Supplier Relationships

For anyone who has read the other books in the Vested Outsourcing series, Getting to We (published in August 2013) is the logical next step in the pursuit of more collaborative, value-based relationships between supply partners. A better way to think of the book might actually be as a ‘prequel’ to the others, stepping back in time to explain how to reach the point where you are working in a Vested relationship. Getting to We is the connection between the vision of Vested Outsourcing and the negotiating tactics necessary to turn the vision into a reality.

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This week’s featured event was hosted by SciQuest and featured Spend Matters Lead Analyst Thomas Kase and a case study by German Torres of FMC Technologies, a $6B oil and gas company. You can view the event on demand here or register to download the accompanying white paper.

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This week’s featured webinar was a Procurement Leaders Thought Leaders event on the topic of supplier relationship management. Innovation with suppliers is a critical component of competitive advantage, but in order to turn potential into performance procurement needs a plan. In this webinar, we heard from Hubwoo, BMO Harris Bankcorp, and P&G about supplier segmentation, key success factors, and achieving innovation.

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Earlier this year, we reviewed ‘Vested Outsourcing’, the first book in what has become a series of publications by Kate Vitasek and her colleagues on the evolving potential of mutually beneficial relationships between companies and their suppliers. ‘Vested Outsourcing’ was followed by ‘The Vested Way’, and ‘The Vested Outsourcing Manual’. Kate’s latest publication is ‘Vested: How P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships.’ I’ll include some background as well as an overview of the Vested philosophy at the end of this review. I encourage you to read my review of ‘Vested Outsourcing’ and to purchase one or all of the books in the series.

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This week’s featured webinar was hosted by ISM with contributions from Constantine Limberakis, Senior Analyst in the Global Supply Management practice at Aberdeen Group, and John Lark, Director of Solutions Marketing at Ariba. If you are interested in the subject but didn’t make it to the webinar, you can download a related Aberdeen Group report on ISM’s site. You can also follow Constantine @ABG_SpendMngmt or John @AribaProcure on Twitter.

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At Buyers Meeting Point, we often have opportunities to recommend the publications we have read, reviewed and endorsed to our supply management colleagues. Vested Outsourcing by Kate Vitasek is one of the easiest books to recommend, not because it is excellently written – although it is, but because questions constantly arise in discussion groups and forums around strategic outsourcing relationships with suppliers and how to make them work.

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On Wednesday, the Sustainable Business Forum hosted "Supplier Management - Social Responsibility" presented by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The Sustainable Business Forum is a platform for the voices of leading experts and promotes constructive discussions on business sustainability, focusing on the crucial topics that make up the core of sustainable business strategy.

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Any BMP member involved with an outsourcing initiative, whether it involves offshoring or not, will find this book an indispensable resource. Authors Brown and Wilson include a multitude of quotable statistics that can be used in executive presentations as well as practical tools for completing the day to day work in outsourcing projects.

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Thanks to the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, one of today’s largest procurement/sales challenges is easy to put into words. We talk about the need for partnerships and collaboration, but how often do we successfully take the effort beyond talk so that it includes open and productive conversation with our reps and supplier account managers?

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This week’s featured event was sponsored by Supply & Demand Chain Exec: Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that will Transform Outsourcing. The main speaker was Kate Vitasek from the University of Tennessee’s Center for Executive Education. She is also the Founder of Supply Chain Visions – a Top 10 Boutique Consulting firm specializing in Supply Chain Management and the author of a new book, Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that will Transform Outsourcing.

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The more complex societies get and the more complex the networks of interdependence within and beyond community and national borders get, the more people are forced in their own interests to find non-zero-sum solutions. That is, win–win solutions instead of win–lose solutions.... Because we find as our interdependence increases that, on the whole, we do better when other people do better as well — so we have to find ways that we can all win, we have to accommodate each other....

—Bill Clinton, Wired interview, December 2000.[3]

 

Applying proper motivational techniques can be much harder than it seems. Steven Kerr notes that when creating a reward system, it can be easy to reward A, while hoping for B, and in the process, reap harmful effects that can jeopardize your goals.

-Wikipedia, Incentive Theory

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This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is an excerpt from th Wikipedi page on Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the American statistician that taught post WWII Japan to manage quality, but wasn't discovered in the U.S. until the very end of his career. Not many business strategies would survive that kind of test of time, but his does.

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This week I attended a webinar by Ariba and ISM on collaborative sourcing. And in this case, the collaboration ended up being not with the competition or others in the supply chain, but with between procurement and internal stakeholders. Not what I had thought (thanks a lot, Google. We'll talk later...) but still a valid topic and just as tricky.

The following are some of my notes on the webinar. Click here to connect to the archive.

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This week BMP attended Gartner’s webinar titled ‘The Comprehensive Guide to Effective Vendor Management’ with Research VP Helen Huntley. Below are our notes. The archived recording can be found here.

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