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Kelly Barner

Owner, Managing Director at Buyers Meeting Point, LLC

Boston, MA, United States

11899 Followers

Kelly Barner is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point. She has a unique perspective on procurement from the numerous roles she has held during her 15 years in procurement. Kelly worked for Ahold USA (parent company of grocery chains Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Giant Landover, and more) on their not for resale sourcing team, specializing in systems implementation and hired services category sourcing. She spent three years as the Associate Director of consulting services at Emptoris before it was acquired by IBM in 2011.

Since 2009 she has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point. Buyers Meeting Point provides the procurement industry with an events calendar, blog, active social media network, and podcast, all of which are trusted sources of information for practitioners and solution providers alike. Kelly has several regular columns throughout the industry, and in the summer of 2016 was appointed to become the Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business.

Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Kelly has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals: Research, Process, and Resources’ (2014), ‘Procurement at a Crossroads: Career Impacting Insights into a Rapidly Changing Industry’ (2016), and 'Finance Unleashed: Leveraging the CFO for Innovation' (2017). In 2017, Kelly co-founded Palambridge with Phil Ideson (Art of Procurement).

Available For: Authoring, Influencing
Travels From: Boston, MA

Kelly BarnerPoints
Academic0
Author414
Influencer155
Speaker23
Entrepreneur40
Total632

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Individual

Areas of Expertise

Analytics 30.34
Digital Transformation 36.48
Fintech 50.43
Procurement 91.88
Supply Chain 80.56
Big Data 30.51
AI 30.71
Emerging Technology 30.51
Leadership 31.06
Innovation 30.87
Sustainability 31.03
Digital Disruption 30.55
Management 38.88
Culture 30.15
Customer Experience 30.34
Autonomous Vehicles 30.93
Change Management 30.67
Design Thinking 30.10
Blockchain 30.46
Risk Management 34.72
Retail 30.22
Cryptocurrency 30.38
Business Strategy 30.48
Marketing 30.10
Entrepreneurship 33.53
Business Continuity 32.48
COVID19 47.87
Agile 30.45
Sales 30.43
Social 30.50
Mobility 30.32
Future of Work 30.22
Startups 30.15
Legal and IP 30.32
RPA 35.74
Diversity and Inclusion 30.38
CSR 31
HR 30.07

Industry Experience

Professional Services
Retail

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Publications

170 Article/Blogs
Negotiating with Indices
Buyers Meeting Point
October 14, 2020
An Index price is a weighted average of the prices of a select basket of goods and services relative to their prices in some base-year. Many industries can be tied to their relative market index. For example, the Chemical Data Index (CDI) provides market data for U.S. plastics, petrochemical and petroleum industries. While entering negotiations with indices being a driving factor behind your suppliers’ cost can be tricky, you should know that all pricing is negotiable. Here are a few key areas to consider when developing a strategy to negotiate a price or service, and improving relationships with your supplier base.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars Oct 12-16: Igniting Transformation through Touchless AP and Business Partnerships
Buyers Meeting Point
October 12, 2020
Before I move into my event recommendations for this week, I want to look back at last week – Art of Procurement Mastermind LIVE was amazing, and it would not have been possible without the energy and expertise of many speakers and organizers. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

If you are planning your procurement webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “How to Avoid Strategic Sourcing Pitfalls and Drive Savings by Integrating Technology and Process” from Coupa and Nitor Partners on October 29th.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

Book Review: Bad Buying
Buyers Meeting Point
October 08, 2020
Bad Buying: How organisations waste billions through failures, frauds and f*ck-ups by Peter Smith offers so many prime examples of ‘bad’ buying, that if you weren’t in procurement, you might question whether ‘good’ buying even existed! Fortunately, his real-life examples cover such a broad range of sectors, geographies, and industries, that even those of us in procurement all get at least one opportunity to chuckle at how much more bad buying ‘they’ do than us!

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

When Managing Direct Spend, the Difference is in the Details
LinkedIn
October 06, 2020
Direct spend is not the same as indirect spend, and it cannot be treated as if it is. Whether it means changes to third-party relationships, processes and data integration, or complexity and risk mindsets, procurement – and their technology and information sources – have to be prepared to meet the challenge.

Being prepared to create maximum value from direct spend means having strategies for managing supplier relationships, tailoring general procurement processes accordingly, and properly assessing and mitigating supply chain risk.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars Oct 5-9: Sourcing Maturity, Risk, and More Risk
Buyers Meeting Point
October 05, 2020
There are two very exciting ‘live’ events taking place this week – both of which I am proud to be involved in,,,

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Tags: Leadership, Risk Management

The September 2020 ISM-New York Report on Business: Continued Adjustment to Uncertainty
Buyers Meeting Point
October 02, 2020
In September, New York City purchasing managers reported significant short-term improvements in Current Business Conditions and Current Revenues against a drop in Six-Month Outlook, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Can Appreciative Inquiry Work for Purchasing?
Buyers Meeting Point
September 30, 2020
Most purchasing professionals have never heard of appreciative inquiry. It is a systematic discovery process to search for what is best or positive in an organization or its strengths. These strengths are then improved upon to create an even stronger and more dynamic organization. Implementing change remains positive and thus springs from an organization’s strengths, not its weaknesses, or deficiencies.

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Tags: Innovation, Leadership, Procurement

Discovering the Importance of Cold Chain Logistics
ATSC Blog
September 28, 2020
Back in the late winter / early fall of 2020, the whole world became intimately familiar with the detailed innerworkings of the supply chain profession. As products such as meat, toilet paper, personal protective equipment (PPE), and cleaning supplies went from available to scarce overnight, consumers learned about warehousing, distribution centers, production schedules, and lean inventory management practices. Although these discoveries were largely the result of temporary system disruptions, they still increased consumer knowledge.

As we emerge from the peak of the COVID-19 crisis and move to ‘the new normal’ of long-term adjustment and recovery, people are about to discover a whole new type of supply chain operation: cold chain logistics.

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Tags: COVID19, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars Sept 28 – Oct 2: Driving Risk Culture and Building Resilience to Catastrophe
Buyers Meeting Point
September 28, 2020
As another month comes to an end, we can expect the schedule of events to pick up. There are 8 webinars and 1 virtual event taking place this week, including our next AOP Live session on Tuesday, featuring Source Day CEO Tom Kieley and Go Kamiyama from NetSuite. Join us if you’d like to ask questions about how procurement can help build supply chain resilience.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

NESCON 2020: A Reimagined Conference for a Restructured World
Buyers Meeting Point
September 28, 2020
Like nearly all other in person industry events, the organizers of the New England Supply Chain Conference and Exposition (NESCON) were faced with a challenge this year. An inability to hold large, in person gatherings would force the event online, but also present an opportunity to reimagine topics and delivery for a post-COVID world.

NESCON 2020 (click here to register or view the full agenda) is being held online October 5-7th, starting at 11am each day. Speakers include returning favorites such as Jeff Carr, President at Economic & Policy Resources, Inc., Andrew Bartolini, Founder and Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners, Pierre Mitchell, Managing Director at Spend Matters, and Jonathan Hughes, Partner and Strategic Sourcing & Supply Chain Management Practice Leader at Vantage Partners.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Leadership

A Tough Talk: Identifying Dysfunction to Clear the Way for New Ideas
Buyers Meeting Point
September 23, 2020
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, especially of the practices procurement has in place to implement and measure results of new ideas submitted by suppliers.

As Moore explains, in organizations there is competition, or internal friction, that works to help the organization improve. That friction usually shows up as challenges different parts of the organization present to one another; these challenges create a drive for the organization to do different things to arrive at better results. The thinking is that you don’t know something is better unless you frequently make changes.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Sales

Recommended Procurement Webinars September 21-25: The New Reality, Industry 4.0, Efficient Supplier Performance Evaluations
Buyers Meeting Point
September 21, 2020
Last week, I ‘worked the switchboard’ for an AOP Live session with Christopher Sawchuk from The Hackett Group and Vishal Patel at Ivalua. EPSNews did a fantastic write up on the event, and they captured the essence of the challenge procurement faces today in their very first sentence: “Disasters have a way of elevating procurement operations to saviors of the day, week or month. But once a crisis has passed, purchasing reverts back to its identity as a corporate cost center.”

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

What Is This Job Really?
Buyers Meeting Point
September 16, 2020
Go on. Be honest. You’ve read the slickly worded job description and sat through an interview listening to animated energetic, buzz words and you‘re very interested. But at the same time, haven’t you heard your wise inner voice asking, “Do I really know what this job is going to be like? Have I been given a good picture of what it is going to be like reporting to this executive or working with this team?”

Probably not in many interviews. That’s probably why your inner voice is probably shouting that they want someone to “give it to you straight” so you can have a sense of reality.

It might be just me, but I think that despite all of the efforts to write creative job postings, they still sound so clichéd. What happened to the talent acquisition process? We paid attention to recruitment trends. Recruiters and job seekers adapted and wrote branding statements, use clever terminology to repackage ourselves with the hope of generating interest and engaging candidates. I think that while our posting and resumes are a lot more fun to read now, we may not be communicating as well as we think.

