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  • 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
  • Webinar Recommendations for May 25 - 29, 2015: Robotic Process Automation, a Technology Business Case, and Supply Risk Maturity

      A Primer on Robotic Process Automation (Outsourcing Institute) 5/28, 12pm EDT I don’t know much about robotic process automation, but I know enough to know that I need to know more. I first heard about it in an Outsourcing Institute webinar a couple of months ago. We’ve heard a lot of about outsourcing under a variety of new labels, and it makes sense that this would be an extension of that. Robotic process automation certainly sounds promising… whatever it is. Since I can’t explain it better than that, this is the event I will attend this week.   Building a Holistic Business Case for Procurement Technology (Selectica, Forrester) 5/28, 12pm EDT If procurement struggles to demonstrate ROI based on shaky realized savings calculations and estimates, the challenge is that much more pressing to demonstrate ROI for the technologies we employ. In this event, Forrester Research Vice President Duncan Jones will talk through how to handle budgetary discussions as well as how ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 25 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
  • Perception vs Reality: The Real Root Cause of Procurement’s Challenges (UPDATED)

      Procurement’s Capacity Problem One of the key take-aways is that capacity, not talent capabilities, is the greatest obstacle to value creation. This is drawn from the finding that “80% of procurement decision makers identify ‘procurement team time pressures’ as a challenge, and 20% as a major challenge – implying that the majority of procurement departments are facing major capacity issues.” What is not immediately clear is if capacity is an issue because demand is so high, because (as it seems at first glance) that procurement headcount is too low, or because the in place team is so inefficient. A Diverse Set of KPIs My favorite finding is that when all the participants’ KPIs are compared, not one is shared as the top (highest priority) KPI by more than 47% of the departments. Realized savings is (expectedly) the most common top KPI but revenue impact (19%) beat out identified/negotiated savings (16%). Only 1% of procurement departments reported that CSR or Sustainability ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 21 May 2015
  • Boomers vs. Millennials in the Marketplace

    Recently, we were at a hotel and happened to meet the resort president as we waited for our table. We had a wonderful conversation and explained we were celebrating our anniversary. Several hours later, we arrived in our room to a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. We were so surprised and found it was compliments of the president. That was amazing customer service and truly they have gained our loyalty. How do retailers or any organization for that matter gain your loyalty? For decades, the marketing was focused on the Baby Boomers (b. ’43-’64) as they were such a force in numbers and buying power. While that is still the case by spending power, The Millennials ( b. ’76 – ’92) are coming on strong in numbers and soon will be reaching their peak spending years. This study, by Synchrony Financial, Balancing Multi-Generational Retail Strategies, reviews some of the different approaches and how organizations could benefit from utilizing them. As the subtitle suggest ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 20 May 2015
  • New Research Reveals Consumer Expectations for Supplier Management

    Although I have not yet read the actual survey findings (which are hopefully forthcoming), there are already a few points warranting further consideration for procurement professionals and organizations. One is that B2C businesses must meet a higher threshold of supplier management than B2B. The typical consumers targeted by the research are unlikely to be as affected by companies or brand names they do not know than those they shop with directly. Even if they don’t shop at a store, one third of the respondents said they would spread the news to friends and family. Bad news may or may not travel fast, but it sure does travel. The other is that the strong reaction by consumers is likely to drive the decisions of investors, shareholders, and the passage of regulations. While the short term news cycle moves a story in an out of the public consciousness with greater speed than accuracy, the longer term impact of that story is likely to play out in the longer term through investment dec ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 19 May 2015
  • Book Review: Business Operations Models: Becoming a Disruptive Competitor

    Carrying out such a change requires a single coherent value proposition for everyone in the organization – those who touch customers or finished product and otherwise. According to Braithwaite and Christopher, the power of operational excellence has been underestimated in practice and from the perspective of shareholders and the board. I struggled with this idea a bit (because how could leadership not recognize the importance of an effective operational model to their success?) until I read their observations of corporate strategy statements. “Strategy statements are most usually expressed in goal-driven terms based on market size estimates, competitive structures, price points in the market and high-level views of potential; their development is normally anchored in economic or competition theory. Practical operational capabilities are often taken as read, or not seen as a source for step-change performance.” (p. 3) This latent potential exists for organizations who see the struc ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 15 May 2015
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Buyers Meeting Point was founded in 2008 with the goal of helping procurement and purchasing professionals find the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. We centralized blogs, white papers, and solution provider listings. As our collection of information grew, we realized that we would need to provide advice about which information was best – and our role as a filter of procurement thought leadership began to take shape.

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