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  • What’s good for the goose… Why NIGP’s ownership is not just a public sector issue

    Anything that is considered a standard (NIGP in this case) should exist apart from competing solution providers. Imagine what it would be like if Periscope Holdings owned UNSPSC, the taxonomy commonly used in the private sector. If you run a bid to select a new eProcurement solution provider, and they don’t get the contract, are they going to pull the license from whoever did? The result is an artificial constraint to competition that does not benefit either procurement or the solution providers who serve us. In one of his posts, Jon asked the question about whether all this (presumably the negative press associated with his merciless coverage of the Periscope Holdings/BidSync story and the NIGP leadership’s reaction to it) was going to hurt customers of the combined solution. While I don’t know if there are any major downsides for those agencies/companies in the short term, there sure will be in the long term. The reason is because this goes against every guiding principle procu ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 24 April 2015
  • Social Media Intelligence for Real Procurement Professionals

      I highly encourage you to read all of the posts in their entirety, but here is a highlight from each one: Part 1: Social Media Research Essential for Supply Market Intelligence There is no question that we live in a multi-dimensional, multi-channel world. If you're doing research on a topic, should you consult YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn? Absolutely. One of the ways I do this is to think in hashtags, or keywords. Let’s say you are a procurement person, and you've had a meeting with your stakeholders. The next step is for you to go off and start either expanding or building your knowledge of a market. Where on earth do you start? That is an opportunity to think in hashtags. You have to be able to look at your notes and see the few words that are relevant. It's a way of condensing a full page of notes down to the three or four critical elements to use in a search, and to then go off and find the associations, or the suppliers, or the regulations, or the raw materials assoc ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 23 April 2015
  • Go Ahead - It won't hurt to network

    Earlier in my career I was quite shy and not comfortable networking at various conferences and seminars. Everyone else seemed to be talking to someone and having a good time I did not know where to begin. It is still not like breathing but it is a bit easier. I learned to ask questions about their jobs, families and vacations. It was interesting to hear their stories and learn a few things along the way. Networking seems forced, self-serving and artificial to me. Instead I approach these opportunities more along the line of meeting others in my industry. This week we chose the Strategic Sourceror, Why YOU should be networking. It outlines 3 reasons to network: Open communication – share ideas and get feedback as well as hear other ideas Best Practices – learn what and how others are doing the same thing you are Opportunities - for new business leads or a new career opportunity Another article by Amazing Business, Top 9 reasons of Business Networking, has additional benefits wo ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 22 April 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Inventory Management in a Market-Driven World

    Unsurprisingly, forecasting is getting harder and harder to get right. Specifically, the error rates and percentages associated with demand forecasting are growing. Traditionally, there were less items being sold in higher volumes with more regular, more predictable demand. Products were also being supplied and sourced closer to the point of purchase or consumption. Cecere talked about helping companies and leaders move from demand driven supply chains and networks to market driven. So much change has taken place elsewhere in supply chain practice that inventory has been overlooked as an area for improvement. Technological innovations have improved productivity or output per employee but have done little to improve operating margin because they have not effectively tied in inventory management. And there is a correlation between inventory turns and market cap that easily justify the time and investment. She also discussed the concept of the ‘Buy Make Deliver’ team – in other words ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 17 April 2015
  • Procurement and Taxes

    Today is April 15 and also TAX DAY in the United States. It is the deadline for citizens to file their income tax returns for both the Federal and States taxes. Yes you can get an extension but only if you fill out the forms needed. Plus if you owe taxes, then you have to pay them anyway by April 15 and the paper work just follows. Sometimes you have overpaid and get a refund. Then it seems really worth doing all the forms and filing early! With that in mind, I came across this book, “Death, Taxes and Procurement, An Effective guide for Small Businesses”. The author, Robert D. Horesjh, takes a fictitious company through the steps necessary to do business with the US Federal Government. They are the one of the largest consumer of goods and services for businesses to sell to. Of course they are – they have just finished collecting everyone’s taxes so there is money to be spent!! The marketplace extends to include schools, towns and local agencies. Full disclosure, I did not read the bo ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 15 April 2015
  • Strategic Sourceror: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement’ book is “spot on”

    On April 13, Joe Payne, Vice President of Professional Services at Source One Management Services, published his review of Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals on the Strategic Sourceror blog. You can read his full review here. The book, which I co-wrote with Cottrill Research Founder Jeanette Jones, was published by J. Ross in late 2014 and can be purchased directly from them or on Amazon. Payne, the co-author of Managing Indirect Spend with Source One’s Bill Dorn, described the take on market intelligence for procurement as “spot on,” saying, ““Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals” tackles one of the most important, yet least tangible aspects of the sourcing profession – how to get access to good, relevant information about supply markets quickly, and then maintain that information so that you have it when you need it.” You can read the other reviews of Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals, including reactions from Susan ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 14 April 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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