Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

“There’s a false dichotomy between cost and safety. Are we willing and able to account for the many costs of not having a quality operation: lack of cooperation, poor leadership, waste, and incidents and accidents? If we really and truly account for them, then safety can pay for itself. Getting it wrong is more expensive than doing it right the first time.” – Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

 

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Guest Post on Procurement Insights: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, and Neither Was its Supply Chain

Guest Post on Procurement Insights: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, and Neither Was its Supply Chain

Note: This post oritinally ran on the Procurement Insights blog.

“Without a good mental model you won’t survive in business for long.” – M. Hugos, SCM Globe

At the end of 2014, I came across an extremely interesting use of modern supply chain modeling. Michael Hugos, author of Essentials of Supply Chain Management and co-founder of SCM Globe, applied interactive supply chain modeling and simulation to the supply chains of ancient Rome – the olive oil supply chain to be specific.

I’m a history buff, so this was right up my alley, but trust me – it is worth your time to read the three part series. The case study is set in the Roman Empire in 300 A.D. Olive oil is in high demand because it can be used for cooking, light, cosmetics, and healthcare. Its value is second only to gold. Between demand and value, the conditions are right for exporters in the remote corners of the Empire to innovate, and they do not disappoint. Using the Romans’ expertise in water management, they alter the conditions of previously unfarmable terrain and make it both productive and profitable.

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Green is good

Green is good

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying warming temperatures, Spring is on the way and everything is turning green. You can hear a collective cheer as another winter season has passed. A few weeks ago it was St. Patrick’s day and the color of attire everywhere was green. In the US, the currency is green, and obviously a focus for the procurement teams. Everywhere, their focus is on the financial impact (green or otherwise) that they bring to their organizations.

Another form of green is sustainable procurement practices. While it is beneficial for the planet and future generations, it is difficult for businesses to practice when the focus is on financial. This is especially true when it is more expensive to procure “green” products and services.

Procurement Insights article by Nick Ford, Sustainable Impact: Converting Environmental Impact into Financial Impact, shares some interesting perspectives.

One of the topics covered is for your procurement organization to set up rules on who to do business with. Similar to how suppliers have to have financial stability, business practices can be put in place with KPI’s on how their sustainability rating is. Based on that scorecard, procurement can decide who to award the business to. The ratings should take into account not only how green the actual product or service is but also how environmentally friendly the supplier’s manufacturing process is. For example, back in the 1960’s and 70’s, a manufacturing facility near my home was utilizing a nearby lake for their waste. While every other lake in the area froze solid in the winter, this one was steaming. Thankfully that practice has not been done in a very long time and the lake is quite clean at this point. What if one of your suppliers was treating the environment in this fashion today? Would you know it and could allocate your purchasing decisions elsewhere and influencing suppliers to make a change?

What has your team done with sustainability? Have you put a scorecard together for suppliers?

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

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What negotiation skills does procurement need TODAY?

What negotiation skills does procurement need TODAY?

Listen daaahlings, let me tell you a little something about negotiating. Talking about money is so… GAUCHE. No no no, that won’t do at all. Today, enlightened procurement professionals collaborate. We innovate. We partner. We strategize. I do for you… you do for me… we have a relationship. No ugliness, no shoving. After all, there is no need to stoop to talking about dollars and cents. We have people for that. Right? Yes, well, have your people call my people: we’ll do lunch.

Oh please!

We can’t say that procurement no longer needs strong negotiating skills just because many spend categories are now being managed in a more relational way. Making that assertion demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about what it means to negotiate. Negotiation is a phase, not an action. There are a myriad of skills required to be an effective negotiator, and they are different for each set of circumstances.

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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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It was a dark and stormy night... On Procurement and Storytelling

It was a dark and stormy night... On Procurement and Storytelling

On July 22, Chip Scholz, Head Coach of Scholz and Associates, Inc. posted ‘Executive Presence: Stronger with Leadership Storytelling’ on his site.

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Is Wal-Mart’s “Woman-Owned” Label Visionary or Just a Circus?

Is Wal-Mart’s “Woman-Owned” Label Visionary or Just a Circus?

In September 2011, Wal-Mart announced a plan to spend $20B with woman-owned businesses by 2016. More recently, they expanded their Women’s Economic Empowerment program to include a ‘women-owned’ labeling program. Products that meet company ownership requirements will start appearing on Wal-Mart shelves this September1. Qualified companies can apply to be a part of the program through WBENC and WEConnect International.

Despite the company’s apparent good intentions, the program has not been warmly received by all, including some critics who feel calling additional attention to these products simply because of female company ownership does little to advance equality. As one commenter posted in response to a BusinessWeek article on the program, “The path to gender equality does not involve stickers pointing out that a product has been made by a female entrepreneur.”2

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Ten Days and Counting: Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals

Ten Days and Counting: Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals

On September 3rd of last year, Jeanette Jones, Owner and Founder of Cottrill Research, suggested (out of the blue!) that she and I co-author a book. There was never any question of whether or not I would do it. I’ve always wanted to write a book. I enjoy doing research and I have been fascinated with procurement ever since I ‘fell into’ the profession in 2003. Jeanette’s suggestion that we write a book to help procurement professionals create their own supply market intelligence combined all three.

