BMPweblogo2015

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

  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

    It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C'mon – you know what question I'm talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer… If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT? Ugh. The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value is created, many times by the end of the year the savings have all but evaporated. This is a problem that has to be handled by the top level of the organization. If the strategic vision of the leadership team requires that all uncommitted funds be returned to a central account, they have to be willing to support Procurement by issuing a mandate. Declaring that all funds saved by Procurement are to be removed from line of business budgets is a tough love decision. But all that really m ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 01 July 2015
  • Procurement Perspectives Podcast: Hear from the 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Stars

    This week our audio comes from the ThomasNet and ISM 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Rising Stars program. They hosted a panel-style interview and discussion with some of the 2014 award recipients at this year’s ISM conference. The full hour-long conversation is available on Sound Cloud if you want to hear it. The podcast starts with each of the participating recipients and program mentors introducing themselves and then moves on to a press-conference style question and answer session with some of the most recognizable names in procurement media – including the Hackett Group, Manufacturing Talk Radio, and Spend Matters. The excerpt I selected to share starts with a question from Supply Chain Management Review’s Editorial Director, Bob Trebilcock, as he asks how these rising stars ended up in supply chain. You can listen to the podcast on the PI Window on Business Blog Talk Radio channel or on our Sound Cloud page. ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015
  • Webinar Recommendations for June 29 – July 3, 2015: Outsourcing Health Checks, Risk Management, and eInvoicing

      Outsourcing Health Check and Readiness Assessment: A Proactive Approach to Achieve Full Potential and Uncover New Value (Neo Group) 6/30, 11am EDT It used to be that when we talked about outsourcing, you could assume that meant offshoring. These days, so much spend is being directed to third parties that we hardly even think of it as outsourcing at all. This event looks clearly at off shored outsourcing spend, and asks three key questions: does your offshore provider achieving the goals you set out, are they creating value beyond just hitting contract KPIs, and are they laying a solid foundation for future growth and improvement?   The Dawn of Risk Management (SIG, IBM) 6/30, 2pm EDT When it comes to artificial intelligence, or AI, we’ve been talking about robotic process automation (RPA) quite a bit here on BMP. But before software robots for outsourcing, there was Watson, the IBM created cognitive system famous for winning a $1 Million prize on Jeopardy! Well, no ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Sunday, 28 June 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Collaborative Procurement: Using Relationships to Drive Influence and Results

    For starters, and as Bartolini stated in the event, you can’t have influence without collaboration - because no function is an island. This has its roots in the timing of procurement’s engagement with the business. Influence is not an on-again, off-again quality, which means that while it is important to engage as soon as possible, it is probably better not to disengage in the first place. Not only does staying connected take care of the lead time problem procurement so often faces, it also changes the role procurement plays and how we are regarded by the business. For instance, if we come in at the last minute, we are ‘order takers.’ If we are constantly present, we are partners. Agility, the focus of the overall CPO Rising 2015 Agenda, plays an important role in influence building as well. There are plenty of reasons for procurement to want to be agile, but wanting to have influence requires that we be agile – almost by definition. Being at the center of the action requires agili ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 26 June 2015
  • Guest Post on Design News: Understanding the Differences between Strategic Sourcing Goals, Objectives, and Requirements

    Early in the course of a product design and manufacturing organization’s strategic sourcing project it is common to have a kickoff meeting that includes the engineering team. It is the opportunity for the sourcing project team to lay the groundwork for the rest of the effort. One of the most critical discussions that should be a part of the kickoff is around the goals, objectives, and requirements for the project. This is an effort to be taken seriously by both procurement, which should facilitate the discussion, and engineering, which provides critical inputs. Unlike a mission statement, which is often dismissed as being an overly soft (and largely meaningless) feel-good expression of early-stage enthusiasm, goals, objectives, and requirements are tools that will be used actively in the sourcing project once it reaches the decision-making stage. When I worked as a consultant at a procurement solutions provider, I held workshops on kickoffs for the procurement teams I coached, as par ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 25 June 2015
  • How Procurement Saved the American Revolution

    Generally speaking, the Colonies (as we were known back then) were a key point in the British commercial supply chain. The mercantile system was based on having colonies that would become exclusive trading partners. The Colonies sent materials such as fish, grain, and lumber to the West Indies in exchange for sugar, molasses, and rum, which were sent to Britain.1 Whether it was for materials made or grown in the Colonies, or the other markets we afforded them access to, there is no doubting that we were worth fighting for. When tensions started to rise because the British were exacting more in trade and taxes than the colonists felt they received in return, tensions hit a boiling point. And we think we have supply chain risk today… When it comes to the fighting itself, George Washington’s army only stood as long as he could procure enough supplies to feed, clothe, and house it. He barely managed to do so in the hard winter of 1776 but somehow came through. “He successfully procured ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 04 July 2014
View more featured blog entries
  • HP ATKPAS
  • HP COTTRILL
  • HP COUPA1
  • HP DG
  • HP DIRECTWORKS
  • HP EBS
  • HP FB 2014
  • HP GEP
  • HP IVALUA
  • HP MD
  • HP NLPA
  • HP Nipendo
  • HP PROACT
  • HP PAPP
  • HP PROCACAD
  • HP PURID
  • HP RM
  • HP ROSS
  • HP SC
  • HP SELIAS lg
  • HP SMARTbyGEP
  • 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.