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

LAVERGNE Management Matrix Operating Instructions: Benevolent Leadership

I created the Lavergne Management Matrix to make it possible to share and discuss ‘Benevolent Leadership’.

The managerial aptitude of a person can be evaluated according to two criteria:

  • The satisfaction of her/her employees (whether trending down, stable, up)
  • The performance of his/her employees (whether trending down, stable, up)
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Blockchain: Disrupting Procurement and the Supply Chain

If you have heard a lot about blockchain but don't really know what it is, you're not alone. The success of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has given blockchain a major leap forward. But cryptocurrencies aren't the only place where blockchain technology makes itself useful. It can completely disrupt procurement and supply chain operations. First, however, it's important to have a bird's eye view of blockchain.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 2-6: Global Pressures on Procurement & Supply Chain

There are three in-person events taking place this week: the Proactis Spend Control Summit in London, Procurement Leaders’ Europe Forum in Amsterdam, and ISM-New York’s procurement appreciation event. On the virtual front, we have some new topics and some new hosts – my favorite combination. 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.

 

Are You Ready? Preparing for EU Data Protection Regulation (SciExchange)

October 3, 11am ET

The EU Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR, becomes enforceable in May of 2018. In order to be in compliance, all companies that do business in the EU (whether they are headquartered there or not) must demonstrate that they protect the personal data of EU residents, including consumer data, customer data, employee data, and other third-party data, or face strict penalties. Andrew Gutierrez, Director of Contracts and Compliance at Science Exchange (a platform for outsourced R&D) will provide a general overview of what GDPR means to your organization as well as sharing key tips on GDPR compliance.

 

North Korea: The Supply Chain Perspective on What to expect and What to Do (S&DCE, resilinc)

October 3, 1pm ET

The entire world is anxiously watching to see what will happen with the steady, defiant escalation of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities – especially in the hands of their unpredictable leader, Kim Jong-un. While the US and EU do not have direct trade relations with North Korea, it would be wrong to assume that our supply chains are immune – especially given the role China (North Korea’s top trading partner) plays in the global economy. In this timely webinar, Resilinc is bringing together experts who can discuss the relevant geopolitical considerations and supply chain dependencies. (I’ve registered for this event.)

 

The State of ePayables 2017 (Ardent Partners, Bottomline Technologies)

October 4th, 2pm ET

After considering the precarious situation in North Korea, it may be a relief to focus on something as rational as the state of ePayables. In this webinar, Andrew Bartolini and members of the management team at Bottomline Technologies will discuss the changing role of AP and how technology can empower them to contribute to cash management, supplier relationships, and business intelligence.

 

 

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for September 25-29: Corporate debt, Supplier risk relationships, Dynamic sourcing

This week there are 14 webinars taking place! They cover everything from ‘Spend Analysis Unicorns’ to Microsoft’s ‘Reinvented’ manufacturing supply chain. 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 September 18-22: Relationship Help, Spend Analysis, AI and Strategic Sourcing

This week, ProcureCon Indirect West is taking place in Scottsdale, AZ. Two of the keynote speakers are good friends of BMP: Jules Ryan and Joanna Martinez. Be sure not to miss their presentations! As for my recommended virtual 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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Recommended Procurement Webinars for September 11-15: Digital buyers, Category management, State of AP

After a one-week hiatus (presumably due to the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.), procurement events are back – with a vengeance! With Procurement Leaders in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday and 10 webinars, there is a lot of choose from. 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 August 28-September 1: Automation, Transparency, and Planning for Tomorrow

This week all three of my recommended webinars have a futuristic angle to them. Rather than being intimidated by the newness and uncharted territory, jump in and learn as much as you can! Click on the title of the 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

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 for August 21-25: Growth, Long term P2P Success, Customer Centricity

And just like that, the summer and the drought on webinars are coming to an end. Even though Labor day is another two weeks away in the U.S., schools are about to be back in session – for kids and for professionals! Click on the title of the 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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Fleet: Key Considerations

Have you ever wondered what other company’s fleets look like? How other companies source their fleet units, parts, and services? What information is needed to begin? The first thing to know, is that no two fleet profiles are the same. The second thing to understand, is that there is no right place to start; it all depends on your corporate procurement goals. Are you trying to maximize upfront funds? Is your goal to streamline services and optimize vehicle performance? Are you attempting to marry two fleets after a merger or acquisition? There are endless scenarios that will benefit from strategic procurement thinking.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for August 14 - 18: Handling Gender Issues at Work

