Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Sourcing Custom and Secondary Packaging: Considerations for Optimal Results

Sourcing Custom and Secondary Packaging: Considerations for Optimal Results

Each purchasing category, whether indirect or direct, has a unique set of parameters that can be optimized to take full advantage the savings opportunities in the market. The packaging category is no exception, offering major opportunities for cost savings beyond the basic volume leverage approach.

Packaging, which may be considered either a direct or indirect product depending on the use and company, can be particularly complex to take to market. Many organizations strive to find a supply base that can support the company’s needs while generating value. Taking into consideration the upfront investment of time and resources (without a guaranteed ROI), running a competitive bid process can be an intimidating endeavor for many companies. However, with the proper expertise, packaging is an area of spend with major cost reduction and value added opportunities.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

This week, my recommended procurement webinars are all about doing MORE. More categories managed, more results, and more visibility into the supply chain. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 8/29 – 9/2

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 8/29 – 9/2

We’re officially making the transition to September this week, although most of the events take place before we’ll need to turn the page on our calendars. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Being a leader doesn't mean everything comes easy - it means not expecting them to be easy

Being a leader doesn't mean everything comes easy - it means not expecting them to be easy

I recently interviewed Magnus Carlsson, the author of Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA. You can listen to our conversation on demand on BMP Radio.

Although the book centers around the how and why of IKEA’s approach to procurement and supply chain, its content is not limited to large multi-national corporations or companies in the furniture and home goods industries. IKEA is a company that competes on brand and low costs, which makes its approaches to spend and supplier management absolutely critical to its ability to operate.

IKEA has been able to accomplish many things that other companies have not because it is necessary for them to remain competitive. As a result, their team members – and former team members, for the sake of including Carlsson – approach complex and strategic procurement with a striking clarity of purpose. There is no other way for IKEA to work, and therefore there is no reason to resist or bemoan the uphill strategic path.

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Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

These webinar notes are from a September 24th webinar hosted by SIG and presented by Chris Eyerman and Alan Veeck at Denali Sourcing Services. The webinar is available on demand and can be viewed after a quick registration here.

In case you’re wondering, an ultramarathon is an INSANELY challenging combination of long distance running and trail running. Technically, they include any marathon over the traditional 26.2 mile run, but from the sounds of Eyerman’s description, they are also usually off road excursions that can be as long as 100 miles. And he should know – he has run them.

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Guest — Anya McKenna
I love (yes... love) this article.Elite sports and procurement definitely have a lot of similarities in terms of mindset, opportun... Read More
Thursday, 15 October 2015 12:05
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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/21–25: Pushing the Envelope to Elevate Results

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/21–25: Pushing the Envelope to Elevate Results

This week, each of my picks is pushing a boundary in some way – whether through more advanced approaches to risk, the collaborative frontier, or… well… running an ultramarathon to prepare for better category management. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in the events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

Just over 18 months ago I reviewed the second edition of Category Management in Purchasing by Jonathan O’Brien. (You can read my original review here). When I recently learned there was to be a third edition, I was unsure what I would be able to say in a new review that would add to my earlier observations.

I found it interesting to read O’Brien’s commentary, not only on the progression of this title, but on how he sees it fitting in with his other work. I don’t personally know of anyone who has written more substantial procurement books than O’Brien, and knowing that he sees a subset of them as being connected is an interesting idea. Category Management in Purchasing, along with SRM and Negotiation for Purchasing are seen by the author as his ‘trilogy’. Knowing that changes how I would approach any of the books in the group.

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Book Review: Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA

Book Review: Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA

Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA by Magnus Carlsson (KoganPage, August 2015) is not a case study, although I didn’t need the note from the author in the introduction to know that. The author may have spent 25 years at IKEA, working in strategic sourcing, but this is less a story of one company and more the learnings gained by one professional over 2.5 decades in a competitive environment.

Like any other book I review or event I attend, my focus in reading this book was to cull out the important ideas: what are the few take aways that really stand out as unique? There are quite a few in this book, any of which will improve the maturity and results of your procurement organization. I think this book is fantastic – full of great new ideas and ways to implement them.

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Webinar Notes: Defining Procurement’s Story to Inspire, Motivate, and Lead Change

Webinar Notes: Defining Procurement’s Story to Inspire, Motivate, and Lead Change

This week’s webinar notes are from an April 30th event hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and presented by Denali’s Alan Veeck and special guest Paul Smith from ‘Lead with A Story’, a coach, speaker, and author.

The webinar explored how professionals can leverage the techniques of storytelling to build influence and communicate an important message in an effective way. In Smith’s terms, storytelling is simple, timeless, contagious, and memorable, and it works across demographics.

Within the context of procurement, Denali has been incorporating storytelling into the training they provide to category managers. With the wide range of responsibilities being handled by category managers today, they have to function within an operating model that allows for proper division of labor. Coaching them is like cross training, bringing together a range of diverse skills that will help them become more strategic.

The lessons from this webinar combine to create something like ‘communication theatre’ that you can leverage to get your message through – as long as you are willing to put in the effort up front. What the speakers did not directly address in this event, but that should not be underestimated, is the time and planning required to apply storytelling. You have to know your audience, craft a story in such a way that it has the desired effect, and choreograph the execution carefully.

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Book Review: Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals

Book Review: Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals

Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals is the second book by Jonathan O’Brien that we have reviewed. Earlier this year we reviewed Category Management in Purchasing. While each of the books has a different focus, they have more in common than just an intended audience. The most striking similarity is a clear desire to improve the knowledge and capabilities of purchasing professionals by capturing O’Brien’s considerable experience and communicating it in a straightforward manner.

 

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Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing

Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing

 

“Very few organizations manage sourcing so well that there is no room for big gains. Category management is about changing sourcing in a radical way or a way that gives radical improvements.” (p. 33)

 

This quote from Jonathan O’Brien’s Category Management in Purchasing neatly sums up not only the idea of category management as he defines it, but also the full use of the content in his book, which is to support purchasing or procurement teams with a desire to significantly improve the way they manage sources of supply. The book provides all the background, strategy and tactics to stage a successful procurement transformation along category lines.

 

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The Role of a Sourcing Professional: How Many Hats Should We Wear?

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic outlines the many roles and responsibilities associated with being a successful sourcing professional. One of those roles is to provide ‘deep domain expertise’:

Management, members of the individual procurement organizations, and stakeholders will all expect the procurement professionals in the center of excellence to have deep domain expertise, especially in strategic categories.

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Webinar Notes: Realize Sustainable Savings through Next Generation Category Management Strategies

This week’s event pick was hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and sponsored by Ariba but the team from McDonald’s absolutely stole the show. They shared information so detailed that SIG was unable to share the slides from the webinar even with their own members. In an effort to respect their wish to contain the detailed information they shared within the live session, I will focus on their general recommendations regarding a successful category management program and how it is different than traditional strategic sourcing.

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Kelly Barner
Ariba recently made a PDF version of the presentation slides available on their site. You can download them here: http://www.ariba... Read More
Friday, 10 February 2012 15:39
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Category Experiences: Window Washing

We got feedback through our recent survey that you want more category insight from us. We're working on a way to bring you resources on that front, but in the meantime, Cindy and I have a lot of direct experience that we'd like to share. What are your unique category experiences and what did you learn from them? We'd love to hear about it: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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