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The Point

"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Recommended Procurement Webinars December 3-7: Intelligence, AI, Big Data, Diversity, and Supply Chain Finance

I can’t even believe it is December already. And if you thought your personal schedule was out of control, you should look at this weeks’ calendar!! The November ISM-New York Report on Business will be released on Tuesday, December 4th at 9:45am ET and Public Spend Forum is hosting a Happy Hour in Arlington, VA that same evening. If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Understand the Risk Big Picture — It Doesn't Stop at Supplier Risk’ from riskmethods’ Bill DiMartino and Peter Smith on December 13th at 9am ET).

Right now it still looks like December 10-14 will be the last week of webinar recommendations for this year. I’ll know for sure next week, but I’ll absolutely start them again on January 7th.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars Nov 26-30: Instant Impact S2P and The Issue of Trust

This week, Procurement Leaders’ Data, Intelligence, and Technology Forum is taking place in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Achieving Agility in Procurement Operations: Beam’s Transformation Journey’ from ISM, Scout RFP, and Beam Suntory on December 11th.

A quick note as the end of the year approaches: I’m watching the event listings for December, and as of right now it looks like December 10-14 will be the last week of the year. If the week after fills in, I’m game, but if it doesn’t, I’ll stop my event recommendations posts on December 17th and pick up again on January 7th.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Plenty to be Thankful For

We’re counting down the hours until turkeys hit tables across America, but there is no reason to postpone giving thanks until the gravy is at hand.

I’m keenly aware - on a daily basis – just how lucky I am to have a career in procurement at all, thanks to (a.) almost being laid off and getting re-assigned to “Not-for-Resale” and (b.) the magic of modern connectivity. I travel the world from my kitchen table all year long and I ‘meet’ the most amazing people along the way. I am thankful for this whole, crazy experience and everything it has taught me.

In 2019, I'll hit the 10-year milestone at Buyers Meeting Point. I had absolutely no idea I would ever reach this point.

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Recommended Webinars Nov 12-16: Digital Risk Management, Digital Procurement Transformation, and Linking to Business Value

This week, ProcureCon Marketing is taking place in San Diego, CA Monday through Wednesday. You may also notice that this week gets off to a slow start, as many companies observe Veterans’ Day on Monday. If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Improving Supplier Diversity Outcomes: How innovative tech can uncover the diversity spend you already have’ from tealbook on December 5th.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars Nov 5-9: Building a Great Workforce in a Tight Talent Market and Getting Ready for 2019

This week, Procurement Leaders’ Asia Pacific Congress is taking place in Singapore on Thursday and Friday. If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Why Procurement Needs Digital Risk Management—and How to Get Started” on November 14th from ISM, The Hackett Group, and riskmethods.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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The October ISM-New York Report on Business: Hotter Jobs Under Cooler Conditions

The October ISM-New York Report on Business was released on November 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

Like ISM’s national report, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month.

A note specific to the New York Metro area, where all of this report’s respondants are located: they are predominantly in professional services industries. It is important to keep this in mind when we think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

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Recommended Webinars Oct 29 – Nov 2: Digital Transformation, Disruptive Innovation, ‘Steady Flow’ Risk Management

As we close the book on October, ProcureCon MRO is taking place in Fort Worth, TX this week on Monday and Tuesday. I’d also like to invite everyone to join me on Wednesday at 11am ET for a webinar I am presenting on a new way to approach talent development: a 3-Part Framework for Procurement Talent Transformation: Vision, Realism, and Accountability.

If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend "Understanding the Digital Procurement Transformation Journey" from SpendHQ and Bain & Co on November 15th at 2pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars October 22-26: Actively managed procurement, Integrated risk management, Leveraging a contingent workforce

This week continued to fill up, with new events being added to the calendar as late as Friday. Make sure you take a look at the full listing of events, which include a couple of ‘Lunch & Learns’ from Public Spend Forum.

If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I invite you to join me on October 31st for a webinar I’m presenting at Zycus’ invitation: “3-Part Framework for Procurement Talent Transformation: Vision, Realism, and Accountability”.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars October 15-19: Common RFP Pitfalls and Connecting End-Customer Demand

This is a ‘sleepy’ week on the BMP events calendar, but don’t worry! If you had something else in mind, there are already 7 webinars on the calendar for next week.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Are you really MANAGING Procurement? (Or Does Stuff Just Happen…)’ on October 23rd from Per Angusta, Peter Smith (Spend Matters UK/EU), and Glen Lovett, Head of Group Procurement at FirstGroup.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars October 8-12: Ongoing Applied Learning and Cross-functional Contract Management

This week’s webinars present another interesting combinations that are likely to be top of mind for leading procurement professionals. If you’re looking for something really different, I invite you to join #TakeActionOctober – this is an initiative started by my colleague and good friend Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement). Every day he posts a 5 minute podcast that includes a great message and an “action challenge”. I did it all last week, and it really is an enjoyable way to spend a few minutes a day. If you’re interested, it isn’t too late to get caught up. The full list of #TakeAction micro-pods can be accessed here.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend 'Integrating Supplier Risk Management into Your Procurement Processes' from SIG and SAPAriba on October 25th. In a rare webinar appearance, we’ll get to hear from Harold Good, Procurement Advisor, Futurist and Influencer for Procurement Pros Group LLC – although you probably know him better as @Hal_Good, Twitter influencer extraordinaire.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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The September ISM-New York Report on Business: Help Wanted!

