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  • Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

    Hopefully that sets the stage for just how challenging it can be to put an effective category management program in place. Of course, it just easily proves that you can do anything you set your mind to – and more importantly – that you plan and train for. One of the comments offered almost as an aside in the webinar is the notion that Denali has made significant investments in their category management capabilities and training offerings because it is one of the questions they frequently field from CPOs. If I were still a practitioner, that fact would be enough to make me sit up and take notice. I would also fight to be part of any program to roll-out category management, whether purely internal or involving third party support. The main bridge between category management as a theory and category management in practice seems to be having a plan. Since it is often not a well defined concept, organizations have difficulty getting their category management efforts off the ground. Acco ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 02 October 2015
  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/28–10/2: Unique Perspectives on Familiar Topics

      What Your P2P Vital Signs Are Telling You (Hackett Group, Zycus) September 29, 2pm EDT In this event, Hackett Group and Zycus have taken a cool concept – the biometrics information we gain access to through wearable technology such as the iWatch – and applied it to procurement’s performance metrics. The best take away is that while we likely compare our performance on KPIs against market leaders and overall best practices, the most important improvement to show is over the baseline. Calculating a solid baseline can be just as hard as generating the results themselves, as we often see in sourcing projects. This webinar will provide an in-depth look at an exhaustive list of 50+ metrics and ways to excel against them.   Margin, Risk, and Prices, Oh My! Price Optimization: How Best-in-Class Sales Organizations Win (Aberdeen) October 1, 1pm EDT I have a soft spot (and a strong curiosity) for sales events, and the combination of margin and optimization makes this an easy ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 28 September 2015
  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: P is for Procurement... except when it isn't

    It used to be that every company had buyers; they were the people managing contracts and placing supply orders. Then strategic sourcing was introduced and dedicated buyers suddenly became a thing of the past, especially as eProcurement systems allowed supplies to be ordered by approved users through online catalogs. Being able to provide people in the organization with a convenient way to buy the right items from approved suppliers at contracted prices was a huge improvement. It also reinforced the notion that procurement could be managed more effectively through technology. If more is more, then getting the entire procurement process into a closed loop must be the ideal. This led to a desire for solutions that could handle full end-to-end integration. This vision connected spend analysis to sourcing to contracts to eProcurement through to Accounts Payable and back to spend analysis again. Now that P2P systems—meaning either purchase to pay or procure to pay—are more common, organi ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 24 September 2015
  • Would Sales Describe Your Procurement Approach as ‘Peter Price’ or ‘Valerie Value’?

    There are a couple of Epstein’s points that are worthy of further consideration. One is the temptation many sales people feel to go around the rules set out by procurement on behalf of the organization. A standard part of any sourcing process is to make clear that going around procurement in any capacity once the process begins is grounds for elimination. Epstein makes the valid point that if you know your value proposition is not being heard because your procurement representative is a Peter Price – in other words a tactical buyer – what do you have to lose? You aren’t going to get selected by going through the front door, so you might as well venture a pass at the back. More important, and harder to address, is the case of the value that has not yet been identified or earmarked for sourcing by procurement. As the interviewer asked, and as Epstein logically pointed out, if the organization has not yet defined a need, they won’t have assigned procurement to the spend (because it doe ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 22 September 2015
  • Three Unexpected Topics That Should Make You Think of Contract Management

      Data breaches Sure, we all know that data breaches and related security issues are a growing concern for corporations and that they can lead to severe brand or reputational damage - not to mention revenue loss and operational downtime. But Wodetzki also made the point that they are a contract management issue as well. In the face of such a breach, relevant contracts need to be looked at for the coverage or protection they should have provided or what concessions are now due to customers as a result of the breach. Commercial models When a company’s commercial model changes (think compensation triggers and revenue recognition standards) the contracts put in place to carry them out should change as well. Although this may seem blatantly obvious, it could be a significant source of disconnect between the executive team and investments in a contract management program. If they don’t see the connection between contract management and the revenue model, it will be a hard sell to ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 18 September 2015
  • Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

    Far from this 3rd being a simple re-run of the same old information, O’Brien has added some significant sections to the book that make it relevant for a larger audience. A considerable new section is dedicated to governance via the 5 P’s of people, proficiency, promote, payoff, and programme. Part of how the governance model plays out organizationally is through a steering committee that reports to the C-suite and facilitates all category management projects in the organization. O’Brien also specifically addresses category management for small and medium sized enterprises, making the point that while they may not be able to achieve the same level of leverage and scalability through category management that larger companies can, there is still significant opportunity for improvement. Like anything O’Brien has published, the case studies and visuals are key. Of particular value are the detailed competency charts for those in category management positions. In addition to the new are ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 05 August 2015
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Welcome to Buyers Meeting Point

Buyers Meeting Point was founded in 2008 with the goal of helping procurement and purchasing professionals find the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. We centralized blogs, white papers, and solution provider listings. As our collection of information grew, we realized that we would need to provide advice about which information was best – and our role as a filter of procurement thought leadership began to take shape.

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