And just like that, the summer and the drought on webinars are coming to an end. Even though Labor day is another two weeks away in the U.S., schools are about to be back in session – for kids and for professionals! Click on the title of the 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.
Have you ever wondered what other company’s fleets look like? How other companies source their fleet units, parts, and services? What information is needed to begin? The first thing to know, is that no two fleet profiles are the same. The second thing to understand, is that there is no right place to start; it all depends on your corporate procurement goals. Are you trying to maximize upfront funds? Is your goal to streamline services and optimize vehicle performance? Are you attempting to marry two fleets after a merger or acquisition? There are endless scenarios that will benefit from strategic procurement thinking.
“I cannot guarantee whether you will be successful after a well-prepared negotiation, but I can 100 percent guarantee failure or finding yourself outsmarted and in a concessionary position if you choose not to do a thorough prep prior to a negotiation.” (p. 38)
Mastering High Stakes Negotiations: Both Sides of the Table by Mark M. Bilgin, Ph. D. (BookLocker.com, 2017) is true to its title in that it lays out all of the considerations associated with the most critical, highest dollar value negotiations conducted. In an odd way, however, even meeting that high bar is still selling the book short.
If you are a people watcher, or a student of human behavior, you will absolutely love this book. I was immediately drawn in by the author’s use of case studies, both his own and the ‘outside’ experiences of others to illustrate in colorful but honest fashion the incentives and pitfalls associated with negotiation prep. Negotiation is, at its simplest level, the use of leverage, exchange, and (somewhat) predictable human behavior to bring parties together for their perceived benefit. As a result, you can not be a master negotiator without being aware of and interested in what people say and do. That may come as a great relief to anyone that still thinks negotiation is about aggressively dominating ‘them’ to get what is best for yourself at any cost.
Sourcing managers with a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) that is about to expire face an important decision and may have many questions. Should they renew their next EA along the same lines as they did three years ago? Expand it to embrace Microsoft’s new cloud-based services, including the Office 365 suite? Scale it back significantly to save money?
Fundamental changes in Microsoft’s product and licensing strategies mean drastic changes to its software assurance’s (SA) value. Your decision criteria will be very different from when you last evaluated your EA, and any related decision involves placing bets on your organization’s future deployment of Microsoft products.
Where should you place your bet?
The ‘app boom’ is widely recognized to be slowing as we approach the half way mark of 2017. Success stories such as Snapchat and Uber remain (in terms of continued, steep growth), but the aggregate growth in the app market has started to decline for the first time Apple introduced the App Store in 2008. The truth is, most people have already downloaded all the apps they need. The market is already saturated with apps that satisfy our basic needs: travel/directions, calendars, messaging, social media, gaming, news, weather, etc. This fact is well known by tech giants such as Facebook and their eyes are already on the next opportunity: bot technology.
3D printing and its applications are evolving rapidly, although most manufacturing businesses are at least five years away from mainstream adoption of the technology. It has a long way to go before becoming a routine aspect of many production environments. Market leaders, however, are gradually embracing 3D printing to take advantage of the technology and stay ahead of the competition. The advantages are numerous – speed, lower cost, time and effort, cheaper manufacturing, ability to customize products, etc.
It’s a busy week in procurement with eight webinars on the calendar. I’m recommending two about intelligence and a third about the strategic positioning of suppliers. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
There are two points worth noting in this week’s calendar. The first is the leap year giving us one last day in February. The other is that time is running out to secure a spot at the 2016 CPO Rising Summit being held in Boston on March 29th and 30th. Click here for more information and to get the Buyers Meeting Point discount code to save $250 on your registration fee.
It is my distinct belief that as corporate objectives become more general, functional silos dissipate, and millennial professional habits lead to increased talent rotation, the information and skills required by successful individuals and organizations will be broad in nature. Most of the books I review on an annual basis are procurement or supply chain related. That being said, competitive advantage is not discipline specific. In that spirit, I am actively pursuing opportunities to bring general thought leadership to Buyers Meeting Point. Starting… now!
The Industries of the Future, by former State Department Senior Advisor Alec Ross, is a compelling exploration of the conditions businesses and countries need to optimize in order to be successful in the decades to come. It borrows extensively from his time traveling the world in the federal government’s service, which means that his examples are unexpectedly diverse and shared in such a way that is only possible when the author has experienced something first-hand.
We have another ProcureCon event running this week – this time in Orlando, FL. For anyone not traveling to the Sunshine State, there are a full DOZEN webinars being held, half of which are on Thursday. I’ve recommended four below and provided my reasoning. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
“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)
This week starts multiple weeks of ProcureCon events – in Toronto this week and in Orlando the week after that. Follow @ProcureCon on Twitter if you’re interested in the goings on. From a virtual standpoint, there are two worthwhile events taking place – see why I think so 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.
This week’s webinar notes are from a February 3rd webinar hosted by SAP Ariba and presented by Ed Cone at Oxford Economics and James J. McDonald and Luisa Gonzalez at COACH. The event is available on demand here.
You’ll have to act fast to catch the best event of the week – taking place at 11am EST on Monday. If you happen to miss that, there are two others taking place, both on Wednesday afternoon. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
Every interaction a company has with its suppliers can set off an endless series of tactics and countertactics. It's like a wrestling match. Both sides invest so much time and effort in trying to anticipate the next steps by the other that the focus is turned away from the best interests of their organizations. This comes especially true during the negotiation phase of the procurement process.
Negotiations between buyers and suppliers have traditionally assumed a zero-sum outcome: Each party does not benefit except at the expense of the other. The end result of this tactic/countertactics spiral is a combination of inefficient decision-making, obscured visibility, and contentious working relationships.
Last week I spoke with Donna Wilczek, Coupa’s VP of Strategy and Product Marketing, about the mid-January announcement that Coupa had acquired Contractually, described in the press release as “a cloud innovator based in Vancouver, Canada that helps reduce businesses’ reliance on antiquated processes or inadequate technology tools to version control or redline contracts.”
We kick off the month of February with a strong, diverse week of webinars. The three that I have chosen to recommend have their finger on the pulse of procurement: 3rd party risk, the future of procurement, and BPO. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
This week’s webinar notes are from a January 27th event hosted by BravoSolution and presented by Sigi Osagie (author of ‘Procurement Mojo’) and Peter Smith (Managing Director, Spend Matters UK/Europe). Once the event is available on demand, it should be available here.
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.
This week we have three ‘what to expect in 2016’ type webinars plus a bonus one that takes a practical look at contract law and managing risk in the supply chain. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
“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)
This week's events are all either panel or multi-speaker presentations. That means that by investing a single hour, you get to hear from multiple experts on a topic of your choosing. Not only that, you get to hear them interact and discuss the varying perspectives brought to the table. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
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.
Happy New Year! This week marks the start of a new year of webinars – and based on the first events out of the gate, 2016 is clearly going to be a year where it pays off to challenge the fundamentals. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
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.