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Tags: HR, Management, Procurement

Book Review: The Technology Procurement Handbook
Buyers Meeting Point
September 03, 2020
The Technology Procurement Handbook: A Practical Guide to Digital Buying opens with a preface by author Sergii Dovgalenko. The very first sentence of that preface asks a simple question: “Why would we dedicate the entire book to technology procurement?” He asks this without a hint of sarcasm, and then goes on to make the argument that will be supported and made actionable by the rest of the book. I’ll paraphrase in answering the question: because everything is done through technology today. Everything. That is a hard argument to refute.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Procurement

The August 2020 ISM-New York Report on Business: Not July, But Still an Improvement
Buyers Meeting Point
September 02, 2020
In August, New York City purchasing managers reported a similar trend in Current Business Conditions, Employment, and Current Revenues - a drop from July, but the second highest levels marked since February of 2020.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

What drives the difference in direct spend management?
Buyers Meeting Point
September 02, 2020
Direct spend is not the same as indirect spend, and it cannot be treated as if it is. Whether it means changes to third-party relationships, processes and data integration, or complexity and risk mindsets, procurement – and their technology and information sources – have to be prepared to meet the challenge.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars August 31-Sept 4: Automated S2C, Procurement 2020, Unexpected Joy
Buyers Meeting Point
September 01, 2020
Although we don’t necessarily have much more of a visibility horizon than we’ve had for months, things at least seem to be stabilizing. Events are starting to focus on next year, and they provide a sense of what is within our control. That is far more productive and positive than continuing to focus on everything that is out of control.

If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “2021: Post-Crisis Procurement" from Ivalua and Art of Procurement on September 15th at 11am ET. This event is part of the AOP Live series at Art of Procurement, a live, dynamic, no slides allowed kind of event.

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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Tags: Procurement, Management, Leadership

Book Review: Digital Supply Networks: Transform Your Supply Chain and Gain Competitive Advantage with Disruptive Technology and Reimagined Processes
Buyers Meeting Point
August 28, 2020
Digital Supply Networks: Transform Your Supply Chain and Gain Competitive Advantage with Disruptive Technology and Reimagined Processes by Amit Sinha, Ednilson Bernardes, Rafael Calderon, Thorsten Wuest is far more than I was expecting based on the title. While their focus on digital transformation and competitive advantage comes as no surprise, the authors do an exceptional job of covering every concept in the book from top to bottom, making their strategic point both visionary and actionable.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars August 24-28: Agile Networks, Lost Transformation, Rebooting the Enterprise
Buyers Meeting Point
August 24, 2020
Shift Forward: The key to an agile supply chain is in the network (Tradeshift)

August 26th, 11am ET

Tradeshift is in the midst of a series of “Shift Forward” webinars, and this is part four. Their speakers will go beyond the chain, looking at how supply networks can automate more processes, bring all stakeholder groups into alignment, minimize AP’s ‘hands on’ time, and drive customer success.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, COVID19

WARNING: Dangerous Cargo - A Supply Chain Look at the Beirut Port Explosion
ATSC Blog
August 24, 2020
On August 4th, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate – equivalent to approximately 6 million pounds – that were being stored in a facility at Beirut’s port caught fire and exploded. The human toll of the blast was enormous; the accident killed at least 163 people and injured 6,000 more. Tremendous damage was done to structures at and around the port and surrounding areas. The fact that the storage location was facing the sea is probably the only thing that saved the city of Beirut from total destruction.

The shipment originally arrived on a vessel from the country of Georgia in 2013. Although it was just pausing en route to Mozambique, it was seized and held in the port because of outstanding debts that were claimed in the Lebanese court system. The ship was deemed un-seaworthy in 2014 and the cargo was unloaded into “Hangar 12” where it would remain for nearly 6 years.

It is clear to supply chain professionals that this was a supply chain fail but rather than being one huge failure, the Beirut port explosion was the result of a chain of failures.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

Case Study: Chrysler Purchasing Changes the Supplier Diversity Landscape
Buyers Meeting Point
August 19, 2020
Back in 2012, Chrysler Group allowed a modest-sized company to manage all of the chemicals and related supplies on a trial basis for one of its North American assembly plants. Like any Chrysler supplier, ChemicoMays had to prove itself on cost, quality and its capacity to deliver.

It wasn’t long after that Chrysler gave the company a contract to manage the plant’s chemicals. The company performed so well that within nine months, Chrysler awarded the firm its chemical commodity business for two powertrain plants. In 2014, it was recognized as the top supplier in Chrysler’s indirect procurement organization.

This wouldn’t really qualify as big news in the automotive business except for the fact that ChemicoMays is a certified minority- and veteran-owned business – one of more than 270 such companies (along with women-owned) that do business today with the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based car maker.

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Procurement, Supply Chain

Has COVID-19 created an opportunity to strategically rethink talent?
LinkedIn
August 18, 2020
No company wants to be in the press for laying off or furloughing employees, especially if they could have postponed those hiring decisions altogether. Rather than going through the process of having a position approved, and overcoming obstacles to recruiting, hiring, and onboarding only to have to lay the person off because of another dip in demand, temporary hires support flexible capacity increases and decreases through a cost-effective model. This practice has long been used to address seasonal or business-driven volume surges in call centers, but it can be applied to any type of workforce challenge where capacity requirements are unpredictable.

In addition to responding to today’s unique workforce challenges, contingent workforce presents an opportunity to strategically rethink talent altogether. Market leaders are experimenting with ways to leverage an external workforce in such a way that they take advantage of distributed talent without sacrificing coverage or business requirements. Location is a key lever that can be pulled to source top talent; if the majority of the workforce is currently functioning remotely, the time is right to bring in an external service provider that can meet labor needs with an extremely competitive cost structure.

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Tags: COVID19, Future of Work, Procurement

Recommended Procurement Webinars August 17-21: Digitizing the Supply Chain, Document Understanding, and CSR Sourcing Strategies
Buyers Meeting Point
August 17, 2020
I get a lot of questions about what events I list in the BMP calendar and how I decide what to recommend. I have always believed that the calendar needed to be an industry resource, not a revenue source. BMP receives no money for any of the webinar listings, does not guarantee that any events will be recommended in advance, and does not (knowingly) list demo events. If you have any questions about our listing and recommendation policies, feel free to reach out. Similarly, if you have a thought leadership-based webinar that you think the procurement community would like to know about, please send it my way!

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, CSR

From Buying Cheaper to Spending Smarter
Buyers Meeting Point
August 12, 2020
Over the past few years, Oliver Wyman has interviewed more than 100 CPOs across North America and Europe from a variety of industries. The firm’s global sourcing expertise gave birth to the book, The Procurement Playbook- Strategies and Plays from 100 CPOs. Damien Calderini, CEO and president of entegra Procurement Services and contributor to The Procurement Playbook shared some interesting insights regarding the book with My Purchasing Center.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Engineered Products as Commodities? It’s Time to Rethink Procurement Metrics
Buyers Meeting Point
August 05, 2020
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.

“To save upfront, procurement can make a mistake that can cost significant money,” says William Moore, [Former] Senior Vice President, Sales and Channel Development at SKF USA, in an interview with My Purchasing Center.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Pay Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals by Multiple Market Basket Focus Areas
Buyers Meeting Point
July 29, 2020
Jack Welch once noted that the only two departments that drive revenue directly to the bottom line are sales and procurement. He noted that the other departments were basically overhead. Dr. Thomas (Tom) DePaoli would also include supply chain professionals in this revenue generating group...

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Re-establishing the Enterprise’s Risk Appetite
ATSC Blog
July 27, 2020
Since risk is a reality in business, and ‘certainty’ is an extremely expensive proposition, an enterprise’s appetite for risk has always been measured on a sliding scale. Companies with a low appetite for risk prefer steady predictability to meteoric growth. Companies with a high appetite for risk are willing to experiment and even accept the possibility for failure in pursuit of huge returns. The diversity of global companies and industries allows for both appetites; the question for each leadership team is what their current appetite is and how that affects short term decisions vs. long term planning.

There are many factors that go into determining a company’s risk appetite. Even the most straightforward decisions, such as the background of a job candidate or an alternate component design will be made based on the internal culture around risk.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

The Critical Importance of Contingent Workforce Post-COVID-19
Buyers Meeting Point
July 23, 2020
Strategic management of contract and contingent workforce resources will be essential to business recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread uncertainty all companies face demands creative flexibility and each leadership team will need to find efficient ways to re-open and expand by connecting talent bandwidth with customer demand.

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Tags: Future of Work, Management, Procurement

A Test of Procurement's Agility
LinkedIn
July 23, 2020
Procurement professionals are amongst the most agile individuals in the enterprise. Years of investment in talent, digital capabilities, and agility have allowed procurement to absorb the blows and bridge the divides that might have otherwise brought operations to a standstill. These issues include internal demand and information requirements as well as constant monitoring of the health and viability of our suppliers.

