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  • Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 11/30–12/4: The Topics and Speakers You Didn’t Know You Were Waiting For

      How Smart Connected Products Are Transforming Companies (Harvard Business Review, PTC) December 1, 3pm EST The number one reason to attend this event is the primary speaker, renowned strategist Michael Porter. He may be most famous for creating the Porter’s Five Forces analytical framework in the 1970’s, but in this event, he and PTC President and CEO James Heppelmann take on the more futuristic topic of smart connected products. You might be thinking that this is a webinar about the Internet of Things (IoT) but it is really about the devices that ultimately create that data, simultaneously changing business relationships, product capabilities, infrastructure, and processes. If you are interested in a preview, check out this HBR article written by the speakers.   Achieving Third Party Compliance with stronger Anti-Corruption program (ISM, MetricStream) December 2, 2pm EST This event takes a serious look at compliance – not the contract compliance we are soused to t ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 30 November 2015
  • An Annual Tradition of Giving Thanks at BMP

    This year, I have an extra reason to give thanks as we mark a major milestone at Buyers Meeting Point. Cindy Allen-Murphy, who co-founded BMP with Harco Bouwman in 2008, made the decision earlier this year that her BMP journey had reached its natural end. She and I have worked together for many years (and at multiple companies) and we have both come away richer for each of those experiences. In fact, Cindy has been something of a procurement fairy godmother to me… she is the reason I got up the nerve to approach Emptoris’ consulting lead about a position there. She also brought me on at BMP to replace Harco in 2009. Twice she saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. I am incredibly grateful for her mentoring, guidance, and leadership and I wish her and her wonderful family nothing but the best. Speaking of family… I am grateful for every professional who ‘Liked’ my posts, gave my work an RT, or commented in response to something I’ve shared. Those moments of positive reinf ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 24 November 2015
  • A Personal Look at the Resiliency of Tesco and Their Supply Chain

    When I originally read ‘The Lean Supply Chain,’ I was struck with the balance the authors managed to achieve in their coverage of Tesco. On the one hand, Mason and Evans are clearly proud of what the large retailer has accomplished – through its supply chain and beyond. On the other hand, these have not been easy years for Tesco (horsemeat scandal 2013, accounting scandal 2014, and questions raised about how suppliers are treated). I risked distancing Mason and Evans from me by starting the interview with a series of questions about the negative coverage Tesco has gotten in the news over the last few years. Rather than responding defensively, they calmly explained – as I am sure they have done many times – their view of the decisions and events leading to those corporate missteps. I also got the impression from them that no one at Tesco expects an easy path. And while they may not have foreseen that they would be responsible for so many of their own difficulties, the priorities and ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 20 November 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Three Foundations for Best Practice Procurement

    Smith's three procurement models: Faithful servant (administrative) Gatekeeper (old school) 3-way integration (preferred) The differences between these three models are predominantly based on whether procurement serves as a ‘door’ or a ‘window’ to progress. Rather than being an actual goal, how procurement interacts wish stakeholders and suppliers (or stakeholders and suppliers) is symptomatic of their attitude towards collaboration and value creation and closely tied to the cap on their potential impact. Being sidelined or serving as a blocker between procurement’s two primary contacts points ultimately leads to a more administrative, weaker procurement function.  The ultimate goal is not to make significant changes to the procurement organization but for procurement to lead changes in the enterprise. As Ball put it, we don't need a procurement transformation - we need a procurement-led transformation of the business. After all, as Smith accurately pointed out, while ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 13 November 2015
  • Book Review: Fashion Logistics: Insights into the Fashion Retail Supply Chain

        A theme that repeatedly appears in the book is segmentation – and the first example occurs within the retail sector as a whole. The authors point out in the introduction that in their coverage of retail, they saw the emphasis and level of change transition from food to fashion. There are multiple sources of change, including regulation and corporate social responsibility. The expiration of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) in 2005 led to an increase in global competition. The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh (which claimed the lives of 1,129 people) only eight years later showed the dark side of trying to remain cost competitive.   My personal favorite is Chapter 2: ‘The Changing Nature of Fashion Retailing: Implications for Logistics’ in which the authors provide a rich history, not just of the global fashion industry, but of the role that fashion has played in social history and how it is an inextricable part of each culture. The current period of c ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 06 November 2015
  • Best Practices to “Futureproof” Telecom Services

    When analyzing new opportunities and future requirements, consider the following: (Network) Infrastructure—Analyze your current system in relation to the vision for your business and assess what features and benefits will be relevant in the future. This may require additional investigation to determine the main concerns with communication within your work environment and any pertinent outside factors. Systems and services today must be quickly scalable, easily manageable, and closely integrated with other business applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM). Technology upgrades—Take agile approach to upgrades, whether they involve equipment or software. Upgrades should be implemented in a way that encourages continuous improvement while allowing for rapid and flexible response to change. For instance, switching to a hosted voice solution may seem challenging, but it will offer convenient long term payoffs. Hosted voice is easier to scale when your organization need ...

    by Iyana Lester
    Thursday, 05 November 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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