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

Electronic regulations around the globe

We live in a technology age. That is not big news. In some areas, the electronic record is considered official and binding. For example, for the last 4 or 5 years we have filed our taxes electronically and that has been adequate and official. In other areas, they still want an original signature on a paper, with multiple copies. I know when we have gone to refinance our house, the banks require paper copies.

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Sarbanes-Oxley for Dummies

I love the “For Dummies” books. We have used them many times. What a wonderful way to simplify everything from travel to home improvements to technology. Obviously it has become quite successful along the way so they must be doing something right.

 

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Is Procurement Crate Trained?

“Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog's den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.”

Humane Society

 

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Understanding International Trade

 More and more procurement organizations have some component that involves global trade. Understanding the intricacies of this can be mind boggling.

 

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Rules and Regulations make the world go around

About 90% of goods are transported with ocean freight for global commerce. With all that activity, there has to be some way to control the comings and goings.

 

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#FutureBuy Resource Spotlight: KPMG

As Jon Hansen and I work our way through our joint book on the future of procurement, we get the opportunity to consider what other thought leaders in the space have to say on the topic. In this week’s #FutureBuy resource spotlight, we will consider the major take-aways from KPMG’s whitepaper, FUTUREBUY: The Future of Procurement, which you can download here.

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James Bond, The Living Daylights and Customs

In The Living Daylights movie, James Bond and his most recent female companion are escaping the “bad guys” by sliding down a snow covered mountain on a cello case. As they cross the border into Austria, the customs agent asks “Do you have anything to declare?” James Bond’s response is “Only this cello!”

 

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The Supplier Side to Implement Supply Chain Finance

For every action there is a reaction. We learned that in a high school science class. We have been talking about the buyer side of supply chain finance. Obviously what they do, impacts their suppliers, and vice versa.

 

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Tomato, Tomato… Analysis, Analytics?

Spend analysis solutions have long been critical enablers of procurement organizations. Over the last couple of years, however, the term analysis has gradually been replaced by analytics. In order to gather information on this transition, I reached out to Rosslyn Analytics, a company that has operated under the ‘analytics’ label since their founding in 2005, long before it was the prevailing term. I'd like to thank them for their help in putting this post together.

 

Let me begin by giving working definitions for both terms. According to BigDataCraft.com,

 

Analysis is the examination process itself where analytics is the supporting technology and associated tools.”

 

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The Buyers Side to Implement Supply Chain Finance

One of my father’s favorite sayings was “Less Jaw work and more Paw work”. In other words, enough talking, it is time to get moving!

 

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If at First you don't succeed at Supply Chain Finance?

As the Saying goes – Try, Try, Again. You learn from what you did wrong, make the necessary adjustments and try again. Of course, learning from others mistakes in the first place is even better and a highly recommended approach.

 

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Do you have the right attitude for Supply Chain Finance?

 

I can remember as a teenager having a bad attitude about something. It could be homework, a chore of some kind or even a social engagement that I did not want to attend but I had to. I often got the “your attitude will determine the kind of day you have” message. I did not believe them but of course that was very accurate. It was better if I made up my mind for it to be better.

 

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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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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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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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