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The Complexities and Challenges of a Fresh Food Supply Chain (ATSC Blog)

Posted on the ATSC Blog on March 26, 2018

On March 6th, McDonald’s announced the decision to start using fresh beef in the Quarter Pounder at all locations in the contiguous United States. Whether this move by the world’s largest buyer of beef was in response to competition from ‘higher brow’ fast food chains like Five Guys and Smashburger, social media razzing from rival chain Wendy’s (who already uses fresh beef in all their burgers), or shifting consumer tastes, the news became yet another prominent example of fast food chains increasing their use of fresh ingredients.

As supply chain professionals, we should know better than to take such change for granted. There are a number of complications associated with making such a large shift – many of which will escape the notice of average consumers...

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Procurement Experts Outlook 2018 (Zycus)

Kelly Barner is featured as one of the 8 thought leaders in a new eBook from Zycus.

Over the years, businesses have changed and so have the roles of the different departments within them. As a result, businesses in 2018 exposed to more complex issues than ever, revolving around cost savings, operational efficiency, and obtaining a competitive edge through available data and human resources.

The procurement function must realign itself with organizational goals and transform into a strategic function that adds value to the organization and is not just a cost-center.

This e-Book presents articles from 8 industry thought leaders and procurement practitioners on the most sought-after question – What should the role of procurement be in 2018?


  • Developing a strategic mindset is essential for procurement teams
  • The shift in procurement skills to drive a high performing team
  • Unraveling the power of spend analytics in procurement
  • Stakeholder alignment for successful procurement savings
  • The new era of real-time procurement
  • Collaborating better with second-tier suppliers

Click here to access the eBook

The Functionality Everyone Demands, but Almost No One Uses (Determine)

Posted on the Determine blog on March 20, 2018

In a recent blog post here on Determine, I shared my list of 10 questions I think every procurement team should ask at all solution provider demos. Some of them you’d probably expect, like questions about integration and the administration of configuration settings. Others you might not have thought of, for instance asking to what degree the company “takes their own medicine” by using the technology themselves.

This list of questions is based on my time in two specific roles: first as a procurement practitioner when I was on a team tasked with selecting and implementing an eSourcing suite; and second, from my time as a consultant at a procurement solution provider where our team was often called to participate in the sales process.

I’m assuming that most procurement professionals haven’t had the experience of being on the sales side of a bid process in their current role. It is most interesting when your company wins the deal. Obviously, winning is more fun than not winning, but that’s not it. When you go from prospect to partner, you get the opportunity to reflect on the selection process in the context of the priorities and maturity of your newly won customer.

There are three areas of functionality that we were routinely grilled about, and which at least 90% of companies were not prepared to use.

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10 Questions to Ask During an S2P Demo (Determine)

Posted on the Determine blog on March 13, 2018

Attending an S2P demo can be a particularly high stress time for a procurement professional. We use this technology more than any other, to the point where its identity is synonymous with our own reputation internally. As a result, making the right choice is extremely important. 

That doesn’t even address the fact that procurement often starts the negotiation process during the demo, working hard to position ourselves as discerning, knowledgeable, functionality power users from the start of the evaluation and comparison process.

Under these conditions, it can be hard to ask questions that uncover the information required to form clear impressions that are relevant for this point in the process. Viewing a demo usually happens early on, so rather than getting into the weeds, procurement should ask some high level questions that provide insight into the technology as a whole and the team they will be working with during the selection process.

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