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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.

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Recent blog posts
Mistakes to avoid when selecting software solutions

I have had the opportunity to be in the selection and implementation of MANY supply chain solutions. There were bumps along the way and lessons learned as well. I know some of you think this was in the dinosaur days, but before there were packages to buy, everything was home grown to custom processes and requirements. Often a pitfall was that IT would gather the requirements and disappear while they were building it. Then when it was presented to the business user, it was not really what they wanted. Everyone learned it was an iterative approach and a business lead was a critical component to a successful implementation.

Webinar Notes: Trends in Spend Management – Configuration vs Customization

 

“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

-- Henry Ford about the Model T Ford (My Life and Work (1922), p. 71)

This week’s featured webinar notes are from an April 16th webinar presented by ivalua with guest speakers from Spend Matters and HAVI Global Solutions. The event is available on demand here

The challenges of doing the right thing

We make choices every day in relation to our health, our family, our community and our profession. Some choices are straight forward and easy to make. Many times there are areas of grey and that brings with it a measure of ambiguity.

Internal Marketing and Supplier Relationship Management – A 1-2 Punch

This guest post is a team effort from Source One Management Services. If you would like to comment, you can do so by posting below, contacting them on Twitter @GetSavings, or contacting them directly here.

The outlets for procurement and supply chain news have no shortage of recommendations for improved business processes, new ideas, and technologies your department should implement to “modernize” or “optimize” or any number of other “-izes”. If you have read any of Source One’s contributions – here, on other publications, or on our own blog – we make just as many recommendations.

First Impressions are Important and Lasting

I recently attended a supplier presentation that was horrendous. Their product was amazing but they really blew it. The team interrupted and contradicted each other. They were unable to get their technology and projector to work. They were not prepared for Plan B. It was a terrible first impression.

Posted by on in Book Reviews
Book Review: The Big Pivot

One of the best things about having good relationships with publishers is that I end up reading and reviewing titles that range beyond procurement or spend management. And yet, there is no question that the value and competitive advantage of a well-managed supply chain runs right through the center of all business strategy books.

The benefits of doing the right thing

I had the opportunity to attend a conference where the keynote speaker was Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes.

Posted by on in Procurement
The Funny Thing about Auctions…

Last month, Alun Rafique from Market Dojo and I co-wrote an article for Procurement Insights about Variables in the Adoption of Auctions. A discussion about the article really picked up steam in the ISM group on LinkedIn, and one of the questions posed in response was “Someone explain to me how a Reverse Auction is fair and equitable to the supplier..."

After considering that question carefully, Market Dojo published an article that asks a question in response: “Should Suppliers Still Fear eAuctions?” The article, which you can read here, takes an interesting look at the progression of auctions from carefully managed consultant resource, to part of an ERP system, to their somewhat questionable state today – in limbo in a world where procurement is driven to create as much value as savings. A third question in this discussion might be, are auctions still relevant?

 

Posted by on in Blog Picks
Spring Cleaning in Procurement

As seasons change, we clean out our closets and freshen up the household. We may wash windows, and take on household projects like painting and planting gardens.

Webinar Notes: Top-Notch Negotiations – Anyone Can Cook!

This week’s webinar notes are from an April 9th event presented by Puridiom and Lunney Advisory group. Dr. Soheila Lunney, the president of Lunney Advisory Group and the primary presenter, addressed a number of topics related to a professional environment that increasingly emphasizes collaboration and partnership over the aggressive winner take all approach.

Dr. Lunney is also the co-author of The Procurement Game Plan with Charles Dominick of the Next Level Purchasing Association. You can read my review of the book here, as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of our interview with Dr. Lunney.

Posted by on in Procurement
Doing the right thing in business

There was a factory fire about 20 years ago in the Boston area. The owner, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay the workers until the factory was rebuilt. That was exceptional and unheard of in business. This remarkable story of Malden Mills was on CBS news at the time. Mr Feuerstein was referred to as a Mench – a person of integrity and honor.

Improving Public Procurement Through Improved Incentives

In a recent Buyers Meeting Point guest post Bryan Robinson asked What if the US Government Embraced Strategic Sourcing?

Cynically upon reading the title my first thought was... "Nothing."

The issue isn't FAR and it isn't the people doing the sourcing, like nearly all things it comes down to incentives.

Posted by on in Blog Picks
Improving the Scorecard Process

As a student in school, everyone would receive report cards on the same day. This happened 4 times a year. Next of course was the conversation with Mom and Dad. Sometimes it was good news and sometimes not so good.

Posted by on in Book Reviews
Book Review: Global Mobile

The rise of mobile technology requires that procurement solution providers and practitioners be innovative about potential opportunities for improvement and problem solving. Through virtual team models and global supply chains, the applications and requirements of mobile technology are coming, whether procurement drives the implementation or not. In a July 2013 article on ThomasNet’s imt Procurement Journal, Pat Toensmeier referenced a study about the expected adoption rates for mobile technologies in procurement. “A study by AnyPresence Inc., a Reston, Va., company that specializes in mobile business processes, products, and services, finds that 31.5 percent of respondents have deployed or will deploy mobile apps for procurement, among other functions, in the next 12 months. An equal proportion will do the same with apps for supply chain partners and shipping and distribution.”[1] As we approach the end of that 12-month period, no developments have surfaced that look likely to reverse the trend.

Posted by on in Procurement
Save a tree, go electronic

We waste so much paper in our organization. Even when we are using electronic webinars, everyone seems to print out the presentation anyway. 

Likeability linked to professional success

I read an article a few years ago about being friendly in an attempt to deliver better customer service. Shortly after that, I put a smiley face on my keyboard next to the phone. It is to help remind me to answer the phone with a smile in my voice. I don’t always feel like doing that. I get tired or frustrated or distracted like everyone else.

Webinar Notes: Talent and Knowledge Management: The Procurement Imperative for 2014

This week’s webinar notes are from a March 25th event presented by Sourcing Interests Group and Denali Group. If ‘getting it done’ is the focus for most procurement organizations, talent and knowledge management are where the rubber meets the road. In the event, we heard Denali’s Managing Partner John Evans and their Director of Recruiting and Staffing Marrena Anderson talk about the growing trends that require additional investments in talent and how to build an effective knowledge management program.

Posted by on in Procurement
You can’t steer a parked car

Disney animation movies are classic and very entertaining. They have a very long success record. The recent CARS movies have followed suit. Lighting McQueen is the main character and is certainly always moving.

What if the US Government Embraced Strategic Sourcing?

Editor's Note: The application of strategic sourcing and strategic procurement in the public sector have generated a significant amount of discussion from practitioners, thought leaders, and solution providers. If you are interested in reading more about the opportunities that may exist, we recommend Generating Economic Benefit and Growth Through Smarter Public Sector Procurement, a white paper by Colin Cram.

Posted by on in Book Reviews
Book Review: The Moment of Clarity

The Moment of Clarity was a joint effort by ReD Associates founding partners Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen. Their careers have focused on studying human behavior, problem solving, and innovation. In this book, they apply what they have learned and observed to the challenges faced by businesses today. It is apparent to the reader that they are avid readers in their own right, and their bookshelves clearly hold titles representing a wide array of fiction and non-fiction topics.

 

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