From Buying Cheaper to Spending Smarter

Procurement professionals are instrumental to the success of organizations. They are accountable for innumerable initiatives ranging from solicitation to evaluation of suppliers plus everything that falls in between. Procurement has a significant impact on the organization as a whole – congealing its spot at the management roundtable.

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The Future of Procurement: Save, Innovate and Outperform

Over the past two decades, procurement has made great strides in transitioning from a transactional, back-office function to a strategic, value-adding organization. However, the hard work is far from over. Procurement has fought to get a seat at the table with c-level executives, but now it’s time for procurement to prove that it deserves that seat and can keep it.

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COVID-19 Business & Technology Implications & Recommendations

This content was posted on the Thinkers 360 Blog on June 13, 2020 What are your predictions for COVID-19 in terms of business and technology implications and recommendations for executives over the ne...
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Recommended Webinars August 20-24: Unlocking Digital Value, Collaborative Center of Excellence, Fundamental Negotiation Philosophies

It was really hard selecting just three events to recommend this week – even the webinars that I’m not highlighting below sound fantastic. They include a Supply Chain Now Radio event on attracting top supply chain talent and an ISM/LexisNexis event on applying the PESTLE framework. We also have ProcureCon Direct taking place in San Diego, CA on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you’re planning a little further out, I recommend “How a Leading Wine Producer Is Making Digital Order Management a Reality” from HfS Research on September 6th at 11am ET. Come for the wine, stay for the digitalization.

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 July 16-20: Looking at the Gender Pay Gap and Finding Hidden Supply Base Value

This week’s webinar cover a wide range of topics, with a healthy dose of creativity scooped on top! If you’re planning a little further out, I’d like to invite you to join me for a panel-format webinar hosted by Tradeshift on August 16th at 2pm ET: The 5 Most Expensive Mistakes AP Can Make – And How To Avoid Them. Dena Weinstein, Global Controller at Tradeshift, Richard Porcaro, VP Procurement at ChainIQ and I will discuss how AP teams can become a driving force for positive cash flow. Mark your calendar!

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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4 Buyer Types: Bureaucrat, Cost Killer, Innovator, and Business Developer

Can buyers create value for customers and reduce costs?

 

The two main objectives of a buyer in most organizations are:

  1. Reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or Life Cycle Costs (LCC)
  2. Creating value for Intermediate or Final Clients

 

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership or Life Cycle Costs

Often involves lowering prices, but not always; sometimes to save more you need to spend more on a per item basis. If you buy a razor for $1 and you can use it for 10 shaves, it is 100% more expensive than a razor for $2 that you can use for 40 shaves. This example is simple but true and captures the distinction between price and cost.

Sometimes involves reducing unnecessary or excessive consumption (i.e. waste). If companies roll out a course that trains employees with company cars to drive more economically and ecologically, it is possible to save money. A trained driver whose vehicle only consumes 7 gallons of fuel per 100 miles instead of 7.7 allows the company to reduce their fuel costs by 10% (excluding the costs related to the training, which are to be deducted).

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Recent Comments
Guest — CleanMark Labels
This was a great article! Love how you define a ladder, in a sense, showing the potential that a buyer can aspire to. It's a great... Read More
Thursday, 26 October 2017 16:05
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Book Review: Building Effective Value Chains

A value chain is the overall set of internal and external resources – human, physical, financial and informational – that require to be marshalled and managed in order to achieve the objectives of any organization. (p. 2)

Building Effective Value Chains: Value and Its Management by Tom McGuffog provides an almost completely unexpected perspective on the meaning of value and value chains as well as how they should be nurtured in a variety of contexts. I chose the word ‘nurtured’ deliberately; McGuffog makes the point that this book is for “students” in a wide range of disciplines extending far beyond a corporate setting. The attention he pays to humanity and the “value of human life” in his discussions of value and values is so compassionate that I found myself wondering if McGuffog had switched places with Gyöngyi Kovács, Karen Spens, and Ira Haavisto who edited Supply Chain Management for Humanitarians how the two books might have turned out differently.

 

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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 11/23 – 11/27: A Veritable Feast of Talent and Value

I thought for sure that this week would be devoid of events – between last week’s early schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. on Thursday. To the contrary, there is a full slate of webinars on a series of hot procurement topics. 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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Book Review: Strategic Procurement

“To succeed in business is more complex than it used to be - it is no longer economically desirable to control all the components of your customer value proposition.” (p. 6)

 

Strategic Procurement by Caroline Booth (Kogan Page, November 2014) is a second edition, updated from its original release in 2010. Before I even get into the book’s content, I think it is worth reflecting upon the pace at which the procurement profession is changing. In the four years since Booth first released this book, there have indeed been significant changes in economies and business dynamics, requiring equally significant adjustments in procurement. In the preface, Booth calls out her increased focus on risk and the improved position of procurement, as well as enough changes in M&A involvement to add a whole chapter on it.

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Book Review: The Procurement Value Proposition

“Although procurement has certainly evolved from its early roots, it still faces challenges in terms of executive recognition, talent management and organizational challenges. Modern enterprises are faced with a massive set of new challenges, including the forces of globalization, increased risk, complex supply chains, and the spread of government regulation on decision making, not to mention the tremendous strain of man’s presence on the earth’s natural resources.” (p. 1)

 

The Procurement Value Proposition (Kogan Page, December 2014) takes on some of the most pressing challenges facing procurement today and makes them seem both more comprehensible and realistically addressable. As acknowledged in the quote above, taken from the book’s introduction, procurement has evolved significantly since the early days when we got our start in the railroad industry. The problem we must own today is that the organizations we support have evolved faster and more dramatically than we have. What procurement needs is a better understanding of how to fuel our development.

 

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Is Procurement Crate Trained?

“Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog's den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.”

Humane Society

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Proving Procurement’s Strategic Value, Part 1

This is the first in a two-part series. Part 2 will run on Thursday, September 11th.

These days, with tightened budgets and enlarged job expectations, it’s important for CPOs, purchasing managers, and buyers to know how to prove their strategic value to the organization. This can be a huge challenge for most people. Knowing how to market yourself is extremely important, particularly if you want to move up in your career. We’ve all seen less talented people get promoted, simply because they are better at managing their image to supervisors and internal stakeholders.

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Webinar Notes: Creating Shareholder Value from Supplier Relationships

 

This week’s webinar notes are from a recent Directworks webinar titled ‘Creating Shareholder Value from Supplier Relationships’. The webinar and slides are available on demand on Directworks’ site or you can download a whitepaper with the same title that builds on the content of the webinar.

 

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