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

Recommended Webinars June 18-22: Securing Supply Networks, From Procurement to Finance with Love, Managing IT Business Spend

In addition to the webinars recommended below, I invite you to join me, Jon Hansen, and Magnus Lind for a Zycus-hosted webinar at 2pm ET on Tuesday, “Automation Deployment And Change Management Best Practices”. ProcureCon IT Sourcing is taking place in Denver, CO Tuesday through Thursday. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “Value Drivers And Expectations For The Digital Transformation Of Procurement” from ivalua and The Hackett Group on July 24th.

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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Exploring DaaS: Device As A Service

With the popularization (and even consumerization) of cloud computing, the as-a-Service (-aaS) business model has emerged as the predominant choice for enterprise software. The ability to bundle core software with value-added features and services for an ongoing fee has proven valuable for vendors and customers alike. As-a-Service delivery of software (SaaS), platforms (PaaS), and infrastructure (IaaS) are now common market offerings, while other examples including communications (CaaS), databases (DBaaS), and networks (NaaS) are emerging as viable business models.

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Setting the Foundation: Preparing Spend Data for a Procurement Metrics Program

Metrics are a critical aspect of measuring the success of any business function. The importance of quantifying progress against goals and objectives cannot be overstated. Without a metrics program, underperforming organizations are unable to target functional areas that require improvement, and growing organizations are unable to set goals or scale resources to align with the changing state.

Because procurement organizations are often challenged by stakeholder resistance and a lack of executive-level sponsorship, metrics are key to demonstrating value. Sourcing efficiencies, cost savings, stakeholder satisfaction, and overall procurement ROI are just the starting point for capturing bottom line impact. While these are often viewed as the foundation for a metrics program, the final structure can’t be established without being certain of data quality and availability.

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Recommended Webinars June 11-15: BIC Category Management, Emerging Markets, and Optimized Public Procurement

This week’s webinars provide us with a broad range of topics – process trends, global supply chain crises, optimizing public procurement, and direct access programs for hiring independent talent – demonstrating just how expansive the knowledge base for procurement professionals has become.  

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “Get Smart About Your Digital Underbelly Or You'll Fail To Scale” from HfS Research and a panel of experts on June 21st.

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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Survey Chair Commentary: The May ISM-New York Report on Business

The May ISM-New York Report on Business was released on June 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here.

The ISM-New York Report on Business (like the other ISM reports) 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% means no change from the prior month, greater than 50% indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50% 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. While I’m sure that does not come as a surprise, it is important to keep in mind when you think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

With that background, let’s transition to this month’s report.

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Recommended Webinars June 4-8: 3rd Party Financial Risk, Real World RPA, Transforming Supplier Management

And… we’re back! After a 1 webinar week last week – likely due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. – June is already shaping up to be an active month for events. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend "Building a Best-in-Class Category Management Program: The Newest Trends, Tips and Technologies" on June 12th from SIG and GEP.

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 May 21-25: Scaling Sourcing, Unlocking the Upside of AI, Business Intelligence

This week’s webinar calendar is a busy one, with 9 webinars in 3 days. In addition to the events recommended below, I’m seeing a lot of focus on contingent workforce, blockchain, and customer value creation - so be sure to check out the full schedule!

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “FitBit’s Three-Factor Formula for Transforming Supplier Management” from SIG, Scout RFP, and FitBit on June 7th. 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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Confronting Mr. Drucker: Are you getting what you need from your metrics?

Last week I presented a webinar (hosted by Supply Chain Now Radio, APICS Atlanta, and Talent Stream) on Managing Your Metrics: Making Sure Your Metrics Deliver the Desired Results. The webinar is now available on demand, and you can access it here.

The core idea behind my presentation is that metrics – as important as they are – can not be implicitly trusted to achieve an enterprise’s stated objectives. Procurement and supply chain are quantitatively driven functions. Metrics just feel right… which is why we need to be all the more vigilant to be sure we don’t follow a number down a rabbit hole.

