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.

Risk Management in Supply Chain and Procurement: Preparing for the Storm

Risk Management in Supply Chain and Procurement: Preparing for the Storm

Although we’re a few weeks past the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy now, the shake up left experts, businessmen, companies, and customers alike wondering what other events could potentially jeopardize their operation or interfere with getting the product they ordered on time. There are countless risks in a globalized economy, making it a subject of relentless discussion among academics. That being said, some of the biggest companies in the world still do not have a team dedicated to risk management for their supply chain and procurement operations. A recent report by ATKearney and RapidRatings on managing supply risk in uncertain times found that “leaders have struggled to manage the latent risk in their extended supply chains. Most cite lack of bandwidth and budget as the biggest roadblocks. Dedicating scarce resources to prevent or minimize the impact of an issue that might never occur is often not a priority.”

With globalized supply chain operations, risk is growing and managing it is more critical than ever. Some risk factors have been greatly discussed in the industry, and others not so much. Below are a few of the risks threatening global supply chains as well as solutions and action items.

 

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Book Review: The Industries of the Future

Book Review: The Industries of the Future

Editor’s note:

It is my distinct belief that as corporate objectives become more general, functional silos dissipate, and millennial professional habits lead to increased talent rotation, the information and skills required by successful individuals and organizations will be broad in nature. Most of the books I review on an annual basis are procurement or supply chain related. That being said, competitive advantage is not discipline specific. In that spirit, I am actively pursuing opportunities to bring general thought leadership to Buyers Meeting Point. Starting… now!

The Industries of the Future, by former State Department Senior Advisor Alec Ross, is a compelling exploration of the conditions businesses and countries need to optimize in order to be successful in the decades to come. It borrows extensively from his time traveling the world in the federal government’s service, which means that his examples are unexpectedly diverse and shared in such a way that is only possible when the author has experienced something first-hand.

 

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Book Review: Global Supply Chain Ecosystems

Book Review: Global Supply Chain Ecosystems

…today’s supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage. (p. 11)

 

Global Supply Chain Ecosystems: Strategies for Competitive Advantage in a Complex World by Mark Millar provides a multi-dimensional look at supply chains. The ecosystem concept was originally used by the Financial Times to describe the increasingly complex nature of business in general. When it is applied to supply chain operations, it provides us with the idea that chains are more spherical than linear and non-consecutive.

 

One of the things I realized early in my reading of the book is that Millar is writing from a much different perspective than the authors we am used to hearing from. His biography lists him as a speaker, presenter, and board member. His view of supply chains in general, and their potential value contribution to the modern competitive enterprise, is more elevated.

 

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Book Review: Logistics and Supply Chain in Emerging Markets

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.

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Online business changing the face of procurement

Online business changing the face of procurement

Alibaba launched on the NYSE Friday which was a much anticipated event. They hope to be larger than Amazon and eBay combined. It is quite a story about an English teacher starting this company in 1999 from his apartment. Now they employ over 25,000 people.

When you look at Alibaba, they are changing the face of procurement. They offer services around sourcing, supplier research, as well as negotiation and purchasing. The sourcing professional can reach a broader network for their supplier and market place knowledge. It also reveals options from additional geographic regions that may not have been available in the past. The pick of the week is a page from Alibaba's site where they describe all their services that sourcing and procurement professionals can utilize.

They are promoting themselves as a one-stop-shop. You can purchase an individual item or in bulk. It can be used for personal purchasing or B2B commerce. The flexibility of offerings is amazing.

It is the number one mobile app in China and growing throughout the European market. The ease of use and accessibility adds to their success.

As a procurement professional, have you used Alibaba for your market research? How about getting pricing and transacting purchase orders? What has been your experience and has it become a major part of your toolkit?

Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @BuyersMeetPoint.

 

 

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Flash Forward: A #FutureBuy Perspective from The Mill Girl at Blue Heron Journal

Flash Forward: A #FutureBuy Perspective from The Mill Girl at Blue Heron Journal

Editor's Note: On May 1st, Buyers Meeting Point issued an Open Call for predictions about the future of procurement as part of the #FutreBuy project I am working on with Jon Hansen (Procurement Insights, PI Window on the World). We welcome all predictions, either as comments to our posts on the subject, guest submissions, or posts on Twitter flagged with our #FutureBuy hashtag.

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Book Review: Can China Lead?

Book Review: Can China Lead?

Can China Lead?

Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth

 

Can China Lead?, by Regina M. Abrami, William Kirby, and F. Warren McFarlan, asks a question that can not be definitively answered but is well worth asking. The authors seamlessly combine their knowledge of China’s history, people, and politics to advise companies looking to engage in commercial interactions with one the world’s second largest economy (As ranked by GDP by the United Nations, 2012). As the authors state in their Introduction, “Chinese businesses compete globally, now going head-to-head with North American and European corporations in telecommunications, heavy machinery, and renewable forms of energy.” (p. x)

 

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Webinar Notes: Negotiating Across Cultures

Webinar Notes: Negotiating Across Cultures


This week’s featured webinar notes are from a recent IACCM event called ‘Negotiating Across Cultures: Understanding the Differences, Avoiding the Pitfalls’ which was hosted by Tim Cummins and Karen Walch. If you are an IACCM member, you can view the event on demand after logging in on their site.

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Webinar Notes: Going Deeper and Broader for Borderless Procurement

Webinar Notes: Going Deeper and Broader for Borderless Procurement

This week’s featured webinar was hosted by ISM and presented by Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. In ‘Key Procurement Issues in 2013: Going Deeper and Broader for Borderless Procurement’ we heard the application of Hackett’s ‘Borderless Business’ concept to the world of procurement, focusing on the priorities being set by leading organizations for performance and capability building.

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My Procurement is Your Beschaffung and Their Approvisionnement

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

 -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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