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Kelly Barner is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point. She has a unique perspective on procurement from the numerous roles she has held during her 15 years in procurement. Kelly worked for Ahold USA (parent company of grocery chains Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Giant Landover, and more) on their not for resale sourcing team, specia...lizing in systems implementation and hired services category sourcing. She spent three years as the Associate Director of consulting services at Emptoris before it was acquired by IBM in 2011.Since 2009 she has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point. Buyers Meeting Point provides the procurement industry with an events calendar, blog, active social media network, and podcast, all of which are trusted sources of information for practitioners and solution providers alike. Kelly has several regular columns throughout the industry, and in the summer of 2016 was appointed to become the Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business.Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Kelly has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals: Research, Process, and Resources’ (2014), ‘Procurement at a Crossroads: Career Impacting Insights into a Rapidly Changing Industry’ (2016), and 'Finance Unleashed: Leveraging the CFO for Innovation' (2017). In 2017, Kelly co-founded Palambridge with Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement). More

Survey Chair Commentary: The May ISM-New York Report on Business

The May ISM-New York Report on Business was released on June 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

The ISM-New York Report on Business (like the other ISM reports) 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% means no change from the prior month, greater than 50% indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50% 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. While I’m sure that does not come as a surprise, it is important to keep in mind when you think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

With that background, let’s transition to this month’s report.

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Recommended Webinars June 4-8: 3rd Party Financial Risk, Real World RPA, Transforming Supplier Management

And… we’re back! After a 1 webinar week last week – likely due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. – June is already shaping up to be an active month for events. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend "Building a Best-in-Class Category Management Program: The Newest Trends, Tips and Technologies" on June 12th from SIG and GEP.

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 May 21-25: Scaling Sourcing, Unlocking the Upside of AI, Business Intelligence

This week’s webinar calendar is a busy one, with 9 webinars in 3 days. In addition to the events recommended below, I’m seeing a lot of focus on contingent workforce, blockchain, and customer value creation - so be sure to check out the full schedule!

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “FitBit’s Three-Factor Formula for Transforming Supplier Management” from SIG, Scout RFP, and FitBit on June 7th. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Confronting Mr. Drucker: Are you getting what you need from your metrics?

Last week I presented a webinar (hosted by Supply Chain Now Radio, APICS Atlanta, and Talent Stream) on Managing Your Metrics: Making Sure Your Metrics Deliver the Desired Results. The webinar is now available on demand, and you can access it here.

The core idea behind my presentation is that metrics – as important as they are – can not be implicitly trusted to achieve an enterprise’s stated objectives. Procurement and supply chain are quantitatively driven functions. Metrics just feel right… which is why we need to be all the more vigilant to be sure we don’t follow a number down a rabbit hole.

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Recommended Webinars May 14-18: Risk Management and The Digital Growth Engine

There are two in person events happening this week, ProcureCon Travel in Henderson, NV and Ivalua’s The Voice of Procurement in NY, NY.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “The Ultimate Measure of Customer Value: Tackling the Amazon Effect from Supply Chain Now Radio” on May 22nd. TalentStream, and APICS Atlanta. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars May 7-11: GDPR, Intelligent Risk Mitigation, Digital Supplier Management

This week, the annual ISM conference is taking place in Nashville, TN. But if you’re not traveling, not to worry – there are lots of virtual events you can easily slot into your calendar. And of course, I hope you are able to join me – and my friends from Supply Chain Now Radio, Talent Stream, and APICS Atlanta on Tuesday at 12pm ET for “Managing Your Metrics.”

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend Supply Chain Insights’ 2018 Supply Chains to Admire webinar, being held on June 20th. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars April 30 – May 4: Automation, Automation, AUTOMATION!

There are four webinars on the calendar this week and three of them deal with different aspects of automation. Clearly we have reached the point where automation (AI, machine learning, cognitive computing, etc.) are far more than futuristic trends. Time to make sure you are educated for the conversations going on in your organization.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend a May 23rd webinar from Supply Chain Now Radio, APICS Atlanta and Talent Stream, “Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics.” Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Webinar Notes: Trade Wars & Supply Chains: Measuring and Managing the Impact

These webinar notes are based on an April 26th webinar presented by Resilinc and Hogan Lovells and hosted by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine. Here is the link to the on demand registration page.

As I mentioned in my weekly webinar recommendations post, I trusted S&DCE as the host of this event because I’ve seen them cover equally ‘hot button’ topics with balance and a high degree of professionalism in the past. This event was no different – in fact, Resilinc CEO & Founder Bindiya Vakil opened the webinar by making the comment that the topic would be handled as a business issue – not a political one.