The supply and workforce management challenges that have arisen over the last few months have raised additional new questions. How can companies enable their people to be productive from home immediately and in the longer term? Where are people working from? Who needs the ability to remain on-site? How can the business aggregate approvals quickly so that shipments are not delayed? These are just a few of the issues facing leadership teams today – and many of the best solutions require procurement to outperform prior expectations.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

How to Get to Cleverer Purchasing Decisions
Buyers Meeting Point
July 22, 2020
Jim Barnes talks about technology and the automation of supply chain and procurement in an interview from the MyPurchasingCenter archive.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars July 20-24: Team Contracting, Insourcing, and Protecting Cash and Revenue
Buyers Meeting Point
July 20, 2020
Following is a list of the upcoming webinars that are worth of an hour of your (scarce) time. Some I recommend for the topic, others for the speaker, but all of them will give you something new to think about – and goodness knows, we can all use more good ideas to stand up to the challenges 2020 has handed us.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

How can you be a good negotiator if you have not read the contract?
Buyers Meeting Point
July 15, 2020
“I highly recommend reading the contract,” said Grieco, Senior Partner at Grieco & Scalera PA, adding that procurement also should plan to spend 30 minutes a month meeting with their organization’s lawyer. “The more time you spend with them, the more accessible they will be.”

He continued, “Be dexterous with your contract. Know what’s in it. Every sentence is in there for a reason.”

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars July 13-17: Digital Roadtripping, Race in Industry, Post-Pandemic Automation
Buyers Meeting Point
July 13, 2020
The events continue to roll in – I added another dozen new events to the calendar this week. In addition to the events listed below, I’ll be making the case that procurement is not the ‘enemy’ when it comes to sourcing projects for IT solutions with MyComplianceOffice.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

Sourcing Connectivity: Managing Wireless Spend
Buyers Meeting Point
July 08, 2020
When Wes Bodenhamer wrote about wireless connectivity for MyPurchasingCenter in 2015, he could not possibly have known that his writing would re-emerge from the archives in a time when nearly everything was being managed remotely.

His advice and recommendations ring true today - especially the point that this spend category continues to grow.

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Tags: Mobility, Procurement, Supply Chain

Avoiding Software Purchase Remorse
MyComplianceOffice
July 08, 2020




When a company makes the decision to implement compliance software, the steps they take at the very beginning of the process are likely to determine whether they end up with the right technology. Procurement’s strategic sourcing process provides an effective methodology for identifying, comparing, and selecting a vendor, but it cannot be effective without a solid foundation of objectively set specifications and requirements. Without the right process and inputs, regret is just around the corner.

All software selection projects require care, but compliance software must meet far more specific enterprise needs than most. As a result, the requirements documented at the start of the sourcing process will be highly specific to the purchasing company. No cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approach will do. While the end goal of the sourcing process is to select a compliance software vendor, the first – and most important – phase of the effort is purely internal.

If your company has an experienced procurement team, they will be very familiar with the following three mistakes. Perhaps understanding more about why they are so important will make it easier for the team to select the right compliance software and avoid future buyers’ regret.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Risk Management

Proof of Procurement Agility is Right Before Us
Buyers Meeting Point
July 07, 2020
The supply and workforce management challenges that have arisen over the last few months have raised additional new questions. How can companies enable their people to be productive from home immediately and in the longer term? Where are people working from? Who needs the ability to remain on-site? How can the business aggregate approvals quickly so that shipments are not delayed? These are just a few of the issues facing leadership teams today – and many of the best solutions require procurement to outperform prior expectations.

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Tags: Agile, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars July 6-10: A Post-COVID World, IT Collaboration, and a Summer Reset
Buyers Meeting Point
July 06, 2020
Another week, another 9 new webinars. I think we’re seeing a meaningful shift this week from all-COVID-all-the-time to a longer term look at what’s next, whether that means the economy, changes in how we manage our supply chains, or significant industry restructuring.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

The June ISM-New York Report on Business: Big Changes, Small Changes
Buyers Meeting Point
July 02, 2020
In June, New York City purchasing managers reported significant increases in Current Business Conditions, Six-Month Outlook, and Quantity of Purchases, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Invest in Procurement and Employee Training Not High Priced Consultants
Buyers Meeting Point
July 01, 2020
One of the reasons for using consultants is that companies are spending less and less on employee training and development. Another is that they have a “bare-bones” staff, leaving no breathing room for move-the-business-ahead projects. Investing in people is just not in vogue anymore. Collaboration and team building are favored but employees need the skills, training, and tools, both hard and soft, to excel, not one day zip-lining exercises. Many companies are one-trick-ponies. When a financial or other crisis occurs they first cut people. If it gets worse they then cut more people. This is the exact wrong approach to building employee trust in management.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Management, Procurement

Procurement Is Not Your Enemy
MyComplianceOffice
June 30, 2020

One of the top reasons enterprise decision-makers give for not wanting to work with procurement is the time required to complete the sourcing and vendor selection process. Why is it necessary to have a long, formal evaluation effort when you already know which compliance software provider you want to work with? Can’t procurement just help push through the contract? The frustration with procurement delays is especially pronounced in an era when eCommerce makes nearly any good or service available to us at home within 48 hours, and when SaaS compliance technology can be ‘turned on’ instantly.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Risk Management

The Future of Procurement: Save, Innovate and Outperform
Buyers Meeting Point
June 30, 2020
"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." - Mickey North Rizza from the MyPurchasingCenter archives

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Tags: Business Strategy, Digital Transformation, Procurement

Recommended Procurement Webinars June 29 – July 3: Redefining Jobs, Quality of Influence, Data Categorization
Buyers Meeting Point
June 29, 2020
In addition to the events listed below, this week also marks the release of the ISM-New York Report on Business and other major economic reports. Obviously, we are all watching them closely as they provide yet another month’s worth of insight into the global economy and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

CAN PURCHASING BOOTSTRAP AND LEAD THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN ORGANIZATION?
Buyers Meeting Point
June 24, 2020
Procurement’s role in an organization touches across many departments, suppliers, countries, and competitors. This situation requires that procurement professionals possess excellent communication skills and the ability to quickly adapt to different cultures, perspectives and crises.

Author: Dr. Tom DePaoli, Author & CEO at Apollo Solutions
Editor’s note: This article is part of the MyPurchasingCenter content archive. It was originally published in 2015 and has been revised for length and to reflect changes in terminology use – most specifically, the functional label ‘purchasing’ has been replaced with the word procurement.

Transforming your own organization’s culture is a grueling challenge. Expecting procurement to “bootstrap” or use its own resources rather than external help, in organizational transformation, is a demanding goal. Procurement, however, has many of the qualities and capabilities to act as the prime catalyst for this quest.




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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management, Leadership

Recommended Procurement Webinars June 22-26: Manufacturing Resilience, Supply Chain Fragility, the Metrics that Matter in 2020
Buyers Meeting Point
June 22, 2020
The calendar continues to fill up, and this week I added events that are scheduled well into the month of July. There are 12 events taking place this week alone. Unlike other years, when things slowed down more for the July 4th holiday, there will definitely be event recommendations for the week of June 29-July 3. In addition to the events listed below for this week, I’d like to recommend two longer term events:

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Tags: Procurement

How to Transform “No Thank You” Into A Productive Good-bye
Buyers Meeting Point
June 17, 2020
A savvy candidate should view a job search “no” as an opportunity to continue to self-market and sustain a positive relationship with the organization or recruiter or anyone else they came in contact during the interview process.

In this article, Julienne Ryan provides realistic suggestions about what you can do following a “no.”

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

What Procurement Wants: Manufacturing Executive Roundtable
Buyers Meeting Point
June 11, 2020
Leaders of procurement teams at manufacturing and process companies are decisive. They know what they want in a supplier. They want a supplier with a similar culture and competitive quality, service and delivered cost. They want a supplier to be involved early in the design process and to be forthcoming with new ideas. They want a supplier to collaborate to control costs over the life of a contract.

That [was] the consensus of the Chief Procurement Officers, Procurement Vice Presidents and Senior Directors who participated in a My Purchasing Center Executive Roundtable discussion at ProcureCon for Manufacturing in Milwaukee [in 2015]. The CPOs and others discussed Supplier Relationship Management (SRM).

The Roundtable talked about selecting suppliers, negotiations, early supplier involvement, innovation, cost modeling and measuring supplier performance with scorecards and plant visits. They cited a lack of resources to get everything done especially as they take on additional responsibility for risk, compliance and sustainability. They shared stories on recruiting talented young procurement professionals and the importance of retaining seasoned veterans to train them.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

As a Purchasing Professional Do You Need to Acquire Sales Skills?
Buyers Meeting Point
June 09, 2020
Successful procurement professionals are not born; they acquire new skills by continuously reading, learning, practicing, and never giving up. To have a fulfilling career in procurement, in addition to improving your purchasing skills, do you need to acquire sales skills? You bet you do!

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Tags: Procurement, Management, Sales

The May ISM-New York Report on Business: The Rebound Begins
Buyers Meeting Point
June 02, 2020
In May, New York City purchasing managers reported across the board increases as gradual re-openings signal the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic shock.

Current Business Conditions rose 15.2 points to 19.5 in May, up from the all-time low of 4.3 reported in April.

The Six-Month Outlook rose 21.6 points to 48.0 in May, up from the all-time low of 26.4 in April. For reference, the Outlook was at 53.8 in the February Report, the last reading before the shutdown effect hit the economy directly.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

Silk vs. Steel: Rebuilding Supply Chains After COVID-19
ATSC Blog
May 25, 2020
The word ‘chain’ evokes images of metal links locked together, but this analogy has not been apt for a long time. Terms such as network, ecosystem, and web are far more appropriate. While it takes a pair of bolt cutters to get through a steel chain, a stiff breeze can destroy a spider web in an instant.

