The Point

One of the interesting things about consistently reading and hearing content from quality sources is that you start to notice trends. It is amazing how often the same topics arise at the same time in different places. We use this blog as a way to help you stay on top of the major themes in procurement and supply chain management.

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This week’s webinar notes are from a July 31st event hosted by ISM and presented by LexisNexis. The event is available on demand on ISM’s site. If you are interested in more on the topic, LexisNexis has made available a white paper and accompanying infographic titled “Leveraging Market Intelligence to Better Manage Supply Chain Risk.

The presenter, Eric Walsworth, LexisNexis’ Director of Supply Management, illustrated each of his points about risk management by drawing comparisons to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I won’t embarrass myself by trying to recreate any of that – if you’re interested in the soccer angle you’ll have to watch the webinar on demand.

Walsworth took a need – risk management - that is overwhelming for many procurement teams and broke it down into very clear phases and efforts. Although each of these elements is important to a supply risk management effort, they must all work together in order to be effective. Additionally, although the following seem to be a linear process, they must all be executed in parallel.

Posted by on in Procurement

How an organization manages its money is critical. That is nothing new. However, there are trends in procurement influencing how that is done.

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In Massachusetts there is a small supermarket chain known as Market Basket. They are currently in a dispute over the leadership. The employees are so loyal to the ex-CEO (Arthur T) that they have walked off the job at the warehouse, at the office and at the stores. The customers are also boycotting the stores. Without deliveries, the shelves are empty. This has been going on for several weeks. It is amazing that employees are giving up their livelihood and their paychecks for this executive. Clearly he is adored by the associates.

This week’s webinar notes are from a July 25th webinar hosted by the Next Level Purchasing Association and presented by Santosh Nair, GEP’s Vice President of Client Services and Innovation. Although the on demand version is only available to NLPA premium members, you can read what they had to say about SMART by GEP in this recent blog post.

Despite the changes being seen in the consumer technology marketplace, enterprise solutions have been slow to take advantage of the growing availability of mobile technology. As demand increases for Smartphone and tablet solution accessibility, enterprise solutions in general, and procurement solutions in specific, will need to change at a rate faster than they have in the past.

The entire professional community, procurement included, is bracing for the impact of the Millennial generation. Managers and executives want to position their company or department as a team that will appeal to the brightest, best upcoming achievers. ISM and ThomasNet recently joined forces specifically for the purpose of gathering nominations for their ’30 Under 30’ Supply Chain Rising Stars program. Corporate leadership teams are concerned about being flexible enough, mobile enough, and ‘sexy’ enough to compete for young talent. Professional associations are scrambling to make sure they demonstrate their relevance on an ongoing basis.

 When new software is being implemented, so much of the focus is negotiating the price of the software itself. There are many components to an implementation and associated costs. One that is often overlooked is training. How will your organization get trained on this new process and technology? Will you hire someone to train? How much will that cost and how will it be handled ongoing?

 

This is (probably) the last in what became an impromptu three-part series on The Point about the value of storytelling for procurement. Part 1 considered applications of the idea in general. In part 2, Dr. Tom DePaoli provided a real world example and some further guidance. The post that started it all, on Executive Presence by Chip Scholz, can be found here.

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Do you save coins in a jar? Over time, the jar can become full to overflowing. It won’t necessarily lead to early retirement but it can make a difference. Sometimes we have then cashed it in for something special which would not have been done otherwise. A little here and there, without using up much time, can add value to your bottom line.

 I was involved in a project many years ago documenting the current procurement process across many divisions within a large international company. It was tedious and detailed work. I was frequently surprised by the various ways stuff was purchased. I was also surprised at what needed approval and what did not. For example, a cell phone needed Senior VP approval but a multi-million dollar purchase order for a For-Resale item did not.

 Editor's note: on July 24th, I wrote a post 'On Storytelling and Procurement' in response to an executive leadership and communication post by Chip Scholz. Dr. Tom DePaoli, an author and management consultant, offered up some comments based on his own experience that were far too good to leave buried in a comments string. They are as follows:

One of the oldest methods of passing down knowledge is oral storytelling. Usually an ancient sage would be the keeper of the stories and pass them down to other tribe members. I highly recommend this method for supply chain professionals.

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One of my favorite movies is Camelot. I love the story and the music. One of the songs is the Seven deadly Virtues which mocks all the good things in someone's character such as honest, courage, humility and so on.

This week’s webinar notes are from a July 23 webinar hosted by ISM Vermont and presented by Verian Vice President Tommy Benston on ‘Five Steps To Eliminate Maverick Spending.’ Although an on demand version was not available as of the posting of my notes, it will be available on Verian’s site shortly.

On July 22, Chip Scholz, Head Coach of Scholz and Associates, Inc. posted ‘Executive Presence: Stronger with Leadership Storytelling’ on his site.

I am not a fan of the term best practices. I mean who says it is really ‘best’ and there is always room for something better. I feel it is a little presumptuous to think YOUR way is the BEST way. I also think others can be offended by being told how to implement a best practice. However, there are ‘better’ practices that could improve your current situation. Some like to call it a process for continuous improvement.

Supplier diversity programs have been a hot topic for some time now. While the need for minority-owned and diverse supplier programs at most companies has only recently begun to take shape, the growth has been astronomical. In fact, a study done by CAPS Research states that 71.79% of organizations expect their total supplier diversity program spend to increase greatly within the next two years. ('Measuring Supplier Diversity Program Performance', March 2012)

Even though support for diversity programs has been rising, there is still some hesitancy from businesses to develop them. This reluctance is often due to inaccurate perceptions regarding the value they can offer a company, but these myths are often easy to debunk.

In a July 14th article on NewsDay, NYASHA CHIZU asked ‘Is Procurement an Art or a Science?

In the article, he makes the following statement:

“There is definitely an art to good procurement but on the other hand, taking a scientific approach to options analysis, requirements development and the procurement evaluation process can facilitate a more successful procurement project.”

Tagged in: Savings Technology

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Years ago, my husband and I decide to wallpaper the dining room. The first and last time we made that decision!! Thankfully the trends are now to paint and not wallpaper. Whew! The roles we took were for me to measure and cut and for my husband to paste and hang. Neither one of us had the right role. I cut backwards from what we needed and he would cause more wrinkles than you can imagine. So we switched and it was like magic! It was a life’s lesson that we refer to now many years later. Know what you are good at and get others to join the team that can cover your weaknesses.

This week’s webinar notes are from a recent Procurement Leaders webinar on ‘Turning Data into a Business Case for Procurement.’ The webinar is available on demand here thanks to Rosslyn Analytics, and you can hear an excerpt of the webinar in my July 14th Blog Talk Radio update here.

I am not a shopper (which is an extreme understatement). I would pretty much like to spend my time doing almost anything else. Much to my teenage daughter’s chagrin, we went to the mall only once or twice a year. It was usually to get back-to-school clothes and to do Christmas shopping. When my mother took me shopping for clothes as a youngster, she claims that she could tell when my eye color turned from green to ‘grey’ that she was done and we had to leave and come back another time. While we may have been tempted to just grab anything and go, most of the time we did not.

Recently I had a great customer experience when someone who said they would call me back that afternoon actually did. Why did that surprise me? Because it is so rare.

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