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Open Call for Predictions: What does the Future of Procurement Hold? #FutureBuy

Open Call for Predictions: What does the Future of Procurement Hold? #FutureBuy

 The best way to predict the future is to create it.

-        Peter Drucker

If we knew what the future held for procurement, we would undoubtedly change some of what we are doing today. Since is it impossible for any of us to be certain about the future, our best option is to form a vision for what we hope the future will hold and align our initiatives to that vision.

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thomasdepaoli@yahoo.com
The future of the supply chain and relationships will radically change. Normally the procurement professional tells or indicates t... Read More
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 14:49
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The Funny Thing about Auctions…

The Funny Thing about Auctions…

Last month, Alun Rafique from Market Dojo and I co-wrote an article for Procurement Insights about Variables in the Adoption of Auctions. A discussion about the article really picked up steam in the ISM group on LinkedIn, and one of the questions posed in response was “Someone explain to me how a Reverse Auction is fair and equitable to the supplier..."

After considering that question carefully, Market Dojo published an article that asks a question in response: “Should Suppliers Still Fear eAuctions?” The article, which you can read here, takes an interesting look at the progression of auctions from carefully managed consultant resource, to part of an ERP system, to their somewhat questionable state today – in limbo in a world where procurement is driven to create as much value as savings. A third question in this discussion might be, are auctions still relevant?

 

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Is the Should Cost Model Obsolete?

Is the Should Cost Model Obsolete?

Q: Does anybody still use the “should-cost” model?

A: Yes, and if they don’t, they should start.

 

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SciQuest comes full circle with CombineNet acquisition (Part 2 of 2)

SciQuest comes full circle with CombineNet acquisition (Part 2 of 2)

Click here for part one of this series.

“SciQuest, originally an e-market exchange, went public in 1999 with a $2 billion market cap. Two years later, SciQuest was on the verge of shutting its doors: the gross profit margin was running at 2% and the company was burning $25 million a quarter. With only $50 million in its coffers, this prototype for the dot.com era was on track to run out of cash by year’s end.”

The above excerpt from The American Business Awards 2008 Winners website made considerable references to the areas upon which I touched in my 2005 white paper on SciQuest. Specifically, was the SciQuest value proposition scalable beyond the cottage industry success that enabled it to grow to the point of going public with a $2 billion market cap in the first place?

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Procurement on YouTube: Using Demand and Specification Management to Meet Tough Savings Targets

Procurement on YouTube: Using Demand and Specification Management to Meet Tough Savings Targets

In this Procurement on YouTube post, we will hear from Mikkel Larsen, Strategic Programme Executive at Rolls Royce. He recently gave a presentation at ProcureCon on ‘Focusing on the big wins and sustainable outcomes: using demand and specification management as the key tools in meeting tough savings targets’. When he talks about sustainability, he means lasting results through meaningful change versus environmental sustainability. In this clip, he describes the importance of reducing costs through demand and specifications as opposed to just consolidating volume for pricing leverage, bringing suppliers and internal stakeholders actively into the process to collaborate on a meaningful solution.

 

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Procurement on YouTube: Amazing Customer Service Doesn't Happen by Accident

Procurement on YouTube: Amazing Customer Service Doesn't Happen by Accident

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we are going to continue down a path we started with the March 9th Buyers Meeting Point blog pick of the week. Each week, my partner Cindy Allen Murphy selects a single blog post to focus on. Sometimes they are direct from one of the well-known supply management thought leaders, but other weeks she pulls interesting topics from a wide range of general business, industry, and professional development sources. Last week she chose to highlight a post by customer service author and speaker Shep Hyken.

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Procurement on YouTube: Climbing to the Procurement Summit

Procurement on YouTube: Climbing to the Procurement Summit

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we we'll see Jamie Clarke: a Canadian adventurer, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker who has summited Mt. Everest twice in four attempts. At first pass, you might not think that being able to climb Mount Everest would qualify him to work with procurement professionals, but in April of this year he will do just that – at Coupa’s INSPIRE event in San Francisco. I wanted to learn a little more about him, so I looked for and found a clip that shares a bit of his perspective on overcoming adversity, and, as you are about to hear, he understands the kind of challenges we face better than you would think.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Charles Darwin and Strategic Sourcing

The only thing constant in life is change.

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Innovation Through Procurement Contests: Requirements v. Specifications (Part 2)

This post is a follow up to 'Innovation Through Procurement Contests' (Part 1), my thoughts on Procurement Insights’ 3 part (so far) series on contests in public procurement. I’ve had a chance to think about the idea a little more and as far as I’m concerned, if it allows the buying organization to put the right solutions in place, then it is a benefit. As I commented in my previous post, the concern becomes for the procurement professional whose role becomes one of administration rather than strategy and negotiation. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I had started down the road towards what would become a sticking point for some of the collaboration-style projects often resulting from new solution development: intellectual property rights.

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Innovation Through Procurement Contests (Part 1)

This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is Innovation, and you can click here to read an excerpt or to link back to the Wikipedia article.  We chose this topic because of a series of posts being done this week by BMP mentor Jon Hansen on his blog Procurement Insights. He is addressing a growing debate over the benefits of using procurement contests - particularly in public procurement - to innovate without absorbing the direct costs of a major R&D investment. 

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