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  • Webinar Notes: Supply Chain Risk Management: How to Turn Worst Practices into Best Practices

    While the presenters delivered on their promise to contrast worst (or poor) risk management practices with best practices, the greater value in their message was around perspective. In order to root out and address risk where it lurks, we need to adopt a supply chain risk management state of mind. What does this mean? It means that in order to understand our risk, we can not just go about previous activities and add risk to list of things we consider. We have to look at our suppliers, supply chains, and the greater environment in an altogether different way. The best examples of this from the event are: We can’t trust suppliers or logistics experts to manage risk in the supply chain on our behalf, because disruptions may be associated with locations or materials rather than companies. Each person’s view of the supply chain is limited by their perspective of it and which is closely tied to their role. Procurement needs to break free from this constraint by taking in as much data ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 09 October 2015
  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/5 – 10/9: Getting out ahead of challenges and opportunities

      Unlock Working Capital with Predictive Analytics ( October 6, 2pm EDT I’ve long believed that mastering analytics skills and systems are the key for procurement moving forward – especially when predictive analytics is the goal. This webinar combines analytics with the objectives of CFOs to allow them to better manage cash flows and inventory management by studying the inflows and outflows of payments and receivables. Since procurement is in the position to estimate demand and put contracts (with payment terms) in place, we have a strategic role to play if predictive analytics catches on in Finance. According to Aberdeen Group research that will be explored during the webinar, best in class finance organizations are 78% more likely to implement predictive analytics.   What Procurement Doesn’t Know About Accounts Payable (and May be Afraid to Ask) (SAP/Ariba, SIG) October 6, 2pm EDT In another Finance related topic, Ariba takes on accounts payable from procur ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 05 October 2015
  • Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

    Hopefully that sets the stage for just how challenging it can be to put an effective category management program in place. Of course, it just easily proves that you can do anything you set your mind to – and more importantly – that you plan and train for. One of the comments offered almost as an aside in the webinar is the notion that Denali has made significant investments in their category management capabilities and training offerings because it is one of the questions they frequently field from CPOs. If I were still a practitioner, that fact would be enough to make me sit up and take notice. I would also fight to be part of any program to roll-out category management, whether purely internal or involving third party support. The main bridge between category management as a theory and category management in practice seems to be having a plan. Since it is often not a well defined concept, organizations have difficulty getting their category management efforts off the ground. Acco ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 02 October 2015
  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/28–10/2: Unique Perspectives on Familiar Topics

      What Your P2P Vital Signs Are Telling You (Hackett Group, Zycus) September 29, 2pm EDT In this event, Hackett Group and Zycus have taken a cool concept – the biometrics information we gain access to through wearable technology such as the iWatch – and applied it to procurement’s performance metrics. The best take away is that while we likely compare our performance on KPIs against market leaders and overall best practices, the most important improvement to show is over the baseline. Calculating a solid baseline can be just as hard as generating the results themselves, as we often see in sourcing projects. This webinar will provide an in-depth look at an exhaustive list of 50+ metrics and ways to excel against them.   Margin, Risk, and Prices, Oh My! Price Optimization: How Best-in-Class Sales Organizations Win (Aberdeen) October 1, 1pm EDT I have a soft spot (and a strong curiosity) for sales events, and the combination of margin and optimization makes this an easy ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 28 September 2015
  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: P is for Procurement... except when it isn't

    It used to be that every company had buyers; they were the people managing contracts and placing supply orders. Then strategic sourcing was introduced and dedicated buyers suddenly became a thing of the past, especially as eProcurement systems allowed supplies to be ordered by approved users through online catalogs. Being able to provide people in the organization with a convenient way to buy the right items from approved suppliers at contracted prices was a huge improvement. It also reinforced the notion that procurement could be managed more effectively through technology. If more is more, then getting the entire procurement process into a closed loop must be the ideal. This led to a desire for solutions that could handle full end-to-end integration. This vision connected spend analysis to sourcing to contracts to eProcurement through to Accounts Payable and back to spend analysis again. Now that P2P systems—meaning either purchase to pay or procure to pay—are more common, organi ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 24 September 2015
  • Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

    Far from this 3rd being a simple re-run of the same old information, O’Brien has added some significant sections to the book that make it relevant for a larger audience. A considerable new section is dedicated to governance via the 5 P’s of people, proficiency, promote, payoff, and programme. Part of how the governance model plays out organizationally is through a steering committee that reports to the C-suite and facilitates all category management projects in the organization. O’Brien also specifically addresses category management for small and medium sized enterprises, making the point that while they may not be able to achieve the same level of leverage and scalability through category management that larger companies can, there is still significant opportunity for improvement. Like anything O’Brien has published, the case studies and visuals are key. Of particular value are the detailed competency charts for those in category management positions. In addition to the new are ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 05 August 2015
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“There is no shortage of challenges in procurement, which means there is no shortage of opportunities to be heroes.” – Charles Dominick

Throughout the month of May, Buyers Meeting Point has covered ‘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.

charlesdominickOur review of the book is available on our Endorsed Publication page, and over the last few weeks we have done a Q&A with both authors about the book and an interview with Soheila Lunney (Part 1 and Part 2).  This week we wrap up the series with a look at Charles Dominick’s view on the procurement profession.

Buyers Meeting Point: The Next Level Purchasing Association (of which Charles is the President and CPO) is a global organization. How does this perspective allow you to perceive trends in the spread of procurement competencies around the globe?

Charles Dominick: The Internet has enabled us all to make connections that were not possible before. The result is a global community forming and best practices being shared across borders. The surveys we conduct among our members reveal how things are changing and different, and which countries are the leading growth areas. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia both have strong enrollment bases. One interesting statistic - India has the second greatest number of SPSM’s (Senior Professional in Supply Management) after the United States.

BMP: Since the Next Level Purchasing Association uses an eLearning model, how often and in what way do you get to have contact with your students and other procurement practitioners?

Charles Dominick: We have an instructor access feature that allows for interaction with current students, as well as a forum on the association website. I believe in active networking through many channels – social media networking like Twitter and LinkedIn as well as in-person networking through the Institute for Supply Management and conferences. About half of the Next Level Purchasing Association’s of business is with clients and large groups, which allows us to travel and meet with them in person.

BMP: How do you make sure your forward vision for procurement is represented by your training courses?

Charles Dominick: We do formal updates of all of our courses annually and spot updates as they are needed. We are also always adding new courses. For instance, we recently added inventory management and control.  I believe that the procurement function is being added to more than it is changing. There are still core components of the function that don’t change rapidly – managing purchase orders, following up with suppliers, and managing contract terms. We have built the training to cover tactical, strategic, management, and global perspectives. We are also placing an increased emphasis on enterprise integration – procurement is a ‘gear’ that needs to spin synchronously with the others in the organization like finance and inventory management.

BMP: As a procurement educator/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?

Charles Dominick: There is no one mold that every procurement professional fits into. Some are good analysts, some are good at relationship building, and some are good with technology. Ultimately, we need to have all of those aspects as part of our skill set. We have a ways to go to become more well-rounded, particularly in the face of the broad array of skills we need.

BMP: How do you stay motivated and connected to procurement life 'in the trenches' but also objective from your position as a third party educator and industry thought leader? Where does the content come from for your blog posts and other publications?

CD: My ideas come from the challenges I discuss with my network, and with students. Often when someone asks about the challenges they are facing one of two things happens – either we have material on that issue already or we are surprised because we have experienced the same thing but never realized it had value for anyone else. Based on the maturity curve all organizations follow, one client will be facing a challenge that another just solved.

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