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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 Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Welcome back from the US Thanksgiving holiday! With 5 weeks left in the calendar year (3 effective working weeks) the time to get in your professional development time is now! 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.

** BONUS: Mark your calendars and join me for a live Twitter #Instaschat discussion December 1st at 1pm ET!

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for November 14 – 18: Future Prepping

Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for November 14 – 18: Future Prepping

There are 14 webinars taking place this week – plus ProcureCon Marketing in California Monday through Wednesday. Of course, that is probably due to the fact that with Thanksgiving in the U.S. on November 24th there is only one lone event in the calendar that week. 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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Book Review: Introduction to Global Logistics, 2nd Ed.

Book Review: Introduction to Global Logistics, 2nd Ed.

 If you feel surprised that you missed the first edition of Introduction to Global Logistics: Delivering the Goods 2nd Ed., by John Manners-Bell, you’re not alone. I was puzzled by the same thing. If the first edition came out in 2014, how could I possibly have missed it? I didn’t - and maybe you didn’t either. The title of the first edition book was Global Logistics Strategies: Delivering the Goods.

Title and edition questions notwithstanding, this book provides considerable updates and new content. There are three completely new chapters, as well as an updated preface. Since I reviewed Global Logistics Strategies (you can read it here) I focused my time with the 2nd Ed. on the three new chapters:

Chapter 12: Supply Chain Technologies

Chapter 16: Supply Chain Innovation and Disruption

Chapter 17: Ethical and Sustainable Supply Chain Strategies

 

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Optimizing the Value of Trilateral Manufacturer Distributor Purchasing Relationships

Optimizing the Value of Trilateral Manufacturer Distributor Purchasing Relationships

When you just look at a purchase from a pricing perspective, it would be reasonable to think that purchasing products directly from the manufacturer be an effective way to reduce unnecessary overhead and markup costs.  While I generally find this to be true in practice, if it were that black and white the large number of distributors thriving in today’s markets would cease to exist.  Manufacturers and distributors each have strengths and weaknesses, but in a strategic purchasing landscape you do not always need to choose between the two. In fact, developing a balanced relationship with manufacturers AND distributors often proves to yield the most value, particularly with high volume purchases.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

This week, my recommended procurement webinars are all about doing MORE. More categories managed, more results, and more visibility into the supply chain. Click on the title of each event 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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Webinar Notes: The Supply Chain in Action

Webinar Notes: The Supply Chain in Action

This week’s webinar notes are from a September 8th webinar sponsored by APICS Southeast and presented by Melissa Wright, VP of Supply Chain at Prayon Group. The event is available on demand on YouTube.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/5 - 9

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/5 - 9

If you take a look at the Buyers Meeting Point events calendar for this week, there is nothing going on. None of our usual hosts or organizers have anything planned. While that makes sense given the Labor Day holiday in the US and Canada, not having any events to look forward to would be too much to bear! So we looked to our friends at Webinara to see what they might have listed and found some great webinars to recommend! Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register on Webinara.com or click here to visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.


 

NextGen Enterprise IT Solutions – A Panel Discussion

September 7th, 11am ET

Procurement has more than enough experience with different IT trends and models – Cloud, SaaS, hybrid, mobile – to recognize that managing the needs of everyone in the enterprise and leveraging the advantages of all models requires a great deal of planning and strategy. In this panel format webinar, leaders from Cygnet Infotech and some of their industry colleagues will discuss opportunities such as IoT, Data Science, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality enablement for Hybrid Ecosystems with extremely enriched customer experience

 

Case Study: The Supply Chain in Action

September 8th, 12n ET

Sometimes the best events are the ones you never expected to find – including this webinar from APICS and Prayon Group about how the Georgia-based operation of a global phosphate producer went from being “dead and buried” to becoming a successful 38 year old startup – all thanks to practical applications of supply chain principles. For all of the discussion of transformations, we rarely hear about one, let alone one as wildly successful or with as much at stake as at Prayon. In this webinar, Melissa Wright, Prayon Group’s VP of Supply Chain, will explain how moving from survival mode to transitioning of MRP and inventory processes & procedures to sustainable performance enabled the company to become recognized as a regional economic force.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL EVENTS CALENDAR

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Book Review: Building Effective Value Chains

Book Review: Building Effective Value Chains

A value chain is the overall set of internal and external resources – human, physical, financial and informational – that require to be marshalled and managed in order to achieve the objectives of any organization. (p. 2)

Building Effective Value Chains: Value and Its Management by Tom McGuffog provides an almost completely unexpected perspective on the meaning of value and value chains as well as how they should be nurtured in a variety of contexts. I chose the word ‘nurtured’ deliberately; McGuffog makes the point that this book is for “students” in a wide range of disciplines extending far beyond a corporate setting. The attention he pays to humanity and the “value of human life” in his discussions of value and values is so compassionate that I found myself wondering if McGuffog had switched places with Gyöngyi Kovács, Karen Spens, and Ira Haavisto who edited Supply Chain Management for Humanitarians how the two books might have turned out differently.

