The Point

One of the interesting things about consistently reading and hearing content from quality sources is that you start to notice trends. It is amazing how often the same topics arise at the same time in different places. We use this blog as a way to help you stay on top of the major themes in procurement and supply chain management.

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When someone kicks it up a notch, you think about going at warp speed or running a marathon instead of a 5K.

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The world has been captivated by the Winter Games in Sochi for 17 days. Our family is glued to the events every evening. When they conclude on Sunday, there will be significant withdrawal in our household and many others next week for sure.

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As Procurement professionals, we are accustomed to using analytics for our decision making, negotiations and final awards. How does that apply to other professions like Fire Fighting?

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As we are sitting here watching the Pairs Skating Competition, it is apparent that a lot of procurement was needed to put the Olympics together. The facilities, the food, the equipment, transportation and so on.

We are about to have two weeks of winter Olympic Games. This is a rare opportunity to see the world’s elite athletes compete and understand the sacrifice and work it took them to get there.

Like many people, I had too many sweets and treats over the holiday. It's a new year and I shouldn't even be thinking about cookies. However, I just finished making a batch of oatmeal chocolate cookies for a party tomorrow. Nothing like fresh cookies out of the oven!

Many times my children would want more than the two cookies I was offering. I would offer two , they would want three or four. After a few times back and forth, I would change my offer to ZERO cookies. Then all of a sudden they felt that two cookies was a great option!

In procurement, we are sometimes in situations where we want more cookies than are being offered. Or we want to include cold milk at the same time but that is not available at the price point we are interested in.

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It's the beginning of a new year. Fresh starts and resolutions are all around. Typically it has to do with exercising more, eating less, going back to school, getting a better job, and so on.

 

As another year comes to a close and we are looking at the start of a new one, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season. We have enjoyed working together on your behalf to present information that we hope you have found useful this year.

We will be taking a break until January 6 while we plan our strategy for the coming year and have a few moments of wel-deserved rest and restoration. We are excited for the opportunities in 2014 and all there is to learn and share. Please check back with us in January at that time for updates.

Cindy Allen-Murphy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kelly Barner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @BuyersMeetPoint

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I was at a leadership conference and heard some very motivational speakers. The main message throughout the day was to be the best YOU that you can be.

Change makes people anxious and frustrated. When a grocery store decides to move their aisles around, the consumer can’t find things easily until they get accustomed to the new system in place. Sometimes, the marketing team also changes the packaging. That favorite cookie or cereal is now hiding on the shelf, similar to the game of “Where’s Waldo”.   

waldo

Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about recruiting and retaining employees. How about that same approach with your customers?

In science class, one experiment was to watch the stages of seeds as the went through the maturity cycle from seeds to sprouts to full blown plants. That life-cycle is true for procurement organizations too.

The Boston Red Sox have just won the World Series for the 3rd time in 10 years (2004, 2007 and now 2013). There was an 86 year drought until 2004. The team’s theme this year was “The Road to Redemption”. For those that don’t follow baseball, last year they were the worst and this year they are first. That is quite a recovery!

When we run an initiative, we invite suppliers that are well known in the industry as well as a few that we may have used in the past. But who are we missing out on? What golden nugget is being left out?

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We all love shortcuts – how can we get something done faster and easier, without as much effort. Sometimes if there is not a shortcut but you are trying a different path, HOPING it will be one, may mean you forget an important step and the result it not what you intended.

My father was very fond of fishing. Most times he did not catch anything but he enjoyed being out in the boat and absorbing his natural surroundings. As a child, I only enjoyed it if I caught something. One vacation when I was 8 or 9, we were camping on an island. For 3 days, we caught a fish every few minutes. It was exciting. Most of the time they were too small and we set them free but what excitement for all of us!

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We have just finished our 'to do' list for the weekend. It has much more on it than we can possibly do in the time we have. We also have to add some 'fun' to that list. However, there are not any big projects on the list. Those keep getting pushed to another time.

In the northern hemisphere, Fall / Autumn has begun. With that comes the harvest and in particular, apples! However, we are not going to talk about the fruit but about the technology company, Apple.

Every year my organization has a summer outing with some component of team building. The goal is to break down silos, energize the group and renew understanding across the organization. There is large component of fun along the way as well.

There is an inspiration story about millions of starfish stranded on the beach and how an old man walking along keeps tossing a few back into the water. There is no way to save all the starfish. However, for some of them, the man picking them up and putting them back in the water does make a HUGE difference.

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