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Recommended Webinars April 23-27: Transforming Finance, Digital Procurement, Trade Wars and Supply Chains

This is a busy week on the calendar, with 13 webinars taking place. And if you were hoping to make it to an event in the near term, this is the week to do it – next week is back to almost nothing: famine after the feast.

If you like to plan further ahead, I invite you to join me on May 8th for a webinar titled “Managing Your Metrics: Making Sure Your Measurements Deliver the Desired Results” hosted by Supply Chain Radio and TalentStream. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars April 16-20: CPO Rising 2018, Financial Supply Chain, and Letting Your Sourcing Strategy Go

In addition to the events recommended below, please join me on Tuesday, April 17th for a webinar I am co-presenting with Zycus’ Richard Waugh: “Love Your Sourcing Strategy by Letting it Go.” We’ll be talking about the challenges and rewards of embracing a more distributed approach to sourcing and procurement.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “The Ultimate Measure of Customer Value: Tackling the Amazon Effect” from SCNRadio and TalentStream on May 22nd. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars April 9-13: Brexit, Financial Health for Risk Management, Enterprise AI

Last week was a ghost town, but we’re back in action this week with 8 webinars. It would seem to be feast or famine with the webinar schedule these days. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend  “Managing Suppliers in a World of Digitalization” on May 10th at 11am from ISM and SynerTrade, but also involving The Hackett Group, RapidRatings, and EcoVadis. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Will new startup NewsGuard address Fake News in Internet Research?

L. Gordon Crovitz recently wrote a ‘Commentary’ piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he simultaneously tackled the pervasive problem of fake news and announced the coming launch of his new company, NewsGuard.

The premise of the NewsGuard value proposition is interesting – Crovitz detailed the challenges caused by what has become a ‘news supply chain’. In many cases, we don’t get our news directly from the publisher, like we did in the olden days of newspapers. Instead we get news from another platform that is probably not dedicated to news: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This obscures our awareness of the actual source and increases the risk of reading and sharing fake news.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars March 26-30: AI, Data Instincts, Internal Champions, and Effective Leadership

Look out! Full week ahead! There are ten webinars in four days, and SIG is hosting their Spring Summit in Washington D.C. from the 26th through the 29th (be sure to seek out Phil Ideson if you’re going). If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend  “Trade Wars & Supply Chains: Measuring and Managing the Impact” from Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Resilinc on April 26th at 1pm ET. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Giving second tier data the second degree

Earlier this month we ran a collaborative piece by Jeanette Jones (Cottrill Research) and I on the alleged manipulation of agricultural data in the chicken supply chain. You can read that post here.

Right after I started researching for the chicken story, I came across yet another great example of why we all have to be so cautious when we cite the source of a piece of information – only this time the main culprit is: PEPPA PIG.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars March 19-23: The Corporate Cash Environment and De-risking International M&A

As we officially enter spring, my recommended webinar topics are taking a fresh new focus. The birds are signing, plants are pushing their way into the sun, and procurement is thinking big – digital transformation, the financial supply chain, and innovation. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “How Artificial Intelligence will (and won’t) change Procurement and Contracting” from Determine and Forrester on March 27th. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars March 12-16: Selecting RPA, Surviving Tech Hype, and Blockchain War Stories

After a slow couple of weeks, the calendar is once again buzzing with activities. In addition to the webinars recommended below, ProcureCon Pharma is happening in Zurich on the 13th through the 15th and Procurement Leaders’ World Procurement Congress is happening in London on March 15-16. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “Applying B2C Strategies to Corporate Procurement” from BuyerQuest on March 28th. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars March 5-9: Optimizing Performance and Value, Digital Transformation, AI for Due Diligence

Just like last week, this week is light and webinars – and all of the events we have to chose from are on the same day! Next week the pace picks back up, with a number of webinars and two live events already scheduled. If you are interested in a ‘long shot’ webinar worth considering, I recommend “The New Corporate Cash Environment: Understanding Impacts On Financial Supply Chain & Cash Management” from SAPAriba on March 20th at 11am ET. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Which came first – the chicken or the data?

I recently covered a fascinating story of present-day industry intrigue… centering around allegations by food distributors Sysco and USFoods that chicken producers (including Tyson and Perdue) have been colluding to raise the prices of chicken for a decade. This story has everything that makes supply chain an exciting place to work: razor thin margins, collusion, and federal intervention.

But an easily overlooked component of this case is that industry data sources were (allegedly) manipulated by the producers.

The Sysco and USFoods lawsuits accuse chicken producers of justifying increased prices by constraining supply (i.e. ensuring less available chickens) and inflating market rates through the manipulation of industry benchmarks. The Georgia Bench pricing system had to be shut down and replaced in 2017 because of questions about the reliability of their data.

