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

No one does it by themselves

If I have seen further, it has been by standing on the shoulders of giants.

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Measure Twice Cut Once

Everyone knows the “Measure Twice and Cut Once” motto. In other words, plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner and then take action. Well, we had to learn the hard way more than once!

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Avoid analysis paralysis

 

When I got out of college, I was stuck. I did not know what to do with the next stage of my life. I was in analysis paralysis as they say. Do I move back to my home town( population 5000) or move to the big city? Or how about skipping all that education and moving to the Rocky Mountains and being a ski instructor?

 

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Communication is the key

We are now in our third day at home without phone or internet access. We simply called our provider to get a bundled package at a better price. We were told that it would not be any big deal and only take an hour or so. Not only did we get the wrong information, we certainly feel crippled without our communication tools.

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Collaborating to pack in the most fun on vacation

On a family vacation there are so many ways to spend your time. Collaboration is critical for how to use that precious time.

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Embrace living like a chameleon

We have all heard the quote “The only constant is change”. That came from the philosopher Heraclitus who lived from 535BC to 475BC. And guess what – it is so true today all these centuries later!

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Making Jam and Becoming a Market Zen Master

Recently, our daughter has become quite the master at creating and canning jam. How did she do that? She took a class, researched the area for the appropriate ingredients and pricing. She also decided she would create jams with the fruits of that season.

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Team Building towards Success

Everyone likes to be part of a championship team and feel like they had a part in winning the trophy. It takes a good ‘coach’ or leader in order for the team to get there.

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Good Customer Service is easy to do – right?

A few years ago I was at the meat department at my local grocery store. I wanted some special steaks to for a dinner party. I spotted them in the case. They looked incredible and I could already taste it coming off the grill. The meat manager said “Wait a minute, I have some fresh ones right here.” He stepped back 10 feet and pulled new ones off the tray. It did not take much and surely made me feel very special.

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Some Sourcing Experience Required

 

Leadership that has “been there done that” and has earned their stripes can make a big impact.

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Are you a Sourcing Sensei?

 Are all leaders created equal? Does it matter if they are technically savvy about the area they are leading?

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Building Trust with Supplier Performance Management

 

We have just completed a series of articles and blogs on Supplier Performance Management. There are many components to a successful program. It is not just about scorecards!

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Have the right tool

A few years ago we did not have a technology tool to help track sourcing initiatives for 60+ customers. We utilized an excel spreadsheet with a tab for each customer all linked to a summary tab. There were 8 of us updating it from several remote locations. The sheet got corrupted, links got broken and it was an overall nightmare. Sound familiar?

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I can't improve if you don't tell me

I know when I took a test in school or when I have a test at the doctor’s, I am anxious for the results. It certainly would be frustrating if you never got the results back.As much as you may not want to hear it, it is better to know than to be kept in the dark.

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Procurement on YouTube: Using Demand and Specification Management to Meet Tough Savings Targets

In this Procurement on YouTube post, we will hear from Mikkel Larsen, Strategic Programme Executive at Rolls Royce. He recently gave a presentation at ProcureCon on ‘Focusing on the big wins and sustainable outcomes: using demand and specification management as the key tools in meeting tough savings targets’. When he talks about sustainability, he means lasting results through meaningful change versus environmental sustainability. In this clip, he describes the importance of reducing costs through demand and specifications as opposed to just consolidating volume for pricing leverage, bringing suppliers and internal stakeholders actively into the process to collaborate on a meaningful solution.

 

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Small Businesses making a Big impact

Small businesses begin when we are very young, selling homemade crafts at a yard sale or perhaps a road side lemonade stand. I know we ended up drinking most of our product and making very little profit.

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Developing a Supplier Scorecard

You are creating a supplier scorecard. Where do you get the data from and what questions do you ask?

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Pareto Rule and Supplier Segmentation

Eighty percent of your business is done with twenty percent of your suppliers. Pareto's rule in action.

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The Growing Importance of Supplier Management

The world is changing.

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is Aligning SPM to your Firm's Goals.

The esourcing wiki articles are focusing on Supplier Management. With good reason – it is becoming more and more important to make sure this activity is part of the process with your procurement team.

This article from HRteam.com makes the point of how things have changed. Individuals are no longer just managing an internal team but often very complex external team members as well. They could be suppliers or outsourced functions being performed by service providers.

This discussion focuses on FAQ’s but more importantly what skills do your associates need in order to perform this function well. Do they need training and how do they get that? Here are some common concerns for your team:

  • How do I get share of mind? We are not their only customers.
  • How do I make sure that they deliver against the standards that are agreed?
  • What happens if they do not perform against the KPIs? How do I escalate the issue?
  • We do not want to get to the point of waving a piece of paper, shouting "breach of contract"
  • How much time do I need to spend measuring their performance?
  • How do I make supplier reviews an effective forum?
  • How much time do I invest in developing the relationship?
  • Do I want a supplier or a partner relationship?
  • They are critical to our business, who has got the greatest leverage?

The message here is to make sure your staff has the proper tools in the toolkit to build the relationship to become a true collaborative partnership.

Have you found any training materials that are helpful for Supplier Management? What was the most useful tool and what would you recommend?  

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How to Begin the Journey

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.   Lao-tzu

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