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One of the interesting things about consistently reading and hearing content from quality sources is that you start to notice trends. It is amazing how often the same topics arise at the same time in different places. We use this blog as a way to help you stay on top of the major themes in procurement and supply chain management.

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Supplier Management
Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Contract Management: Yours, Mine, and Ours

In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, "…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."

His point plays out on a daily basis through the contract management strategies and practices in many organizations. Because our supply chains are no longer linear or consecutive, we may be buying from and selling to the same company at the same time. This puts our organization in the role of being simultaneously both buyer and supplier.

While there is no problem with this, it does raise complexities for the procurement and sales teams if one or the other is unaware of something going on. I can honestly say I have seen this happen firsthand.

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

New Research Reveals Consumer Expectations for Supplier Management

Late last week, Proxima Group revealed the initial findings of research they commissioned into how consumers – American consumers specifically, feel about companies that find themselves on the wrong end of a supplier scandal.

According to the release, “The study of typical American consumers, commissioned by sourcing and procurement specialist Proxima, reveals that 74% of respondents stated they would be unlikely to buy products or services from a company involved in controversial supplier practices. Furthermore, nearly 66% would stop giving such a company their business even if that company was the most convenient and cheapest option.”

Webinar Notes: Why Vendor Management Must Change: 3 Most Common Dysfunctional Aspects of the Current Model

This week’s webinar notes are from a March 25th webinar presented by the Outsourcing Institute and Alsbridge. This is too soon to expect the on demand version to be available (assuming it will be) but here is the link to the page where OI posts their on demand events. There was also talk of a whitepaper related to the webinar content, and I will post the link to that’s as soon as I am sure which one it is.

Town Hall Notes: Designing a Meaningful Set of Performance Metrics for Every Contract

This week’s event notes are from the September SIG Town Hall Teleconference. In this open mic event, Dawn Evans, SIG’s President and CEO, led a discussion about the metrics procurement can put in place to drive meaningful results from suppliers. These events, held monthly, are open to buy side members. SIG also welcomes first time buy-side non-members so they can experience the open nature of a SIG Town Hall Teleconference. These events are unsponsored and are never recorded in order to encourage open participation. For more information on SIG Town Halls, click here.

Webinar Notes: Become a Procurement Change Agent

This week’s webinar notes are based on a May 13th webinar presented by IASTA and Efficio, their European consulting partner. The event was recorded, and the on demand version is available on Slideshare. You can also download the presentation itself, which included quite a bit of data, directly from IASTA’s website.

Webinar Notes: RAGE Frameworks Real Time Intelligence for Supplier Risk

Editor's note: Buyers Meeting Point would like to thank partner and colleague Jeanette Jones of Cottrill Research for this week's webinar notes. The original posting can be viewed on the Cottrill blog. For our readers without a background in etymology or taxonomies, an ontology is the study of categories of bring as well as their interrelations. In a procurement context, this can most clearly be seen in spend analysis through the category structure and hierarchy used by the company to group and organize transactions.

 

There are many articles and reports about using Big Data for supplier risk, but there is still confusion about what Big Data is and how exactly one moves forward. Tom Fishburne at marketcartoonist.com succinctly sums it up with this gem, “many companies struggle with small data, let alone big data.”

 

Webinar Notes: Improving Supplier Risk Management in the Age of Big Data

“Risk management is not a purchasing initiative. It’s an initiative and philosophy that has to be embraced by the entire organization.”

-- Rose Kelly-Falls Senior VP Supply Chain Risk, Rapid Ratings and event panelist

This week’s webinar notes are from a February 13th webinar hosted by IASTA and featuring a panel of speakers. An on demand version of the event is available on their website.

Webinar Notes: Enhanced Supplier Repository – A Real Asset for Procurement

This week’s webinar notes are from a January 9th event hosted by Procurement Leaders and sponsored by iValua, with a case study presented by Whirlpool. The event is available for replay on iValua's site. If you are interested in more on the topics covered in the webinar, you can also download a free report (no registration required) that shares the results of iValua’s first Procurement Executives survey.