Supply chain managers are working on a continuum that extends from steel to spider web. On the one end is a set of nearly unbreakable links, and on the other is a silky thread. Steel is expensive and lacks agility, and while thread is able to flex, it can be destroyed in an instant. As we start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting business restrictions, the challenge will be finding the sweet spot between silk and steel.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

The April ISM-New York Report on Business: Searching for the Bottom
Buyers Meeting Point
May 04, 2020
In April, New York City purchasing managers continued to report the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on current and expected future business conditions.

Current Business Conditions fell 8.6 points to 4.3 in April, down from the previous month's record low of 12.9.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

Recommended Webinars May 4-8: eCommerce Expectations and Leading a Resilient Procurement Organization
Buyers Meeting Point
May 04, 2020
In addition to the events listed below, the ISM-New York Report on Business will be released on May 4th at 9:45am ET. Watch the BMP blog or the ISM page for details.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

Recommended Webinars April 20-24: Ongoing Business Success, the post-COVID-19 world, and shaping the modern workforce
Buyers Meeting Point
April 20, 2020
We have another strong week of events this week – in fact, you may have noticed that there are several webinar series being hosted in the industry right now. The events this week from Tealbook and Corcentric are part of series where you can register once and receive sign in information for the entire series.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

Practical Advice to help Procurement Weather the Pandemic
ATSC Blog
April 20, 2020
Seemingly overnight, every procurement professional’s top priority has become helping their company get through the COVID-19 pandemic and start preparing for the business conditions that are to follow.

We now face more questions than ever before, not to mention unusual working conditions, distributed teams, and challenging market and supply chain conditions. Fortunately, leading procurement professionals also tend to be excellent planners, a skill that will be in great demand over the coming weeks and months.

Although our visibility horizon does not extend far into the future before getting extremely fuzzy, we should always be thinking in the short, medium, and longer term as we do our best to weather this storm.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management, COVID19

Procurement and supply chain during a crisis: Stronger together
Fairmarkit blog
April 20, 2020
If there is one thing you get used to when you work in procurement, it is that no one outside of the field has any idea what we do for a living. As a result, terminology gets thrown around where it doesn’t necessarily belong. Maybe this sounds familiar:

“Procurement?” someone might say. “Isn’t that the same as supply chain?”

“Well, sort of,” you answer patiently (for the millionth time). “But only parts of the supply chain. We’re focused on the suppliers, products and services, and contracts, but not necessarily how those products physically arrive on location. That’s the logistics part of supply chain.”

“Oh,” they reply. “So what does procurement do again?”

One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the spotlight shone on supply chains. From the food supply chain to the retail supply chain to the toilet paper supply chain, people are starting to understand that it takes a lot of different organizations working together to make that chain, and if a product isn’t available, you can’t buy it.

From procurement’s perspective, recent stockouts might mean that the contract you hold in your hands (or preferably in your CLM platform) is effectively useless. The interconnectedness between supply chain and procurement is critical, especially during these unprecedented times. The very best minds in both procurement and supply chain will be needed to carry our countries and communities through the crisis.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management, COVID19

Recommended Webinars April 13-17: Third Party Health, Growing Great Companies, and the Best Approach to Data Analytics
Buyers Meeting Point
April 13, 2020
If you want to attend a webinar about COVID-19, you have plenty to choose from. The reality is, every webinar about every topic is being either officially or unofficially reworked to reflect the world's short-term focus on the pandemic or longer-term projections about what may come next.

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Tags: Procurement, COVID19

Recommended Webinars April 6-10: Quarantining 3rd Parties, the New State of Everything, and Your COVID-19 Procurement Response
Buyers Meeting Point
April 06, 2020
I’m continuing to add new webinars to the calendar at a blazing fast pace. Over a dozen new events hit this week, quickly filling in what had previously looked like a rather bleak April. I’ve also noticed a shift away from the 2pm ET time slot and towards something that overlaps with a WHF ‘lunchbreak’.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

The March ISM-New York Report on Business: Contagion
Buyers Meeting Point
April 02, 2020
In March, New York City purchasing managers reported some of the lowest findings on record as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy.

Current Business Conditions fell 39.0 points to 12.9 in March, the lowest finding on record.

The Six-Month Outlook fell 15.9 points to 37.9 in March but has not yet reached the lowest level on record. In November 2008, the outlook was at 31.0, and in February of 2009 it was at 33.0. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

Recommended Webinars March 30-April 3: AI and Legal Efficiency, the Power of the RFP, and Shift Happens!
Buyers Meeting Point
March 27, 2020
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.

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Tags: AI, Procurement, Management, COVID19

Recommended Webinars March 23-27: Career Sponsorship, Performance Measurement, Live Forums for the New Norm
Buyers Meeting Point
March 22, 2020
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.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

Recommended Webinars March 16-20: Strategic S2P, Key Supply Chain Capabilities, Adapting to Coronavirus
Buyers Meeting Point
March 16, 2020
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.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

This Week in Procurement - To Outsource or Not to Outsource
Art of Procurement
March 14, 2020
Our top story is a great category insight piece by Nicholas Ammaturo on outsourcing facilities maintenance. This week's podcast features Paul Polizzotto on his desire to have a social impact while creating value for buyers, suppliers, and the world.

Heard on the Street were Joe Payne, Amanda Loudin, and Anthony Mignogna.

Previously on the Art of Procurement podcast... Sammeli Sammalkorpi, Jocelyn Stahl, and Brian Bancroft.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars March 9-13: How to Operationalize and Adopt Intelligent Automation
Buyers Meeting Point
March 09, 2020
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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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Business Continuity, COVID19

This Week In Procurement: Filling The Talent Pipeline
Art of Procurement
March 07, 2020
In our top story, we find out how J&J is addressing the procurement talent crunch, and in the pod Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner discuss their major take-aways from February’s podcast interviews and share their point of view on a new topic: how to manage a healthy ‘breakup’, managing relationships, responsibilities, and results at the end of a project. As we turn back time to revisit AOP podcasts past, we hear from Louis Bastone, M.S., Brian Kyle, and Stanley S. Litow.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

The February ISM-New York Report on Business: Short Term Upturn
Buyers Meeting Point
March 03, 2020
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.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week In Procurement: Shoestring Procurement Skills Development
Art of Procurement
February 29, 2020
In our Top Story, Keith Bird, MBA advice about the critical skills procurement teams need to focus on now, along with “quick upskill” recommendations. On the #podcast, Evert Karsen gives us a look at what it is like to work without an executive mandate OR a savings target.

Heard on the Street quotes come from Lucy Harding, the The Wall Street Journal, and CIPS - The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Supply Management.

Previously on the AOP podcast, we heard from Jeanette Nyden and Kevin Giblin.

Last but not least, we look at the industrialized works' dependence on China, Rory Sutherland's advice on the "Behavioral Science Behind Video Conferencing and Remote Work" and John Rampton provides "101 Time Management Tips to Boost Productivity"

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

Is the industrialized world overly dependent on sourcing from Chinese?
ATSC Blog
February 24, 2020
Acute awareness of China’s impact on global business has been front and center since the onset of the Coronavirus health emergency in late December/early January. First a health emergency, now on the verge of being declared an official pandemic, the Coronavirus has taken a human toll, and a business one as well. Travel has been impeded worldwide, and a number of industries that are dependent upon China for source materials and components have been faced with sudden supply disruptions and shortages.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management, Business Continuity, COVID19

Recommended Webinars February 24-28: Beyond Benchmarking, Global Risk, and The Decade of Data
Buyers Meeting Point
February 22, 2020
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.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

This Week In Procurement: Financial Statement Analysis For Procurement
Art of Procurement
February 22, 2020
In this week’s top story, Sören P. provides advice and best practices for reviewing supplier financial statements for the sake of uncovering ‘red flags’ as early as possible in qualification and risk management.

Our podcast, featuring Kate Vitasek, defines and explains the concept of the standing neutral in complex contract situations.

Heard on the Street were Ed Cross, David McCann, and Simon Winfield. When we looked back into the AOP podcast archives, we rediscovered interviews with Matt Clark, Mark Raffan, Tania Seary, and Alex Short.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week In Procurement #125 - February 15, 2020: Multi-Tier Supplier Risk Management
Art of Procurement
February 15, 2020
This Week in Procurement - February 15, 2020: Multi-Tier Supplier Risk Management

In this week's must read, we get insight into the rising challenge of managing sub-tier supply chain risk from Jennifer Small. Our podcast guest, Joseph Yacura - M.B.A., M.S., M.Q.M explains why a focus on data quality may provide the boost your transformation effort needs.

Heard on the Street were Fronetics Strategic Advisors, Stephany Lapierre, and Phil Fersht.

Pulling from the AOP archives, we rediscover Andrew Daley, Joseph Richardson, and Lance Younger, and we love our Bits & Pieces from Harvard Business Review, The Enterprisers Project, Fleet Owner and SupplyChainBrain.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars February 17-21: Minimizing Tail Spend and RPA Ease of Use
Buyers Meeting Point
February 15, 2020
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.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, RPA

This Week In Procurement: (Awkward) Leadership Questions
Art of Procurement
February 08, 2020
This Week in Procurement #124: Feb. 8, 2020: (Awkward) Leadership Questions

In our top story, the Forbes Leadership Council addresses all of the questions you've been too embarrassed to ask about leadership. On the pod, Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner marked a major milestone - episode #300 - by introducing Procurement, Inc., our brand new framework for transformation.

