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.
Achieving World-Class Procurement: The Steps Leading Companies are Taking to Optimize their Procurement Teams
You’ve invested a lot of time and money. You may even have staked your reputation on backing a supplier. So when is it time to replace them?
At a recent executive meeting, the subject of incumbent suppliers arose. The conversation reflected on both the personal and business investment that can occur when a supplier is selected, from a business stakeholder and a procurement perspective.
The following is the transcript from a recent BMP Radio interview with Brian Seipel and James Patounas, both from Source One. If you would like to listen to the podcast, please click here.
“Buyers have a privileged position within companies and are exposed to innovative ideas from suppliers often developing their own sense of curiosity. Although not all buyers have realized it yet, they are expected to contribute to the innovation process.” (p. 25)
Confessions of a Professional Buyer: The Secrets About Selling & Purchasing Services, by Hubert Lachance, is something like a survival guide for suppliers dealing with procurement – and vice versa. Lachance has over a decade’s worth of experience managing indirect spend for a multi-national CPG company, and he applies that experience to help all buyers and sellers work together more productively.
I live in the Boston area, so when the 2016 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Dr. Bengt Holmstrom, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Oliver Hart, a professor at Harvard, it made a considerable splash in the local news. I love economics in action, so I started reading more - but I never expected to find contracts as the center of their work.
Each of the newly selected Nobel laureates has a different area of focus, but both are relevant to procurement and supply chain professionals.
With the first (annual?) Procurement Revolution under our belts, Phil Ideson and I have spent the last few days looking back on everything that was shared, asked, and exchanged.
By all measures, the Procurement Revolution was an unmitigated success. Over the course of 5 days, 40 Revolutionaries delivered 5 live webinars and over 50 unique pieces of audio, video, and written content. We were able to cover a wide range of topics, including competitive advantage, globalization, autonomous cars, and digital commerce. Each piece was created as something fresh and new – shared just because it could be rather than because it was commissioned or promotional. The resulting Twitter discussion, using the hashtag #ProcureRev, created over 1.7 MILLION impressions.
“Because technology has become an extension of the knowledge worker’s business and personal life, it has become apparent that to separate the two is not just pointless, it is impossible.” (p. 15)
Tomorrow Today: How Ai Impacts How We Work, Live And Think (And It’s Not What You Expect) by Donal Daly, CEO of Altify, is exactly my kind of book. Not only does it discuss recent developments in automation and AI and illustrate their impact on business and society through recent news stories, it is so full of enthusiasm for the future that it must have been written by someone with a background in sales.
Targeted at ‘knowledge workers’, this book addresses the challenges and opportunities faced across functions – sales, marketing, procurement, finance, etc. Will the rise of the machines eliminate the need for professionals who see themselves as strategic and value oriented today? Will humans and AI (Augmented rather than Artificial using Daly’s definition) settle into a kind of symbiosis that harnesses the advantages of each into a powerful combined capability? These questions – which might be dark and intimidating in a different context – are addressed head on and without hesitation.
This guest post is part of The Procurement Revolution. To share your thoughts or join the conversation, use #ProcureRev on Twitter or use the comment functionality below.
I'm Ovidiu Slimac and I am from Timișoara in the western part of Romania, a beautiful town which was just declared the European Cultural Capital for 2021.
I have worked in procurement for 15 years now. And yes, I'm human. I'm a human being. And if we believe what the researchers and scientists say, all of my purchasing activities and buying decisions are made with an emotional input – even the ones I made for my company. The question is: does being human disqualify me as a good procurement professional?
There are just days to go before the start of The Procurement Revolution, the 100% virtual, global, onlie, free event September 26-30. While a lot of the content will be available on demand and at your convenience, there are live daily sessions (webinar-style) that will provide you with the opportunity to engage in discussion with our Revolutionaries.
Take a moment now to register for all of our live sessions:
Monday, September 26th, 11am – 12pm ET
Join Joanna Martinez, Kelly Barner and Philip Ideson in this interactive Q&A led webinar as we discuss what procurement can do to make our profession a competitive advantage.
Tuesday, September 27th, 12pm – 1pm ET
Join Greg Tennyson, Joe Payne, Kelly Barner and Philip Ideson in this interactive Q&A led webinar as we discuss if stakeholder alignment is the key to procurement's survival - and if so, how can we become better business partners.
Wednesday, September 28th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm ET
Join Dr Jim Narus, Dr Michelle Steward, Kelly Barner and Philip Ideson in this interactive Q&A led webinar as we discuss the role that social media plays in how procurement professionals access intelligence and interact with each other.
Thursday, September 29th, 11am – 12pm ET
Join John P. (Jack) Miles, Kelly Barner and Philip Ideson in this interactive Q&A led webinar as we discuss why a change in mindset is crucial to be successful in the new age of procurement.