This week there are two webinars taking place in addition to ProcureCon Direct which is being held in California on Monday and Tuesday. Click on the title of the 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: Mastering High Stakes Negotiations

I cannot guarantee whether you will be successful after a well-prepared negotiation, but I can 100 percent guarantee failure or finding yourself outsmarted and in a concessionary position if you choose not to do a thorough prep prior to a negotiation.” (p. 38)

 

Mastering High Stakes Negotiations: Both Sides of the Table by Mark M. Bilgin, Ph. D. (BookLocker.com, 2017) is true to its title in that it lays out all of the considerations associated with the most critical, highest dollar value negotiations conducted. In an odd way, however, even meeting that high bar is still selling the book short.

If you are a people watcher, or a student of human behavior, you will absolutely love this book. I was immediately drawn in by the author’s use of case studies, both his own and the ‘outside’ experiences of others to illustrate in colorful but honest fashion the incentives and pitfalls associated with negotiation prep. Negotiation is, at its simplest level, the use of leverage, exchange, and (somewhat) predictable human behavior to bring parties together for their perceived benefit. As a result, you can not be a master negotiator without being aware of and interested in what people say and do. That may come as a great relief to anyone that still thinks negotiation is about aggressively dominating ‘them’ to get what is best for yourself at any cost.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for August 7 - 11: Career Breaks as an Opportunity for Redirection

We have sort of an interesting event dynamic this week – three events, all on Thursday between 8am and 1pm ET. Of the three, I think there is one standout event, detailed below. Looking at the current calendar, clearly webinar organizers are expecting the bulk of summer vacations to be over by the week of August 28th, and September is already starting to take shape. 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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Time to Renew Your Office 365 Deal – Where Should You Place Your Bet?

Sourcing managers with a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) that is about to expire face an important decision and may have many questions. Should they renew their next EA along the same lines as they did three years ago? Expand it to embrace Microsoft’s new cloud-based services, including the Office 365 suite? Scale it back significantly to save money?

Fundamental changes in Microsoft’s product and licensing strategies mean drastic changes to its software assurance’s (SA) value. Your decision criteria will be very different from when you last evaluated your EA, and any related decision involves placing bets on your organization’s future deployment of Microsoft products.

Where should you place your bet?

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for July 31 – August 4: Direct Talent, International AP, Scenario Planning in an Uncertain World

This week’s three webinars all draw on big trends affecting all companies and industries: changing workforce structure, increased globalization within enterprises, and the impact of uncertainty on planning and risk mitigation. 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 July 24-28: Value Management, Risk Monitoring, Digital Transformation

This week’s webinars don’t necessarily cover new or out of the ordinary topics, but they do bring us some new voices. See Tuesday’s event to hear from David Atkinson (Four Pillars) and Thursday’s to hear from Linda Chuan (Salesforce). 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 July 17-21: Digital Innovation, Private Suppliers, 3 Measurable Goals

After a two-week hiatus (because there have been very few events) our recommendations return this week with three great webinars. 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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Bot Technology: A Procurement Experts Thoughts

The ‘app boom’ is widely recognized to be slowing as we approach the half way mark of 2017. Success stories such as Snapchat and Uber remain (in terms of continued, steep growth), but the aggregate growth in the app market has started to decline for the first time Apple introduced the App Store in 2008. The truth is, most people have already downloaded all the apps they need. The market is already saturated with apps that satisfy our basic needs: travel/directions, calendars, messaging, social media, gaming, news, weather, etc. This fact is well known by tech giants such as Facebook and their eyes are already on the next opportunity: bot technology.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for June 26-30: Picking up the Pace, Unprecedented Savings, and an RPA Case Study

If you’re thinking of attending a webinar this week, don’t hesitate. With the July 4th holiday in the U.S. next week closing most companies on Monday and Tuesday, the events calendar is a ghost town. 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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3D Printing: Disrupting Manufacturing and MRO Procurement

3D printing and its applications are evolving rapidly, although most manufacturing businesses are at least five years away from mainstream adoption of the technology. It has a long way to go before becoming a routine aspect of many production environments. Market leaders, however, are gradually embracing 3D printing to take advantage of the technology and stay ahead of the competition. The advantages are numerous – speed, lower cost, time and effort, cheaper manufacturing, ability to customize products, etc.

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