Roddy Martin, Jason Averbook and Matthias Gutzmann were all Heard on the Street, and we pulled Jens Hentschel, Johan-Peter Teppala and Drew Polin from the archives.

We also shared a new video featuring Phil as a guest on SAP Ariba's "Pat Chat" series, with host Patrick McCarthy.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Procurement

The January ISM-New York Report on Business: Current Conditions Still Underwater
Buyers Meeting Point
February 04, 2020
In January, New York City purchasing managers reported Current Business Conditions that - while improved - still failed to reach the breakeven point. Basically, this month’s survey findings are such a mishmash of mediocre ups and downs:

- Short Term: Current Business Conditions is up, but not enough to break even. Employment, quantity of purchases, and revenues are down, and prices paid are up. Not a lot to crow about there.

- Longer term: Six-month outlook is down to a three month low.

About the only silver lining in the January report is expected revenues. They are up for the second consecutive month and the biggest mover in this month’s report. So there’s hope – apparently we’re just going to have to wait until July for it.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week in Procurement #123: Employee Swap!
Art of Procurement
February 01, 2020
This Week in Procurement - Employee Swap!

Our 'must read' brings inspiration on the 360-degree procurement professional from Tom Graham.

In the pod, we wrapped up our 2020 Special Startup Series, featuring Samuel Jenks, Paul Gurr, Alan Holland, Nils Lundgren, Arvid F., Edmund Zagorin, Stephany Lapierre, Tarmo Saidla, Pierre Laprée and Rowena Ludwig.

What did we hear 'On the Street'? Insightful quotes from Supply Chain Dive: Supply Chain and Logistics News, The EU Commission, Harvard Business Review and Supply Chain Digital.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Economic Update: The Q4 2019 Freight Payment Index
Buyers Meeting Point
January 30, 2020

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

TWIP #122: The Inherent Failures Of Long-Term Contracts
Art of Procurement
January 17, 2020
What were the highlights from This Week In Procurement?

Must Read: Kate Vitasek, David Frydlinger and Oliver Hart gave us a look at contracts through the eyes of an economist, an attorney and an outsourcing specialist.

#Podcast: Sundar Kamakshisundaram, Global Head of Manufacturing Solutions at Ivalua, told us about the impact of procurement digitalization in manufacturing.

Gordon Tredgold warned us about the Leadership Mistakes Rookies Make, and Robert Sobcak reminded that procurement's work should never be taken out of context.

We read great new content from Tom Augenthaler, Michael Lamoureux, Andrew Karpie and Tim Cummins.

And who did we find in the podcast vault? Sarah Scudder Marketing Services Procurement Guru , Tania Seary and Mark Webb.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week In Procurement: Key Strategies For The Decade Ahead
Art of Procurement
January 10, 2020
First TWIP of 2020... our 'must read' is by Bill Michels, reflecting back on 2019 and looking ahead to help us all get ready for 2020. On the #podcast, Remko Van Hoek breaks down the value of #blockchain for 'real people'. We're also reading and listening to content from Simon Whatson, Brian Seipel, Dana Small, Yannick Blättler and Helene LAFFITTE.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

The December ISM-New York Report on Business: Happy new year?
Buyers Meeting Point
January 03, 2020
In December, New York City purchasing managers reported the lowest Current Business Conditions since 2016 while indicating a significant intent to hire in January.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Book Review: Integrating Blockchain into Supply Chain Management
Buyers Meeting Point
January 02, 2020
Integrating Blockchain into Supply Chain Management by Remko Van Hoek, Brian Fugate, Marat Davletshin and Matthew A. Waller, “…demystifies the use of blockchain in the supply chain, providing the reader with insight and awareness of blockchain technology and how to integrate it into a business plan as an effective supply chain tool.”

With that as nearly the authors’ first sentence, readers can be assured that this book is not about hype, dense language or snobby ‘tech shaming’. Instead, it is incredibly down to earth and packed with contextual information. The authors’ goal is clearly to help more people understand blockchain and what it offers them.

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Tags: Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Supply Chain

Case Files: Digital Transformation at Ford Motor Company
Buyers Meeting Point
December 23, 2019
Based on an interview with Lisa Smith, Former Global Director of Global Purchasing and Business Transformation Management at Ford Motor Company

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Let there be peace on earth... and let it begin with you - and me.
Buyers Meeting Point
December 20, 2019
http://buyersmeetingpoint.com/blogs/entry/let-there-be-peace-on-earth

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week In Procurement #120: Procurement Market Intelligence Update
Art of Procurement
December 20, 2019
This may not quite be the last week of the year, but it is the last This Week in Procurement...

This week we feature a market intelligence resource update from Jeanette Jones and a #podcast on managing procurement performance with Pierre Laprée and Jason Treida.

This week we're reading articles on the $1 Trillion Christmas tree industry, POV from Michael Nathanson on whether or not we are "replaceable" and how Charlie Hart sees procurement's responsibilities with regard to brand reputation.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars December 16-20: Reimagining Procurement, Human Transformation and Self Sourced Talent
Buyers Meeting Point
December 16, 2019
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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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

This Week In Procurement: Negotiating With The Dark Side – Business Bullies
Art of Procurement
December 13, 2019
Looking back at This Week in Procurement...

Philip Ideson talks to Amanda Prochaska and Jonathan M. Townsley about supplier development on the pod while Dana Small gives us the courage to stand up to Business Bullies in our 'must read'.

The podcast wayback machine remembers our conversations with Jay Black, Lawrence Kane, ECOP, CSP and Pierre Mitchell.

We're reading, watching & listening to great new content from Megan Ray Nichols, Simon Thompson, Robin Gurney, Geraint John and Joe Payne

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

What’s Trending In Procurement And Supply Market Information And Research Offerings
Cottrill Research
December 12, 2019
The advancement of technology is pushing us forward and allowing for more laser-focused insights, obtained more quickly and efficiently while utilizing greater volumes of data brought in from varying sources.

The notable growth in the upgrades and offerings covering contract management and negative company event detection remind us, even in this age of digital transformation, that traditional areas of concern for procurement, such as risk management, contract adherence, and supplier diligence continue to be highly critical.

What’s especially interesting is to follow the various strategic directions taken by information vendors as they update their offerings. Regardless of how the data is used it all comes back to the unforgiving importance of utilizing quality data. Quality data quickly turns into poor data if it is not either purged or updated continually.

With that understanding, the supply market intelligence information and research resources listings in ProcureSearch have just been updated. Our review process revealed a few trends we feel are worth additional consideration. ProcureSearch’s coverage focuses on third party content providers and excludes offerings from broader supplier and procurement management providers.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

Procurement’s 2020 Challenge: Improving P2P by Investing in the “P” and the “P”
Determine
December 12, 2019
If procurement wants to succeed in 2020, we need to measurably improve all of procure-to-pay (P2P). Of course, in order to do that, we have to improve how the company purchases goods and services and also how it handles supplier payments. While that seems logical and straightforward, most procurement teams neither procure nor pay. What we are left with is a situation where we need to empower those who will ultimately carry out the work.

This is a classic management situation. A team leader can only increase their impact so much without achieving scale, delivering a multiplier effect by supporting and incentivizing the actions of others. What can procurement do to make distributed buyers (procure) and accounts payable (pay) more effective? We can provide them with the information they need, coherent processes and fully rounded supplier understanding.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could win?
LinkedIn
December 11, 2019
Larger companies already know they can benefit from the disruptive potential of smaller partners. As long as they meet the investment and growth needs of those suppliers, it is absolutely possible for everyone to win. In fact, it is not only possible - it is a necessity. Everyone in the network has to benefit from their participation in a supply ecosystem for it to work.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

This Week in Procurement: Handling The Winter Blues At Work
Art of Procurement
December 06, 2019
It is easy to see that the human element is key in any business. Get it right, and you’re golden. Mess it up, and no technology or consultant can save you. Well, just like supply chains and production cycles, humans are seasonal creatures. This is especially true in the winter, as the days become shorter and darker and COLDER (unless you live in Florida like Phil does). In this article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, business advice columnist Liz Reyer provides some great Tips for Handling the Winter Blues at Work.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

The November ISM-New York Report on Business: Continued Small, Steady Moves
Buyers Meeting Point
December 03, 2019
In November, New York City purchasing managers expressed the same cautious optimism reported in October.

Current Business Conditions rose for the second month in a row, reaching a 7-month high of 50.4 in November after falling short of the breakeven point by coming in at 47.7 in October.

The Six-Month Outlook also rose for the second consecutive month, reaching a 3-month high of 62.8 in November, up from 53.6 in October. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Plenty to be Grateful For
Buyers Meeting Point
November 25, 2019
I love my job. And it is a good thing, because this is the kind of job where you don’t really get to have hobbies (unless laundry counts as a hobby).

As my kids are getting older, they’re asking more detailed questions about the things they hear and see on tv. This past weekend, one of them asked me what “layoffs” are. After I explained, they wanted to know if my husband or I had ever been laid off. They were SHOCKED to learn that I was laid off once… almost… and that it led to my career in procurement. My daughter’s reaction captured it all, “Procurement? You love procurement! That’s AMAZING!”

