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

On Procurement and Storytelling: Overcoming the Storyteller’s Fatal Flaw

This is (probably) the last in what became an impromptu three-part series on The Point about the value of storytelling for procurement. Part 1 considered applications of the idea in general. In part 2, Dr. Tom DePaoli provided a real world example and some further guidance. The post that started it all, on Executive Presence by Chip Scholz, can be found here.

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Challenges Implementing Eprocurement

 I was involved in a project many years ago documenting the current procurement process across many divisions within a large international company. It was tedious and detailed work. I was frequently surprised by the various ways stuff was purchased. I was also surprised at what needed approval and what did not. For example, a cell phone needed Senior VP approval but a multi-million dollar purchase order for a For-Resale item did not.

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Wes Guillemaud
Cindy, I can certainly identify with your article as I was a PriceWaterhouseCoopers principal consultant for years and then forme... Read More
Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:49
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Continuous Improvement in Procurement

I am not a fan of the term best practices. I mean who says it is really ‘best’ and there is always room for something better. I feel it is a little presumptuous to think YOUR way is the BEST way. I also think others can be offended by being told how to implement a best practice. However, there are ‘better’ practices that could improve your current situation. Some like to call it a process for continuous improvement.

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Where does procurement fall on the art/science continuum?

In a July 14th article on NewsDay, NYASHA CHIZU asked ‘Is Procurement an Art or a Science?

In the article, he makes the following statement:

“There is definitely an art to good procurement but on the other hand, taking a scientific approach to options analysis, requirements development and the procurement evaluation process can facilitate a more successful procurement project.”

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Recent Comments
Guest — Dr. Tom DePaoli
I would state that the science part is becoming much more sophisticated and in real time. Purchasing professionals need to make su... Read More
Monday, 21 July 2014 11:37
Guest — Kelly Barner
Thank you Dr. Tom - it is always good to get your perspective. Your breakdown of the art/science aspects of procurement makes ve... Read More
Monday, 21 July 2014 15:13
Guest — BU school of Management Graduate (Norwegian Program)
I would argue strongly that yess, currently the old "relationship" dinosaurs are ruling the planet. However, information technolog... Read More
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:29
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Benefits of eprocurement and how you shop

I am not a shopper (which is an extreme understatement). I would pretty much like to spend my time doing almost anything else. Much to my teenage daughter’s chagrin, we went to the mall only once or twice a year. It was usually to get back-to-school clothes and to do Christmas shopping. When my mother took me shopping for clothes as a youngster, she claims that she could tell when my eye color turned from green to ‘grey’ that she was done and we had to leave and come back another time. While we may have been tempted to just grab anything and go, most of the time we did not.

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Guest — James R
Some great points - thanks for sharing
Saturday, 30 May 2015 17:50
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Features of eprocurement and vacation planning

When we are planning our vacation, there are so many options to choose from. What activities are available, what is the cost, when should we go, for how long, and what should we pack? It is exciting and can be overwhelming as well. How do we narrow it down to the best trip for us this year?

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The World Cup and Birthdays

The World Cup in Brazil has everyone cheering for their country and their team. Football (or soccer in the US) is the globe’s transcendent sport. This year, for the first time, many of the United States televisions were tuned into the various matches. It has gained popularity for Americans in a big way. Obviously we are lagging behind the passion that this sport has carried for many others for decades, but in 2014 the U.S. was rising and falling as one with every touch of the ball.

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How Procurement Saved the American Revolution

 As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, we have a lot to be grateful for. We are grateful for the simple things like peak of summer traditions: fireworks, grilling, and parades. We are also grateful that in the many years since the Declaration of Independence was signed our relationship with Britain has improved. We’d be awfully sorry not to be able to work with our British colleagues and partners.

All that being said, is the 4th of July a reason to be grateful for procurement? Absolutely. Procurement played more of a role in the American Revolutionary War than most people probably realize.

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Recent Comments
Guest — martin hogan
If procurement is used in its widest sense - procuring the assistance of the French - then the argument has a smidgin of validity.... Read More
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:08
Guest — Kelly Barner
Martin - thank you for your comments, both here and on LinkedIn. I agree with you that all wars are ultimately won by human deter... Read More
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 13:56
Guest — CAPCA
Triangle trade between England and the colonies also involved human trafficking, which all of the colonies and England benefited f... Read More
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 00:26
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Is Wal-Mart’s “Woman-Owned” Label Visionary or Just a Circus?

In September 2011, Wal-Mart announced a plan to spend $20B with woman-owned businesses by 2016. More recently, they expanded their Women’s Economic Empowerment program to include a ‘women-owned’ labeling program. Products that meet company ownership requirements will start appearing on Wal-Mart shelves this September1. Qualified companies can apply to be a part of the program through WBENC and WEConnect International.

Despite the company’s apparent good intentions, the program has not been warmly received by all, including some critics who feel calling additional attention to these products simply because of female company ownership does little to advance equality. As one commenter posted in response to a BusinessWeek article on the program, “The path to gender equality does not involve stickers pointing out that a product has been made by a female entrepreneur.”2

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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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Guest — alun @ marketdojo
We have found issues with large companies asking unrealistic expectations around CSR requirements during tenders which go out to S... Read More
Thursday, 29 May 2014 07:48
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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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