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  • Webinar Notes: Why Vendor Management Must Change: 3 Most Common Dysfunctional Aspects of the Current Model

    I attended this event because there is no question that the supply base is playing an increasing role in the ability of enterprises to maintain a competitive advantage. Whether you use the label outsourcing or vertical dis-integration or corporate virtualization or just think you are fully leveraging the capabilities of your suppliers, how you work with suppliers is critical. In this event, OI’s Frank Casale and Alsbridge’s Craig Nelson took some of the existing thought leadership in this area and pushed it forward. For instance… You know you are supposed to collaborate more with your suppliers, but what if it’s a group effort? Most of the examples we hear about supply base innovation and collaboration are one to one: one buying organization and one strategic or critical supplier. What if, in order to accomplish your goals and objectives, you need to collaborate with multiple suppliers? By extension that means that in order to deliver, those suppliers need to collaborate and innov ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 27 March 2015
  • Benefits of a Supply Chain in China

    The world is getting smaller every day. We have so many ways to connect at a moment’s notice. We can reach thousands and millions of people using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and so on. Look at the firestorm that took place in 2014 with the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS. Over the past twenty or so years, the desire to utilize the labor force and factories in China has grown significantly. With the better communication methods, it has been easier and provides an option for cost savings. It became quite attractive to move a significant component of your supply chain to China. However, that has come with some issues such as lead time and maintaining the expected level of quality. This week’s article, Is Sourcing in China still Competitive covers several interesting aspects to consider while looking at sourcing trends in China. Labor costs are rising in China but they are still lower relative to labor in other areas. When you look at the exports fro ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 25 March 2015
  • Continuous Improvement for Procurement Leaders

    As parents, we make sure our children have regular visits to the doctor and dentist. This is a routine checkup to ensure everything is on the right track and progressing as expected. In our professional lives, it is good for an organization to have a ‘healthy checkup’ as well. This week’s article is highlighted by Pymnts. It is a study by IBM after surveying over 1000 CPO’s across 41 countries. This highlights the behaviors of strong procurement teams. New Study separates the World's Procurement Leaders from the Followers outlines 4 differentiators. Reviewing material such as this regularly is akin to having those checkups at the doctor’s office. One of the differentiators is working closely with the stakeholder. If procurement works in a vacuum or with little interaction, there is less of an opportunity to get it right or improve. In the example below, this is a classic example of the customer wanting a simple tire swing, did not explain it very well and it was designed completely w ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 18 March 2015
  • Why it is Not Worth Preventing Every Disruption in Your Supply Chain

    In C.S. Tang’s article, “Robust Strategies for Mitigating Supply Chain Disruptions,” found in the International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications and cited by MIT’s Sloan Management Review in 2014, he explains the constant evaluation between supply chain efficiency and risk reduction exceptionally well. The distinguished UCLA professor writes: “Today’s managers know that they need to protect their supply chains from serious and costly disruptions, but the most obvious solutions — increasing inventory, adding capacity at different locations and having multiple suppliers — undermine efforts to improve supply chain cost efficiency. Surveys have shown that while managers understand the impact of supply chain disruptions, they have done very little to prevent such incidents or mitigate their impacts. This is because solutions to reduce risk mean little unless they are weighed against supply chain cost efficiency. After all, financial performance is what pays the bills.” Com ...

    by Evan Wolkin
    Tuesday, 17 March 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Women Networking Group Webinar - Marketing Yourself through Social Media

    It isn’t that I have anything against this specific combination of color and product, to me it is what the combination represents. When I was in college, I went to buy a pair of roller blades and my choice was pink. Bright, bubblegum, icky-sticky pink. Now, I’m as feminine as the next girl, but something about them struck me as all wrong. Just because I’m female I need to want pink rollerblades? I was planning to join a group of friends to play street hockey and I was not going to show up in skates that looked like I stole them from Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. So, with no other options, I did the only reasonable thing I could think of. I bought a pair of men’s grey rollerblades. What on earth does this have to do with IACCM and their women’s networking webinar? I signed up for the event genuinely interested in the combination of social media networking and considerations specific to professional women. I didn’t have any idea of what those considerations were, but I was curious. I ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 13 March 2015
  • Negotiation is child's play - or maybe not

    When our daughter was in elementary school, she was a tough negotiator. She wanted her independence at a very early age. When it came time for bedtime, we came up with a plan. She could go to bed anytime she wanted up until 8PM. It was her choice. She loved that freedom and the rest fell into place. From our perspective, we wanted her in bed by 8PM anyway but it was all in how it was presented. Negotiation is something we do every day – sometimes with ourselves and sometimes with others. Should I have dessert, that cookie, that extra glass of wine? Who on the team should do the analysis, the presentation, make that sales call? In procurement, this is a key skill that constantly needs to be sharp and at the ready. In this article from Harvard, 10 Hard Ball Tactics in Negotiation, it goes through scenarios and areas to avoid. One that I found interesting was “Trying to make you flinch”. In this case, the other party keeps making harder and harder demands, waiting for you to break. I r ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Use Predictive Analytics to Help You Capitalize on Business Moments

    The business moments portion of the webinar – my reason for attending – was fascinating. The companies that have managed to prepare for and manage the opportunity presented by these moments have achieved truly amazing things. Laney provided many examples from Gartner’s ‘Art of the Possible,’ but I thought two of the best demonstrations were these: 1. Burberry wanted to take better advantage of the data they were able to collect in their retail locations, including using a customer’s past purchases to incent future purchases. Their business moment was made possible by embedding RFID tags in products so that when a customer lifted an item to look at it, dynamic displays in the area would automatically change to show that item as part of an outfit. 2. A fast food restaurant (who understandably could not be named) figured out that if they changed out the displays at the drive through when there were long lines they could emphasize items with less preparation time to keep the lines movi ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 06 March 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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