 

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Book Review: The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit 2nd Ed

Book Review: The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit 2nd Ed

The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit by Gwynne Richards and Susan Grinsted is an instructional book based in reality, free from assumptions and pretense but full of real world applications. The toolkit concept, one that is continued throughout the book, spotlights process and analytical assets that are described by the authors as including “guides, frameworks, models, quick calculations, and practical ideas.” The topics covered in the book range from an essential review of Incoterms to a more advanced discussion of Decision Matrix Analysis.

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Nearshoring: Why now?

Nearshoring: Why now?

When you think of outsourcing manufacturing operations, what country do you typically think of? China? Vietnam? Philippines? Yes, Asia is typically the go-to region for companies looking to cut costs by outsourcing production processes - and for good reason. Asia possesses both the labor and raw material resources to make the region an effective substitute to higher cost labor in the U.S. and the limited availability of certain raw materials in North America.

While outsourcing to low-cost countries such as China has its benefits (i.e. labor/overhead costs, raw material costs, scalability, freeing up the business’ time to focus on other critical functions, etc.) it comes with challenges as well. Lead times, language barriers, time zone differences, IP integrity, and a general lack of physical presence make outsourcing certain functions a constant struggle for US-based manufacturers and can outweigh the initial savings gained over the long-term. Companies oftentimes look at the price-tag of outsourcing functions such as IT support or manufacturing assembly work, figuring the decision is obvious. However, to minimize risk and to optimize/streamline domestic manufacturing operations it is important to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing, especially in deciding which low-cost region to outsource to, which processes to outsource, and which partner(s) to use.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 6/27 – 7/1

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 6/27 – 7/1

This week – which is a little slow because some lucky people have Friday off in advance of the July 4th holiday on Monday – is a unique assortment of webinars taking place ‘anyway.’ Two events on direct spend and one that looks at one of the weaknesses in the procurement customer service program. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 6/20 - 24

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 6/20 - 24

This week’s event schedule is a little crazy – one on Tuesday, one of Wednesday, and then EIGHT on Thursday! With that many events, there is bound to be one that you’ll benefit from. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Book Review: Legal Blacksmith: How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes

Book Review: Legal Blacksmith: How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes

“Supply chain legal disputes don’t start out as legal disputes. They typically start out as badly written contracts, poor communication with supply chain partners, and an inability to resolve conflicts.” (Authors’ Foreward)

Legal Blacksmith, by Rosemary Coates and Sarah Rathke, is an interesting mix of two perspectives the procurement community is all too familiar with: supply chain and legal. They combine their experience – Coates on the supply chain side and Rathke on the legal side – to provide a view that seems better suited to supply chain professionals looking for an improved legal understanding than vice versa. Interestingly, they met during a court case where a manufacturer was sued by a customer.

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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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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 3/21-25

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 3/21-25

There are a lot of webinars – 11 – taking place this week. The best of them address the most timely topics in procurement as you will see below. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Book Review: e-Logistics: Managing Your Digital Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage

Book Review: e-Logistics: Managing Your Digital Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage

“In other words, an effective management of a firm’s digital supply chain will have a positive impact on productivity and growth; ignorance will very likely result in the loss of competitive advantage and have a detrimental effect on performance.” (e-Logistics, p. 4)

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Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain Part II – Supplier Evaluation

Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain Part II – Supplier Evaluation

In the first part of this two-part series, I established the reasoning behind establishing a diverse supply chain in the nontraditional sense. Emphasis on maintaining a supply chain that is diverse in geographical location, capabilities, and overall corporate values is vital in maintaining supply chain resiliency, sustainability, and adaptability.  To achieve a supplier mix that fits these goals, the right questions must be asked during an internal supplier rationalization process, overtaking the traditional values of an RFx.

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Book Review: Aviation Logistics

Book Review: Aviation Logistics

“The benefits of the global connectivity achieved by both ocean and air transport reach practically every type of modern industry and business and are an essential ingredient of the global supply chain.” (Aviation Logistics, p. 1)

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Book Review: Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse

Book Review: Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse

Dr. Tom DePaoli recently released Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse. It is a collection of the best advice he has to give on topics ranging from relationships to negotiation to Kaizens and storytelling. Since I’ve read all of Dr. Tom’s books, I consider it something of a personal challenge to uncover the material he has added – either because the focus of the book is different or because professional priorities continue to change over time.

 

Like Dr. Tom’s other books, this is for professionals that don’t have the time (or desire) to lose themselves in a 300-400 page book of polished academic theory. His sections are short and to the point and draw in material from third party sites as well as his other writing. You can read one or two sections as time allows and not have any trouble picking up in a different place the next time you sit down.

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Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain

Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain

Supplier diversity is a concept with multiple definitions.  Most commonly, a supplier diversity program focuses on the utilization of women owned, minority owned, and else certified diverse businesses within your supply base.  There is, however, another interpretation of supplier diversity – a diversity of geographical location, sourcing practices, and overall organizational structure.  Evaluating these factors in a meaningful way when evaluating suppliers can be an important factor in managing supply chain resiliency, sustainability, and adaptability.

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