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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Recommended Webinars March 30-April 3: AI and Legal Efficiency, the Power of the RFP, and Shift Happens!

This week and last week were incredibly busy, quickly filling up with COVID-19 webinars and in-person events going personal. Now that we’ve gotten through the initial blast, it looks like things may be slowing down for the month of April. I’ll continue updating the calendar weekly, adding events as I learn about them.

If you are planning your schedule further ahead, I recommend, How to Quarantine Your 3rd Party Relationships (IACCM, Determine) on April 7th at 11am ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars March 23-27: Career Sponsorship, Performance Measurement, Live Forums for the New Norm

When life hands you lemons… right? On the one hand, we’re all trapped in our homes with spouses, kids, and pets, trying to make sense of this new reality. On the other hand, I’ve never had so many pleasant, optimistic calls with colleagues in my whole life. This is and amazing and resilient community! Oh, and there are 12 webinars this week – 6 of which I added to the calendar yesterday.

If you are planning your schedule further ahead, I’m going to go big picture this week… I recommend going back to the office and sending your kids back to the school. Go to a store, meet a friend for lunch, HUG… shake hands… date TBA.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars March 16-20: Strategic S2P, Key Supply Chain Capabilities, Adapting to Coronavirus

I am still tracking updates to live events throughout the procurement industry and listing them here. It is safe to assume that most March events are not taking place, but we are also starting to see cancellations about April events as well.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend “Benchmark Your Digital Innovation Maturity” from Siemens on March 24th. They are a webinar host we haven’t featured before, and the event will focus on recent research into the digital maturity of 150 companies.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars March 9-13: How to Operationalize and Adopt Intelligent Automation

You’ve probably heard that many industry events – not just in procurement – are being cancelled out of an abundance of caution in the face of the coronavirus threat. I’m tracking some of those updates here, and I will continue to update that post as additional information becomes available. All of the events affected so far are this month, but there are quite a few events on the calendar for April and May, and we’re watching for decisions and news about those.

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The February ISM-New York Report on Business: Short Term Upturn

The February ISM-New York Report on Business was released on March 3rd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download pdfhere. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

In February, New York City purchasing managers reported improved Current Business Conditions, Current Revenues, and prices paid.

Current Business Conditions rose for the second month in a row, reaching a 10-month high of 51.9 in February, up from 45.8 in January. 

The Six-Month Outlook fell for the second consecutive month, reaching 53.8 in February, down from the 3-month low of 57.3 reported in January. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

Employment, a seasonally adjusted index, fell for the second month in a row, coming in below the breakeven point at 49.3, down 6.8 points from the 56.1 reported in January. 

Quantity of Purchases continued to edge downward, reaching a 5-month low of 41.7 in February, down from 43.1 in January. 

Top line and forward revenue guidance moved in opposite directions for the fourth consecutive month. Current Revenues was the biggest mover in February, rising 16.9 points to reach a 9-month high of 58.3, up from a 4-month low of 41.4 in January. Expected Revenues fell to 50.0, the same level reported in December, after a 1-month increase to 64.3 in January.

Prices Paid fell to a 29 month low of 54.2 in February (referencing 52.3 in September of 2017). This index fell 13.9 points from January's 4-month high finding of 68.1.

Further Consideration

“Of all the factors increasing uncertainty, I think the coronavirus outbreak has the greatest potential to negatively impact global business conditions in February. The US stock market dropped in response to the virus’ spread on January 27th, but rebounded midweek as corporations reported strong earnings. As the virus spreads and manufacturing and travel are further impacted, there is no telling what the full fallout will be, or when it will end.” – Commentary on the January ISM-New York Report on Business

I wrote that comment about the risk of the coronavirus and its impact on supply chains one month ago, so you can appreciate my apprehension when I received the file of February survey responses. And yet, I see this month’s report as an indication of quiet confidence. Sure, concerns remain about the spread of the virus and how it will affect business performance as far out as the Holiday shopping season, but it is not time to panic yet.