Friday, September 30th, 10:30 - 11:30am ET
Join Derk Erbe, Vice President of HfS Research, with responsibility for covering the Procurement industry, Kelly Barner and Philip Ideson in this interactive Q&A led webinar as we separate the hype from the reality as we consider the future of procurement.
“There’s a false dichotomy between cost and safety. Are we willing and able to account for the many costs of not having a quality operation: lack of cooperation, poor leadership, waste, and incidents and accidents? If we really and truly account for them, then safety can pay for itself. Getting it wrong is more expensive than doing it right the first time.” – Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger
It seems like only a few weeks ago that Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement) and I first resolved to lead a global, virtual, multimedia, interactive event designed to help professionals the world over make a change - but we’ve actually been hard at work since late winter. As we work our way through the last two weeks before The Procurement Revolution becomes a reality, the time has come for everyone else to start getting ready too.
Procurement is undergoing a transformation, moving away from process and price and towards undertaking initiatives that demonstrate value for the business. Therefore, when the opportunity arises for procurement to demonstrate its value, you would expect them to seize it in both hands… or maybe not!
We want to share with you a real life situation undertaken this month. We have removed the names of those involved to limit embarrassment; both company names are fictitious, but the scenario is real.
A value chain is the overall set of internal and external resources – human, physical, financial and informational – that require to be marshalled and managed in order to achieve the objectives of any organization. (p. 2)
Building Effective Value Chains: Value and Its Management by Tom McGuffog provides an almost completely unexpected perspective on the meaning of value and value chains as well as how they should be nurtured in a variety of contexts. I chose the word ‘nurtured’ deliberately; McGuffog makes the point that this book is for “students” in a wide range of disciplines extending far beyond a corporate setting. The attention he pays to humanity and the “value of human life” in his discussions of value and values is so compassionate that I found myself wondering if McGuffog had switched places with Gyöngyi Kovács, Karen Spens, and Ira Haavisto who edited Supply Chain Management for Humanitarians how the two books might have turned out differently.
As we covered in Nearshoring: Why Now?, outsourcing production operations to Mexico (or nearshoring) offers a number of tangible and intangible benefits over traditional “low-cost” country sourcing. Take China as a prime example: with labor rates in China, on average, exceeding those in Mexico since approximately 2013 and holding an advantage in productivity per worker, Mexico is increasingly becoming a hub for U.S.-based companies looking to transplant their supply chain operations. In moving operations closer to home, many companies are either fully or partially outsourcing manufacturing to suppliers in Mexico and in some cases, even placing full production facilities in that country. Sourcing suppliers in Mexico, however, is not without its obstacles: challenges that can quickly halt nearshoring operations for unprepared companies.
The principle of a North/South divide has been around for as long as mankind has organized itself into societies. It is a term often used within politics to define the ‘North of the country from the South’. It doesn’t matter if you are referening to the USA, UK, or India, the statement is still applicable. It works on the principle things may be considered different between two groups, thereby creating a barrier to collaboration.
The key to the model is achieving the right perspective. For example, we may embrace a North/South divide within our countries yet still passionate about being part of the same country. Overcoming the divide requires a common agenda, one that everyone can get behind regardless of which side of the divide they are from.
Special thanks to longtime BMP friend Charles Dominick, SPSM3 of the Next Level Purchasing Association for this guest post.
Welcome back to this series on improving procurement capability. In the previous post of this series, I covered how to find candidates for your procurement jobs. But finding procurement talent is easier than whittling the talent pool down to that one, perfect candidate. Let’s talk about how you do that.
Behavioral interviewing has become a classic interviewing technique. According to Virginia Tech University, behavioral interviewing is “a technique used by employers to learn about your past behavior in particular situations…Past behavior is a better predictor of future behavior than is speculation” about how a candidate would act in a hypothetical future situation.
“The essence of supply chains is to match supply and demand. But what happens with supply chains and, particularly, what can supply chain performance be, in the context where the demand is neither dictated by nor is the performance of the supply chain directly evaluated by the end users?” (p. 7)
Supply Chain Management for Humanitarians, a multi-contributor book edited by Gyöngyi Kovács, Karen Spens, and Ira Haavisto takes a very serious look at a topic that many people may regard in a casual or ‘soft’ manner.
Special thanks to longtime BMP friend Charles Dominick, SPSM3 of theNext Level Purchasing Association for this guest post.
As a procurement professional, you need to be good at finding suppliers who work out as good or better than you predict. As a procurement leader, you need to be good at finding employees who work out as good or better than you predict. In this post, I’ll share some traditional and not so-traditional ways to find high-potential procurement talent.
The Logistics and Supply Chain Toolkit by Gwynne Richards and Susan Grinsted is an instructional book based in reality, free from assumptions and pretense but full of real world applications. The toolkit concept, one that is continued throughout the book, spotlights process and analytical assets that are described by the authors as including “guides, frameworks, models, quick calculations, and practical ideas.” The topics covered in the book range from an essential review of Incoterms to a more advanced discussion of Decision Matrix Analysis.