to effective and efficient development of a strong brand and company.

Aaker uses a silo as a metaphor for “organizational units that contain their own management team and talent and lack the motivation or desire to work with or even communicate with other organizational units.” Organizations must find out how to remove the problems caused by silos without losing the benefits they can provide.

In his book called “Spanning Silos: The New CMO Imperative”, Aaker provides a road map that gets different parts of an organization to collaborate together. His book is full with real life examples, besides the academic and theoretical information.

I consider the below video presentation about his theory to be of great value for any retail professional. I also recommend his book, one of the best I ever read on the topic.