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

Know what ingredients you need

There are a lot of options available to organizations for a req-to-check system. A common mistake with many software selection processes is not taking the time to define the requirements. That is a critical step in order to ensure a successful implementation. It is not just about the technology, it is mostly about the business process.

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Is Twitter a Missed Opportunity for Procurement Practitioners?

In the fall of 2013, Stephen Ashcroft, a specialist in procurement risk at Brian Farrington, wrote a post for Supply Management about the fact that procurement practitioners have been hesitant to embrace social media in general, and twitter more specifically.

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Using the Procurement cycle to find a shoe that fits

When we were first married, we would occasionally make a purchase without measuring. For example, we bought a beautiful cherry wall unit for our television only to find out the opening for the TV was too small for the set we had. Another time, we purchased a couch and could not get it in the apartment no matter what we did. I would say our procurement cycle had gone astray!

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Global Business is just like Marco Polo

Over 900 years ago, Marco Polo, his father and uncle began their 24 year journey from Europe to Asia and back. It was very much an unknown and they were often learning as they went. Communicating back home was impossible. The languages are all different along the way as well.

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Getting started with an export business

I am sure many of you have heard the shoe salesman story which is classic in having a positive attitude and a determined spirit. Two shoe salesmen are in an undeveloped area. The first one calls home and says “Let me come home, no one here is wearing shoes”. The second one calls home and says “Send more shoes, no one here is wearing them!” Clearly the second one is primed for an export business!

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Global business is everywhere you look

We were on vacation a few years ago in San Francisco. As we sat on the beach, we could not get over how many container ships were arriving and passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was certainly a testimony to our global economy and how the business world is getting smaller all the time.

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CSR and small businesses

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.

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A Battle of the Sexes, or Just a Battle?

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…

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Recent Comments
Jon Hansen
A woman coming to the defence of a man . . . preposterous. Or at least this would appear to be the consensus based upon the male ... Read More
Thursday, 22 May 2014 08:34
thomasdepaoli@yahoo.com
Let me clarify. Women are far superior in relationship building and getting people to cooperate and problem solve together. Negoti... Read More
Thursday, 22 May 2014 10:04
Kelly Barner
Thank you for joining the discussion Dr. Tom - that quote of yours is one that I have often used in posts or discussion groups as ... Read More
Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:35
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Good Better Best

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

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Get on the Sustainability Train

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!

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Sustainability and the Sound of Music

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.

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Open Call for Predictions: What does the Future of Procurement Hold? #FutureBuy

 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.

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thomasdepaoli@yahoo.com
The future of the supply chain and relationships will radically change. Normally the procurement professional tells or indicates t... Read More
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 14:49
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Acting on concerns for our environment

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.

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The challenges of doing the right thing

We make choices every day in relation to our health, our family, our community and our profession. Some choices are straight forward and easy to make. Many times there are areas of grey and that brings with it a measure of ambiguity.

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The benefits of doing the right thing

I had the opportunity to attend a conference where the keynote speaker was Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes.

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The Funny Thing about Auctions…

Last month, Alun Rafique from Market Dojo and I co-wrote an article for Procurement Insights about Variables in the Adoption of Auctions. A discussion about the article really picked up steam in the ISM group on LinkedIn, and one of the questions posed in response was “Someone explain to me how a Reverse Auction is fair and equitable to the supplier..."

After considering that question carefully, Market Dojo published an article that asks a question in response: “Should Suppliers Still Fear eAuctions?” The article, which you can read here, takes an interesting look at the progression of auctions from carefully managed consultant resource, to part of an ERP system, to their somewhat questionable state today – in limbo in a world where procurement is driven to create as much value as savings. A third question in this discussion might be, are auctions still relevant?

 

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Doing the right thing in business

There was a factory fire about 20 years ago in the Boston area. The owner, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay the workers until the factory was rebuilt. That was exceptional and unheard of in business. This remarkable story of Malden Mills was on CBS news at the time. Mr Feuerstein was referred to as a Mench – a person of integrity and honor.

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Save a tree, go electronic

We waste so much paper in our organization. Even when we are using electronic webinars, everyone seems to print out the presentation anyway. 

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You can’t steer a parked car

Disney animation movies are classic and very entertaining. They have a very long success record. The recent CARS movies have followed suit. Lighting McQueen is the main character and is certainly always moving.

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Recycling is Simple

Do you remember life before yellow sticky notes? Maybe you are too young. In one of my prior organizations, our note paper was old company newsletters that were cut into note paper blocks. You only use one side so it would not matter what was on the other side. There was nothing confidential so it was all good. It truly was scrap paper.

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