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  • Webinar Notes: Elevating Procurement: The Evolution to Trusted Business Advisor

    Many procurement leaders and organizations managed to build up a certain clout or influence (if not C-level positions) during the lean years based on their ability to cut costs. Maintaining that influence and achieving trusted advisor status will require a new approach, a new sense of timing, and new skills. The change that may be the most challenging requires us to get involved in projects sooner and at a higher level. Rather than just being peripherally involved or assisting with execution, we should be engaged in the process of deciding which direction to take at an executive level, and with the willing acceptance of other functions. For procurement organizations that burned bridges on their way to the top in the form of internal relationships, this will be a very hard chasm to cross. We have to be able to demonstrate a sincere interest in the priorities and objectives of our stakeholders. (Oh yes, and they actually have to believe us). According to Hackett Group research, the t ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 29 May 2015
  • Savings from Tesla’s Powerwall? I don’t think so…at least not in the US

    For the average consumer utilizing solar panels, the Powerwall gives the owner the ability to store energy, allowing them to utilize the energy as needed. But does the Powerwall actually give you the opportunity to reduce your energy costs? Let’s first look at the total cost, remember the $3,500 or $3,000 is for the DC system only, meaning you still need the DC-AC inverter. The inverter cost alone adds an additional $1,000 to $2,000 to the total cost. SolarCity, the solar provider company where Musk is embedded as the company chairman, is quoting $7,140 for the 10 kilowatt-hour all-inclusive installed system, or “customers can prepay $5,000 for a nine-year lease, which also includes installation, a maintenance agreement, the electrical inverter, and control system.” All said and done the true cost to buy is $714/kWh, which is a very reasonable price when compared against competitive alternatives. For those of you thinking that you will be able to recoup the setup cost by selling ene ...

    by MichaelCroasdale
    Thursday, 28 May 2015
  • Procurement depends on the honey bee

    We have several very large rhododendron bushes in our yard. In the spring they are beautiful with pink and lavender flowers. There are thousands of blooms. What we have noticed over the years is that the honey bees are fewer and fewer. It seems impossible for what seems like less than a dozen to be able to hit all the areas they should be covering. Of course no one likes to get stung so fewer bees is a good thing right? WRONG! They are desperately needed to pollinate all the fruits and vegetables that we have in our food supply. The impact on the economy is in the billions of dollars. The article this week from The Strategic Sourceror is “What’s the Buzz? Honey Bees in serious danger”. It reveals in simple terms why we need to pay attention to this and solve the problem. We have created this issue with the increased use of pesticides and the planned crops instead of wildflowers. Apparently the wildflowers sustain the bee population better than other crops. Published in June 2014, th ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 27 May 2015
  • Guest Post on Design News: Strategic Sourcing Processes are Designed to Ensure Good Decision Making

    While people may talk about the procurement process, the procurement discipline actually encompasses a number of different processes. They include spend analysis, supplier relationship management, and contract management, just to name a few. If you have ever worked with procurement, there is a good chance that it was during the strategic sourcing process. Strategic sourcing touches many other stakeholder groups in an organization, such as engineering, as well as supply partners -- both current and prospective. For engineers, if you are asked to be part of a strategic sourcing project team, you will probably learn early on that there is a standard, defined project management approach just like any other discipline would have, including product design and development. The process that guides this approach may include six steps or more, but it clearly divides the project effort into phases such as the identification of a need through the contract award as well as supplier performance man ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 26 May 2015
  • Book Review: Food Supply Chain Management and Logistics

    The food supply chain is, in actuality, multiple chains: produce, grains, meat/protein. Producers are in a difficult spot as ‘input suppliers’ (e.g. equipment providers) have significant power, uncertainty lurks in weather patterns and growing conditions, and the need for controls leads to complex regulation affecting both costs and prices. Ripple effects in these chains vary, with increased demand for processed foods leading to spending on and innovation in packaging, and increased demand for protein resulting in more demand for farming output. Food Supply Chain Management is a balance of in-depth food management specific concerns and more general supply chain content that undoubtedly has applications in the field (collaboration, supply chain risk, lead methodologies). The author’s knowledge reflects an understanding of the many perspectives that must align for optimal execution: Procurement: Inventory management is a critical effort (such as through the limitation of SKUs), track ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 22 May 2015
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Recently we had a discussion with Brian Daniels, CEO at Spend Radar. This is the continuation of an conversation we had with Rod True, COO, in February 2010, giving us an update on the direction of their organization and elaborating on new offerings.

This was an energetic and informative interview. We would like to thank Brian for taking the time to speak with us. Spend Radar is a growing organization with comprehensive capabilities in their product line. They are a company to put on your ‘watch list’ and invest the time to determine if their offering can fit a need in your organization.

A few years ago, Spend Radar’s client base was predominantly comprised of global organizations in excess of $5B in sales with multiple systems. Now they are finding that smaller companies with the same issues are part of their target market. Spend Radar’s smallest client is a $4M regional bank and the largest is a fortune 100 company. Their clients are in many industries such as life sciences, financial services, health and technology.

Brian outlined the progress with full ‘Spend Execution’. He is very excited about this offering and feels it is taking spend analysis many steps forward. It is in the beta stage and will be able to help companies make decisions looking forward instead of the classic approach of reviewing historical data. The plan is to roll out on a limited basis in the Summer of 2011. There are many reporting features and alerts that will frame areas of non-compliance and track savings and spend.

Spend Radar has successfully implemented Project Excellence: a formal implementation methodology that is structured and consistent. The Spend Radar staff goes through a certification process leveraging internal and external training and that focuses on delivery methodology, quality, meeting expectations and problem solving.

SpendZen Spend Radar’s blog and has generated a great deal of excitement and activity. They utilize it to showcase both clients and associates. The blog following continues to grow and enhances interaction with current and potential clients. 

We asked Brian if he noticed any change in their clients’ behavior due to the events in Libya and Japan. He has found many are looking for alternative methods and sources for products and freight costs.  Companies are trying to continue their businesses utilizing alternative suppliers if necessary.

Spend Radar is continuing to expand globally with clients in 15 countries. In the coming year they will be focusing on the domestic and international opportunities including those in Europe and Asia

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