Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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Q and A with Michael Raezler, a 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star

Q and A with Michael Raezler, a 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star

I recently got the opportunity to have access to the 2016 class of ThomasNet / ISM 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain stars. I looked through the whole list of impressive young professionals, and one individual really stood out to me. Michael Raezler is a Purchasing and Supply Management Specialist with U.S. Postal Service.

I specifically requested his insight (as captured in the following Q&A) partly because he has accomplished amazing things in his short professional tenure and partly because he is a living example of excellence in a segment of the public sector that all too often goes unrecognized and under-estimated. The procurement profession – and the U.S. Postal Service – are lucky to have him as part of our community.

If you are interested in the entire class of 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain stars, click here to read more.

 

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Book Review: The POD Model

Book Review: The POD Model

Buyers and suppliers, they make the commercial world go round.

-        The POD Model, p. 1

 

The POD Model: The mutually-beneficial model for buyers and suppliers which enables an increase in profit through commercial collaboration by Michael Robertson strives to do something that we need a whole lot more of in procurement. It provides a framework for combining our philosophical objectives as collaborators and innovators with the inescapable need to measure our results.

Robertson looks at the messy reality of buyer supplier relations and breaks them down to a few major issues: cost, risk, flexibility, and incentives for mutual gain. He then looks to find a way to factor those into contracts in such a way that no one party benefits at the cost or loss of the other.

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ISM-New York Takes on Procurement2020 with their Annual Conference

ISM-New York Takes on Procurement2020 with their Annual Conference

I had a unique opportunity yesterday to serve as the Q&A facilitator for ISM-New York’s annual meeting. What is so unique about that? I did it from Central Massachusetts! Through the magic of Google Hangouts (and with a little help from an eight hour phone call) I saw, heard, and interacted with the speakers and attendees in a meeting room overlooking Times Square.

Kudos to ISM-New York President Nancy Murray, Executive Director Julienne Ryan, and former Vice President Jim Martin for their adventurous, virtual approach to collaboration and networking.

 

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Continuous Cost Reduction for Direct Materials

Continuous Cost Reduction for Direct Materials

Continuous cost reduction in the manufacturing industry is a supply chain best practice, but all too often it is mistakenly seen as unsustainable by strategic sourcing and procurement departments. For many companies the question is, ‘how can I reduce costs while limiting the impact on quality?’ Before jumping right to substituting materials, there are other options for delivering cost savings - yes, even over time.

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Book Review: The Industries of the Future

Book Review: The Industries of the Future

Editor’s note:

It is my distinct belief that as corporate objectives become more general, functional silos dissipate, and millennial professional habits lead to increased talent rotation, the information and skills required by successful individuals and organizations will be broad in nature. Most of the books I review on an annual basis are procurement or supply chain related. That being said, competitive advantage is not discipline specific. In that spirit, I am actively pursuing opportunities to bring general thought leadership to Buyers Meeting Point. Starting… now!

The Industries of the Future, by former State Department Senior Advisor Alec Ross, is a compelling exploration of the conditions businesses and countries need to optimize in order to be successful in the decades to come. It borrows extensively from his time traveling the world in the federal government’s service, which means that his examples are unexpectedly diverse and shared in such a way that is only possible when the author has experienced something first-hand.

 

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Book Review: e-Logistics: Managing Your Digital Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage

Book Review: e-Logistics: Managing Your Digital Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage

“In other words, an effective management of a firm’s digital supply chain will have a positive impact on productivity and growth; ignorance will very likely result in the loss of competitive advantage and have a detrimental effect on performance.” (e-Logistics, p. 4)

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Webinar Notes: The Future of Procurement – The Human Challenge

Webinar Notes: The Future of Procurement – The Human Challenge

This week’s webinar notes are from a February 3rd webinar hosted by SAP Ariba and presented by Ed Cone at Oxford Economics and James J. McDonald and Luisa Gonzalez at COACH. The event is available on demand here.

 

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Let's End the Buyer-Supplier Negotiation Countertactics Spiral

Let's End the Buyer-Supplier Negotiation Countertactics Spiral

This post was originally featured on Design News.

Every interaction a company has with its suppliers can set off an endless series of tactics and countertactics. It's like a wrestling match. Both sides invest so much time and effort in trying to anticipate the next steps by the other that the focus is turned away from the best interests of their organizations. This comes especially true during the negotiation phase of the procurement process.

Negotiations between buyers and suppliers have traditionally assumed a zero-sum outcome: Each party does not benefit except at the expense of the other. The end result of this tactic/countertactics spiral is a combination of inefficient decision-making, obscured visibility, and contentious working relationships. 

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Do you have any idea how hard it is to research a legal company named Contractually online?

Do you have any idea how hard it is to research a legal company named Contractually online?

Last week I spoke with Donna Wilczek, Coupa’s VP of Strategy and Product Marketing, about the mid-January announcement that Coupa had acquired Contractually, described in the press release as “a cloud innovator based in Vancouver, Canada that helps reduce businesses’ reliance on antiquated processes or inadequate technology tools to version control or redline contracts.”

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Webinar Notes: Putting Strategy into Action: A Roadmap for Procurement in 2016

Webinar Notes: Putting Strategy into Action: A Roadmap for Procurement in 2016

This week’s webinar notes are from a January 27th event hosted by BravoSolution and presented by Sigi Osagie (author of ‘Procurement Mojo’) and Peter Smith (Managing Director, Spend Matters UK/Europe). Once the event is available on demand, it should be available here.

