This section is a fascinating topic close to my interests in supply management organizational structures. Should you have centralized or decentralized purchasing ? and this brought me back to some earlier research I had done on P-Cards which is a decentralized approach for low-value items. Many things go into deciding how do you organize the supply management function. Some of these considerations (like Geography) has become sort of less important with the Internet and cheap telephones.However the category of goods like leverage items (like raw materials with high volume and several suppliers) need you to have a centralized approach. This way you are able to prepare bid documents and negotiate better. On the other hand bottleneck items might do better if you had a centralized contract and just allowed P-Card purchases even by direct users.
Some of the more interesting points in this section is the possibility of organizing around product/brand. GE does that so that each business is responsible for direct materials needed for the product/brand. And this opens up the question of reporting that is functional,project or matrix.
A good way to prepare for this section is to recall the kind of supply management structures you have experienced and then try to recall the different types structures other supply management colleagues have. Next try to think through (carefully !) the strategy reason/s for having a particular structure or changing that structure.