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The Point

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

Recommended Webinars September 17-21: Geeking out on AI, Digital Procurement, and Trade Wars

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This week presented me with a challenge on two levels – it was hard to select just three of the nine fantastic webinars taking place in the next few days, but it was just as difficult to decide which longer term event to suggest. At the end of the day, I compromised on a tie; both of the following events look amazing:

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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China: Beyond the Trade War Hype

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Globalization has transformed the world into one big economy. Capitalist theory suggests that markets in an open and healthy economy promote widespread well-being by increasing competition and ensuring the availability of goods and services. Increased competition then drives production cost optimization, research and development, quality management, differentiation, innovation, and other positive externalities. Broadly speaking, competition generates wealth.

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Webinar Notes: Trade Wars & Supply Chains: Measuring and Managing the Impact

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These webinar notes are based on an April 26th webinar presented by Resilinc and Hogan Lovells and hosted by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine. Here is the link to the on demand registration page.

As I mentioned in my weekly webinar recommendations post, I trusted S&DCE as the host of this event because I’ve seen them cover equally ‘hot button’ topics with balance and a high degree of professionalism in the past. This event was no different – in fact, Resilinc CEO & Founder Bindiya Vakil opened the webinar by making the comment that the topic would be handled as a business issue – not a political one.

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What would you do? Risk management: weather-related supply chain disruptions

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In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck a significant blow to the Houston, Texas metro area, home to the sixth largest import terminal in the world as well as all of the shipping lanes in the Gulf Coast area. Given the strong economic linkages between the Gulf Coast and the country as a whole, Harvey impacted the U.S. economy far beyond the local region.

Supply management professionals were on the front lines of the economic side of this environmental disaster. Imagine yourself as one of them: your facility and/or your suppliers’ facilities are in the hurricane’s path. Damage is done during the storm, and you will have to deal with the after-effects, including ongoing impacts on transportation and labor. How do you prepare for the unexpected? How will you cope with the aftermath? What do you do? 

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Recommended Procurement Webinars March 19-23: The Corporate Cash Environment and De-risking International M&A

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As we officially enter spring, my recommended webinar topics are taking a fresh new focus. The birds are signing, plants are pushing their way into the sun, and procurement is thinking big – digital transformation, the financial supply chain, and innovation. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “How Artificial Intelligence will (and won’t) change Procurement and Contracting” from Determine and Forrester on March 27th. 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 Feb 5 - 9: Disrupting workplace apathy, Proactive risk management, Defending supply chain innovation

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In addition to this week’s webinars - and it is a busy week with 10 to choose from! - Odesma is hosting GDPR ‘Open Houses’ on Feb. 6th and 8th at their offices in London. If you are interested in a ‘long shot’ event worth considering, I recommend ‘What is Intelligent Automation and Why Should You Care?’ from IRPA on February 20th. 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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Procuring Lives in Puerto Rico

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Before examining Hurricane Maria’s stampede through Puerto Rico, let’s take a glimpse of this Caribbean island before the natural disaster hit. 3.4 million U.S. citizens live in this commonwealth of the United States. After being “discovered” by Columbus, the island endured Spanish colonial rule, disease, African slavery, attempted colonization by the French, Dutch, and British, the Spanish-American War, and the unending ambiguity of territorial status.

This past May, Puerto Rico declared bankruptcy with more than $70 billion in debt, exacerbated by the Jones Act, which doubles the cost of goods due to American control of Puerto Rican ports. PREPA, the main electric company on the island, has $9 billion in debt, resulting in total absence of modernization efforts of the power grid in Puerto Rico and frequent outages.

And then, Hurricane Maria happened, inflicting widespread devastation where significant challenges already existed. There is an opportunity here for procurement to play a significant role in helping Puerto Rico cope and eventually recover: by delivering the right supplies and services at the right time for the right cost in the right amounts to the right places.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 16-20: Extended supply partners, Supply chain risk ROI, the High-end gig Economy

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After a quiet week last week, we’re ramping back up to a full schedule with 9 events taking place. And if you’re thinking a little further out, I’m presenting a webinar with Jaggaer and WNS Denali on October 26th: How can you control rogue marketing spend? 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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Book Review: The LIVING Supply Chain

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In the new global era, speed and velocity are more important than everything else!” (p. 12)

The LIVING Supply Chain: The Evolving Imperative of Operating in Real Time by Rob Handfield and Tom Linton (Wiley, 2017) takes everything you know about ecosystems and Darwinian principles and applies it to supply chain management.

One of the most telling sections in the book is in the Preface where Handfield shares three major shifts affecting the digital economy (paraphrased here by me):

  1. Data is a natural resource (think raw material)
  2. Converting data into decisions is the key refinement process of the digital era
  3. Cognitive computing (human/machine interaction) will be a critical ‘relationship’

To me, these points are significant because they are NOT followed by something along the lines of “… and here is what all this means for supply chain.” Like the authors, we need to stop thinking of the supply chain as somehow separate or downstream from economic/digital trends. The supply chain is a fully integrated piece of the ecosystem – or should be – and must be managed as such. Every time we feel compelled to translate trends, priorities, forces into a supply chain-centric version, we obscure their meaning and slow the movement of information.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars June 5-9: Replacing People-Process-Technology, Collaboration, and Supply Chain 2030

Recommended Procurement Webinars June 5-9: Replacing People-Process-Technology, Collaboration, and Supply Chain 2030

