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  • Webinar Notes: Elevating Procurement: The Evolution to Trusted Business Advisor

    Many procurement leaders and organizations managed to build up a certain clout or influence (if not C-level positions) during the lean years based on their ability to cut costs. Maintaining that influence and achieving trusted advisor status will require a new approach, a new sense of timing, and new skills. The change that may be the most challenging requires us to get involved in projects sooner and at a higher level. Rather than just being peripherally involved or assisting with execution, we should be engaged in the process of deciding which direction to take at an executive level, and with the willing acceptance of other functions. For procurement organizations that burned bridges on their way to the top in the form of internal relationships, this will be a very hard chasm to cross. We have to be able to demonstrate a sincere interest in the priorities and objectives of our stakeholders. (Oh yes, and they actually have to believe us). According to Hackett Group research, the t ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 29 May 2015
  • Savings from Tesla’s Powerwall? I don’t think so…at least not in the US

    For the average consumer utilizing solar panels, the Powerwall gives the owner the ability to store energy, allowing them to utilize the energy as needed. But does the Powerwall actually give you the opportunity to reduce your energy costs? Let’s first look at the total cost, remember the $3,500 or $3,000 is for the DC system only, meaning you still need the DC-AC inverter. The inverter cost alone adds an additional $1,000 to $2,000 to the total cost. SolarCity, the solar provider company where Musk is embedded as the company chairman, is quoting $7,140 for the 10 kilowatt-hour all-inclusive installed system, or “customers can prepay $5,000 for a nine-year lease, which also includes installation, a maintenance agreement, the electrical inverter, and control system.” All said and done the true cost to buy is $714/kWh, which is a very reasonable price when compared against competitive alternatives. For those of you thinking that you will be able to recoup the setup cost by selling ene ...

    by MichaelCroasdale
    Thursday, 28 May 2015
  • Procurement depends on the honey bee

    We have several very large rhododendron bushes in our yard. In the spring they are beautiful with pink and lavender flowers. There are thousands of blooms. What we have noticed over the years is that the honey bees are fewer and fewer. It seems impossible for what seems like less than a dozen to be able to hit all the areas they should be covering. Of course no one likes to get stung so fewer bees is a good thing right? WRONG! They are desperately needed to pollinate all the fruits and vegetables that we have in our food supply. The impact on the economy is in the billions of dollars. The article this week from The Strategic Sourceror is “What’s the Buzz? Honey Bees in serious danger”. It reveals in simple terms why we need to pay attention to this and solve the problem. We have created this issue with the increased use of pesticides and the planned crops instead of wildflowers. Apparently the wildflowers sustain the bee population better than other crops. Published in June 2014, th ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 27 May 2015
  • Guest Post on Design News: Strategic Sourcing Processes are Designed to Ensure Good Decision Making

    While people may talk about the procurement process, the procurement discipline actually encompasses a number of different processes. They include spend analysis, supplier relationship management, and contract management, just to name a few. If you have ever worked with procurement, there is a good chance that it was during the strategic sourcing process. Strategic sourcing touches many other stakeholder groups in an organization, such as engineering, as well as supply partners -- both current and prospective. For engineers, if you are asked to be part of a strategic sourcing project team, you will probably learn early on that there is a standard, defined project management approach just like any other discipline would have, including product design and development. The process that guides this approach may include six steps or more, but it clearly divides the project effort into phases such as the identification of a need through the contract award as well as supplier performance man ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 26 May 2015
  • Book Review: Food Supply Chain Management and Logistics

    The food supply chain is, in actuality, multiple chains: produce, grains, meat/protein. Producers are in a difficult spot as ‘input suppliers’ (e.g. equipment providers) have significant power, uncertainty lurks in weather patterns and growing conditions, and the need for controls leads to complex regulation affecting both costs and prices. Ripple effects in these chains vary, with increased demand for processed foods leading to spending on and innovation in packaging, and increased demand for protein resulting in more demand for farming output. Food Supply Chain Management is a balance of in-depth food management specific concerns and more general supply chain content that undoubtedly has applications in the field (collaboration, supply chain risk, lead methodologies). The author’s knowledge reflects an understanding of the many perspectives that must align for optimal execution: Procurement: Inventory management is a critical effort (such as through the limitation of SKUs), track ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 22 May 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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