This week may not be as busy as last week, but the topics are as diverse as the presenters. And since so many companies ran events last week, this week’s hosts and speakers offer a fresh diversity of perspectives on procurement topics. Remember that we are in daylight savings time season, so double check the starting time of each event in its host country as well as your own. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
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.
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.
As a child at the dinner table, we were expected to try at least a bite of something. Like anyone, we often did not want to try something new. It was not comfortable and it was easier to skip it or default to what we knew we liked. There is an old commercial for Life cereal where Mikey tries it and the famous tag line – Try it, You'll Like It.
This week’s webinar notes are from an event run on September 3rd by Spend Matters EU/UK, Selectica, and IASTA. The event is available on demand here.
Once you get this classic Pink Floyd tune stuck in your head, it is likely to stay, and maybe that was the idea with this event title. Far from being a strategic sourcing solution ‘add on’ contract lifecycle management requires its own program considerations, including its impact on global supply chains, corporate strategy, and enterprise wide implementation and leadership. In other words, not allowing your next executed contract to be just another brick in the wall.
Supplier Relationship Management (Kogan Page, available Oct. 28, 2014) is the third book I have reviewed by Jonathan O’Brien, a Director and co-owner of Positive Purchasing with over 20 years experience in purchasing. As we have come to expect of O’Brien’s work, this book provides an extensive look at the metrics, relationships, and change management considerations associated with supply base collaboration.
It is true that supplier relationships, innovation, and collaboration are among the topics du jour in procurement, but O’Brien proves himself well versed in the associated opportunities and challenges.
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.
Buying and Selling Information, by career salesperson Michael L. Gruenberg, is a guide to help buyers of information services (think subscription-based online databases). Beyond this very specific case, Gruenberg has good advice to offer buyers and sellers of any product or service. He is a salesperson who ‘gets it’ – or understands the need for buyers and sellers to work together for their mutual benefit, and for the benefit of their organizations. In his own words, “It’s all about equal footing, momentum, and success” (xviii).
This guest post is a team effort from Source One Management Services. If you would like to comment, you can do so by posting below, contacting them on Twitter @GetSavings, or contacting them directly here.
The outlets for procurement and supply chain news have no shortage of recommendations for improved business processes, new ideas, and technologies your department should implement to “modernize” or “optimize” or any number of other “-izes”. If you have read any of Source One’s contributions – here, on other publications, or on our own blog – we make just as many recommendations.
There has been a lot of focus in the past year on Supplier Relationship Management, and rightfully so. As the efforts of Strategic Sourcing initiatives begin producing diminishing returns, SRM is heralded by most to be the next step: focusing more on delivering value to the organization and developing relationships that can produce competitive advantages in the market. However, an SRM policy is only effective if the proper suppliers are in place, which is why it is routinely classified as the next step after strategic sourcing. There is little value in curating and managing relationships with suppliers that are not firmly aligned with your organization’s strategic goals.
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.
Supplier Relationship Management in the Supply Chain by Stuart Emmett is accurately titled – it is in fact a book about the importance and execution of supplier relationship in the supply chain. But because so many organizations do not have SRM programs (or would benefit from being more supplier-centric) it is more importantly a book about change. In order to get different results, we must think and act differently. This is a simple enough idea, but bringing about such changes in an organization is complex enough that few of us have reached our desired level of SRM maturity.
This week’s featured webinar was presented by the Next Level Purchasing Association. Each of the three speakers gave a preview of the sessions they will presenting at NLPA’s first conference, which is being held in Pittsburgh, PA this September.
This week’s featured webinar was a Procurement Leaders Thought Leaders event on the topic of supplier relationship management. Innovation with suppliers is a critical component of competitive advantage, but in order to turn potential into performance procurement needs a plan. In this webinar, we heard from Hubwoo, BMO Harris Bankcorp, and P&G about supplier segmentation, key success factors, and achieving innovation.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.
The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.
We have two ears and one mouth but we rarely use them in that proportion. We are so anxious to tell our story or give our perspective, we don't stop to LISTEN to our suppliers, customers or partners.
I read this article from Smartblog on Leadership titled: Explore the benefits of customer and supplier partnerships.
It gives a few examples of suppliers and customers worked together to benefit both organizations. They started by listening to each other's perspective and asking each other the following questions:
- What do you really need from me?
- What do you do with what I provide you?
- Are there gaps between what I give you and what you need?
- What problems might I help you with?
- Am I providing things you don’t need?
So who has time for all this? We have to take care of all the email, phone calls and meetings on the calendar? How do we carve out the time and focus to do something like this? Will it be effective if we take small steps and at least begin the process?
The authors of this article, George H. Labovitz and Victor Rosansky, have a business process to support this and have written a book, Rapid Realignment. Based on some of the highlighted case studies, it certainly seems like a resource to explore.
Has anyone utilized this approach? What type of results did you see and what would you suggest?
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.
As the economy starts to rebound and leverage positions change, becoming a ‘customer of choice’ is being discussed in many procurement conference rooms. You would think that us sitting around discussing how to be the most fabulous customers possible would be music to a sales person’s ears!
This week’s featured event was presented by Sourcing Interests Group and Emptoris (an IBM Company). The main speaker, Mitch Plaat, is Con-way’s VP of Procurement and CPO and has been with the company for 22 years. He has overseen quite a transformation, starting six years ago with the decision to engage Emptoris for help in the form of solutions and services.
At Buyers Meeting Point, we often have opportunities to recommend the publications we have read, reviewed and endorsed to our supply management colleagues. Vested Outsourcing by Kate Vitasek is one of the easiest books to recommend, not because it is excellently written – although it is, but because questions constantly arise in discussion groups and forums around strategic outsourcing relationships with suppliers and how to make them work.
People do business with people they like. We have all heard that phrase before and know it holds a great deal of weight. In this economic climate, the financials have to be the key driver in decision making. However, with that being comparable, the strength of the relationship will seal the deal.
The process is basic and simple but since not everyone does this, it can be quite a differentiator. This has a lot to do with procurement since you have internal customers and also constantly working with suppliers and salesmen.