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

Perfecting the Recipe

 

Our daughter is working on perfecting the recipe for cranberry jam. Some have walnuts, some with various spices and some just the original mixture of sweet and tart. In that quest, she is following the DMIAC problem solving methodology without realizing it.

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Procurement on YouTube: Amazing Customer Service Doesn't Happen by Accident

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we are going to continue down a path we started with the March 9th Buyers Meeting Point blog pick of the week. Each week, my partner Cindy Allen Murphy selects a single blog post to focus on. Sometimes they are direct from one of the well-known supply management thought leaders, but other weeks she pulls interesting topics from a wide range of general business, industry, and professional development sources. Last week she chose to highlight a post by customer service author and speaker Shep Hyken.

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Julia Childs and Quality

Julia Childs was not always a good cook. It took a long time, a lot of training, trial and error and practice. Once she got there, she was a fanatic about quality.

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Procurement on YouTube: State of Green Business 2013: Supply Chain

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we’re going to hear from GreenBiz and Trucost on sustainable supply chains. The conversation takes place between Joel Makower, Executive Editor of GreenBiz Group and Richard Mattison, CEO of Trucost. Trucost insn’t new to the supply management space. In 2011, Trucost and Rosslyn Analytics worked together to launch the first sustainable procurement app, and their partnership continues to this day. 

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Six Sigma Simplified

I am not sure Six Sigma and simple have ever been used in the same phrase. Those that have implemented this process would probably agree.

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Procurement on YouTube: Points of Negotiation

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we will see a clip on preparing for negotiation from Positive Purchasing, a firm that specializes in providing education & training, consultancy support, a best practice purchasing toolkit, and online learning resources.

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Goldilocks and your consortia

Goldilocks came into the Three Bear's cabin while they were away looking for the perfect porridge, chair and bed. She was trying to find the one that was 'just right'. It had to taste good, be warm and fit.

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Between the Lines: More from the ISM-New York January 2013 Report on Business

The ISM-New York Report on Business is released on the second business day of each month at 9:45 AM Eastern. Buyers Meeting Point has been following the ISM reports on business for two years, helping you apply information from the indexes (which is collected from procurement professionals) to your own work. The most important thing to keep in mind when reading this report is that no one number represents the findings of the report; each piece of data only has value when considered as part of a trend - relative to the month(s) or year before.

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All for One and One for All

The motto of the Three Musketeers was "All for One and One for All". What was good for one of them had to be good for all and vice versa. Successful buying groups act in the same fashion - the majority of the time. Not everyone every time but most of the time.

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Procurement Podcast: Negotiating with Tough Guys

Clive Rich and Simon Horton, two experienced negotiators from the UK, have a series of podcasts called ‘Negotiation Natters’. Now, this is not a typo on my part. Although negotiation most definitely MATTERS, these podcasts feature Clive and Simon chatting about negotiation. While their style is casual, their content is not.

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Transportation Procurement with buytruckload.com - 'We're gonna do what they say can't be done'

“Atlanta to Texarkana and back in twenty eight hours? That ain't never been done before.”

-- Cledus Snow, Smokey and the Bandit

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As always - Buyer Beware

There are many benefits to working as a team and therefore, a buying group is that for the procurement world. Just like anything else, examine the buying group in detail before you join. They will do the same to your organization before allowing you to join.

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Procurement: Yup, there’s an App for that

As procurement professionals make increasing use of social media and online collaboration, the associations we belong to are doing the same. Search for procurement in your Apple or Android app store and you’ll come up with more results than you might expect. Some of the best uses of the app format are companions to the conferences that take place throughout the year. Angry Birds they are not, but they provide access to location information and (more importantly) presentation materials whether you attended the event or not.

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Car Pooling or Hitchhiking

Parents are often very busy with car pooling children to various activities - sports, school. friends, music lessons and so on. It can be quite helpful to have a large group in your car pool to balance all the schedules and maintain some sanity - hopefully!

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Procurement on YouTube: Climbing to the Procurement Summit

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we we'll see Jamie Clarke: a Canadian adventurer, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker who has summited Mt. Everest twice in four attempts. At first pass, you might not think that being able to climb Mount Everest would qualify him to work with procurement professionals, but in April of this year he will do just that – at Coupa’s INSPIRE event in San Francisco. I wanted to learn a little more about him, so I looked for and found a clip that shares a bit of his perspective on overcoming adversity, and, as you are about to hear, he understands the kind of challenges we face better than you would think.

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Strength in Numbers

As a young child, my parents would always say "Safety in Numbers". In procurement buying groups there is some truth to that but "Strength in Numbers" is more the case.

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Procurement on YouTube: Lessons Learned in the World of Indirect Procurement

In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we will see a recent post by ISM. Jason Kwan, an ISM board member and CEO of Landmark Investment Limited, a private equity company in mining, resource and infrastructure businesses in Africa, shares some thoughts on achieving success in indirect spend categories. We will hear him describe one of the main disconnects between procurement and internal stakeholders, and that is the definition of success.

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Everyone needs a Script

Every sports team needs a playbook. Every movie or play needs a script. So why should procurement be any different?

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Procurement on YouTube: Opportunities in a Challenging Economy

2012 saw some of the best known supply management analysts move into the solutions sector: Constantine Limberakis left Aberdeen’s Global Supply Management practice to become the Director of Marketing for HICX Solutions and Mickey North-Rizza left Gartner Group (where she landed after they acquired AMR Research) to become BravoSolutions’ Vice President of Strategic Services.

 

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How to Choose

So here we are in 2013. Happy New Year. I know my resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle with diet and exercise. I am sure that sounds familiar to many others!!

In that same light, what are we going to do differently to move our respective organizations forward to a healthier place? The competitive environment is such that controlling costs has never been more important.

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic is Selecting Categories for Outsourcing.In order to contain costs, the article talks about using another organization to source indirect spend. This will save you time, money and resources. The question is how to choose which categories to outsource. 

Certainly that begins with a spend analysis project to understand where you DO spend the money in that space. I also found this article from Accenture that will help gain more understanding of the importance of controlling your indirect spend.

Setting up a process for controlling indirect spend is vital. Utilizing an outside resource enables your internal team to focus on YOUR core competencies.

This does take time and effort but it is incredibly valuable. What have you done to control indirect spend? Did you outsource or build this expertise internally? What did you find for savings in costs and efficiencies?

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