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

Recommended Procurement Webinars June 3-7: Embedding Social Value and the Death of RPA

We’ve officially entered the summer slowdown from a webinar perspective. While this means the volume of events to choose from is down, it means that anyone hosting an event is committed to it and will hopefully put in a bit of extra effort to make the investment of time worthwhile!

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Lessons in Transformation: What Direct Procurement Teams Can Learn from Indirect Procurement’ with SIG and GEP on June 18th at 1pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars May 20-24: Catching Excellence, Talent Crisis, Next Gen Operating Models

I went into my calendar work this week feeling a bit sad that there weren’t more choices. And then – just like that – I added a bunch to the remainder of May and early June and now you have 7 to consider. For non-US readers, don’t forget that this weekend is the official kick-off to summer in the States, so things will be very quiet Friday through Monday as people head off for the Memorial Day weekend.

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Practical steps to embed Social Value into your procurement strategy’ (Proactis) on June 6th at 5am ET (10am BST).

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Small Businesses Can Have a Sustainable Supply Chain Too

In my article Data & Socially Responsible Procurement, I discussed how data analytics is located at the intersection of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and procurement. In particular, I explored why CSR is an essential component of modern-day procurement practices and the ways in which data can help organizations achieve their CSR goals. As a follow up, this article will dive into socially responsible procurement for small businesses.

Small businesses – defined as companies with less than 500 employees – make up about 99.7% of all employers in the United States, and, as recently as 2008, were responsible for about 46% of private-sector nonfarm output. The prominence of small businesses in the US economy makes it essential to include them in conversations about CSR and procurement. Faced with greater constraints of scale, how can these organizations maintain sustainable procurement practices?

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Data & Socially Responsible Procurement

CSR is No Longer an Option . . .

In an evolving landscape of regulations, social values, and consumer preferences, the Triple Bottom Line has become an essential framework of business design. The concept underpins Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by asserting that growth and profitability should not have negative social and environmental impacts. CSR is becoming an imperative for success, one that procurement plays a central role in. Socially responsible procurement aims to ensure that suppliers are adhering to quality practices in key areas such as diversity and inclusion, environmental protection, health and safety, and human rights.

Adherence to the Triple Bottom Line is more than just the right thing to do; it also comes with a number of competitive business advantages. In particular, it reduces the risk of both supply chain disruption and negative publicity.

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Recommended Webinars for Nov 27 – Dec 1: Spend Analysis Tell All, Deconstructing AI, Supply Chain Performance

This week is really busy – there are no signs of a year-end slowdown yet! In addition to the webinars taking place, ProcureCon Marketing is happening in New Orleans, LA and Procurement Leaders DITX is happening in London. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

 

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

This week, my recommended procurement webinars are all about doing MORE. More categories managed, more results, and more visibility into the supply chain. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 8/15 - 19

Clearly webinar hosts see the end of the summer vacation season on the horizon – this week’s investment in topics and speakers communicates to me that they expect engaged audiences. Don’t miss out! Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Is Wal-Mart’s “Woman-Owned” Label Visionary or Just a Circus?

In September 2011, Wal-Mart announced a plan to spend $20B with woman-owned businesses by 2016. More recently, they expanded their Women’s Economic Empowerment program to include a ‘women-owned’ labeling program. Products that meet company ownership requirements will start appearing on Wal-Mart shelves this September1. Qualified companies can apply to be a part of the program through WBENC and WEConnect International.

Despite the company’s apparent good intentions, the program has not been warmly received by all, including some critics who feel calling additional attention to these products simply because of female company ownership does little to advance equality. As one commenter posted in response to a BusinessWeek article on the program, “The path to gender equality does not involve stickers pointing out that a product has been made by a female entrepreneur.”2

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Improving the environment one bar of soap at a time

All hotels provide you with toiletries such as bar soap, shampoo, etc. For business travel, we are often only there for one or two nights. One area that has always bothered me is the waste for a basically brand new bar of soap which will be thrown out after just a few uses. It’s just a little thing but multiplied across many hotels, it exponentially becomes a huge issue. So how can we change that? What can we do to increase sustainability, one bar of soap at a time?

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CSR and small businesses

We have a local farm stand nearby and we frequent them in the summer. They sell local eggs, produce and flowers. One unique aspect is that people will return their egg cartons to them and the farm refills them for the next customer. It is a great system and in a small way, they are practicing their own version of CSR.

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Good Better Best

I remember this childhood saying “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until the good is better and the better best”.

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Sustainability and the Sound of Music

One of my favorite movies is The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews. The song Do-Re-Mi has a verse that states ‘Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’. That could be the approach for almost any project, including getting a CSR program started.

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The challenges of doing the right thing

We make choices every day in relation to our health, our family, our community and our profession. Some choices are straight forward and easy to make. Many times there are areas of grey and that brings with it a measure of ambiguity.

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The benefits of doing the right thing

I had the opportunity to attend a conference where the keynote speaker was Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes.

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Doing the right thing in business

There was a factory fire about 20 years ago in the Boston area. The owner, Aaron Feuerstein, continued to pay the workers until the factory was rebuilt. That was exceptional and unheard of in business. This remarkable story of Malden Mills was on CBS news at the time. Mr Feuerstein was referred to as a Mench – a person of integrity and honor.

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Your Vote Counts: 2013 CSR at Buyers Meeting Point

Since our inception, Buyers Meeting Point has always made Corporate Social Responsibility part of our mission. We have always had a selected charity that we donate to at the end of the year – most recently Plan International and Livestrong.

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Blog Pick of the Week: CSR: A key differentiator for sourcing and supplier management

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is taken very seriously by many organizations. I know retail food companies that contribute to local food banks, schools and community organizations. This blog by Aberdeen really hit the mark and discusses how BMW has implemented CSR and made it a key differentiator.

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