Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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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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Webinar Recommendations for July 13 – 17, 2015: Spend as a Service, Attacking Capital Wasters, and the Global Organization

Webinar Recommendations for July 13 – 17, 2015: Spend as a Service, Attacking Capital Wasters, and the Global Organization

There are three events taking place this week, and they are all worth attending. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and connect to their registration pages.

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

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.

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Webinar Notes: Realizing the Power of Market Intelligence in a Dynamic Global Economy

Webinar Notes: Realizing the Power of Market Intelligence in a Dynamic Global Economy

This week’s webinar notes are from an October 28th webinar hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and presented by Sherri Barnes, Director of Intelligence at Denali Group.

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

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.

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Webinar Notes: Farming Supplier Relationships: Learn to Drive Value More Effectively

Webinar Notes: Farming Supplier Relationships: Learn to Drive Value More Effectively

This week’s webinar notes are from an October 29th event hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and presented by David Jungling from Denali Sourcing Services. If you are interested in the content, but aren’t a member of SIG, Denali also recently published a whitepaper on the topic, which can be downloaded here.

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Webinar Notes: Five Steps To Creating A Successful Procurement Strategy

Webinar Notes: Five Steps To Creating A Successful Procurement Strategy

This week’s featured event was hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and presented by Denali Group’s John Evans and Grant Dearborn. Their ‘Five Steps To Creating A Successful Procurement Strategy’ logically started with their working definition of strategy, one that is specific to procurement:

“[Strategy] Defines a plan for optimizing external spend, procurement operations and other value contributions in a manner that supports the overall corporate agenda.”

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Webinar Notes: From Tactical to Strategic: Retooling for Better Category Management

Webinar Notes: From Tactical to Strategic: Retooling for Better Category Management

This week’s featured webinar was presented by Denali Group and Sourcing Interests Group. Two members of the Denali Group team discussed four challenges procurement organizations face as they attempt to move away from tactical work and retool themselves for strategic category management:

  • Strategic partnership
  • Resource limitations
  • Organizational expectations
  • Skills gaps
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Webinar Notes: SIG Special Report Webinar: Executive Roundtable Findings

Webinar Notes: SIG Special Report Webinar: Executive Roundtable Findings

This week’s featured webinar was hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and was a special offering based on what they learned this fall by hosting a series of executive roundtables. This week’s ‘Special Report Webinar’ gave four round table facilitators an opportunity to share what they heard CPOs discussing on a number of current topics including talent retention, sourcing pressure points, risk and sustainability. I encourage you to read the highlights below and to view the event on demand on SIG’s site, as well as to read my own editorializing at the end of this post.

Simon Woodcock, Xchanging

Collaboration will take the place of negotiation as procurement looks to fully leverage the capabilities of the supply chain. Building relationships with suppliers and further integrating networks will move us away from a focus on component cost and towards outcome based compensation models. Be sure to question and restate the true purpose of procurement in the organization, adjusting the model and goals of the group as needed.

John Evans, Denali Group

The items on the forward-looking CPO’s agenda include supplier relationship management, reassessing skills requirements and finding new ways to add value for the business. From a talent management standpoint, many CPOs are starting to embrace the skills traditionally found in sales or business development professionals. This strengthens the relationship building capabilities of the organization but introduces challenges around compensation levels and models.

Colleen Tiner, Beeline

In order to build reputations, respect and recognition within the organization, many procurement teams have found that the best approach is to do a favor – managing “The Big Ugly” as she called it. The Big Ugly is any project or problem facing the organization that procurement can address, in many cases because no other group wants to make the attempt. The effort to influence business units is most effective when played as a long term strategy: “relentless pressure, gently applied.” Her take on the talent challenge required creativity and flexibility as professionals are moved in and out of the organization. Look for skills sets in unexpected places and be open to moving team members to other functions in the organization.

My own read on the roundtable findings…

When I think about the observations of each facilitator, the point that is clear to me is that procurement is changing. This is not a new idea by any means. Outsourcing of the function is gaining increased acceptance across industries and companies. While some CPOs still hold significance within their organization, many others find their positions downgraded or merged into the responsibilities of others. Procurement ACTIVITY is alive and well, and will be as long as companies remain in business.

But… as tactical purchasing work is outsourced, the use of automation becomes more widespread, skill sets in procurement become more broad, and organizations prepare to handle the increased turnover of Millenial employees, the future of the procurement DEPARTMENT is coming into question. Many of the discussions that took place at the roundtables seem to indicate that procurement is looking to evolve for defensive reasons rather than to increase our influence from a position of strength.

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Webinar Notes: A Programmatic Approach to Sourcing: Delivering Real, Lasting Value

Webinar Notes: A Programmatic Approach to Sourcing: Delivering Real, Lasting Value

This week’s featured event was hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and featured two senior members of Denali Group’s team sharing their experiences with the use of strategic and non-strategic category sourcing to meet overall goals. The right balance of the two supported by an efficient balance of people, process, and technology opens the door to long-term value creation and impact within the organization. If procurement organizations are going to excel in today’s climate of scarce resources and high expectations, we need to explore every opportunity to the fullest. And of course the real goal of accomplishing all this is securing a voice for procurement in the strategic planning process of the company.

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Event Notes: Navigating The New Paradigm in Purchasing

Event Notes: Navigating The New Paradigm in Purchasing

You make money while you are spending money – a quote from Alpar Kamber’s father

This week’s featured event was an interview by Jon Hansen, host of the PI Window on Business Blog Talk Radio program, and Alpar Kamber, a Managing Partner with Denali Group and the Founder and Practice Lead of their Sourcing Services group. The broadcast recording is available on demand on the PI Window on Business site. You can also read more from the Denali Group leadership team in a recent Buyers Meeting Point interview: Planning for Sustainable Results: Long-term Vision, Short-term Action.

 

If you like what you hear and read, there are additional upcoming opportunities to interact with Alpar and the Denali team in a non-commercial setting. They are hosting two sourcing forums: one later this month in Pittsburgh and one in 2013 in Seattle.

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Instant Customer Service Feedback for Procurement

If you’ve spent any time on our site this week, you’ll see that we are having a customer-service centric week. It all started when I attended last week’s Next Level Purchasing Association webinar where Peter Nero of Denali Group shared his thoughts on what is next for procurement. The answer was better customer service.

As a follow up, we spoke with The Sales Guy about the kinds of internal customer service he thinks procurement can provide, and this morning we read the Wikipedia article on customer service. We’re not looking to turn procurement into a transactional call center, but some of the traditional wisdom about how to keep your customers happy applies to the relationship between us and our internal stakeholders.

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Webinar Notes: NLPA's Monthly Webinar What’s Next for Procurement: Innovating to Drive Value

This week, our webinar notes are on ‘What’s Next for Procurement”, the monthly Next Level Purchasing Association member call featuring Peter Nero from Denali Group.  If you are not a member of the NLPA, I encourage you to join – it is easy and free.  Click here for more information.

While this presentation is not available as a recording, you can read a whitepaper by Denali Group on their Procurement Innovation Research for 2011.

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Webinar Notes: Procurement Knowledge Management

I've always thought of Knowledge Management systems as databases full of documents. Unwieldy, outdated, only updated when your boss reminds you that participating will be part of your annual review cycle. As it turns out, most of what we already do can be worked into a knowledge management program - we just have to be deliberate about where information goes. The other take-away isn't a new one, but it seems to be one of the hardest ones to maintain.  At the end of a project, it is important to download and record your experiences and lessons learned - for yourself next time or someone else down the road.

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