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

Are your payment terms benefiting your competitors?

We have talked about how Supply Chain finance can benefit everyone in the supply chain. In order for processes to be sustainable long term, they need to have solid benefits for those involved. Otherwise, at some point it will break down. However, we are referring to your suppliers and customers, NOT your competitors!

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Everyone wins with Supply Chain Finance

There is a phrase of "win, win, win" where the buyer, the supplier and the customer all benefit. With Supply Chain Finance, that is just the case.

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Six Trends of Supply Chain Finance

How an organization manages its money is critical. That is nothing new. However, there are trends in procurement influencing how that is done.

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You Gotta Fight… For the Right… To Manage Your Professional Development Budget

“Great procurement professionals are not born, they are bred…"

- Dawn Evans, President and CEO, Sourcing Interests Group, July 2014 'Letter from the President'

I place a great deal of value in the fact that I have been able to work well and productively with all of the professional associations in our space. Each one is a little different and meets a specific need for a particular subset of the procurement professional community. I am not an active member of any professional association – including Sourcing Interests Group (SIG). My comments here have less to do with advocating for them in particular than being concerned about the resources available to the procurement community as a whole. I would have made the same argument on behalf of Spend Matters PRO or Procurement Leaders if they were the subject of some budgetary misclassification.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Dawn Evans
Kelly, while I love it when we get a mention, I wanted to correct a couple of items. We strive to be so much more than an "event"... Read More
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:41
Guest — Kelly Barner
Hi Dawn, Thank you for your clarifications and additional detail. We do want to make sure our readers and followers have a clear ... Read More
Thursday, 14 August 2014 10:03
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Don't Overlook the Procurement “Middle Child”

The entire professional community, procurement included, is bracing for the impact of the Millennial generation. Managers and executives want to position their company or department as a team that will appeal to the brightest, best upcoming achievers. ISM and ThomasNet recently joined forces specifically for the purpose of gathering nominations for their ’30 Under 30’ Supply Chain Rising Stars program. Corporate leadership teams are concerned about being flexible enough, mobile enough, and ‘sexy’ enough to compete for young talent. Professional associations are scrambling to make sure they demonstrate their relevance on an ongoing basis.

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Recent Comments
Guest — William Ng
Very interesting perspective on the age gap, Kelly. Nice post. William Ng Editor ThomasNet News
Thursday, 07 August 2014 09:58
Guest — Bill Kohnen
Certainly the new technology and change to new work organizations and approach can be intimidating. However, the "middle children... Read More
Thursday, 07 August 2014 12:23
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Costs of Implementing an Eprocurement Solution

 When new software is being implemented, so much of the focus is negotiating the price of the software itself. There are many components to an implementation and associated costs. One that is often overlooked is training. How will your organization get trained on this new process and technology? Will you hire someone to train? How much will that cost and how will it be handled ongoing?

 

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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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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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