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

Let the sun shine

 In our area, there are several fields that have been converted into solar farms with lots of solar panels. A good friend of mine has installed a solar panel at their home and actually sells excess electricity back to the utility companies. There is so much power from the sun.

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Airports going green

How do you start a journey of a 1000 miles, - one step at a time!

I was at several airports this month and everyone is recycling. On the plane, they are separating the waste to improve the recycling opportunity. Clearly they have taken steps to do something to sustain the environment!

So how does that translate to your organization? This week’s eSourcing wiki is the first of several parts to discuss areas for going green.

IT – I know our town has certain days throughout the year to recycle IT equipment – old computers, cell phones and printers. However, the key is to think up front as your are doing the purchasing. Are they energy efficient, repairable as opposed to disposable, and highly recyclable?

This week we also discuss office supplies and office furniture as things to think about.

Has your organization conquered IT and office supplies as a way to be sustainable? Did you take a similar approach? What would you suggest? Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @buyersmeetpoint

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White House residents going green since 1801

This week's esourcing wiki is Benefits of Going Green. While researching that topic, I came across this article about the 7 Greenest Presidents in the History of America.

What I found facinating is that they are not all modern day Presidents. They go back to Thomas Jefferson's day. He was a great believer in nature, science and public education.

Conservation and preservation of public lands which makes up the US National Park System is attributed to both Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

This resource also has a buying guide with all types of information on how to buy green.   It lists a large array of consumer goods that are energy efficient, recyclable or have clean manufacturing practices.

There are so many reasons to be aware of our purchasing behaviors both as consumers and as procurement professionals.  Protection of our environment and resources is key. Many organizations will communicate their practices to their customers to gain their loyalty.

What has your organization done in buying green? Have they found it to be beneficial and cost competitive? Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @buyersmeetpoint

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Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainable sourcing is a common theme in procurement today. Many organizations are looking to reduce their impact on the environment and shrink their carbon footprint.

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Boston is about to be clobbered with another major snowstorm. This is the second ‘blizzard’ of 2014. And it is still January!! The snow plowing services are thrilled as they can earn more with each additional inch of the while fluffy piles!

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Are you John Q. Procurement?

Yesterday, Joe Payne of Source One Management Services posted a truly interesting post about the challenges faced by a fictional MRO category lead named John Q. Procurement. You can read the original post here.

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Playing the Telephone Game

Many of us have played the telephone game as a child. You all sit in a circle. The first person whispers something into the next one’s ear. By the time it gets around the circle, the last person says what they heard. Almost always, it is completely different from the original statement.

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Learning from UPS

On Christmas Eve, we received three deliveries of Christmas presents. One came via US postal service, the second from FedEx and the third from UPS. The gift givers were relieved that the packages arrived in time for the holiday gathering.

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Getting it JUST right

There is a wonderful children’s story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. If it has been a while for you, it is about a young girl who stumbles into the bear’s cottage and tries out the porridge, the chairs and the beds.

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How to make the job easier

When we embark on a home improvement project, it is good to have all the appropriate tools and supplies. We inevitably are missing something or several things and that requires multiple trips to go procure them. It slows the process and adds expense. Alternatively, we have gotten too much of something which is a waste of funds and adds to the complexity when we want to dispose of the excess.

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Do it right the first time, every time

Automobiles are a necessary evil. Whenever we have to have our car repaired, it can be quite frustrating. There is such a relief if something is fixed on time and right – the first time.

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Why do you stay?

 

Why would anyone stay with your team? Do you offer a growth career path? Do you have a mentor program in place? How competitive is your compensation package?

 

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Is the Should Cost Model Obsolete?

Q: Does anybody still use the “should-cost” model?

A: Yes, and if they don’t, they should start.

 

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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

In other words, what you have is worth keeping. We have been discussing how to retain your employees, helping them to achieve the organizational goals as well as their career growth.

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What is your most important asset?

What is your most important asset? Every organization will say it is their people, their team, their associates. What do you do if your assets are not as robust as they should be?

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Attracting Talent like a Magnet

There are a lot of articles about shortages of resources for a variety of reasons. One of the issues is attracting talent to procurement when other areas are also drawing on the same talent. How can procurement become a profession that others are drawn to like a magnet?

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Recognizing talent: IQ vs EQ

When I first started interviewing, I did not know what questions to ask to recognize a person’s true capabilities. I defaulted to technical questions to understand their skill level. As I developed and gained more experience, I recognized the best questions I could ask the candidate had more to do with problem solving, communication skills and decision making.

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Identifying talent

How do you identify talent? During the interview process, we meet with someone for a few minutes as do several of our colleagues. There is so little time to recognize talent and perhaps we let some good ones go. Other times, we may we hire someone and we should not have.

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Reduce Reuse and Recycle

We have been recycling in our house for over 20 years. It is just a habit – plastic, papers, and glass as much as possible. We cut apart the plastic rings that are around six-packs of soft drinks. We are doing what we can to preserve the environment in our own small way.

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Gutenberg and Procurement Leadership

The printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1400’s has been ranked as the most important invention of modern times. This new technology allowed for mass production of print. It allowed for the spread of learning to the general population.
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