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Can the Whole Foods and Amazon Grocery chains exist under the same corporate umbrella? (Determine)

This content was posted on the Determine blog on April 23, 2019

Amazon recently announced that they will open a “traditional” grocery chain. This is in addition to their 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods and their experimentation with Amazon Go, a fully automated (i.e. cashier-less) convenience store-style market. All three will meet a similar kind of consumer need, just in a different way. This will likely result in the creation of three completely different cost models and profitability rates – not to mention three very different procurement and supply chain operations.

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On Earth Day, Digital Networks Turning Global Commerce a Brighter Shade of Green (SAP Ariba)

Kelly Barner is quoted in the following article published by SAP Ariba on April 19, 2019.

When Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, its organizers envisioned a future where the nations of the world would band together to protect the environment. At the time, technological advancement was widely associated with the rapid industrialization of the developing world, contributing to smog, polluted waterways and toxic landfills. Few might have predicted that 49 years later, technology would take the forefront in global efforts to achieve greener, more environmentally sustainable business practices across borders and industries. By opening up transparency among the millions of buyers and suppliers who engage in commerce every day, digital networks enable trading partners to gauge each other’s adherence to Earth-friendly standards in their business operations.

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How much can procurement change on their own? (Determine)

This content was published on the Determine blog on April 2, 2019

Real lasting change requires give and take. If procurement is to make enough change to satisfy even a fraction of the wants and needs listed above, we can’t do it alone. This is probably the largest factor missing from procurement transformation efforts; we are trying to change ourselves in a vacuum.

If our goal is to become more strategic by creating increased shareholder value or contributing to corporate competitive advantage, we need access to shareholders and corporate strategy setters. If we are going to collaborate with suppliers, we need the authority to take a multi-dimensional look at carefully selected spend categories and play a long-term, relationship-oriented game that isn’t tethered to a savings target.

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To Maximize Employee Engagement, We Must First Define It (Thinkers360)

This content was published on the Thinkers360 member blog on March 25, 2019

In the March 23rd Wall Street Journal, Sam Walker had a fascinating piece about the connections between effective middle managers and the performance of the company as a whole: “One Fix for All That’s Wrong: Better Managers”. Walker cites Gallup research which found that good middle-level managers account for 70% of the difference between high and low productivity companies. “In other words,” Walker writes, “if it’s a superior team you’re after, hiring the right manager is 70% of the battle.”

One reason for this difference is what Gallup defines as ‘employee engagement’, or how employees feel about their jobs and the work they do. Engagement is characterized as an emotional measure rather than as a set of actions. It has to do with fulfillment, and a sense that the company values each person and what they are capable of. 

While many companies track audience/customer/prospect engagement as measured by clicks, views, reads, listens, downloads, likes, shares, etc., Gallup takes a much softer point of view – but it may be far more meaningful. Engagement isn’t an action at all. It is a feeling. If there is one thing we know about social media, it is that what people do often has very little to do with how the content makes them feel. Too often they haven’t even read it.

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