The August ISM-New York Report on Business was released on October 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

Like the other ISM reports, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month.

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Recommended Webinars October 1-5: The Widening Digital Talent Gap and Industrialized Machine Learning

While we don’t have as many events to choose from this week as we did last week, the topics are fantastic. In fact, neither of the webinars I’m recommending is a straight on procurement-directed event. Taking in information on leading general business topics not only helps us come up with progressive ideas, it also keeps our eyes focused on the big picture of enterprise performance.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Risk is on the Rise, But Your Head Count is Not — How to Build a Business Case” from Lexis Nexis and Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell on October 25th at 2pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Book Review: Soft Skills for Hard Business

“…we need to be prepared to think the unthinkable, even if we subsequently have no plan to deal with it now, as we may have in the future.” (p. 62)

Soft Skills for Hard Business by David Loseby (FCMI, FCIPS Chartered, FRSA) calls to mind the difference between movies that are based on books and those that are based on original screenplays. Movies based on books have a depth and complexity that you can not fake, while those based on screenplays alone have a hollowness to them (although they often include more car chases and explosions to make up for it). Loseby clearly did not just decide a book would be a good idea before setting out to fill the pages. Instead, he gathered a large pool of information and made it unexpectedly accessible for the reader.

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Recommended Webinars September 24-28: Lagging Procurement Tech, Digital Financial Transformation, Software for Managing Freelancers

The last full week of September is going to be a busy one. There are 12 webinars taking place in three days and ProcureCon Indirect West will take place Monday through Wednesday in Scottsdale, AZ. A few of our good friends will be there, including Greg Tennyson, Michael Shaw, Joanna Martinez, Phil Ideson, and Bill Michels.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend RPA -  The BIG Picture 2018 from IRPA AI and Virtual Operations on October 10th at 12n ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Book Review: A Guide to Positive Disruption

A Guide to Positive Disruption: How to Thrive and Make an Impact in the Churn of Today’s Corporate World by Joanna Martinez delivers a striking combination of advice, tough love, and hope. With this one included, I have reviewed 87 business books in my time at Buyers Meeting Point, but I have never reviewed a book where I already knew the author so well. It is ironic, because this book is intensely personal – not in the biographical sense, but in the way that Joanna lays her professional experiences open for examination, and invites the reader to do the same with their own.

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Recommended Webinars September 17-21: Geeking out on AI, Digital Procurement, and Trade Wars

This week presented me with a challenge on two levels – it was hard to select just three of the nine fantastic webinars taking place in the next few days, but it was just as difficult to decide which longer term event to suggest. At the end of the day, I compromised on a tie; both of the following events look amazing:

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Book Review: The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs. Procurement

“The only time they don’t say ‘Drop your pants’  now is at the Christmas party.” (p. 10, Epstein on sales' common interations with procurement))

 

The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs Procurement: The Secrets Unveiled at the Negotiation Table by Elliot Epstein and Paul Rogers (2018) is an absolutely fantastic book. In addition to getting two open and unapologetic perspectives on business, I was also left with the feeling that I had made two new friends.

The format of this book is unique, written entirely like a play (one paragraph at a time with the ‘speaker’ identified in the left margin), but it is fitting for the message and experience the authors want to deliver. We don’t need another buttoned-up, polite analysis of how sales and procurement have different approaches, challenges, and incentives – and the authors haven’t given us that. Instead, we get sales (represented by Epstein) and procurement (Rogers) having a debate. If the angel on your shoulder could have a sarcastic exchange with the devil on your other, I imagine it would read much like this. I won’t suggest which function (sales or procurement) is on which shoulder.

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Book Review: Third Party Risk Management

“Efficient, effective, risk-centric, and risk-adjusted third party lifecycle and risk management is a new and distinct way of doing business. How your company approaches any major change like this one is up to senior leadership.” (p. 162)

 

Third Party Risk Management: Driving Enterprise Value by Linda Tuck Chapman (The Risk Management Association, 2018) tackles one of the topics that procurement organizations discuss most – how to prepare for, handle, and mitigate the risks that result from our company working with third parties. Although it is not declared on the cover, the book is largely focused on the financial services industry. That said, the vast majority of the information will apply to your company regardless of industry or sector.

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The Material Cost Benefits of Full Workforce Visibility

Between the new technologies available and the tidal wave of talented individuals with people analytics experience, companies can now see their entire workforce in new and exciting ways. But while most organizations recognize the benefits of full workforce visibility, their efforts stall when those that need it can’t clearly articulate the benefits to company leaders and decision-makers.

While there are a number of ancillary benefits of full workforce visibility (e.g. worker quality improvements, access to talent, vendor performance comparisons) this article focuses on the different ways an organization can leverage new levels of visibility to drive cost savings.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars September 10-14: Taking Action as a Catalyst, in Supplier Relationships, and through a Better User Experience

Although webinars are primarily a ‘sit back and listen’ format, this week’s recommended webinars are all designed to SPUR you into action! There’s only so much talking procurement can do before the conversation turns to measurable results, and there is a lot of work to do if we are going to deliver in line with procurement’s full potential.

If you’re planning a little further out, I recommend “Putting Data at the Center of Digital Procurement” with ISM and Zycus on September 18th at 2pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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