“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.
Our 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.