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

Recommended Webinars November 18-22: Procurement Vision, Digital Readiness and Next Level Contract Management

The pace of the year will really pick up from here… I won’t have any recommendations next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, and then there are just three weeks of events left in the year. December is starting to fill in, so take a look ahead – there are some great events up already.

In particular, I recommend “The Psychology of Change” being hosted by The Myers-Briggs organization on December 5th. While it isn’t specifically for a procurement audience, it is a great opportunity to think about change management from a group and individual personality perspective.

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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Empowering Procurement to Drive M&A Activity

The uncertainty surrounding Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) can be frightening for all employees involved, but often overlooked is the potential a merger can bring for procurement to hit the “RESET” button – both with their internal procedures and with their suppliers. With common M&A buzzwords like “increasing shareholder value” and “synergies” thrown around by management, procurement is provided with an abundance of short term cost-saving opportunities.

In this post, I’ll outline the steps, tips, and strategies procurement can use to generate cost savings during M&A activity and boost that ever sought after shareholder value.

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The Material Cost Benefits of Full Workforce Visibility

Between the new technologies available and the tidal wave of talented individuals with people analytics experience, companies can now see their entire workforce in new and exciting ways. But while most organizations recognize the benefits of full workforce visibility, their efforts stall when those that need it can’t clearly articulate the benefits to company leaders and decision-makers.

While there are a number of ancillary benefits of full workforce visibility (e.g. worker quality improvements, access to talent, vendor performance comparisons) this article focuses on the different ways an organization can leverage new levels of visibility to drive cost savings.

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Setting the Foundation: Preparing Spend Data for a Procurement Metrics Program

Metrics are a critical aspect of measuring the success of any business function. The importance of quantifying progress against goals and objectives cannot be overstated. Without a metrics program, underperforming organizations are unable to target functional areas that require improvement, and growing organizations are unable to set goals or scale resources to align with the changing state.

Because procurement organizations are often challenged by stakeholder resistance and a lack of executive-level sponsorship, metrics are key to demonstrating value. Sourcing efficiencies, cost savings, stakeholder satisfaction, and overall procurement ROI are just the starting point for capturing bottom line impact. While these are often viewed as the foundation for a metrics program, the final structure can’t be established without being certain of data quality and availability.

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The Secret of the Procurement Director

It had been a particularly hard week for the whole team. Factory audits had been going on with the accuracy of a Swiss watch (plane, factory, hotel, plane, factory, hotel...). That Friday night we were isolated by a storm that had canceled our flight home and left us stuck in an airport hotel, not knowing what day it was or when we would get back. Our ‘batteries’ were very low.

Only Avi, our expert sales agent, strengthened by a thousand negotiations, seemed to be fresh as a lettuce.

Around the crackling of the chimney, while the storm whipped outside, we all tried to shelter ourselves in hot cups of coffee, seeking the strength to recover our spirits.

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Blockchain: Disrupting Procurement and the Supply Chain

If you have heard a lot about blockchain but don't really know what it is, you're not alone. The success of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has given blockchain a major leap forward. But cryptocurrencies aren't the only place where blockchain technology makes itself useful. It can completely disrupt procurement and supply chain operations. First, however, it's important to have a bird's eye view of blockchain.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for Jan 23-27: Cash Flow, Data Speed, 2017 Trends and Predictions

There are a dozen events taking place this week – many of which seem to have been planned to incorporate a big picture vision for the new year. The really amazing thing is that even with so many webinars taking place, there is very little topical overlap. Scan the titles of this week’s webinars and you’ll have an appreciation of the full range of subjects touched on by procurement on a regular basis. 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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