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.

Recommended Procurement Webinars for March 27 - 31: RPA, Millennials, Annual NLPA Salary Survey

Recommended Procurement Webinars for March 27 - 31: RPA, Millennials, Annual NLPA Salary Survey

This is a busy week - 13 webinars in 3 days – with webinars covering a wide range of topics. If the events below don’t match your interests, check our calendar for webinars on warehousing, analysis, DPO, and Pharmacy. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 31 – November 4

Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 31 – November 4

This is an incredibly busy week for procurement and supply chain webinars! The end of 2016 is filling up fast. In fact, there are only really 7 weeks left in the year once you subtract the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Click on the title of each webinar 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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Q and A with Michael Raezler, a 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star

Q and A with Michael Raezler, a 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star

I recently got the opportunity to have access to the 2016 class of ThomasNet / ISM 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain stars. I looked through the whole list of impressive young professionals, and one individual really stood out to me. Michael Raezler is a Purchasing and Supply Management Specialist with U.S. Postal Service.

I specifically requested his insight (as captured in the following Q&A) partly because he has accomplished amazing things in his short professional tenure and partly because he is a living example of excellence in a segment of the public sector that all too often goes unrecognized and under-estimated. The procurement profession – and the U.S. Postal Service – are lucky to have him as part of our community.

If you are interested in the entire class of 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain stars, click here to read more.

 

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Techniques for Accurately and Efficiently Forecasting Demand

Techniques for Accurately and Efficiently Forecasting Demand

This post was written by Michael Hinkley, an intern at Source One Management Services. If you are interesting in hearing his perspective on procurement as a career and as a part of the larger business, click here to listen to our conversation on BMP Radio.

Whether you’re preparing for a sourcing engagement or looking to improve supplier relationships, effective forecasting and planning is key to staying ahead of your supply chain and formulating a procurement blueprint. When buyers and sellers aren’t on the same page about expected volumes, usage schedules, and run sizes, both may experience surpluses or shortages. This, in turn, can lead to dire consequences for operational efficiency and the bottom line – yours and your suppliers’. For instance, the over unitization of warehouse space, as a result of a constant excess of inventory, will lead to increased effective unit prices. However, with accurate forecasting and improved supplier communication, you not only optimize your internal processes but allow your suppliers to run a more efficient operation with better turnover rates and proper resource allocation.

 

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Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Whole Foods Markets Shifts Their Cost Model as They Target Millennial Shoppers

Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Whole Foods Markets Shifts Their Cost Model as They Target Millennial Shoppers

In March, I wrote a post for this blog about the Whole Foods grocery chain in which I asked the question: "How Much Can Procurement Change on Their Own?" I looked at how Whole Foods has defied the low margins commonly seen in grocery retail by employing an operational strategy that merges brand reputation, consumer identity, and high-quality products in justification of higher prices. Their procurement team is part of a top to bottom approach to creating the right value proposition for their customers.

Although they have been successful to this point, Whole Foods has found it difficult to expand their market share beyond their existing customer base. Whole Foods has never professed to be the supermarket for all shoppers, or even for most shoppers. They choose their markets carefully, making sure that the demographics in each area fit their business model. They do, however, need to find a way to build loyalty in other shopper segments that can later be channeled into the primary chain.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON SELECTICA'S SOCIAL CONTRACTING BLOG

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Boomers vs. Millennials in the Marketplace

Boomers vs. Millennials in the Marketplace

Recently, we were at a hotel and happened to meet the resort president as we waited for our table. We had a wonderful conversation and explained we were celebrating our anniversary. Several hours later, we arrived in our room to a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. We were so surprised and found it was compliments of the president. That was amazing customer service and truly they have gained our loyalty.

How do retailers or any organization for that matter gain your loyalty? For decades, the marketing was focused on the Baby Boomers (b. ’43-’64) as they were such a force in numbers and buying power. While that is still the case by spending power, The Millennials ( b. ’76 – ’92) are coming on strong in numbers and soon will be reaching their peak spending years.

This study, by Synchrony Financial, Balancing Multi-Generational Retail Strategies, reviews some of the different approaches and how organizations could benefit from utilizing them. As the subtitle suggests, you want to win over Millennials without losing the Boomers.

