Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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CPP’s Purchasing Assessment Does a Difficult Thing Well

CPP’s Purchasing Assessment Does a Difficult Thing Well

Purchasing Assessments, a new offering from Purchasing Practice, is a procurement skills assessment for procurement professionals and organizations with a strategic focus.

While many assessments just measure a practitioner’s familiarity with tactics, this assessment was designed to measure strategic strengths and weaknesses across a broad range of capability areas. That is what is so difficult about what the assessment intends to do – it takes a set of context sensitive subjective capabilities and puts standards in place that make it possible to differentiate a right response from a wrong response. And while the assessment isn’t perfect, because no assessment of this type ever could be, it comes really close and will only get better as more organizations and individuals take it.

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It was a dark and stormy night... On Procurement and Storytelling

It was a dark and stormy night... On Procurement and Storytelling

On July 22, Chip Scholz, Head Coach of Scholz and Associates, Inc. posted ‘Executive Presence: Stronger with Leadership Storytelling’ on his site.

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As we express our gratitude, we must never forget...

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget...

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Are You Elastic Enough to Be a Top Performer?

Are You Elastic Enough to Be a Top Performer?

IBM's Institute for Business Value (IBV) just released the largest, most comprehensive Chief Procurement Officer Study ever conducted, with participation from 1,128 CPOs from organizations with annual revenue in excess of US$1 billion. According to the study, “Companies with high performing procurement organizations have profit margins 15 percent higher than the average company and 22 percent higher than those of companies with lower performing procurement organizations.”

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Are You Leveraging Your Myers-Briggs ‘Type’ for Maximum Success?

Are You Leveraging Your Myers-Briggs ‘Type’ for Maximum Success?

Many of us have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, either in school or on the job. One of the core principles is that there are no bad personality types. Taking the test is supposed to help you know yourself better, understanding your natural inclinations. That way, when you are under stress, not only will you be able to predict how you are likely to react to different situations, you may be able to alter your reaction to reach a desired result.

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Fail Successfully, But Choose Your Battles Wisely

Fail Successfully, But Choose Your Battles Wisely

Last Saturday, Cindy highlighted a blog post by John Maxwell, a leadership coach, on how to fail successfully. There is much to be learned from our failures, and in many cases they are the price of admission to the victory celebration at the end of the journey. Thomas Edison is a fantastic, if complicated, example of success despite setbacks. We all know how many tries to took to make the light bulb a reality, especially because of the quote Cindy used to open her post:

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The Marketing of Procurement: How to Create a Powerful Profile on LinkedIn

The Marketing of Procurement: How to Create a Powerful Profile on LinkedIn

In order to help procurement better position ourselves and communicate through all of the channels available to us, Buyers Meeting Point reached out to a colleague with a background in marketing and experience in the procurement space. Sheryl Johnson is the founder of BD-PRo Marketing Solutions and focuses on implementing creative marketing and business networking strategies for small and medium sized businesses, as well as a professor of marketing at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.

Click here to read more about the 'Marketing of Procurement' series of posts on Buyers Meeting Point.

Click here to read our last post in the series, Why Having a LinkedIn Account is Critical in Today's Business Environment.

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The Marketing of Procurement: Why Having a LinkedIn Account is Critical in Today’s Business Environment

The Marketing of Procurement: Why Having a LinkedIn Account is Critical in Today’s Business Environment

In order to help procurement better position ourselves and communicate through all of the channels available to us, Buyers Meeting Point reached out to a colleague with a background in marketing and experience in the procurement space. Sheryl Johnson is the founder of BD-PRo Marketing Solutions and focuses on implementing creative marketing and business networking strategies for small and medium sized businesses, as well as a professor of marketing at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.

Click here to read more about the 'Marketing of Procurement' series of posts on Buyers Meeting Point.

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More tips to find a Procurement Services Provider.

More tips to find a Procurement Services Provider.

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is How to Find a Good PSP.

When we have had to hire someone to do work on our house, we got references, interviewed multiple contractors and of course reviewed their proposals. While it is not just about the money, that is clearly a key factor. I am sure that drill sounds familiar to many of you.

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Beware the Pitfalls of Outsourcing

Beware the Pitfalls of Outsourcing

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is Managed Services is not Tradtional Outsourcing.

Managed Services works with the client on strategic areas that the client can not do for themselves either from an expertise or resource perspective. There are also areas that are high volume and transactional in nature which is another strong candidate for Managed Services.

I came across this article from a few years ago but it does still hold true today. ISM has published a short article, When Procurement Outsourcing Fails: How to Sidestep Easily Avoidable Blunders.   

Authored by J. V. Kelly, he spends some time looking at the evolution of the procurement role and how that has played into the outsourcing trend. In most organizations, purchasing is no longer just a transactional function but takes a more strategic approach to the process and the results. Like any other relationship, setting the appropriate expectations is key. Here are some unrealistic ones that Kelly mentions:

Unrealistic Expectations

  • 50% cost savings in the first year? Highly unlikely.
  • Reduction in cycle time to 1 month on all sourcing engagements? Not realistic.
  • Expertise in every category of spend? Many outsourcing firms do not offer this.
  • Complete demand management with no maverick spend? Mandates don’t work, buy-in is more effective.

