Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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Risk Management in Supply Chain and Procurement: Preparing for the Storm

Risk Management in Supply Chain and Procurement: Preparing for the Storm

Although we’re a few weeks past the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy now, the shake up left experts, businessmen, companies, and customers alike wondering what other events could potentially jeopardize their operation or interfere with getting the product they ordered on time. There are countless risks in a globalized economy, making it a subject of relentless discussion among academics. That being said, some of the biggest companies in the world still do not have a team dedicated to risk management for their supply chain and procurement operations. A recent report by ATKearney and RapidRatings on managing supply risk in uncertain times found that “leaders have struggled to manage the latent risk in their extended supply chains. Most cite lack of bandwidth and budget as the biggest roadblocks. Dedicating scarce resources to prevent or minimize the impact of an issue that might never occur is often not a priority.”

With globalized supply chain operations, risk is growing and managing it is more critical than ever. Some risk factors have been greatly discussed in the industry, and others not so much. Below are a few of the risks threatening global supply chains as well as solutions and action items.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Every year at this time I stop and give thanks for all of the people and organizations that have made a difference to Buyers Meeting Point over the year. You may think of BMP as a blog, a podcast, a social media network or all three – but for me it is the most amazing opportunity to connect with a global community of peers, all of whom are interested in learning more and advancing the potential of procurement and supply chain.

 

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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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Displacing Incumbent Suppliers

Displacing Incumbent Suppliers

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.

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Podcast Transcript: Actionable Spend Analysis Through Applied Data Science

Podcast Transcript: Actionable Spend Analysis Through Applied Data Science

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.

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Book Review: Confessions of a Professional Buyer

Book Review: Confessions of a Professional Buyer

“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.

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2016 Nobel Prize for Economics Goes to: Contract Theory

2016 Nobel Prize for Economics Goes to: Contract Theory

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.

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In the Shadow of the Revolution

In the Shadow of the Revolution

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.

 

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Book Review: Tomorrow Today

Book Review: Tomorrow Today

“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.

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Can Real Human Beings Be Good at Procurement?

Can Real Human Beings Be Good at Procurement?

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?

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Registration Now Open: The Procurement Revolution Live Sessions

Registration Now Open: The Procurement Revolution Live Sessions

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:

 

How Can Procurement Become a Competitive Advantage?

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.

 

Is Stakeholder Alignment the Key to Procurement's Survival?

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.

 

Supplier Intelligence in the Age of Social Media

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.

 

Why Changing Your Mindset is Crucial to be Successful in the New Age of Procurement

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.

 

Hype, Reality and the Future 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.

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Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

“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

 

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Are You Ready for The Revolution?

Are You Ready for The Revolution?

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.

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Webinar Notes: The Supply Chain in Action

Webinar Notes: The Supply Chain in Action

This week’s webinar notes are from a September 8th webinar sponsored by APICS Southeast and presented by Melissa Wright, VP of Supply Chain at Prayon Group. The event is available on demand on YouTube.

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Procurement’s (Not so?) Finest Hour

Procurement’s (Not so?) Finest Hour

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.

 

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Book Review: Building Effective Value Chains

Book Review: Building Effective Value Chains

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.

 

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Nearshoring: Why Now? - Warnings

Nearshoring: Why Now? - Warnings

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.

 

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The Great North/South Divide

The Great North/South Divide

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.

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Vetting Procurement Talent

Vetting Procurement Talent

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.

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