In addition to the virtual events below, ProcureCon IT Sourcing is taking place in Austin, TX Monday through Wednesday and the Manufacturing Supply Chain Officer (MSCO) Summit is taking place on Thursday and Friday in Singapore. Click on the title of each 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 May 1 - 5: A Tight Talent Market and Our Volatile World

Recommended Procurement Webinars for May 1 - 5: A Tight Talent Market and Our Volatile World

It’s May. Aaaaaaaaah! Seriously, though, that means the clock is ticking on the official start of the summer work season (I date mine from the Friday before Memorial Day). I fully expect webinars to continue strong through the summer months, and there are already a couple of June in person events as well. Click on the title of each 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 March 20 - 24: AP Automation and Learning Supply Chains

Recommended Procurement Webinars for March 20 - 24: AP Automation and Learning Supply Chains

The new computing trends have officially reached a fever pitch. Few blog posts and events don’t discuss the potential of AI, automation, smart machines, and cognitive computing, and this week’s recommended webinars are no exception. Click on the title of each 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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Book Review: Supply Chain Construction

Book Review: Supply Chain Construction

This supply chain is the bridge between the customer needs of a market segment and the value-added of a product. If we can’t connect the two, then we have a show stopper.” (p. 4)

Supply Chain Construction: The Basics for Networking the Flow of Material, Information, and Cash by William Walker (CRC Press, 2016) is an impressive work that combines exhaustive supply chain planning considerations, processes, and figures with a narrative that keeps all of the information provided firmly rooted in reality.

I met the author in person at the February 2017 ISM Economic Forum in NYC where he participated in a panel discussion I moderated. Although Bill is an adjunct professor of supply chain engineering at NYU, the book is far from academic. It illustrates critical business principles through plausible real life examples that make their lessons easy to understand and recall long after reading them.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for Feb 13–17: Decision Making Traps, Supply Chain Design, Blockchain Simplified

Recommended Procurement Webinars for Feb 13–17: Decision Making Traps, Supply Chain Design, Blockchain Simplified

Struggling with a case of the winter doldrums? This week my webinar recommendations each bring something a little new for procurement to think about. Give yourself an opportunity for inspiration by registering for one of these three events. Click on the title of each 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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Tips for Effective Light Fleet Sourcing

Tips for Effective Light Fleet Sourcing

Fleet operations can absolutely be an overwhelming category to manage. Between deciding on the right vehicle manufacturer, understanding the ever-changing vehicle features, selecting the appropriate maintenance plans, managing fluctuating fuel costs, and more – the active time required is substantial. However, rather than looking at this category as a mountainous challenge, Fleet should be seen as a major cost saving opportunity.

There are multiple triggers for evaluating the fleet category from the top down beyond just due diligence:

  • Evaluating internal versus external management of the fleet.
  • Mergers and acquisitions will prompt the evaluation and consolidation of fleet operations.
  • A new company strategy may mandate the need for a new fleet policy.
  • Maybe the organization lacks a concrete fleet policy or management structure and has outgrown a passive management phase.

In all of these hypothetical situations, a few best practices can be used for an effective category evaluation that enables both cost savings and process optimization.

For any of the reasons listed above, the fleet evaluation/optimization process benefits from taking a two-pronged approach that includes both a comprehensive OEM evaluation and a Fleet Management Services (FMS) provider evaluation. If the fleet administration and management function is housed internally, this two-pronged approach still applies in terms of analyzing the internally managed program (reactive and preventative maintenance programs, acquisition and resale processes, etc.).

 

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Welcome back from the US Thanksgiving holiday! With 5 weeks left in the calendar year (3 effective working weeks) the time to get in your professional development time is now! Click on the title of each webinar 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.

** BONUS: Mark your calendars and join me for a live Twitter #Instaschat discussion December 1st at 1pm ET!

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for November 14 – 18: Future Prepping

Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for November 14 – 18: Future Prepping

There are 14 webinars taking place this week – plus ProcureCon Marketing in California Monday through Wednesday. Of course, that is probably due to the fact that with Thanksgiving in the U.S. on November 24th there is only one lone event in the calendar that week. Click on the title of each webinar 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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Book Review: Introduction to Global Logistics, 2nd Ed.

Book Review: Introduction to Global Logistics, 2nd Ed.

 If you feel surprised that you missed the first edition of Introduction to Global Logistics: Delivering the Goods 2nd Ed., by John Manners-Bell, you’re not alone. I was puzzled by the same thing. If the first edition came out in 2014, how could I possibly have missed it? I didn’t - and maybe you didn’t either. The title of the first edition book was Global Logistics Strategies: Delivering the Goods.

Title and edition questions notwithstanding, this book provides considerable updates and new content. There are three completely new chapters, as well as an updated preface. Since I reviewed Global Logistics Strategies (you can read it here) I focused my time with the 2nd Ed. on the three new chapters:

Chapter 12: Supply Chain Technologies

Chapter 16: Supply Chain Innovation and Disruption

Chapter 17: Ethical and Sustainable Supply Chain Strategies

 

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Optimizing the Value of Trilateral Manufacturer Distributor Purchasing Relationships

Optimizing the Value of Trilateral Manufacturer Distributor Purchasing Relationships

When you just look at a purchase from a pricing perspective, it would be reasonable to think that purchasing products directly from the manufacturer be an effective way to reduce unnecessary overhead and markup costs.  While I generally find this to be true in practice, if it were that black and white the large number of distributors thriving in today’s markets would cease to exist.  Manufacturers and distributors each have strengths and weaknesses, but in a strategic purchasing landscape you do not always need to choose between the two. In fact, developing a balanced relationship with manufacturers AND distributors often proves to yield the most value, particularly with high volume purchases.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 10-14

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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