In another risk-averse measure of business confidence, the DOW set a single-day point record on Monday, rebounding after a down week to gain over 1,290 points. Your personal explanation of that may depend on your point of view, but the markets hate uncertainty. In fact, at this point, the greatest danger may be from the overreaction itself. Medical masks, widely derided as ineffective in the face of the coronavirus threat, are now running short in places where they are both needed and effective. That is a self-imposed hurdle.

New York Metro purchasing managers took an interesting turn this month. The long-term view represented by the Six-Month Outlook and Expected Revenues has been outpacing Current Business Conditions and Current Revenues for months and months. Not in February. This month the longer-term uncertainty caused everyone to see conditions for what they are – pretty darn good, considering.

Remember to check back in with me on Thursday, April 2nd for the release of the March ISM-New York Report on Business. 

The 2020 Report Release Schedule is as follows:

January 3

February 4

March 3

April 2

May 4

June 2

July 2

August 4

September 2

October 2

November 3

December 2

About the ISM-New York Report on Business

Like ISM’s national report, the ISM-New York Report on Business is compiled as diffusion indices –we add the percent of positive responses to one-half of those responding that conditions remained the same.  A reading of 50.0 means no change from the prior month, greater than 50.0 indicates a faster pace of activity, and less than 50.0 a slower rate. Each month is not so much a reading of the current level of activity as it is an indication of growth or contraction from the previous month. 

A note specific to the New York Metro area, where all of this report’s respondants are located: they are predominantly in professional services industries. It is important to keep this in mind when we think about the context for the trends being reported by these particular purchasing managers.

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Recommended Webinars March 2-6: Supply Chain Ecosystems, Agility, Intelligence, and Risk Trends

When we start to have spring weather, it can only mean one thing: the spring conference season is not far behind. This year ISM’s annual conference will be in Boston – my hometown – and so I’m looking forward to meeting many connections that have only been virtual until now. If you are going to ISM, you may want to check out the 2020 ExecIn, hosted by Corcentric. ExecIn is a private, invitation-only conference where supply management senior executive leaders gather for networking, panel discussions, strategic educational sessions on current hot topics and networking with fellow thought leaders.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend “How Best-in-Class Organizations Leverage Intelligent Automation” from Everest Group on March 12th at 10am ET.  

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars February 24-28: Beyond Benchmarking, Global Risk, and The Decade of Data

This week started out looking kind of bleak, and then at the last minute there were several excellent additions to the events calendar. I’ve recommended what I see as the best below, but you can look at the full calendar to see what else is scheduled this week and into March.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend “Top 10 Supply Chain Risk Trends in 2020 – The Big Reveal” from Supply Chain Now and Resilience360 on March 5th at 11am ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars February 17-21: Minimizing Tail Spend and RPA Ease of Use

The following are our webinar recommendations for the coming week – selected based on topics and speakers. If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend “Managing Supply Ecosystems“ from IACCM on March 2 at 11am ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars February 10-14: Contract Action, BiC Contingent Workforce, C-Level Digital Initiatives

For anyone in the Atlanta, GA area who wants to meet an amazing group of procurement professionals, you’ll want to check out the ProcuremenTalks event this Wednesday from 6-8:30pm: Procurement Nightmares, Trainwrecks & Meltdowns: Tales of Lessons Learned.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend “Southwest Airlines Gets Jiffy With Automation: An Underdog RPA Tale Driven By Cultural Fit And Ease Of Use” from HfS Research and Jiffy.ai on February 20th at 11am ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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The January ISM-New York Report on Business: Current Conditions Still Underwater

The January ISM-New York Report on Business was released on February 4th at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here: pdf2020_ISM-NewYork_January_ROB_v02.pdf. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

In January, New York City purchasing managers reported Current Business Conditions that - while improved - still failed to reach the breakeven point.

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Recommended Webinars February 3-7: Talent Management, Purposeful Procurement and the Future of Spend Management

In addition to the webinars listed below, this is the first week of the month – meaning all of the economic reports come out. The ISM Manufacturing Report on Business comes out today, followed by the Non-Manufacturing Report on Business on Wednesday. ISM-New York’s Report on Business is in between on Tuesday, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report will be out on Friday. 

