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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
Webinar Notes: Big Data, Big Impact on Procurement

This week’s webinar notes are from a January 13th event run by ISM and presented by IBM. It is available on demand on ISM’s website. The presenter was Steve Peterson from the IBM Institute for Business Value, and he spoke about the findings of their 2014 CPO Study, the results of which were released by IBM in December. The focus of the study was on procurement role models – or leaders – and what they are doing differently than the rest of the pack. There were three ideas that appealed to me as new ‘angles’ on familiar problems presented in this event.

Tagged in: Big Data CPO IBM ISM Webinars
Book Review: Supply Chain Metrics That Matter

“The best operating strategies and metrics portfolios are built when companies translate business strategy into tactical plans.” (p. 47)

Supply Chain Metrics That Matter (Wiley, 2015) was written by Lora Cecere, founder of Supply Chain Insights and author of the Supply Chain Shaman blog. I am familiar with her work from the many webinars she has spoken on, as well as through the Supply Chain Index developed by her research firm.

Posted by on in Blog Picks
You find out who your friends are

There is a country song by Tracy Lawrence, “Find out who Your Friends Are” and it describes that a real friend shows up when things are not going well. They drop everything and come to help with no questions asked.

Posted by on in Guest Posts
Spend Under Management in Business Travel

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

We believe we have good data… but is it complete?

I’ve had many conversations with Travel and Procurement managers about how much addressable travel spend the company has. This is a critical number as it validates a company’s volume, and dictates the sourcing strategy and execution. In most cases, I’m immediately presented with the Travel Management Company’s report of phone and online bookings. While this data is helpful and telling, there is an average of another 55% of travel spend that is not being accounted for in those data sources*.

Manufacturing & Millennial Barometer Reading: High and Rising

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.

The party is over, now let's get down to business

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.

Four Keys to A Successful RFP That Too Many Firms Ignore

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.

Happy Holidays from Buyers Meeting Point

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.

Which of my 2014 Procurement Webinar Notes got the Most Traffic?

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.

Book Review: Logistics and Supply Chain in Emerging Markets

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.

Who is not being honest in your supply chain?

There is a famous children’s story about Pinocchio. Whenever he would lie, his nose would grow longer.

Posted by on in Blog Picks
How to have happy customers

As another year comes to a close, we are often reflective of where we are and where we should be. We tend to do that both professionally and personally.

Webinar Notes: The Ongoing Evolution of Sourcing and Supplier Management

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.

Posted by on in Book Reviews
Book Review: Humanitarian Logistics

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.

Looking in the mirror for organizational self-assessment

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways……Take a look at yourself and make a change”.


Gaining Procurement Esteem Through A “Softer” View

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?

Posted by on in Blog Picks
How engaged are your stakeholders?

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.

Santa Baby, Slip These Titles Under the Tree For Me. Been an Awful Good Girl…

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.

Posted by on in Procurement
Implementation of new suppliers

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.


Thanksgiving is a result of acts of kindness

When the Pilgrims first landed on the shores of what would become the United States of America, it was the kindness of the Native Americans that helped the newcomers survive.

Tagged in: Procurement thank you
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