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

Recommended Webinars Nov 5-9: Building a Great Workforce in a Tight Talent Market and Getting Ready for 2019

This week, Procurement Leaders’ Asia Pacific Congress is taking place in Singapore on Thursday and Friday. If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Why Procurement Needs Digital Risk Management—and How to Get Started” on November 14th from ISM, The Hackett Group, and riskmethods.

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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The October ISM-New York Report on Business: Hotter Jobs Under Cooler Conditions

The October ISM-New York Report on Business was released on November 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

Like ISM’s national report, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month.

A note specific to the New York Metro area, where all of this report’s respondants are located: they are predominantly in professional services industries. It is important to keep this in mind when we think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

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Recommended Webinars Oct 29 – Nov 2: Digital Transformation, Disruptive Innovation, ‘Steady Flow’ Risk Management

As we close the book on October, ProcureCon MRO is taking place in Fort Worth, TX this week on Monday and Tuesday. I’d also like to invite everyone to join me on Wednesday at 11am ET for a webinar I am presenting on a new way to approach talent development: a 3-Part Framework for Procurement Talent Transformation: Vision, Realism, and Accountability.

If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend "Understanding the Digital Procurement Transformation Journey" from SpendHQ and Bain & Co on November 15th at 2pm 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 Webinars October 22-26: Actively managed procurement, Integrated risk management, Leveraging a contingent workforce

This week continued to fill up, with new events being added to the calendar as late as Friday. Make sure you take a look at the full listing of events, which include a couple of ‘Lunch & Learns’ from Public Spend Forum.

If you’re planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I invite you to join me on October 31st for a webinar I’m presenting at Zycus’ invitation: “3-Part Framework for Procurement Talent Transformation: Vision, Realism, and Accountability”.

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 Webinars October 15-19: Common RFP Pitfalls and Connecting End-Customer Demand

This is a ‘sleepy’ week on the BMP events calendar, but don’t worry! If you had something else in mind, there are already 7 webinars on the calendar for next week.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend ‘Are you really MANAGING Procurement? (Or Does Stuff Just Happen…)’ on October 23rd from Per Angusta, Peter Smith (Spend Matters UK/EU), and Glen Lovett, Head of Group Procurement at FirstGroup.

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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Broken Procurement Theory

I recently read about ‘Broken Windows Theory’ from a 1982 Atlantic article by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson. It is a criminological theory that suggests small but visible signs of public disarray, such as broken windows, abandoned vehicles, litter, and disorderly behavior, create an environment that encourages more serious crime and a systemic breakdown in orderly conduct. Kelling and Wilson note:

“This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.”

This means that no matter how affluent or destitute the neighborhood, no matter who inhabits it, a non-compliant action will inevitably inspire further non-compliance.

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Recommended Webinars October 8-12: Ongoing Applied Learning and Cross-functional Contract Management

This week’s webinars present another interesting combinations that are likely to be top of mind for leading procurement professionals. If you’re looking for something really different, I invite you to join #TakeActionOctober – this is an initiative started by my colleague and good friend Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement). Every day he posts a 5 minute podcast that includes a great message and an “action challenge”. I did it all last week, and it really is an enjoyable way to spend a few minutes a day. If you’re interested, it isn’t too late to get caught up. The full list of #TakeAction micro-pods can be accessed here.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend 'Integrating Supplier Risk Management into Your Procurement Processes' from SIG and SAPAriba on October 25th. In a rare webinar appearance, we’ll get to hear from Harold Good, Procurement Advisor, Futurist and Influencer for Procurement Pros Group LLC – although you probably know him better as @Hal_Good, Twitter influencer extraordinaire.

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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The September ISM-New York Report on Business: Help Wanted!

The August ISM-New York Report on Business was released on October 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

Like the other ISM reports, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month.

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Recommended Webinars October 1-5: The Widening Digital Talent Gap and Industrialized Machine Learning

While we don’t have as many events to choose from this week as we did last week, the topics are fantastic. In fact, neither of the webinars I’m recommending is a straight on procurement-directed event. Taking in information on leading general business topics not only helps us come up with progressive ideas, it also keeps our eyes focused on the big picture of enterprise performance.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Risk is on the Rise, But Your Head Count is Not — How to Build a Business Case” from Lexis Nexis and Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell on October 25th at 2pm 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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Book Review: Soft Skills for Hard Business

“…we need to be prepared to think the unthinkable, even if we subsequently have no plan to deal with it now, as we may have in the future.” (p. 62)

Soft Skills for Hard Business by David Loseby (FCMI, FCIPS Chartered, FRSA) calls to mind the difference between movies that are based on books and those that are based on original screenplays. Movies based on books have a depth and complexity that you can not fake, while those based on screenplays alone have a hollowness to them (although they often include more car chases and explosions to make up for it). Loseby clearly did not just decide a book would be a good idea before setting out to fill the pages. Instead, he gathered a large pool of information and made it unexpectedly accessible for the reader.