Blog Pick of the Week: Good Surprises are Wonderful

 

Everyone loves a good surprise. Maybe is it an unexpected birthday present. Or perhaps it is a visit from a dear friend that you have not seen in quite some time. An unforeseen professional opportunity is offered to you that would open up new growth and financial rewards. There are so many events that pleasantly surprise us and we do look forward to those.

 

Blog Pick of the Week: Sourcing Solutions NOT for Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. My father was a do-it-yourselfer to the max. Many times he would fix something. It may not be pretty but it worked. He would often say “Rube Goldberg would be proud of this!”.

Posted by on in Procurement
Have the right tool

A few years ago we did not have a technology tool to help track sourcing initiatives for 60+ customers. We utilized an excel spreadsheet with a tab for each customer all linked to a summary tab. There were 8 of us updating it from several remote locations. The sheet got corrupted, links got broken and it was an overall nightmare. Sound familiar?

Blog Pick of the Week: What questions do you ask of your Suppliers?

Children ask a lot of questions. It is a great way to learn. Often they are ‘why’ questions. When my daughter talked to her grandfather, she almost always started the conversation with “Guess What?”. After a while, that became his nick name for her. 


Many organizations are using some situational interview questions in the process. This helps to determine the fit of the candidate, specifically in how they communicate, problem solve and make decisions. Consulting houses have been using this approach for a long time. A classic question was “How much does a 747 airplane weigh?” It was not the answer that mattered but the process and method of communicating that response that was the key.

Similarly, when in your procurement role and working with suppliers, asking questions of them can really help differentiate their capabilities. Charles Dominick of Next Level Purchasing has a blog “Three Supplier Interview Questions that should be included in your discussions with them.

  • How will doing business with your company instead of your competitor(s) make my organization more profitable?"
  • "What have been the biggest operational challenges that you have faced recently?"
  • "What changes do you see in your industry in the next few years and how are you preparing for them?"

One question that I use and find extremely helpful, both in my profession and in personal interactions is “What have I not asked you that I have missed, based on your experiences?” That is always an eye opener and a great way to wrap up the meeting.

Have you used any of these approaches? What technique and questions do you find helpful?

 

 

Small Businesses making a Big impact

Small businesses begin when we are very young, selling homemade crafts at a yard sale or perhaps a road side lemonade stand. I know we ended up drinking most of our product and making very little profit.

Developing a Supplier Scorecard

You are creating a supplier scorecard. Where do you get the data from and what questions do you ask?

Posted by on in Procurement
Use the Magnifying Glass

How is your vision? Is it 20-20 or do you need lenses or a magnifying glass? How about your supplier and spend visibility?

So, You Want to Win a Reverse Auction?

“Reverse auctions are loved by corporate purchasing managers, loathed by suppliers, and rarely discussed publicly by anyone involved.”

– Max Chafkin, Inc. Magazine

Posted by on in The Flip Side
Are you a King or a Joker?

This week’s trip to The Flip Side is based on a post written by Reed Holden on his blog Pricing With Confidence: ‘Procurement: Kings or Jokers’. Holden has written a number of books on pricing and negotiation. His primary focus is helping Fortune 1000 B2B companies in a number of industries maximize their growth through setting optimal go-to-market strategies.

Webinar Notes: How to Eat An Elephant: Supply and Risk Management at ABB

This week’s featured webinar was hosted by Emptoris and Procurement Leaders, with a supplier lifecycle management (SLM) case study from The ABB Group. You can view an on demand version of the event by clicking here. ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. In 2010 they had $32B in revenue. As a 120 year old organization, they were decentralized with five divisions.

 

In this week’s Flip Side coverage, I want to take you through a sales-oriented post from a blog called The Pipeline on ‘Selling to Procurement’. The Pipeline is written by Tibor Shanto, Founder and President of Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., and creator of Objective Based Selling.

Posted by on in The Flip Side

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury (1834 - 1913)

This week's trip to the Flip Side is a humorous - and visual - look at the many perceptions of sales people. We came across an image last week that represents how sales people are perceived by their friends, customers, and society as a whole as well as the way they see themselves versus what their job is really like. We also had our undercover sales advisor, “The Sales Guy” interpret the reality of the situation. Visuals are a great way to communicate subtle differences, and this will allow you to laugh as well as to gain some additional insight into the complex, multi-faceted world of being a sales account rep.

Without further ado, here is the picture:

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