I had a unique opportunity yesterday to serve as the Q&A facilitator for ISM-New York’s annual meeting. What is so unique about that? I did it from Central Massachusetts! Through the magic of Google Hangouts (and with a little help from an eight hour phone call) I saw, heard, and interacted with the speakers and attendees in a meeting room overlooking Times Square.
Kudos to ISM-New York President Nancy Murray, Executive Director Julienne Ryan, and former Vice President Jim Martin for their adventurous, virtual approach to collaboration and networking.
The Influence of the Digital Environment on Decision-Making in Procurement
Dr. Jim Narus and Dr. Michelle Steward, Wake Forest University
The focus of this presentation was an ongoing shift in preferences for information about suppliers. As Millennials become a greater percentage of the procurement workforce, their preference for online supplier reviews will drive new solutions that must contain certified supplier reviews, vetted online communities, and shared vendor scorecards. Today, however, only 10% of people share supplier information online; the vast majority of procurement professionals are ‘listen only.’ This is driven in part by liability concerns associated with sharing negative reviews online. Despite how reasonable these concerns may be, we as a professional community, owe it to each other to exchange more information. As Dr. Steward said, "It will force bad suppliers to become better and good suppliers to become great."
Blog Talk Radio: Incorporating online supplier reviews and evaluations in procurement
“The digital buyer: Where are the online, B2B product reviews?” Procurement Leaders, February 19, 2016.
“The digital buyer: how B2B customers want to talk about suppliers.” Procurement Leaders, February 8, 2016.
Optimizing IT Contracts & Relationships
James Martin, VP Procurement MUFG
The ‘digitization’ of, well, everything has changed the profile of IT spend and altered the responsibilities of those working in IT. Many enterprise technology vendors still prefer to bypass procurement and sell directly to the C-suite. Time is a key factor in IT sourcing, and IT may use implementation urgency as a reason to work around the procurement process, however, risks abound. Among Jim's recommendations for handling IT spend contracts:
- Consider confidentiality issues, especially when subcontractors will be used
- Never accept online Terms and Conditions as they can be changed with little/no notice
- Be cognizant of the country where the provider is based, as the laws of that country may vary from those in the U.S.
Disruption in Procurement: The Shift from Savings-Driven to Value-Driven
Joanna Martinez, Principal, Supply Chain Advisors, LLC
Procurement has come a long way, from the relatively easy early days where opportunities for efficiency were everywhere, to today’s complex, global category management strategies. Those who can be nimble in these changing times will be positioned to seize the new opportunities they create. Risk and outsourcing both require additional scrutiny from procurement, and neither should be managed as a separate initiative. Instead, they should be incorporated into all spend management efforts. When the efficiencies dry up (as they eventually do), value-oriented procurement professionals change the formula by looking for ways to hold prices flat while increasing customer satisfaction and ROI.
Referenced research: ‘Is yours a procurement organization of one?’ Accenture
Virtual Teams: Making Impactful Human-to-Human (H2H) Connections
Yael Zofi, Aim Strategies
Although we all work 'virtually' in some capacity, including everything from ‘working from home’ to conference calls and online networking, few of these terms have consistent definitions. The resulting lack of clarity often leads to misunderstood - or just plain missed - expectations. Time zone differences, geographical spread, and cultural differences make it hard for virtual teams to accomplish their stated purpose without the proper investment in team structure. Never underestimate the importance of improved communication – whether in person, on the phone, via email, through video or a combination of the above.