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Recommended Webinars September 24-28: Lagging Procurement Tech, Digital Financial Transformation, Software for Managing Freelancers

The last full week of September is going to be a busy one. There are 12 webinars taking place in three days and ProcureCon Indirect West will take place Monday through Wednesday in Scottsdale, AZ. A few of our good friends will be there, including Greg Tennyson, Michael Shaw, Joanna Martinez, Phil Ideson, and Bill Michels.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend RPA -  The BIG Picture 2018 from IRPA AI and Virtual Operations on October 10th at 12n 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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Book Review: A Guide to Positive Disruption

A Guide to Positive Disruption: How to Thrive and Make an Impact in the Churn of Today’s Corporate World by Joanna Martinez delivers a striking combination of advice, tough love, and hope. With this one included, I have reviewed 87 business books in my time at Buyers Meeting Point, but I have never reviewed a book where I already knew the author so well. It is ironic, because this book is intensely personal – not in the biographical sense, but in the way that Joanna lays her professional experiences open for examination, and invites the reader to do the same with their own.

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

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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Book Review: The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs. Procurement

“The only time they don’t say ‘Drop your pants’  now is at the Christmas party.” (p. 10, Epstein on sales' common interations with procurement))

 

The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs Procurement: The Secrets Unveiled at the Negotiation Table by Elliot Epstein and Paul Rogers (2018) is an absolutely fantastic book. In addition to getting two open and unapologetic perspectives on business, I was also left with the feeling that I had made two new friends.

The format of this book is unique, written entirely like a play (one paragraph at a time with the ‘speaker’ identified in the left margin), but it is fitting for the message and experience the authors want to deliver. We don’t need another buttoned-up, polite analysis of how sales and procurement have different approaches, challenges, and incentives – and the authors haven’t given us that. Instead, we get sales (represented by Epstein) and procurement (Rogers) having a debate. If the angel on your shoulder could have a sarcastic exchange with the devil on your other, I imagine it would read much like this. I won’t suggest which function (sales or procurement) is on which shoulder.

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Book Review: Third Party Risk Management

“Efficient, effective, risk-centric, and risk-adjusted third party lifecycle and risk management is a new and distinct way of doing business. How your company approaches any major change like this one is up to senior leadership.” (p. 162)

 

Third Party Risk Management: Driving Enterprise Value by Linda Tuck Chapman (The Risk Management Association, 2018) tackles one of the topics that procurement organizations discuss most – how to prepare for, handle, and mitigate the risks that result from our company working with third parties. Although it is not declared on the cover, the book is largely focused on the financial services industry. That said, the vast majority of the information will apply to your company regardless of industry or sector.

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The Material Cost Benefits of Full Workforce Visibility

Between the new technologies available and the tidal wave of talented individuals with people analytics experience, companies can now see their entire workforce in new and exciting ways. But while most organizations recognize the benefits of full workforce visibility, their efforts stall when those that need it can’t clearly articulate the benefits to company leaders and decision-makers.

While there are a number of ancillary benefits of full workforce visibility (e.g. worker quality improvements, access to talent, vendor performance comparisons) this article focuses on the different ways an organization can leverage new levels of visibility to drive cost savings.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars September 10-14: Taking Action as a Catalyst, in Supplier Relationships, and through a Better User Experience

Although webinars are primarily a ‘sit back and listen’ format, this week’s recommended webinars are all designed to SPUR you into action! There’s only so much talking procurement can do before the conversation turns to measurable results, and there is a lot of work to do if we are going to deliver in line with procurement’s full potential.

If you’re planning a little further out, I recommend “Putting Data at the Center of Digital Procurement” with ISM and Zycus on September 18th at 2pm 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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China: Beyond the Trade War Hype

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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The August ISM-New York Report on Business: Nowhere to go but down... except up

The August ISM-New York Report on Business was released on September 5th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

Like the other ISM reports, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month.

A note specific to the New York Metro area, where all of this report’s respondants are located: they are predominantly in professional services industries. It is important to keep this in mind when we think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

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Recommended Webinars September 3-7: Catalyst Action Planning, Digital Contract Management and Chilean Wine!

I thought this week might be so quiet that there wouldn’t be any webinars to recommend… Wrong-O! Monday will be a ghost town in most of the U.S. because of the Labor Day holiday, but things pick right back up for the rest of the week. Next week is already busy too, with 8 webinars and one conference already on the calendar.

If you’re planning a little further out, I invite you to spend an hour of time with Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement) and I on September 11th or 12th. We’ve scheduled 3 live, virtual workshops that cover every conceivable time zone, so you really have no excuse not to be at one! By the end of the hour, you’ll have completed your own unique procurement catalyst plan for action – so have a pen and paper handy! Click here for more information.

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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