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Tags: Procurement

This Week in Procurement: Joy is the Leading Indicator
Art of Procurement
November 22, 2019
This Week in Procurement is the fully "human-curated" weekly newsletter for the AOP community. Subscribers receive it in their inbox every Wednesday morning - did you get it?

In this week's TWIP, we featured a must-read article shared by Rob Bernshteyn, "Joy is the Leading Indicator" and our latest podcast interview with Procurement Leaders' David Rae and Geraldine Craven. We also linked out to articles written and shared by... Alan Holland, Institute for Supply Management, Scott Luton, Alison Smith, Christopher Dwyer and Gordon Donovan.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Procurement

Book Review: Leadership by Storytelling
Buyers Meeting Point
November 19, 2019
Leadership by Storytelling: The Best Way to Learn Good Leadership Skills, by Dr. Tom DePaoli, is the latest in a long line of books that are firmly based in reality and provide advice that is easy to put into practice. I’ve read and reviewed many of Dr. Toms’ books and you won’t find the same kind of time-tested, easy to read books from many other authors in our field. If you find yourself thinking that most procurement books seem too academic, he may just be your new favorite author.

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Tags: Leadership

Recommended Webinars November 18-22: Procurement Vision, Digital Readiness and Next Level Contract Management
Buyers Meeting Point
November 18, 2019
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.

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Tags: Procurement

Procurement 2020… Will anything change?
ATSC Blog
November 18, 2019
It seems as though procurement has been anticipating the arrival of 2020 since the minute the ‘Y2K’ buzz wore off. Predictions and research, webinars and report titles… ‘Procurement 2020’ has such a nice neat ring to it. Now that it is just weeks away, it seems appropriate to get down to business and think about what (if anything) is really going to be different. Will 2020 be just another calendar year or will it actually usher in meaningful change for the profession?

While the new year doesn’t offer inherent disruption, some of the trends that have been brewing within procurement for the last couple of years are finally approaching the point where we will need to act upon them. Automation has been a central topic of conversation, but few companies have entered the pilot stage, let alone implemented anything enterprise-wide. I believe 2020 is the year we will get past the fuzzy glow of automation and start making it an operational reality. But… first things first…

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement

Can an Ecosystem Approach Level the Playing Field?
Buyers Meeting Point
November 13, 2019
Characterizing a supply chain as linear no longer captures the complexity of the relationships between a business and their suppliers. An ecosystem, with many interconnected points of activity, is a much better description, because it recognizes the network effect we often see as well as the diversity of the players in that network.

In order to compete sustainably, companies need to partner with suppliers and service providers that are both large and small, established and emerging, local and global. And while being exposed to a diverse collection of potential supply partners creates huge opportunities for innovation, differentiation and competitive advantage, it must alter how each company manages its spend and third party relationships.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars November 11-15: CRM for Procurement, Operational P2P and a Direct Mail Renaissance
Buyers Meeting Point
November 11, 2019
In addition to this week’s webinar recommendations, the Supply Chain Next conference is taking place in Chicago, IL on Monday and Tuesday. If you are looking for a longer term webinar recommendation, I suggest Planning for 2020: Executive Outlook from Supply & Demand Chain Executive and BSI on December 10th.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Marketing

Book Review: A Procurement Compendium
Buyers Meeting Point
November 07, 2019
Whether you’ve been in procurement a day or a decade, you’ll take something valuable away from this book. And if you read it again later, you’ll likely discover something completely different. I personally appreciate his honesty, something we’re getting to see more and more of on social media as well. He suggests at the end of the foreward that it is even okay to leave his book in the bathroom for a few minutes of reading now and then. I’d suggest that Peter (and the book) deserve better than that, but the most important thing is that you read it.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Transforming Finance’s Impact Through Automated P2P
Determine
November 07, 2019
Procure-to-pay (P2P) technologies are often most closely associated with the first P in their name: procure. At the same time, the efficiency of an enterprise’s payment processes have more of an impact on its growth rate than the efficiency of its purchasing processes. And it is finance – not procurement – whose ability to deliver against performance objectives is improved the most when payments are streamlined, and hampered when they are not.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

The October ISM-New York Report on Business: Baby Steps in the Right Direction
Buyers Meeting Point
November 04, 2019
It is a good sign that the two biggest movers in this month’s report were based on revenue: today and in 6 months from now. If only the current business conditions (47.7) had been above 50… The major takeaway is that while the purchasing managers believe we are moving in the right direction, we’re not there yet.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars November 4-8: Unlocking Working Capital and Reinventing Procurement
Buyers Meeting Point
November 04, 2019
I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but it is officially November. Knowing that there are only 8 weeks left in the year – even before serious cutouts for holidays – is much scarier than anything we saw last week for Halloween.

In addition to this week’s webinar recommendations, CFO Summit XXXVIII is taking place the 7ththrough the 9thin Irving Texas.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement

The Potential and Risks of Cryptocurrency in Procurement
ATSC Blog
October 28, 2019
The most important step procurement teams should take today is developing a plan to remain informed about cryptocurrency. Even if it had stuck to the original launch plan, Facebook’s Libra would not have been available until 2020. A revised timeline has not been released. That said, if the operational horizon can be measured in months rather than years, we can be sure that the impact of cryptocurrencies will be felt sooner rather than later.

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Tags: Cryptocurrency, Procurement, Supply Chain

Recommended Procurement Webinars Oct 28-Nov 1: Digital Readiness, Ideas for the C-suite and Supplier Management in a Turbulent Economy
BMP
October 27, 2019
In addition to this week’s webinar recommendations, ProcureCon MRO is taking place in Atlanta, GA on the 28th and 29th.

If you are looking for a longer term webinar recommendation, check out “Mission Critical for 2020: Touchless Supplier Management” from Spend Matters and APEX Analytix and featuring a case study on JetBlue, November 12th 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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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement

Recommended Webinars Oct 14-18: Risk, Visual Contracting and the 2020 Digital Procurement Mandate
Buyers Meeting Point
October 14, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends: Stephany Lapierre and the team at Tealbook, Rod Sherkin at the ProPurchaser team, Negotiations Ninja’s Mark Raffan and Procurement Insights' Jon Hansen!

If you are looking for a longer term recommendation, the next AOP Live session has just been scheduled: The Current State of Digital Readiness: Mastering the Supply Chain Data Challenge on October 29th at 11am ET. This 45-Minute Live Q&A with Philip Ideson and Joseph Yacura will interpret and comment on the results of the 3rd annual Data Quality and Governance Study.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

The September ISM-New York Report on Business: Proceed with Caution
Buyers Meeting Point
October 02, 2019
The September ISM-New York Report on Business was released on October 2nd at 9:45am Eastern.

In September, New York City purchasing managers expressed milestone pessimism about the long term indicators, the Six-Month Outlook and Expected Revenues. Current Business Conditions fell to a 40-month low of 42.8 in September (referencing 37.2 in May 2016), down from August's 4-month high of 50.3. The Six-Month Outlook dropped 26.2 points to reach 45.2 in September, from 71.4 in August. This marks the lowest outlook level in 10.5 years, referencing 33.0 in February of 2009. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Managing Risk with Stronger Relationships
Buyers Meeting Point
September 25, 2019
Procurement and supply chain professionals understand the importance of establishing and maintaining strategic supplier relationships. These critical partnerships form the basis for innovation, competitive advantage and customer retention, but they may also play a role in supply chain risk management.

A company’s ability to effectively manage risk has always been affected by how they perceive it. Seeing risk as all bad - as something to be feared - will lead to higher costs and lost opportunities. Too much tolerance of risk, on the other hand, can prevent growth, jeopardize customer/shareholder value and lead to brand damage. Striking the right balance requires procurement to combine the unique advantages of human intellect and technology.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars September 23-27: World Class Procurement, Quantum Computing and 2020 Trends
BMP
September 23, 2019
As long as the summer seemed, September is now racing to a close. In fact, this week’s long term recommendation looks out to the end of October! On Oct. 24th, Zycus and Jon Hansen (Procurement Insights) are running a webinar titled “Procurement Stalwarts Discuss An AI-Powered Transformation of P2P” with panelists David Loseby, Norman Katz and Richard Pennington.

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Tags: Procurement

The Aftermath of a Capsized Cargo Ship
ATSC Blog
September 16, 2019
On September 8th, the cargo ship Golden Ray capsized off the coast of the state of Georgia. At the time, the ship was carrying 24 people and 4,000 vehicles. Shortly after the ship capsized, a fire broke out on board, jeopardizing the U.S. Coast Guard’s ability to rescue the crew safely and raising questions about whether the vehicles aboard the ship might have come unsecured in such a way that they threatened the vessel’s stability.The image of the bottom of the cargo ship, fully visible after capsizing, was enough to give any supply chain professional pause. The implications of this unexpected disruption, just one of over two dozen similar events to take place globally so far this year, are far reaching and wide ranging.

I’ll admit that after learning the crew had been safely extracted from the ship, my first thoughts were: what was the ship carrying and whose was it? It was impossible to escape the reality that the image most people were looking at with vague curiosity translated to a very bad day for many people and organizations.

