Right at the end of 2014, I received a copy of report based on ThomasNet’s Industry Market Barometer (IMB) survey. As you might expect, given ThomasNet’s long-standing relationship with the manufacturing community, a large focus of the report was the recent trend towards reshoring. In some cases it is for the sake of moving final production closer to the source of demand, in others to shorten supply chains, trading cheap labor for reliability and agility.
One of the interesting things about consistently reading and hearing content from quality sources is that you start to notice trends. It is amazing how often the same topics arise at the same time in different places. We use this blog as a way to help you stay on top of the major themes in procurement and supply chain management.
A new year is upon us and many use that as a time to revitalize their goals and establish resolutions. Very common themes are losing weight, exercising more, paying off those bills and on it goes. As a procurement professional, another resolution could be to advance your career through strengthening your skill set.
Many organizations use the calendar year as their fiscal year so that would include a new budget to be measured against. In order to meet those demands, companies often evaluate if they have the right talent and resources to accomplish those goals.
When I was reading “The Implications of 2015’s Talent Vortex” by CPO Rising, it was during a big cold snap in our region. The wind chill was up to -50F or -45C. That is cold! Certainly not conducive to keeping that resolution about exercising more!
The article discusses three areas that will assist in closing the talent gap for procurement.
- Improved collaboration between procurement and human resources
- Focus on analytics to help understand the complexity of information
- Blending of the technology tools available to best get to an answer
Organizations will state “Our employees are our most important asset” and that is still the case for 2015.
What are you doing in 2015 for a resolution? Are you caught in the Talent Vortex? How is your organization working collaboratively to select and retain their “most important assets?”
Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @BuyersMeetPoint.
It’s no secret that when a company is looking to solicit bids for a project, opening up a Request for Proposal (RFP) offers a simplified, standardized, and centralized means to compare diverse bidders. A well-crafted RFP separates the best-fit from the less qualified. A poorly executed request, on the other hand, will shut out even the most qualified providers before they have a chance to shine.
As another year comes to a close, and we are looking at the start of a new one, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season. We have enjoyed working together on your behalf to present information that we hope you have found useful and interesting this year.
Some days I think I eat, sleep, and breathe procurement and supply chain webinars. On a weekly basis I update the calendar. I consider the topics, the speakers, the hosts, the likelihood of promotional content versus thought leadership. I make my recommendations every Monday (on Blog Talk Radio) and share my notes on Fridays.
In 2014 I covered 29 webinars by sharing my notes on Buyers Meeting Point and through social media. They covered a broad range of subjects, including risk, talent, organizational issues, negotiation, and global supply chains. When I look back at the hits per post over the course of the year, there are 5 that stand out for getting over 1K hits each. You might think it was a simple matter of time, and there is something to that – some of our oldest event notes have over 50K hits – but these five events were pretty evenly distributed over the course of the year. They also all have unique hosts, presenters, and topics.
Logistics and Supply Chain in Emerging Markets (Kogan Page, 2014) by John Manners-Bell, Thomas Cullen, and Cathy Roberson adeptly captures the interconnectedness of global economies and commercial activity while also studying a number of countries and industries independently.
This week’s webinar notes are from a December 10th webinar hosted by Directworks. The event will be available on demand in case you were unable to attend – we’ll add the link here once it becomes available.
The event took on an ambitious list of topics in quick dive rapid succession. In addition to Greg Anderson and Michael Cross of Directworks, the speakers included Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell, Steve Rogers of Havi Global Solutions, and – oh yes – yours truly.
Humanitarian Logistics: Meeting the Challenges of Preparing for and Responding to Disasters (Kogan Page, 2014), by Peter Tatham and Martin Christopher, provides a look inside the challenges faced by the people and organizations providing relief after disaster strikes.
I recently read an op-ed piece on the Sourcing Journal by Sigi Osagie that stood apart from other procurement perspectives I’ve come across recently. It observed that soft issues — issues based upon the fundamental mindset of employees — are holding businesses back from realizing their full potential. Although procurement practitioners often have a desire to better their effectiveness, they do not always recognize that these soft issues are the answer to their desire for increased influence and prominence. So how can procurement improve in line with existing performance metrics without loosing perspective of the larger organizational perspective?
The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed. This is a cute analogy about the engagement difference of the two animals. It usually makes me smile as I think about it.
When we were preparing for last week’s annual Thanksgiving post (which you can read here), we pulled all of the titles and authors that included me in their launches this year. I actually managed to review 18 books this year (although I still have two to go before the clock runs down).
As always, there are a few that really stand out as being worthy of a professional’s extremely scarce reading time. I’m going to make a wild assumption that most of you don’t have time to read 20 books on top of your other responsibilities just to get your creative juices flowing.
If you, like me, have been ‘awful good’ this year, here are a few titles that you might want Santa to slip into your stocking.
As a child at the dinner table, we were expected to try at least a bite of something. Like anyone, we often did not want to try something new. It was not comfortable and it was easier to skip it or default to what we knew we liked. There is an old commercial for Life cereal where Mikey tries it and the famous tag line – Try it, You'll Like It.
A few years ago we were hosting a holiday gathering for 7 family members. As the holiday got closer, more and more of the family had their plans change. The four days before the holiday we were expecting 7 and then it became 30 by the day before the event. Needless to say, we had to be flexible and resilient in order to make it work.
Mother Nature has shown her fury with the 7 feet of snow that has fallen on Buffalo, NY this past week. It is an epic storm that just kept dumping snow on the region. At one point there was 130 miles of highway shutdown for several days. There were tractor trailers stranded and many deliveries that did not occur. You can bet that many supply chains were impacted. Even when the roads did open up again, it was for essential vehicles only. Something tells me that your shipment was probably not considered essential to the National Guard.
This week’s webinar coverage is based on a November 11th panel event hosted by Proxima Group, featuring Jon Hansen (Procurement Insights), Tim Cummins (CEO of IACCM), Robin Shahani (Managing Director and CPO at TD Ameritrade), and Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall (Head of Commercial Strategy at Proxima Group). The event is available on demand on Proxima’s website.
“As supply chain complexity increases, so do the services which logistics providers are asked to perform. No longer is logistics seen as a tactical activity, where the gains made are purely measured in terms of transport or warehousing cost savings. Instead, customers become more engaged in the transformational impact on supply chain competitiveness which a logistics provider can achieve.” –Manners-Bell, p. 23
Global Logistics Strategies provides the characteristically thorough and thought-provoking coverage we have become accustomed to from author John Manners-Bell. In his acknowledgements, he mentions that his father set up a transport company in the 1970s. Logistics is clearly in his blood.