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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Blog Pick of the Week: Less Hunger, Less Landfill

I was at a business dinner this week with some leaders in the grocery industry. I learned that a vast amount of our landfill is from the waste at those organizations. I also learned how many people go to be hungry every night.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Where will you be in three years?

 

What types of skills will you need in three years? It seems like we just had to deal with Y2K and now we are looking at 2015 and 2020. How did that happen so fast?

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Blog Pick of the Week: How to get in the door?

I sometimes ask people how they ended up where they are in their profession. Usually it is a random series of events and not often actually planned. But the really interesting question is how did they get in the door to begin with?

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Blog Pick of the Week: Top Tips from Procure to Pay Leaders

I was on a Procure-to-Pay project years ago and we spent so much time learning the existing process. I wanted to get on with the project. It took me a while to understand that that was part of the project. A significant part.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Take care of the big rocks

How does your family manage when packing for a week long vacation. Let’s just say, we are not light travellers. What we have learned over the years is to bring all the big stuff out and line it up in the driveway first. Then piece by piece, it can fit in the car. We do have to leave room for the passengers too but then we make sure to have the snack pack accessible for the trip! Priorities!!

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Blog Pick of the Week: Back to School Time

No matter how many years it has been since you graduated from school, the 'back to school' time period brings a renewal and a fresh start to the coming year. So much to do and to learn and people to meet - it is all quite exciting.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Apple's Secret Sauce for Customer Service

Apple has figured out that people do business with companies with good products, good customer service and an experience they enjoy.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Pooh Bear and Emotional Intelligence

“Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh  

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Blog Pick of the Week: Tootsie Rolls and You

Where is the candy dish in your office or are YOU the keeper of the candy dish? Last week I was very tired in mid-afternoon and went seeking something sweet to give me that boost. I ended up selecting a moist, chewy and sweet chocolate tootsie roll. It really hit the spot and brought a smile to my face. How could it do anything but??  

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Blog Pick of the Week: College Costs and Procurement

The cost of higher education continues to be increasingly expensive. I interviewed once at a large university for a procurement position. My children were of college age so I was very aware of the costs. While I did not take the position, they did indicate to me that their efforts to manage spend did get reflected in containing costs for tuition.   

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Blog Pick of the Week: Cookies and Negotiation

Often in our daily life we are negotiating. Many times my children would want more than the two cookies I was offering. I would offer two , they would want three or four. After a few times back and forth, I would change my offer to ZERO cookies. Then all of a sudden they felt that two cookies was a great option!

In procurement, we are sometimes in situations where we want more cookies than are being offered. Or we want to include cold milk at the same time but that is not available at the price point we are interested in.

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Blog Pick of the Week: The Greening of the Olympics

The magic of the Olympics is moving into the second week in London. As we watch all the events and cheer on the athletes, it occurred to me that the Olympics is a HUGE procurement engine. There are many people to feed and services to provide in order to make this world event come off smoothly. And if done right, it can help contain costs and also keep the environment from getting crushed with waste and pollutants. We are all responsible and working increasing towards sustainable sourcing results. 

I read this article in the New York Times and it shared some interesting insights. Keeping the environment in mind has been evolving since the 1994 Games in Norway.

The largest carbon footprint is from the construction materials themselves, not the food, travel or waste. London has put together a long term vision of how to utilize the permanent structures after the Games have concluded. The remaining temporary structures were constructed carefully to be able to reuse or recycle the materials.

Of course all of this has economic and social factors to consider. And when it really comes down to it, the athletes must come first. Quality of the product or service is still a high expectation.

Have you had the opportunity to procure for a large event such as the Olympics? What factors did you need to consider for sustainability? Any tips or tricks you can share?

 

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Blog Pick of the Week: Olympians in Procurement

London is center stage for the next few weeks as the 2012 Summer Olympics take place. There are so many inspirational and feel good moments during the Olympics. I was reading the blog from Leadership Freak about an interview with the team leader of the US Olympic Sailing team. In addition to sailing, Dean Brenner is the President of the Latimer Group and has written several books, one of which is called Sharing the Sandbox. The book is promoted to help you become a better leader but also more productive in a team environment. In the blog, there are 6 areas that Dean outlines that have helped people that are working as a team.

One of them is "Ask Simple Questions" and LISTEN - how often do we speak more than we listen and that can lead to misunderstanding of goals and requirements for a product or service.

I would expect as part of the sailing team, it would be a survival skill to listen and understand. Of course if they are going to win a medal in London, they have to be really in tune and streamlined in all their activities and be ready to react to the unexpected. We all know that Mother Nature can be quite unpredictable!

As a procurement professional, what leadership tricks and tools have you used? Have you read Sharing the Sandbox? Or do you have another resource to recommend?

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Kelly Barner
For more information on Dean Brenner and the professional leadership lessons he has to offer direct from the 2012 Olympic games in... Read More
Saturday, 28 July 2012 16:34
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Blog Pick of the Week: Drought's Impacts on You

Mother Nature impacts our supply chain in so many ways that are not under our control. The drought in the U.S. this summer is impacting the farmers, and especially the corn supply. That will have an effect on many things such as the price of food and fuel. The law of supply and demand comes into play just as in the textbooks.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Marriott's Ultimate Customer Service

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When have you been WOW'd by Customer Service? Why is it so unusual and it often is a simple gesture and something quite small that makes all the difference.

This week I had to call one of the BIG insurance companies about a personnel issue and a claim issue. I thought I was going to have to speak to multiple individuals and tell my story over and over again. That is such a frustrating process.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Is Blackberry an endangered species?

pandabearThis year for the first time, it is not on the top 10 list! Progress! So what does that have to do with Blackberry's that were invented in 1999 - well after the poor Panda Bear was already endangered?

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Blog Pick of the Week: Charles Darwin and Strategic Sourcing

The only thing constant in life is change.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Is Water the NEXT gold or diamonds?

Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Samuel Coleridge - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Blog Pick of the Week: Vanilla Ice Cream, Olympics and Quitting

In a few weeks, the Olympics will be on the World Stage in London. Everyone loves to watch the events and get caught up in the drama, the excitement and participating in the successes of the athletes. What was it that allowed those atheletes to be the best in their field and make it there? Some would say because they worked hard and did not quit. While that is true, the real story is that they did not quit the right things but they did quit the wrong things. 

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Blog Pick of the Week: IASTA regarding SAP and Ariba

Change takes time and yet it can also happen when you aren't looking. Another week goes by and before you know it, the change is now the norm. Well we are waiting and watching as the Ariba and SAP merger takes place. Like most corporate mergers, there are many steps involved. We all know that the legal aspects and subsequent paperwork will be a while for sure. However, even longer will be the changes within the organization.   

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SAP user conference has already past, it was in May in Orlando. The event in September is TechEd, which while targeted at SAP use... Read More
Monday, 04 June 2012 22:25
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