The Point

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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Editor's Note: On May 1st, Buyers Meeting Point issued an Open Call for predictions about the future of procurement as part of the #FutreBuy project I am working on with Jon Hansen (Procurement Insights, PI Window on the World). We welcome all predictions, either as comments to our posts on the subject, guest submissions, or posts on Twitter flagged with our #FutureBuy hashtag.

Posted by on in Blog Picks

When we are expecting guests, we pay attention to putting away the surface clutter and cleaning the general area that our guests would be in. If they are coming for an overnight, there is a greater area involved. However, we often are not focusing on the extra areas such as closets or under the beds. That would the last 20 percent which is most often skipped.

Posted by on in Book Reviews

Can China Lead?

Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth

 

Can China Lead?, by Regina M. Abrami, William Kirby, and F. Warren McFarlan, asks a question that can not be definitively answered but is well worth asking. The authors seamlessly combine their knowledge of China’s history, people, and politics to advise companies looking to engage in commercial interactions with one the world’s second largest economy (As ranked by GDP by the United Nations, 2012). As the authors state in their Introduction, “Chinese businesses compete globally, now going head-to-head with North American and European corporations in telecommunications, heavy machinery, and renewable forms of energy.” (p. x)

 

Posted by on in Procurement

We have a local farm stand nearby and we frequent them in the summer. They sell local eggs, produce and flowers. One unique aspect is that people will return their egg cartons to them and the farm refills them for the next customer. It is a great system and in a small way, they are practicing their own version of CSR.

Posted by on in Blog Picks

As a young child, you think nothing of jumping off of something like the high dive or riding your bike really fast down a bumpy slope. My daughter took a risk one day of walking the dog and riding her bike at the same time. Risky decision making for sure. Unfortunately she wrapped the leash around her handle bars. When the dog found something to chase, she went one way, the bike went another way. A few cuts and bruises resulted but it sure could have been more serious.

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.

It is not unusual for me to get an email from a colleague asking me to read an article or post and then share my two cents. It is unusual that following through on such a request would take me on the wild ride that it did this week.

Let me retrace the steps – starting at the very beginning…

Posted by on in Procurement

I remember this childhood saying “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until the good is better and the better best”.

Do you get nervous when you have to make a presentation? I know I do. I can’t decide what to say,

how much to say, and of course what to wear!!

Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals is the second book by Jonathan O’Brien that we have reviewed. Earlier this year we reviewed Category Management in Purchasing. While each of the books has a different focus, they have more in common than just an intended audience. The most striking similarity is a clear desire to improve the knowledge and capabilities of purchasing professionals by capturing O’Brien’s considerable experience and communicating it in a straightforward manner.

 

Posted by on in Procurement

We have done some travel via train. I don’t mean commuting trains to work or into a major city. I think the longest distance was about 400 miles. It was so relaxing and we loved it. Some day we may even do a multi-day trip with a sleeper car like in the movies!

Posted by on in Blog Picks

There are many ways to value your worth. The important aspects of life that include health, family, and happiness far outweigh money. However, we do need to earn a living to support ourselves and our families.

This week’s webinar notes are from a Sourcing Interests Group webinar on Change Management Done Right. In this webinar, two speakers from Jones Lang Lasalle (Michael Jordan, Leila Lance) and the Former Head Sustainability for KeyBank (Jessica White) will discuss how KeyBank used change management practices to develop and implement a robust sustainability program.

One of my favorite movies is The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews. The song Do-Re-Mi has a verse that states ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’. That could be the approach for almost any project, including getting a CSR program started.

Trust Is not easily come by and once lost, very hard to earn back. We gain trust by having good experiences with others and showing them we will do what we say we are going to do, when we said we would do it.

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).

 

 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.

When our children were old enough to stay home without a baby sitter, they would light up the house like a beacon. We could come home and I think every light was on in the house. It was their security blanket at the time. It made us smile. From a carbon footprint perspective, it was a BIG FOOT on those evenings.

I have had the opportunity to be in the selection and implementation of MANY supply chain solutions. There were bumps along the way and lessons learned as well. I know some of you think this was in the dinosaur days, but before there were packages to buy, everything was home grown to custom processes and requirements. Often a pitfall was that IT would gather the requirements and disappear while they were building it. Then when it was presented to the business user, it was not really what they wanted. Everyone learned it was an iterative approach and a business lead was a critical component to a successful implementation.

 

“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

-- Henry Ford about the Model T Ford (My Life and Work (1922), p. 71)

This week’s featured webinar notes are from an April 16th webinar presented by ivalua with guest speakers from Spend Matters and HAVI Global Solutions. The event is available on demand here

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