They article warns against outsourcing all procurement functions. They recommend keeping the strategic areas internal.

What has your organization done in this area? What expectations were set and how much of your sourcing is done internally versus externally?

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Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Six Tips to Getting the Most from Outsourcing

Six Tips to Getting the Most from Outsourcing

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is The Basics and Advantages of Procurement Outsourcing. This is something that has been reviewed and utilized for several decades at this point.

Many organizations realized they should outsource administrative functions such as payroll and accounting and IT/Telecom. This allows the key resources to focus on the core business strategy and really drive them to the next level. The same can be said of the procurement function, either in part or as a whole.

If a company is going to do that, they must be careful to arrange it properly to truly take advantage of the benefits and not to get bogged down with inefficiencies. this article offers Six Top Tips and is focusing on IT outsourcing. However, I feel it can be utilized for any business function.

When done correctly, the various individuals truly work as a team. If you look at the picture above, you can not tell who is an internal associate and who is an 'outsourced' resource.

Top tip #1: Define SLAs and OLAs

A service level agreement (SLA) is the foundation of any outsource contract and provides the standard for expected service levels. This must be agreed on between both the outsourcer and client, and once established, will outline the requirements such as time-to-respond and mean-time-to-repair.

Top tip #2: Communication – a two-way street

Communication is an important component of a successful outsource contract and should be a ‘two-way street’ whereby feedback is given from both the outsource provider and the client. If communication is not clear and well-structured from all sides, issues and problems may ‘slip through the cracks’ and impact the business. This in turn will impact service delivery, which may fall below expected levels, resulting in poor outcomes.

Top tip #3: Appropriate skills levels

It is vital for the outsource consultant to have the appropriate skills when engaging with a client. If consultants are not equipped with the required skills to match the needs of the client, they will not deliver the required services efficiently or effectively.

Top tip #4: Culture fit

If the culture fit between the client and outsource provider is not aligned, it can lead to poor service delivery. Outsource providers should also be flexible and sensitive around the issue of culture fit, and if there is a potential problem, to proactively remedy.

Top tip #5: Measurement of service

All aspects of the contract, including the SLA and OLA, should be monitored on a regular basis to ensure the highest levels of overall satisfaction.

Top tip #6: Maintain the management of the contract

Customers who maintain control and incorporate regular communication around this will typically receive higher levels of service and greater value than organisations that don’t.

 

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Thank you, Merci, Danke, Gracias

Thank you, Merci, Danke, Gracias

Many cultures celebrate the harvest and offer thanks for a bountiful season. As the United States enjoys their Thanksgiving, we felt it was appropriate to thank those who walked along with us this year on our journey. No one succeeds alone and we are certainly aware of that!

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Finding Community in Procurement

Finding Community in Procurement

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is Harnessing the Power of Community. This is the last of 21 strategies for innovation in procurement through next generation sourcing. If you are interested in the rest of the series, you can read them on our Wiki-Wednesday news page.

This topic is well timed, as the United States plans to take a short break for the Thanksgiving holiday – we stop and take a moment to realize just how many people are critical to our successes. While it has always ‘taken a village’ and there has never been an ‘I in team’ these days our communities are increasingly virtual. Associations that were previously regular meeting spots have moved online. Our personal and professional networks are larger, but we bear responsibility for making sure they run just as deep. It means very little to have 500+ connections if you don’t know who any of them are well enough to leverage their knowledge and experience.

Since Buyers Meeting Point is a virtual entity, we’ve gotten pretty good at building and maintaining productive relationships with people we will probably never meet. Here are a few of our tips for virtual collaboration:

  • Book time on your calendar to join discussions on LinkedIn. This doesn’t have to mean a daily or weekly time commitment. Once a month, allow yourself an hour to browse a few of the groups that are large enough to be interesting but not so big that they aren’t being moderated effectively.
  • If you have a good exchange with someone via email (or other social media channel) find an opportunity to jump on the phone. It may only take 15 or 20 minutes, but making the effort to introduce yourself ‘the old fashioned way’ will not only make an impression on the person you’ve connected with but will pay dividends in terms of what you can accomplish in email moving forward.
  • Do a favor for someone. This can be as simple as retweeting something of interest or giving a #FF (FollowFriday) where you think your followers will be interested. Take the simple step of “Liking” a post or a discussion with your Facebook account. People who make an effort to put good work forward will appreciate the simple gesture and you may be able to open a door to a better connection.
  • Remember to ask for help when you need it. If you find yourself stuck, look through your network to see who might be able to help you out. People love to be regarded as knowledgeable, and the fact that you respect their experience enough to ask for their opinion will make them regard you positively in return.
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Habit 6: Synergize

Habit 6: Synergize

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Habit 5: Seek First to Understand and then to be Understood

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand and then to be Understood

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 3: Put First Things First

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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Habit 1: Be Proactive

Habit 1: Be Proactive

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.

The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.

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