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Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain Part II – Supplier Evaluation

Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain Part II – Supplier Evaluation

In the first part of this two-part series, I established the reasoning behind establishing a diverse supply chain in the nontraditional sense. Emphasis on maintaining a supply chain that is diverse in geographical location, capabilities, and overall corporate values is vital in maintaining supply chain resiliency, sustainability, and adaptability.  To achieve a supplier mix that fits these goals, the right questions must be asked during an internal supplier rationalization process, overtaking the traditional values of an RFx.

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Point Counterpoint: Has Procurement Caught the Social Media Virus?

Point Counterpoint: Has Procurement Caught the Social Media Virus?

Earlier this week, I joined Jon Hansen on Blog Talk Radio for the next installment in our series of ‘Point Counterpoint’ discussions. You can listen to it on demand here.

This month our topic was social media and how procurement is – or isn’t – incorporating it in our work. Professionally, I look at the potential of social media in two ways:

 

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Book Review: Aviation Logistics

Book Review: Aviation Logistics

“The benefits of the global connectivity achieved by both ocean and air transport reach practically every type of modern industry and business and are an essential ingredient of the global supply chain.” (Aviation Logistics, p. 1)

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Book Review: Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse

Book Review: Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse

Dr. Tom DePaoli recently released Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse. It is a collection of the best advice he has to give on topics ranging from relationships to negotiation to Kaizens and storytelling. Since I’ve read all of Dr. Tom’s books, I consider it something of a personal challenge to uncover the material he has added – either because the focus of the book is different or because professional priorities continue to change over time.

 

Like Dr. Tom’s other books, this is for professionals that don’t have the time (or desire) to lose themselves in a 300-400 page book of polished academic theory. His sections are short and to the point and draw in material from third party sites as well as his other writing. You can read one or two sections as time allows and not have any trouble picking up in a different place the next time you sit down.

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Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain

Making the Case for a More Diverse Supply Chain

Supplier diversity is a concept with multiple definitions.  Most commonly, a supplier diversity program focuses on the utilization of women owned, minority owned, and else certified diverse businesses within your supply base.  There is, however, another interpretation of supplier diversity – a diversity of geographical location, sourcing practices, and overall organizational structure.  Evaluating these factors in a meaningful way when evaluating suppliers can be an important factor in managing supply chain resiliency, sustainability, and adaptability.

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Webinar Notes: How Smart Connected Products Are Transforming Companies

Webinar Notes: How Smart Connected Products Are Transforming Companies

This week’s webinar notes are from a December 1st event hosted by the Harvard Business Review. The speakers/presenters were Michael Porter (yes, that Michael Porter) and PTC CEO James Heppelmann. The event is available on demand here.

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Book Review: Strategic Sourcing in the New Economy

Book Review: Strategic Sourcing in the New Economy

Organizations themselves present a major problem; they are stuck in an outdated approach to value creation that has emerged over the past few decades. They continue to view value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while missing the most important customer needs and ignoring the broader influences that determine their longer-term success.” (p. 24)

 

In November, Kate Vitasek and a team of co-authors released Strategic Sourcing in the New Economy: Harnessing the Potential of Sourcing Business Models for Modern Procurement. Vitasek is best known for her Vested Outsourcing series a books, which are responsible for helping professionals in all functions see the potential of outsourcing relationships aimed at accomplishing a new, more value-oriented type of result. While the Vested books naturally appeal to a procurement audience, you would hardly say that procurement is the main character. We appear in little more than an occasional walk on role – not central to the plot and not particularly memorable.

 

The contrast between procurement’s role in the Vested series and the fact that we now have a book dedicated to our perspective and objectives is striking. While the Vested Way is open to all, clearly we seized an opportunity that has now led to a book all our own.

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What do procurement pros really want in their industry news coverage?

What do procurement pros really want in their industry news coverage?

Last week, Jon Hansen and I did the second in what will be an ongoing series of ‘Point – Counterpoint’ Blog Talk Radio sessions. Here is how these sessions work: we agree on a topic in advance and then I do my darndest to disagree with Jon for 30 minutes, after which he declares us in agreement. Trust me – the conversations are as entertaining as they are informative.

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Who’s Who of Procurement and Supply Chain Literature in 2015: Setting the Bar High

Who’s Who of Procurement and Supply Chain Literature in 2015: Setting the Bar High

Another year done, another 11 book reviews added to the Buyers Meeting Point cache. When I reflect back on this year’s new titles it is the authors rather than the books themselves that really stand out. This is particularly important as procurement is well into a time of significant evolution. In that context, the authors we read are more important than just the content they share. Their experiences and their qualifications set the bar for the rest of us – and the higher that bar is, the better.

Sure, procurement is in the midst of a change that may render the function unrecognizable over the next few years. If we can continue to attract the minds and engage the imagination of people as bright and visionary as the ones spotlighted here, we’re going to be okay on the other side – no matter what.

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Standing Tall Beside Amazon in Electronic Component Distribution

Standing Tall Beside Amazon in Electronic Component Distribution

Note: This post originally ran on Design News.

There’s an 800-pound gorilla in the room. It’s called Amazon. Yet not everyone sees it as inevitable that the e-commerce and distribution giant will dominate electronic component distribution.

In a recent interview with Tom Galligani, global vice president of supply chain for distributor Future Electronics, I asked for his views on Amazon’s invasion of the B2B space. Given the size and power of Amazon, you might expect distributors like Future Electronics to be prepared to be put out of business, but that is not the case. In fact, Amazon’s entry into the B2B marketplace creates a unique set of opportunities for buyers as well as suppliers or distributors.

Nevertheless, like others in the electronic components distribution industry and beyond, Galligani and his team are keeping a close eye on Jeff Bezos’ $90 billion e-commerce behemoth. Amazon may have gotten its start with an unbeatable B2C experience, but it has made inroads -- both organically and through acquisition -- into the B2B market.

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