Regardless of where and when a cargo ship accident happens or why, there are significant impacts in terms of cargo, passage and environment.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

NESCON 2019: From “How to” to “How to Imagine” the Future of Supply Chain
BMP
September 11, 2019
As I mentioned on the BMP blog a few weeks ago, I’ll be providing media coverage of the New England Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition (NESCON) on October 7th. I’ve been more of a ‘virtual player’ in the industry for the last few years, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity to network and learn in person.

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Tags: Supply Chain

Using Technology to Resolve – Not Locate – Unnecessary Spend Fragmentation
Buyers Meeting Point
September 05, 2019
Enterprise-level spend management is a big task; there is so much data created as a result of so many types of business activity. Companies gather data from sales and production, facilities and finance, customers and suppliers. Add to that the information footprint from social media, text messages and audio/video content, and the scale of what’s available quickly becomes more blinding than illuminating.

Our technology platforms have no need for fragmentation, even in the face of so much data. They are designed to manage and analyze huge pools of spend and large numbers of transactions in a fraction of a second. Much of the fragmentation we’ve dealt with to date has been put in place by procurement (sometimes through technology) because we were more comfortable dealing with one cut or slice at a time. As a result, we sometimes made progress in confined areas of the business at the cost of larger, more impactful opportunities.

Rather than relying upon technology to show us where fragmentation exists (such as in tail spend), and then ‘fixing’ one fragment at a time, we must look to technology as the solution to fragmentation itself. If we can use technology to consolidate and contextualize all of our data together rather than artificially segmenting it for own comfort, we can power intelligent decisions in real time, seizing greater opportunities and avoiding previously unforeseeable risks.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

The August ISM-New York Report on Business: More Up Than Down
Buyers Meeting Point
September 04, 2019
In August, New York City purchasing managers expressed optimism across a number of indices, most notably in employment and those that are forward-looking.

Current Business Conditions recovered from the 3+ year low of 43.5 reported in July to reach a 4-month high of 50.3 in August. Despite the drop seen last month, August's finding is nearly the same as the 50.0 reported in June.

The Six-Month Outlook continued the upward movement started last month to reach a 4-month high of 71.4 in August, up from 63.2 in July.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

With Implementations, it is Location, Location, Location.
Determine
August 13, 2019
I’ve participated in many procurement technology implementations – and not always in the same role. Like most people, my experience began on the receiving end of new technology for which I had no say in the selection or configuration. From there I moved to a leadership role on a team tasked with selecting and implementing a sourcing suite for the first time. A few years later, I was part of a consulting team at a solution provider where I regularly assisted in or led implementations as part of procurement program (re)design projects.


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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Management

The Amazing Back-to-School Supply Chain
ATSC blog
August 05, 2019
The minute we’ve all finally settled into the slower pace of the summer months, the signs go up: Back to School! Whether you have children who are getting ready to go back or whether you are thinking wistfully of your own school days, the back-to-school supply chain is an amazing feat that affects most of the retail industry. It is actually the second biggest shopping season of the year – second only to the holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) releases an annual report highlighting the figures and trends associated with back to school shopping. According to the 2019 NRF report, this year’s back-to-school spending levels will be the highest ever per household, $696.70, but not the highest overall as less families are expected to participate. Total projected spending for 2019 is $80.7B, down 2.5% from $82.8B in 2018. The major categories of spending they define include school supplies, clothing and accessories, shoes and electronics.

While we can all appreciate the magic of new pencils and notebooks, looking at this shopping season as a supply chain professional requires a different perspective – and offers a few surprises about buyer preferences and retail industry impact.

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Tags: Procurement, Retail, Supply Chain

Zoinks! Why do Cloud myths persist?
Determine
July 11, 2019
I recently completed a thorough study of myths by examining one of the most scientifically significant examples available — Scooby-Doo and the gang: Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy. You may laugh, but studying the adventures of Mystery, Inc. sheds a great deal of light on all kinds of myths, cloud procure-to-pay (P2P) included.

Myths and mysteries usually play on some combination of the following:
- Deep-seated, preexisting anxieties
- Lack of understanding or clarity
- A desire on the part of believers to accept the myth
- A touch of theatrics

In the Scooby-Doo TV series, the above factors typically drove the plot through the protagonist’s dark backstory or lingering guilt, the gang being stuck in the dark, and ridiculous costumes and special effects. Details are scarce, someone is chasing you, and your imagination takes over. Next thing you know, no one questions the reality that Uncle Jesse’s wonderful old theatre can’t be saved because it is haunted by a headless phantom stagehand.

P2P myths may be less dramatic, but they are no less dangerous because they prevent procurement from getting an accurate view of the situation at hand and selecting the best, most logical, path forward.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Answer: Sometimes people are just jerks
Buyers Meeting Point
July 09, 2019
We’ve all dealt with jerks. They’re everywhere. In my case, however, I used to feel like I was being treated poorly because I am a woman. In one specific instance, I shared my frustration with my husband. “He wouldn’t treat me like this if I were a man!” I said, completely exasperated. He looked at me for a minute, cautiously, and then said, “You know, some people are just jerks. He’s probably a jerk to everybody.”

I’ll admit it took me a while to warm up to this explanation. I started repeating it to myself as necessary. One day it hit me; it doesn’t matter if someone is being a jerk because I am a woman or because they are a jerk. Either way, the problem is theirs, not mine. Trying to understand their motivations is a waste of my time and energy – something I shouldn’t let them steal.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain

The June ISM-New York Report on Business: Not Since 2009
Buyers Meeting Point
July 02, 2019
In June, New York City purchasing managers reported 10-year lows in both the Six-Month Outlook and Quantity of Purchases.

Current Business Conditions made a slight recovery of 1.4 points to 50.0 (the breakeven point) from the more than 2-year low of 48.6 reported in May.

The Six-Month Outlook fell to the lowest level reported since May of 2009 (50.7), coming in at 51.0 in June. The six-month outlook has been a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time.

Employment, a seasonally adjusted index, made a small upward move from the 4-month low of 54.6 in May to 60.9 in June.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Congratulations! You are ready for procure-to-pay!
Determine
July 02, 2019
It is amazing what procurement professionals can accomplish with nothing more than spreadsheets, email and a phone. We can source, manage suppliers, track spend and report savings. In fact, we are so resourceful and so good at cobbling together solutions that we often stay with that approach longer than we should – especially considering how much is at stake for the company and its customers. The challenge for procurement is knowing when the time is right to make the switch to a procure-to-pay (P2P) platform.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Investing in Corporate Governance to Ensure Compliance
Determine
June 25, 2019
Procurement often uses the terms governance and compliance to describe the “law and order” part of our responsibilities. Governance establishes the rules for enterprise purchasing and spend management, while compliance measures how well distributed buyers adhere to those rules. In a perfect world, proper governance would lead to consistent compliance. In the real world, there is often only a loose connection between the two.


Historically, most procurement organizations have predominantly focused on compliance. This may be due to one of the following reasons...

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Understanding the Impact of Tariffs: ‘Ifs’ and ‘Hows’
All Things Supply Chain Blog
June 24, 2019
Supply chain blogs and news sources have recently been chock full of commentary and advice relating to tariffs. Unfortunately, just as with emerging technologies, it is much easier to get swept up in over-generalized hype than it is to drill down to the facts that support good decision-making. Despite the parallel challenges of complexity and unpredictability, procurement and supply chain professionals must understand if and how tariffs will affect their company directly, if and how tariffs will affect their first and second tier suppliers, and what to do if the answer to those two questions is more ‘how’ than ‘if’.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

The May ISM-New York Report on Business: Nevermind…
Buyers Meeting Point
June 04, 2019
In May, New York City purchasing managers reversed course and gave up all of the gains reported in April.

Current Business Conditions fell from a 12+ year high of 77.3 in April to a 2-year low of 48.6 in May. This is the largest month over month drop reported in May, and it is the first time current conditions have been in contraction since September of 2017 (49.7).

The Six-Month Outlook fell from a 7-month high of 77.8 in April to 56.3 in May.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Compliance advice for those who herd cats
Determine
June 04, 2019
We’ve all heard (or used) the expression that managing some group of people is “like managing cats”. For cat people in the reading audience, this requires little explanation. Cats do what they want, when they want, only if they want. The expression wouldn’t have caught on if it weren’t true, which means there are plenty of feline humans out there too. If you’re in procurement, I’m sure you’ve met quite a few of them.

We put a contract in place, and the “cats” buy from someone else. We establish a process, and they do whatever they like. It can be infuriating. But, if we approach our internal cats with the right attitude, they also present us with unique opportunities to improve procurement’s performance, impact and influence.

Here is some advice for those days when you find yourself unavoidably herding cats...

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Tags: Change Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Concentric Supplier Risk Management
Determine
May 28, 2019
When a supply chain extends across the globe, procurement has to extend the scope of their risk management efforts beyond specific suppliers to include the industry or country that a supplier operates in. Rooting out supplier risk resulting from regulatory non-compliance, child labor law violations or corruption requires proactive monitoring on multiple levels in the supply chain. In order to achieve this expanded view, procurement must move outward in concentric circles; making each supplier the center point, then expanding to include additional relevant sources of risk for further investigation.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

The April ISM-New York Report on Business: Lofty Long-term Expectations
Buyers Meeting Point
May 02, 2019
Without a doubt, the most interesting finding from this month’s report is the expected revenues index. At 95.0, it is big in every way: highest level ever, highest increase in the report this month, and just plan high in terms of growth indication. I pair it with the increase and high level of the six-month outlook because both look forward to November 2019.

