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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I recently attended a supplier presentation that was horrendous. Their product was amazing but they really blew it. The team interrupted and contradicted each other. They were unable to get their technology and projector to work. They were not prepared for Plan B. It was a terrible first impression.

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As seasons change, we clean out our closets and freshen up the household. We may wash windows, and take on household projects like painting and planting gardens.

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As a student in school, everyone would receive report cards on the same day. This happened 4 times a year. Next of course was the conversation with Mom and Dad. Sometimes it was good news and sometimes not so good.

I read an article a few years ago about being friendly in an attempt to deliver better customer service. Shortly after that, I put a smiley face on my keyboard next to the phone. It is to help remind me to answer the phone with a smile in my voice. I don’t always feel like doing that. I get tired or frustrated or distracted like everyone else.

We love vacation. Who doesn't? The glorious freedom from schedules and responsibilities. Time for adventures and to spend with our friends and families.  Sometimes we like to plan the next one while we are on the current one. That way the post-vacation blues are not so intense. We can look forward to the 'next big thing' as far as vacation goes anyway. 

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Several years ago we installed a water filter in our home. We strive to drink water over other beverages and carry reusable water bottles with us to work, the gym and on trips. We will occasionally purchase single use plastic bottles, especially for holidays and large family gatherings.

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Our discussions these past few weeks have been about sustainability and procurement. When I came across this blog about Simpa Networks by Lindsay Clinton, I realized it fit our sustainability theme. I also found that it discussed an especially creative approach to making solar energy affordable.

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.

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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”.   


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!

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