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  • What negotiation skills does procurement need TODAY?

    It is easy to get hung up on stereotypes of negotiation. I bang my shoe on the table and yell, you walk out. You lay down an ultimatum and I defer to ‘the boss’ for approval. We both play hardball and walk away with a signed contract but bad feelings. These are tactics. Negative tactics. Today’s procurement professionals do not need to learn a stony glare or the best shoe banging technique. But that does not mean we are through with negotiation. We just need to reconsider what it means and how we execute the related tasks. In her recent Forces article on Procurement Departments Negotiating ‘Too Aggressively’, Kate Vitasek points out that although we are being told to collaborate and create value, procurement teams are negotiating as aggressively as ever, in many cases, putting suppliers in a horribly tight spot. Our tactics are pushing us out of alignment with the objectives of the enterprise – exactly the opposite of what we profess to want to do. And poor Jon Hansen, he made such ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 31 March 2015
  • 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
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