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.
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.
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?
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?
There are a lot of articles about shortages of resources for a variety of reasons. One of the issues is attracting talent to procurement when other areas are also drawing on the same talent. How can procurement become a profession that others are drawn to like a magnet?
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!
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.
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.
When our son was young, he would go through a cycle that was amusing to all of us. He would nod his head up and down while saying “uh huh” and then side to side “nuh uh” and repeat this many times. He was outwardly arguing with himself but not over any particular topic. We would ask him who won. The response was “me of course”! We would laugh.
Not that long ago, that quote would have only meant you were a Star Wars geek and referencing the two robots in the movies – R2D2 and C-3PO. Now of course it means your Android smart phone. Hopefully nothing is wrong with that!
Everyone loves a good surprise. Maybe is it an unexpected birthday present. Or perhaps it is a visit from a dear friend that you have not seen in quite some time. An unforeseen professional opportunity is offered to you that would open up new growth and financial rewards. There are so many events that pleasantly surprise us and we do look forward to those.
Rube Goldberg is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. My father was a do-it-yourselfer to the max. Many times he would fix something. It may not be pretty but it worked. He would often say “Rube Goldberg would be proud of this!”.
Our family loves to play all types of games – cards, board games, volley ball, croquet and so on. This summer we have played a good deal of cribbage. It keeps the ‘mental math’ gears going as well as developing the various strategies and approaches. Of course, sometimes it is just about the luck of the cards you are dealt.
I know when I get back to work after a vacation, I have a tough time getting up and running again. There is a backlog of work to catch up on. I miss the carefree schedule of the vacation and being with friends and family.