Keep current with BMP linkedin twitter scribd btn red 24x24blogtalkradio 24x24youtube24x24soundcloud 24x24

  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 11/30–12/4: The Topics and Speakers You Didn’t Know You Were Waiting For

      How Smart Connected Products Are Transforming Companies (Harvard Business Review, PTC) December 1, 3pm EST The number one reason to attend this event is the primary speaker, renowned strategist Michael Porter. He may be most famous for creating the Porter’s Five Forces analytical framework in the 1970’s, but in this event, he and PTC President and CEO James Heppelmann take on the more futuristic topic of smart connected products. You might be thinking that this is a webinar about the Internet of Things (IoT) but it is really about the devices that ultimately create that data, simultaneously changing business relationships, product capabilities, infrastructure, and processes. If you are interested in a preview, check out this HBR article written by the speakers.   Achieving Third Party Compliance with stronger Anti-Corruption program (ISM, MetricStream) December 2, 2pm EST This event takes a serious look at compliance – not the contract compliance we are soused to t ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 30 November 2015
  • An Annual Tradition of Giving Thanks at BMP

    This year, I have an extra reason to give thanks as we mark a major milestone at Buyers Meeting Point. Cindy Allen-Murphy, who co-founded BMP with Harco Bouwman in 2008, made the decision earlier this year that her BMP journey had reached its natural end. She and I have worked together for many years (and at multiple companies) and we have both come away richer for each of those experiences. In fact, Cindy has been something of a procurement fairy godmother to me… she is the reason I got up the nerve to approach Emptoris’ consulting lead about a position there. She also brought me on at BMP to replace Harco in 2009. Twice she saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. I am incredibly grateful for her mentoring, guidance, and leadership and I wish her and her wonderful family nothing but the best. Speaking of family… I am grateful for every professional who ‘Liked’ my posts, gave my work an RT, or commented in response to something I’ve shared. Those moments of positive reinf ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 24 November 2015
  • A Personal Look at the Resiliency of Tesco and Their Supply Chain

    When I originally read ‘The Lean Supply Chain,’ I was struck with the balance the authors managed to achieve in their coverage of Tesco. On the one hand, Mason and Evans are clearly proud of what the large retailer has accomplished – through its supply chain and beyond. On the other hand, these have not been easy years for Tesco (horsemeat scandal 2013, accounting scandal 2014, and questions raised about how suppliers are treated). I risked distancing Mason and Evans from me by starting the interview with a series of questions about the negative coverage Tesco has gotten in the news over the last few years. Rather than responding defensively, they calmly explained – as I am sure they have done many times – their view of the decisions and events leading to those corporate missteps. I also got the impression from them that no one at Tesco expects an easy path. And while they may not have foreseen that they would be responsible for so many of their own difficulties, the priorities and ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 20 November 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Three Foundations for Best Practice Procurement

    Smith's three procurement models: Faithful servant (administrative) Gatekeeper (old school) 3-way integration (preferred) The differences between these three models are predominantly based on whether procurement serves as a ‘door’ or a ‘window’ to progress. Rather than being an actual goal, how procurement interacts wish stakeholders and suppliers (or stakeholders and suppliers) is symptomatic of their attitude towards collaboration and value creation and closely tied to the cap on their potential impact. Being sidelined or serving as a blocker between procurement’s two primary contacts points ultimately leads to a more administrative, weaker procurement function.  The ultimate goal is not to make significant changes to the procurement organization but for procurement to lead changes in the enterprise. As Ball put it, we don't need a procurement transformation - we need a procurement-led transformation of the business. After all, as Smith accurately pointed out, while ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 13 November 2015
  • Book Review: Fashion Logistics: Insights into the Fashion Retail Supply Chain

        A theme that repeatedly appears in the book is segmentation – and the first example occurs within the retail sector as a whole. The authors point out in the introduction that in their coverage of retail, they saw the emphasis and level of change transition from food to fashion. There are multiple sources of change, including regulation and corporate social responsibility. The expiration of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) in 2005 led to an increase in global competition. The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh (which claimed the lives of 1,129 people) only eight years later showed the dark side of trying to remain cost competitive.   My personal favorite is Chapter 2: ‘The Changing Nature of Fashion Retailing: Implications for Logistics’ in which the authors provide a rich history, not just of the global fashion industry, but of the role that fashion has played in social history and how it is an inextricable part of each culture. The current period of c ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 06 November 2015
  • Best Practices to “Futureproof” Telecom Services