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Recommended Webinars May 14-18: Risk Management and The Digital Growth Engine

There are two in person events happening this week, ProcureCon Travel in Henderson, NV and Ivalua’s The Voice of Procurement in NY, NY.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “The Ultimate Measure of Customer Value: Tackling the Amazon Effect from Supply Chain Now Radio” on May 22nd. TalentStream, and APICS Atlanta. 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 May 7-11: GDPR, Intelligent Risk Mitigation, Digital Supplier Management

This week, the annual ISM conference is taking place in Nashville, TN. But if you’re not traveling, not to worry – there are lots of virtual events you can easily slot into your calendar. And of course, I hope you are able to join me – and my friends from Supply Chain Now Radio, Talent Stream, and APICS Atlanta on Tuesday at 12pm ET for “Managing Your Metrics.”

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend Supply Chain Insights’ 2018 Supply Chains to Admire webinar, being held on June 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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Recommended Procurement Webinars April 30 – May 4: Automation, Automation, AUTOMATION!

There are four webinars on the calendar this week and three of them deal with different aspects of automation. Clearly we have reached the point where automation (AI, machine learning, cognitive computing, etc.) are far more than futuristic trends. Time to make sure you are educated for the conversations going on in your organization.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend a May 23rd webinar from Supply Chain Now Radio, APICS Atlanta and Talent Stream, “Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics.” 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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Webinar Notes: Trade Wars & Supply Chains: Measuring and Managing the Impact

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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Can we negotiate with the fourth industrial revolution?

Automation and Artificial Intelligence, terms that generate both controversy and wonder, have established themselves as critical elements of our future. Not everyone is pleased by this; the looming prospect of a sci-fi world has engendered fear and reluctance throughout the workforce.

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Recommended Webinars April 23-27: Transforming Finance, Digital Procurement, Trade Wars and Supply Chains

This is a busy week on the calendar, with 13 webinars taking place. And if you were hoping to make it to an event in the near term, this is the week to do it – next week is back to almost nothing: famine after the feast.

If you like to plan further ahead, I invite you to join me on May 8th for a webinar titled “Managing Your Metrics: Making Sure Your Measurements Deliver the Desired Results” hosted by Supply Chain Radio and TalentStream. 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 April 16-20: CPO Rising 2018, Financial Supply Chain, and Letting Your Sourcing Strategy Go

In addition to the events recommended below, please join me on Tuesday, April 17th for a webinar I am co-presenting with Zycus’ Richard Waugh: “Love Your Sourcing Strategy by Letting it Go.” We’ll be talking about the challenges and rewards of embracing a more distributed approach to sourcing and procurement.

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “The Ultimate Measure of Customer Value: Tackling the Amazon Effect” from SCNRadio and TalentStream on May 22nd. 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 April 9-13: Brexit, Financial Health for Risk Management, Enterprise AI

Last week was a ghost town, but we’re back in action this week with 8 webinars. It would seem to be feast or famine with the webinar schedule these days. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend  “Managing Suppliers in a World of Digitalization” on May 10th at 11am from ISM and SynerTrade, but also involving The Hackett Group, RapidRatings, and EcoVadis. 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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Will new startup NewsGuard address Fake News in Internet Research?

L. Gordon Crovitz recently wrote a ‘Commentary’ piece for the Wall Street Journal in which he simultaneously tackled the pervasive problem of fake news and announced the coming launch of his new company, NewsGuard.

The premise of the NewsGuard value proposition is interesting – Crovitz detailed the challenges caused by what has become a ‘news supply chain’. In many cases, we don’t get our news directly from the publisher, like we did in the olden days of newspapers. Instead we get news from another platform that is probably not dedicated to news: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This obscures our awareness of the actual source and increases the risk of reading and sharing fake news.

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

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 26-30: AI, Data Instincts, Internal Champions, and Effective Leadership

Look out! Full week ahead! There are ten webinars in four days, and SIG is hosting their Spring Summit in Washington D.C. from the 26th through the 29th (be sure to seek out Phil Ideson if you’re going). If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend  “Trade Wars & Supply Chains: Measuring and Managing the Impact” from Supply & Demand Chain Executive and Resilinc on April 26th at 1pm ET. 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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Giving second tier data the second degree

Earlier this month we ran a collaborative piece by Jeanette Jones (Cottrill Research) and I on the alleged manipulation of agricultural data in the chicken supply chain. You can read that post here.

Right after I started researching for the chicken story, I came across yet another great example of why we all have to be so cautious when we cite the source of a piece of information – only this time the main culprit is: PEPPA PIG.

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