Agri Stats (a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co.) is actually mentioned in the lawsuits because the subscription-based data they make available to chicken producers allows the producers to determine the breeding potential (i.e. production potential) of their competitors and change their own volume in response.

Since many of procurement’s efforts – and contracts for that matter – are heavily tied to industry data sources and benchmarks, Jeanette Jones (my Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals co-author) and I decided to offer our independent advice (written in parallel and without discussion) about how to apply a critical eye to industry data.

Keep in mind that you can always get our insight on industry data at ProcureSearch - a free, online resource based on our book.

Jeanette Jones’ Perspective: Finding a Trusted Source

Two chicken pricing benchmark providers have been mired in recent events that have highlighted, in a profound way, the critical need for using trusted, credible resources. It should be noted our focus here is on one aspect and that these stories are complex as there are many factors involved with determining truthful pricing benchmarks for not only poultry, but for all agriculture commodities.

Agri Stats (a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co) is connected with the Sysco and US Foods lawsuits because its data made available information about chicken production that provided competitive advantage to a select few. The Georgia Premium Poultry Price Index (GPPPI), which replaced Georgia Department of Agriculture’s (GDA) Georgia Dock chicken price index in January 2017, is in the news once again as it ceased to operate this past week due to a lack of available data. The GPPPI, in response to inflated price reporting concerns, considered evolving production techniques and buying practices in the poultry industry, and included changes that measure the aggregate change in the price of poultry sold on contract over three periods of time, in addition to reporting that indicates the weekly change in demand (GDA website).

In the past year, a number of valuable articles on how to detect misleading and false data have been published. One of the emerging strategies in detecting false information is to track the leading data claim directly to the primary source. In these two stories, the primary source appears to be about as credible as you can get: self-reported data by chicken producers. The challenge presented is how do you know if the primary data is being reported and presented correctly? The damage caused by the use of misleading information is felt by the businesses that rely on the data the most. This is hard to grasp if the provider of the primary data is considered a trusted source. This is especially so if you believe, like some, that the most valuable business commodity is trust.

The answer to the trust dilemma can be solved by the implementation of transparency measures by both the provider of the resource and the primary data provider (in this case self-reported chicken producers). The provider of the resource becomes 100% transparent about where the primary data originates and how it is being used. Getting back to GPPPI, an interesting aspect of the new index is its statement on verification: All data provided will be subject to verification through a random review, done through a prescribed process that will confirm submitted prices and quantities with the buyers. All formulas and forms utilized in the calculation of the price indexes will be open source and available to all parties to allow for the opportunity for any individual or company to track their own price indexes in relation to the industry aggregate index. Company specific proprietary information will not be available to the public. Regardless of what happens with GPPPI, the GDA is on the right track in regards to transparency of methodology and data origination, which is the direct path to regaining trust of past users.

Kelly Barner’s Perspective: Putting the Fox in Charge of the Hen House

In an age where real-time data is the difference between leading an industry and lagging it, procurement would be wise to understand the connections between the sources of data and the companies that profit or not based upon what it indicates. In this case, chicken producers provided data on the price per pound they earned during the current period. That data would then govern the prices paid to producers by distributors. 10 chicken producers constitute 80% of the market – so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they had an incentive to provide either good news or no news. And while not all of those 10 producers are based in Georgia (where the Georgia Dock pulls its data from), Georgia is the #1 producer of chicken in the U.S. The temptation was just too great to put a finger on the scale for their own benefit. Unfortunately, they grew too bold or too greedy and the Georgia Dock was ‘indefinitely suspended’ in 2016. The final death of the Georgia Dock was when, in response to concerns, the Georgia Department of Agriculture required producers to sign affidavits that their data was accurate. That quickly led to such a drop in data that the index had to be discontinued… draw your own conclusion.

The lesson for procurement in this is to consider which contracts you will use the data to govern, where the data comes from, and how much control or leverage  those parties have over their costs, profit margins, and the data they provide.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Feb 26 – March 2: Automated Contracts and Supplier Financial Health

This is a sleepy week after last week’s flurry of webinars and conferences. If you are interested in a ‘long shot’ webinar worth considering, I recommend “Artificial Intelligence - Changing the Landscape of Due Diligence and Monitoring” from ISM and LexisNexis on March 8th at 2pm ET. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars Feb 19-23: Supply Chain Visibility, Global Risk Review, Improving Business Spend Management

In addition to the virtual procurement and supply chain events taking place this week, ProcureCon Indirect East is running in Amelia Island, FL from the 20th through the 22nd. If you are interested in a ‘long shot’ webinar worth considering, I recommend “De-risking the international back-office during an acquisition” from SIG and TMF Group being offered on March 22nd at 1pm ET. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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