Aberdeen’s 2011 Chief Procurement Officer Summit took place in Boston on November 15th and 16th. During the webinar, Aberdeen shared the primary themes from the event, key recommendations from all the presentations, and data points collected from Summit attendees. They also outlined their supply management research, event and content plans for 2012.
I see this week's ISM event as being part of a recent increase in interest about the procurement of services. I’ve worked in this category and it is truly a beast all its own. They mentioned visibility in their event description, and although that is a common enough concept in procurement it is the whole deal with meetings spend. While all services projects are complicated due to the relationships in place, addressing meetings spend has its own sensitivities. Not only is it a relationship-heavy category, but the times when meetings need to be managed are usually of high importance and high visibility.
There are (at most) twelve business days left in 2011. If you have a generous employer or some vacation time left, there are a lot less. There isn’t any time to waste if you want to make 2012 your year - professionally that is. January 1st is just a heartbeat away, and if you haven’t given thought to your goals for the year yet, now is the time. Below is a quote from a Next Level Purchasing Association white paper, titled "The Evolution & Future of Procurement & Procurement Skills" to give you something to think about. I'll also include Rosslyn Analytics' Five Predictions for Procurement and Supply Chain Executives in 2012.
Flip Side Webinar Notes: Maximizing Renewal Revenue – Continuing to Deliver Value to Earn the Renewal
This week’s trip to The Flip Side is brought to us through a webinar held last week by the TAS Group, a sales methodology and training company. The event was called “Maximizing Renewal Revenue – Continuing to Deliver Value to Earn the Renewal”. Just so we’re all on the same page, Renewal revenue is sales speak for what we consider awarding business to an incumbent supplier.
Webinar Notes: Webinar Notes: Take Your Sourcing Down to the Component Level: The Kimberly Clark Case Study
This week’s SIG webinar (sponsored by MFG.com) gave us an interesting look inside the procurement, product design, and engineering teams at Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB). There is a good chance that you have a number of K-C products in your home right now: Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, and Cottonelle are just a few of their brands. Unless you are a SIG member you can’t listen to the event on demand, but there is a case study overview available from MFG.com.
This week’s Wiki-Wednesday topic is supply management, and you can click here to connect to an excerpt from the article on that topic or to link back to the full page.
Flip Side Webinar Notes: Selling To and Negotiating With Today's Tougher, Strategic Procurers/Buyers/Sourcers
Other than a brief introduction of each panelist at the beginning of the event moderated by ES Research, this was an entirely unrehearsed, unscripted discussion among four industry experts in the area of selling and negotiating with the corporate procurement function. Live questions were taken from the audience via telephone. There were no slides. One of the speakers on the call described procurement and our processes as being "like trying to get a peek behind the curtain of Oz".
“Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said come back tomorrow.”
-- The Wizard of Oz, 1939
Webinar Notes: Taking Strategic Sourcing to the Next Level at A.P. Moller-Maersk with Procurement Leaders and CombineNet
The featured speaker on this event was Jacob Gorm Larsen, head of eSourcing at Maersk procurement. I’m almost always impressed by the key speakers on these webinars, but Jacob is the first speaker that I would absolutely want to work with. You can watch the on-demand version of the webinar by clicking here. If you are interested in doing some additional reading, you can check out our Wiki-Wednesday page on Mathematical Optimization or our blog post on Optimization in the Real World.
This week’s Wiki-Wednesday topic is Mathematic Optimization, and that article is the source of all quoted text below. We are covering it because of the CombineNet/Procurement Leaders/A.P. Moller – Maersk event on taking strategic sourcing to the “next level”. For many companies, whether they have implemented a strategic sourcing solution or not, optimization functionality may take a little longer to make use of, both because it is a more complex part of the software but also because the categories that can truly make use of optimization are not low-hanging fruit.
You can read an excerpt from the Wikipedia page on mathematical optimization here, but I am going to take this opportunity to break it down and use examples from procurement/sourcing. The article starts with a straightforward definition of optimization as “the selection of a best element from some set of available alternatives”.
Last week’s featured event notes were focused on the challenges specific to the procurement of complex services. As a continuation of that, I did some reading on the differences in SELLING professional services.
One of my favorite places to go for sales white papers is Huthwaite’s resource library. If you are interested in more, you can download their whitepapers and read them yourself – no registration process required.
I have a background in services, both professional and otherwise, and this is always an interesting topic. In my opinion, the most important take-away from the event is that more companies are breaking down the wall and not only addressing services spend but having success. Although there are complexities with services like legal and marketing that don’t exist with straightforward services like facilities maintenance or contingent (temporary) labor, procurement groups are more than capable of handling those complexities just like they have done with complex materials spend.
If you’ve spent any time on our site this week, you’ll see that we are having a customer-service centric week. It all started when I attended last week’s Next Level Purchasing Association webinar where Peter Nero of Denali Group shared his thoughts on what is next for procurement. The answer was better customer service.
As a follow up, we spoke with The Sales Guy about the kinds of internal customer service he thinks procurement can provide, and this morning we read the Wikipedia article on customer service. We’re not looking to turn procurement into a transactional call center, but some of the traditional wisdom about how to keep your customers happy applies to the relationship between us and our internal stakeholders.
Last week I attended a great webinar (sponsored by the Next Level Purchasing Association) on Procurement Innovation where Peter Nero from Denali Group discussed just how critical a customer service orientation is to the future of procurement within the organization. While I listened to him discuss some of the changes procurement will need to make to improve the status quo, I couldn’t help but think about how sales reps deal with demanding customers on a regular basis. And for them, not satisfying those customers often means not getting a sale.
This week, our webinar notes are on ‘What’s Next for Procurement”, the monthly Next Level Purchasing Association member call featuring Peter Nero from Denali Group. If you are not a member of the NLPA, I encourage you to join – it is easy and free. Click here for more information.
While this presentation is not available as a recording, you can read a whitepaper by Denali Group on their Procurement Innovation Research for 2011.
Gypsum was the first category I was asked to do research for – truthfully, it was very early in my career and I think my manager was trying to productively keep me busy. But the process was a good learning experience and I think I added real value to the team. For lack of a reason to pick any other product or service, I’ll start with gypsum here too.
Gypsum is used to make plaster and plasterboard – basically drywall. So if you are sourcing in the construction category, and your General Contractor is not responsible for materials costs/purchases, you might find yourself bidding this out.