    When analyzing new opportunities and future requirements, consider the following: (Network) Infrastructure—Analyze your current system in relation to the vision for your business and assess what features and benefits will be relevant in the future. This may require additional investigation to determine the main concerns with communication within your work environment and any pertinent outside factors. Systems and services today must be quickly scalable, easily manageable, and closely integrated with other business applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM). Technology upgrades—Take agile approach to upgrades, whether they involve equipment or software. Upgrades should be implemented in a way that encourages continuous improvement while allowing for rapid and flexible response to change. For instance, switching to a hosted voice solution may seem challenging, but it will offer convenient long term payoffs. Hosted voice is easier to scale when your organization need ...

    by Iyana Lester
    Thursday, 05 November 2015
View more featured blog entries
  • HP DG
  • HP EBS
  • HP FB 2014
  • HP GEP
  • HP MD
  • HP Nipendo
  • HP RM
  • HP SO
  • HP TNET 82013
  • HP Verian2

“When you are open to share what you know with other people, good things will happen for you.” –Soheila Lunney 

Throughout the month of May, Buyers Meeting Point is covering ‘The Procurement Game Plan’ through a series of interviews with Charles Dominick and Soheila Lunney – both about our questions in response to the book and the trends they observe in supply management as a whole. Our original intent was to interview them about the book, but as we got further into conversation, we found that it was impossible to separate the content of The Procurement Game Plan from their ‘day jobs’. This book is not a retrospective look back or an encapsulation of their careers, but a snapshot from two very dynamic contributors to the procurement community. I highly recommend it as an addition to your professional library.

Our review of the book is available, and last week we shared a Q&A with both authors specifically related to our questions about the book. This week we’ll share the first half of our interview with Soheila Lunney.

SLunneyIn addition to being an author, Soheila is president of the Lunney Advisory Group, a provider of coaching and mentoring for procurement professionals in various industries to improve their processes and practices, to significantly reduce the cost of acquiring products and services, and to contribute to the bottom line profitability of their organizations.

Buyers Meeting Point: As a procurement educator and coach, what is your perspective on the typical character or personality of purchasing/procurement professionals and how well that is suited to the future requirements of the role?

Soheila Lunney: As more and more universities are offering Procurement and Supply Management courses and degrees, I see the character of procurement professionals is changing with much higher caliber individuals in various industries.  Procurement employees are truly becoming a group of professionals who are gaining the respect of top-level management.  Leaders of the organizations must support creating an environment that their procurement staff can grow, learn new and emerging best practices, and expand their horizon.  As economy is improving allocating funds to provide training for procurement staff should become a high priority for management.


BMP: How did a background in the pharmaceuticals industry prepare you to help procurement professionals in other industries learn to manage supply chain risk?

Soheila Lunney: While it is true that pharma may be ahead of other industries in their assessment and handling of risk potential (due in part to government regulation), industry does not matter. What matters is interaction with the outside world, while includes the health and safety of customers and associates as well as the reputation of the organization.  Whenever possible, tap into tax, legal, and treasury (for example) for their guidance. Come up with approaches that bring safety, security, and contingency plans to the organization. Keep abreast of what other organizations are doing, benchmark against them, and implement practices that can safeguard your organization against unexpected events.


BMP: It seems that one of the barriers to procurement having an established seat at the executive table stems from a lack of financial knowledge. Do you see that in the companies that you work with?

SL: Yes – I do see groups and individuals struggling with their lack of comfort with finance. I think it breaks down to two issues: the first is a genuine weakness with financial topics. If this is your situation, you need to acknowledge the weakness and take a class that  can satisfy your needs. The other issue looks at negotiating cost savings v. reporting those savings to the rest of the organization. The most common mistake procurement makes is reporting project savings in one big number. It is critical to itemize results as much as possible to establish procurement’s credibility by creating opportunities for explanation and demonstrating knowledge of the product/service in question.

It is also important to understand the methodologies that your finance group or controller will buy into and structure results reporting to match them. Each company or industry is different, and contract results may change over time due to M&A activity or leadership’s decisions. It is also important to make sure that multi-year contract savings hit the budget for all applicable years. This will require a joint internal effort, but will bolster procurement’s relationships with other departments.

Next Thursday we will share the rest of our interview with Soheila, and on May 31st we will finish up our series on ‘The Procurement Game Plan’ with our interview of Charles Dominick.

Featured Publication

BMP on Twitter

© 2015 Buyers Meeting Point.   Please provide your feedback by filling out our contact form.