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend Supply Chain Now’s Interactive Global Forum on March 25th at 3pm ET. They are holding an open-door session to discuss the key trends and developments taking place across the global end-to-end supply chain community.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars January 27-31: Digital Transformation for Procurement in the Real World

One commonality that I’ve noticed in webinars, blog posts and discussions recently is that digital transformation is getting REAL this year. No more nonsense. We’re over the hype, past the buzz and bored by the generalized razzle dazzle (jazz hands!). Expect to see more of this in 2020… as procurement gets smarter, service and solution providers will have to overcome our skepticism and critical thinking, focusing on the reality of digital transformation and the hard work required to make it successful.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend ‘Supporting C-Level Digital Initiatives with Business Spend Management’ from Coupa and Mickey North Rizza, IDC’s Vice President of Enterprise Applications Research.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars January 20-24: Stakeholder Engagement, Managing Risk in the 2020s and Career Progression

In addition to the virtual events listed below, I added a big ‘IRL’ event to the calendar this week. The Atlanta Supply Chain Awards are being hosted in part by our friends at the Supply Chain Now podcast. They are now taking registrations as well as nominations for multiple award categories. Click here to learn more.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend ‘Trends and Innovations in Print’ from Sarah Scudder and the team at Procurement Foundry on February 5th at 1pm ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars January 13-17: 2020 Contracts, Successful Supplier Collaboration and AI for Inventory Management

Happy new year everyone! We’re officially back after a holiday break that was far busier than I would have expected. Not only are there quite a few events listed for January, I’ve already been adding events to February.

If you are planning your webinar schedule further ahead, I recommend ‘Managing Risk in the Next Decade’from riskmethods’ General Manager of North America Bill DeMartino on January 21st.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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The December ISM-New York Report on Business: Happy new year?

The December ISM-New York Report on Business was released on January 3rd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download here. Please see the end of this commentary for additional information about the ISM-New York Report on Business.

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Let there be peace on earth...

…and let it begin with me.

I don’t know if you’ve seen (or remember) the Christmas commercial Microsoft made a few years ago. I get chills every single time I watch it. I’ll put the YouTube version below (click through to watch it on YouTube) – it is well worth 2 minutes of your time and MUST be watched with audio to get the full effect. Make sure you continue watching until the very end or you’ll miss the best part.

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An Introduction to SOW Management, Part 2

In part 1 of this series, we explained SOW management and described the common challenges currently face with it. In this post, we will describe the benefits of outsourcing SOW management to the organization as a whole and to the many individual stakeholder groups.

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Recommended Webinars December 16-20: Reimagining Procurement, Human Transformation and Self Sourced Talent

Well, believe it or not, this is the final set of weekly webinar recommendations of 2019. We listed 239 webinars on the calendar, which – if there would be 1 per day – would cover 65% of the days of the year, and 92% of the weekdays. As of right now, I believe my first recommendations of 2020 will be released on Monday, January 13th

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Low Hanging Fruit & The Snowball Effect in Digital Procurement Transformations

Talk to any procurement leader in an international company and you’ll hear some common issues being raised. The lure of technology (especially big data and AI) and dangled carrots of opportunity to digitally transform the whole procurement function are all great but hard facts are getting in the way.

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Recommended Webinars December 9-13: Talent Crisis, Digital-Led Transformation and Workforce in the Age of Automation

This is an incredibly busy week – 10 webinars in four days. Looks like 2019 is going to go out with a bang! So put on your cozy socks and dig out your mug Snuggie (see how I did that, tying everything into the image above?) and settle in for a webinar by a warm fire.

The first 2020 events are starting to go up as well, so don’t hesitate to keep an eye on January. Speaking of which, if you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “The dos and don’ts of stakeholder engagement & collaboration” from Proactis and Peter Smith on January 21st.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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