The similarities in the two generations are not surprising:

  • Both love coupons and discounts and bargains
  • Both use social media to share recent experiences
  • Both use online shopping
  • Both own tablets and smart phones

The article then goes into some of the differences and suggestions on how organizations should stay current in order to attract the future generation and buying power.

Millennials are more price conscious and make their purchasing decisions accordingly. Boomers are also price conscience but have brand loyalty based on customer service.

While Boomers and Millennials both own tablets and smart phones, they use them quite differently. Boomers have to think and ‘work’ their devices while Millennials use them as an extension of themselves, almost as simple as breathing. The mobile experience has to be fast, helpful and productive for Millennials as a given, not an exception.

With all that in mind, how do these generations and their preferences impact you as a procurement professional? What factors are you considering as you plan your assortment and your go-to-market strategy? What is your approach to the "bottle of champagne" surprise?

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

Recent Comments
Guest — Anon
Well... another article stereotyping generations.I'm not entirely sure I agree with any of this if I am being completely honest.As... Read More
Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:04
Guest — Cindy Allen-Murphy
The intention of the article was not to stereotype but to indicate the times are changing and organizations need to react accordin... Read More
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 11:49
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Manufacturing & Millennial Barometer Reading: High and Rising

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.

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Guest — charlie23
Millennials are leaving indelible footprints on the marketplace. They are eclipsing Baby Boomers in numbers and importance. As a d... Read More
Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:47
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Webinar Notes: Procurement career paths: Lessons from the latest talent research

Webinar Notes: Procurement career paths: Lessons from the latest talent research

This week’s notes are from an October 16th Procurement Leaders webinar featuring the results of their latest research into procurement talent. It is not yet available on demand, but it should eventually be listed here.

This absolutely fantastic webinar was presented by PL Research Director Maggie Slowik. We all know talent is an ongoing issue for procurement contributors, managers, and executive leaders. In my recommendation of the event on Blog Talk Radio, I shared two sadly common views of procurement talent taken from the books I have reviewed:

“Some executives used to think of procurement as the place you send staff away in order to never see them again.”Leading Procurement Strategy, Carlos Mena, Remko van Hoek, and Martin Christopher

“You see, many procurement departments have been staffed in the same manner as the Island of Misfit Toys; when an employee did not perform elsewhere in the organization and the management didn't have the heart to dire him or her, that employee was sent to work in the procurement department”The Procurement Game Plan, Charles Dominick, Dr. Soehila Lunney

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Are Millennials Changing the Face of Procurement?

Are Millennials Changing the Face of Procurement?

There are approximately 80 million people in the United States between the age of 18 and 30, a group known as the millennials. Many believe that millennials bring a unique perspective to business as compared to other generations because of their tech savviness. Technology is one of the biggest drivers for globalization, but it also allows disparate locations to connect and communicate on various topics such as current events, special causes, and marketplace trends. Millennials have already started to drive major changes in the sourcing and procurement industry, such as green purchasing, the push for free and collaborative information, and updated workplace abilities.

Recent Comments
Guest — David Hardman
"Sharing of information allows millennials to build their collaboration skills and gives them an edge when it comes to negotiation... Read More
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:50
Guest — Biil Kohnen
Interesting points especially relative to comfort online and information sharing. I think they will push purchasing systems towar... Read More
Thursday, 18 September 2014 22:37
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Don't Overlook the Procurement “Middle Child”

Don't Overlook the Procurement “Middle Child”

The entire professional community, procurement included, is bracing for the impact of the Millennial generation. Managers and executives want to position their company or department as a team that will appeal to the brightest, best upcoming achievers. ISM and ThomasNet recently joined forces specifically for the purpose of gathering nominations for their ’30 Under 30’ Supply Chain Rising Stars program. Corporate leadership teams are concerned about being flexible enough, mobile enough, and ‘sexy’ enough to compete for young talent. Professional associations are scrambling to make sure they demonstrate their relevance on an ongoing basis.

Recent Comments
Guest — William Ng
Very interesting perspective on the age gap, Kelly. Nice post. William Ng Editor ThomasNet News
Thursday, 07 August 2014 09:58
Guest — Bill Kohnen
Certainly the new technology and change to new work organizations and approach can be intimidating. However, the "middle children... Read More
Thursday, 07 August 2014 12:23
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