A Tough Talk: Identifying Dysfunction to Clear the Way for New Ideas

In 2015, MyPurchasingCenter talked to William Moore, Senior Vice President, Sales and Channel Development at SKF USA. Moore sees value in frank discussions between procurement and suppliers, especiall...
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Engineered Products as Commodities? It’s Time to Rethink Procurement Metrics

Procurement teams that use the Internet to research highly engineered components and then select a lower-priced alternative product may think they’re doing a good job, especially if they are measured on how well they manage cost. Yet they may unknowingly be putting their companies at risk.

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As a Purchasing Professional Do You Need to Acquire Sales Skills?

Procurement and sales are two vital business functions with varied processes that are often described as opposites. Some companies may find these two departments at odds with each other as they argue which one is more important for the vitality of the organization.

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Book Review: The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs. Procurement

“The only time they don’t say ‘Drop your pants’  now is at the Christmas party.” (p. 10, Epstein on sales' common interations with procurement))   The Ultimate Showdown Sales vs Procurement:...
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Recommended Webinars July 30 – August 3: Overall Spend Management and a Little Help for Outreach Challenged Suppliers

This week and next are slow in terms of virtual events, maybe because we’re changing the calendar to August on Wednesday? There is a live event though – ProcureCon Contingent Staffing taking place in Minneapolis, MN on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll also be releasing the July ISM-New York Report on Business results and commentary on Thursday, so the week isn’t going to be completely quiet.

If you’re planning a little further out, I recommend “Fundamental Philosophies in Negotiation for Buyer and Seller”, being hosted by SCN Radio, TalentStream, and APICS Atlanta and presented by my good friend Mark Bilgin on August 24th. Sign up now while you’re thinking of it!

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 for June 19-23: Hidden Savings, S&OP, and Services Complexity

In addition to the live events below, Odesma is hosting a live event in London, “Making Procurement Transformation Deliver.” Confirmed speakers include Harry Wiltshire, Professional Athlete, Market Dojo, Provalido and Procurement PeopleCloud. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Business Performance Benchmarking for Sales and Procurement

This is the transcript from a recent interview with Donal Daly, CEO of Altify. To listen to the podcast on BMP Radio, click here.

Kelly: Hello, and thank you for joining us today. This is Kelly Barner, Editor at Buyers Meeting Point. Today I would like to welcome Donal Daly. Donal is the founder and CEO of Altify, a provider of enterprise sales methodology for enterprise database sales organizations. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best seller "Account Planning in Salesforce" and the recently released "Tomorrow Today: How AI Impacts How We Work, Live, and Think.
 
Altify recently opened the response period for the 2017 Business Performance Benchmark Study and Buyers Meeting Point is one of a carefully chosen group of partners working to encourage participation, as well as learning from the study's results. The study, which is now open through December 21st, will examine revenue considerations, top priorities, and the metrics that we can use to gauge progress. All participants will receive a copy of the report, including results, analysis, and insights. It only takes 10 minutes to share your opinion, and I will make sure to share a participation link on today's Blog Talk Radio episode page. So, Donal, first of all, thank you so much for joining me today.
 
Donal: Hi Kelly. Nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

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Book Review: Confessions of a Professional Buyer

“Buyers have a privileged position within companies and are exposed to innovative ideas from suppliers often developing their own sense of curiosity. Although not all buyers have realized it yet, they are expected to contribute to the innovation process.” (p. 25)

 

Confessions of a Professional Buyer: The Secrets About Selling & Purchasing Services, by Hubert Lachance, is something like a survival guide for suppliers dealing with procurement – and vice versa. Lachance has over a decade’s worth of experience managing indirect spend for a multi-national CPG company, and he applies that experience to help all buyers and sellers work together more productively.

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Book Review: Tomorrow Today

“Because technology has become an extension of the knowledge worker’s business and personal life, it has become apparent that to separate the two is not just pointless, it is impossible.” (p. 15)

 

Tomorrow Today: How Ai Impacts How We Work, Live And Think
(And It’s Not What You Expect) by Donal Daly, CEO of Altify, is exactly my kind of book. Not only does it discuss recent developments in automation and AI and illustrate their impact on business and society through recent news stories, it is so full of enthusiasm for the future that it must have been written by someone with a background in sales.

Targeted at ‘knowledge workers’, this book addresses the challenges and opportunities faced across functions – sales, marketing, procurement, finance, etc. Will the rise of the machines eliminate the need for professionals who see themselves as strategic and value oriented today? Will humans and AI (Augmented rather than Artificial using Daly’s definition) settle into a kind of symbiosis that harnesses the advantages of each into a powerful combined capability? These questions – which might be dark and intimidating in a different context – are addressed head on and without hesitation.

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Would You Buy From You?

If you were to review your own procurement team’s achievements and capabilities from the perspective of a customer, would you buy from you?

The principle of using an internal business function which is currently a cost centre, and turning it into an revenue generating business proposition, is not new. Examples can be found in most areas ranging from IT through to Finance. The principle is based on creating such a leading business function others will pay to use.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/16 - 20

In addition to the events below, Jon Hansen and I are presenting an IACCM webinar on Thursday on an unconventional topic: Picture of Dorian Gray, Procurement Pro. Hopefully you can join us! As to my other recommendations, click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/28–10/2: Unique Perspectives on Familiar Topics

There are so many events this week that it was hard to pick which ones to recommend. The ones that I did actually pick offer something unique in terms of perspective or ‘angle’. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Would Sales Describe Your Procurement Approach as ‘Peter Price’ or ‘Valerie Value’?

Elliot Epstein, CEO of Salient Communications, has partnered with organizations such as CIPS in the past to help sales and procurement professionals better understand each other. He has also done a series of podcasts on Sales vs Procurement with Paul Rogers – a three decade procurement professional that Epstein describes as the leading procurement coach in Australia.

He talked about the podcast series as well as the sales procurement divide in a YouTube interview titled Dealing with the Rising Power of Procurement.

For my podcast on the topic, including guest audio from YouTube, visit Blog Talk Radio or Sound Cloud.

The sales vs procurement divide has always been an interesting one. Who is really in the power position? How accurate is each side’s understanding of the actions and motives of the other?

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Webinar Notes: Key Trends of Advanced Analytics

These notes are from a September 2nd webinar presented by Alexander Linden, Research Director at Gartner. The event is available on demand and can be viewed here. You don’t have to be a hard core analyst to benefit from this event – the take aways were interesting and applicable to procurement even though it wasn’t a procurement-specific event.

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Death of a Software Salesman

Arthur Miller’s 1949 play ‘Death of a Salesman’ is often listed as one of America’s finest and most influential stage dramas of the twentieth century. It was a tale that conveyed the American Dream but was interlaced with flashbacks that betrayed the contrast between illusion and reality. The Enterprise software sector echoes this drama in numerous ways and shares its inevitable ending.

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Book Review: Buying and Selling Information

Buying and Selling Information, by career salesperson Michael L. Gruenberg, is a guide to help buyers of information services (think subscription-based online databases). Beyond this very specific case, Gruenberg has good advice to offer buyers and sellers of any product or service. He is a salesperson who ‘gets it’ – or understands the need for buyers and sellers to work together for their mutual benefit, and for the benefit of their organizations. In his own words, “It’s all about equal footing, momentum, and success” (xviii).

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