While 61% of this month’s respondents expect business conditions in the New York metro area to be better in six months (including 15% that believe they will be much better), 70% anticipate increased revenues in 6 months. From my perspective this indicates sort of a ‘double optimism’. Not only do these purchasing managers believe conditions overall will improve, they believe their firm will outperform the market as a whole – one that they believe will be generally strong. That goes beyond optimism to become just plain confidence – the kind of confidence that fuels disruptive innovation and competitive advantage in professional services.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Savior, Slave or Sidekick: What is your perspective on automation?
ATSC blog
April 29, 2019
Automation has become a ‘catch-all’ term for the use of technology to address a range of tasks and business objectives. Although the whole business world has been swept up in the hype and optimism surrounding automation, the impact within the supply chain profession has been particularly significant, due to the fact that we can benefit from both physical automation (e.g. warehouse robotics, driverless fleets) and software-based automation (e.g. artificial intelligence, robotic process automation).

If we focus specifically on software-based automation, supply chain professionals are advantageously positioned. We have extensive experience leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and streamline processes. Solutions such as inventory management, supply chain control towers or source to pay platforms have given us firsthand knowledge of how to (and how not to) select, implement and monitor enterprise technology.

Although the automation trend now has us focused on the potential benefits chatbots and smart machines – technologies that seem ‘futuristic’ to say the least – the fact remains that no technology is the answer to all of a company’s problems. If we ask too much of our technology, we risk repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to optimize the automation and meet user expectations.

How we perceive the automation we evaluate and implement has as much to do with its ability to deliver a sustained ROI as the design of the technology itself.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, RPA

Can the Whole Foods and Amazon Grocery chains exist under the same corporate umbrella?
Determine
April 23, 2019
Amazon recently announced that they will open a “traditional” grocery chain. This is in addition to their 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods and their experimentation with Amazon Go, a fully automated (i.e. cashier-less) convenience store-style market. All three will meet a similar kind of consumer need, just in a different way. This will likely result in the creation of three completely different cost models and profitability rates – not to mention three very different procurement and supply chain operations.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

When procurement looks in the mirror, what do we see?
Buyers Meeting Point
April 18, 2019
Sometimes a post on social media connects with people such that it takes on a life of its own. That happened this week in the wake of the Ivalua NOW event in Paris.

Philip Ideson recently shared a picture of Duncan Jones from Forrester Research sharing striking statistics about procurement’s self-assessed v. actual maturity:

- Procurement organizations who self-assess as at the beginning of their maturity curve: 4%
- Procurement organizations who are actually at the beginning of their maturity curve: 60%
- Procurement organizations who self-assess as advanced: 65%
- Procurement organizations who are actually advanced: 16%

While it is fair to ask questions about the Forrester methodology and maturity framework that might explain away some of the discrepancy, the fact remains that procurement’s perception of our own maturity is significantly skewed from reality. As a profession, we are significantly overestimating our organizational maturity by a huge margin.

This share gained 30K views, 40 comments, and over 200 likes in a very short time. Some of the most compelling comments centered around four core ideas.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Procurement

How much can procurement change on their own?
Determine
April 02, 2019
Real lasting change requires give and take. If procurement is to make enough change to satisfy even a fraction of the wants and needs listed above, we can’t do it alone. This is probably the largest factor missing from procurement transformation efforts; we are trying to change ourselves in a vacuum.

If our goal is to become more strategic by creating increased shareholder value or contributing to corporate competitive advantage, we need access to shareholders and corporate strategy setters. If we are going to collaborate with suppliers, we need the authority to take a multi-dimensional look at carefully selected spend categories and play a long-term, relationship-oriented game that isn’t tethered to a savings target.

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Tags: Change Management, Digital Transformation, Procurement

The March ISM-New York Report on Business: Reversing Course
Buyers Meeting Point
April 02, 2019
In March, New York City purchasing managers changed direction on every index except one - Expected Revenues.

Current Business Conditions rose from 61.1 in February to reach a 4-month high of 66.9 in March. This brings to an end 6 consecutive months of decreases.

The Six-Month Outlook fell from 71.5 in February to a nearly 10-year low of 53.0 in March (referencing the finding of 50.7 in May of 2009). This month's 18.5 point decrease gives back the 13.2 point increase reported from January to February and then some.

I always think it is difficult to interpret the ISM-New York Report on Business findings, but this month is a serious challenge. There were almost no trends to track with the (nearly) across the board change in direction. Only Expected Revenues was part of a multi-month trend.

So if the March data is somewhat stranded on its own, let’s consider what the different indices reveal about each other.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Is Blockchain Ready for the Challenge of Managing Complex Supply Chains?
All Things Supply Chain
March 25, 2019
Blockchain – or distributed ledger technology – is most commonly known for being the technological and intellectual basis of the crypto currency ‘bitcoin’, but it has many other applications as well. ‘Blocks’ on a ‘chain’ are used to store information securely via a peer to peer network. Each block contains identifiers from the blocks that precede it, making the chain difficult to modify or hack, but more importantly, making unsanctioned modifications very hard to conceal. Because the ledger is distributed, living on all machines in the network, no one company or person ‘owns’ the data stored in it. For this reason, blockchain is being studied for its ability to guarantee visibility into multi-enterprise contracts and extended supply chain transactions.

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Tags: Blockchain, Procurement, Supply Chain

Achieving Customer-Centricity by Focusing on the ‘Why’ not the ‘What’
Buyers Meeting Point
March 05, 2019
Seasoned procurement professionals understand the importance of cultural alignment in supplier relationship management - regardless of the category of spend in question. But with so much going on in procurement these days, and in competitive enterprises in general, it can be hard to define the elements of culture that should be used to determine that alignment.

There is one cultural dynamic that will resonate with most procurement organizations: the need for change, or as we frequently put it, transformation. Any organization committed to change, whether they intend to alter current practices and capabilities or add new ones, must partner with organizations that have the same objective. But change for the sake of change gets us nowhere. Understanding why we are making or requesting changes is what makes our decision strategic and optimizes our results.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Design Thinking, Procurement

The Procurement Maturity Curve: Collaboration is Value Creation – Series Summary
Determine
March 05, 2019
When we learn to collaborate with others, trading joint efforts for shared benefits, we not only increase our potential for value creation, we also open the door to new types of value. Nothing worth having is easy to get, and a state of effective collaboration is no exception. In fact, achieving a state of mutually received advantage requires procurement to completely alter some of the ways we’ve worked – and thought – in the past.

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Tags: Change Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

The February ISM-New York Report on Business: Moderate Ups and Downs
Buyers Meeting Point
March 04, 2019
Deciphering this month’s findings is a tricky matter – like reading tea leaves. In this commentary, I share a few stories that I can see some support for in the numbers - in the short term, the longer term, from a purchasing perspective and in the big picture.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

The Procurement Maturity Curve – Managing Risk Inside & Out – Part 2
Determine
February 26, 2019
It is critical that procurement not think of risk mitigation activities as separate from our other spend management responsibilities. Sourcing, spend analysis, supplier management and contract management should all reflect a keen awareness of risk, especially once procurement has demonstrated the ability to carry these processes out to good effect under internally driven objectives.

Each category of spend should be evaluated for the risk profile it bears both inside and outside of the company. When procurement recognizes that the enterprise is part of a much larger system of players and forces, and accepts the role we can play in managing those dynamics, our work becomes far more complex. Fortunately, this complexity comes with a corresponding increase in potential for value creation and competitive advantage.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management

Are We Focused On The Right Transformation Objectives?
Art of Procurement
February 20, 2019
There is no sense in fighting an uphill battle to transform into a procurement function that does something other than what our executive team has in mind. This is true whether our journey forward follows the path described by other leading procurement organizations or not.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

The Procurement Maturity Curve – Managing Risk Inside & Out – Part 1
Determine
February 19, 2019
In the past, we’ve taken a close look at how the procurement maturity curve affects its focus. Two recent posts addressed issues concerning the evolving role of procurement savings, information and technology. In this two-part blog series, we’ll consider supply chain risk in the context of procurement’s maturity. We start by looking at supplier risk and the available methods to monitor and mitigate it. Then we’ll examine internal vs. external sources of risk.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management

Is B2B driving B2C supply chain innovation, or vice versa?
ATSC Blog
February 18, 2019
Every supply chain manager is also an individual consumer, and there can be no doubt that the innovations in one market often alter the demand, offerings and consumer expectations of the other. Despite the fact that we have different priorities and perspectives on our personal spend than we do corporate spend, the rate of idea exchange between the two markets seems to be speeding up, ultimately bringing business and consumer supply chain and logistics closer together.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Procurement, Supply Chain

Combating Leadership Fatigue
Art of Procurement
February 05, 2019
NASCAR doesn’t fill its cars with regular unleaded, and SpaceX doesn’t either. High-performance engines need a specialized kind of fuel to achieve top speed and performance along with advanced maintenance. If you’re moving in the fast lane, you need to do the same for yourself. A little bit of support and self-care can go a long way, increasing your results and your professional satisfaction over the long term.

It isn’t a weakness to admit that being a superstar is taking a toll on you. In fact, it may be the wisest thing you ever do. Make sure you protect yourself before you reach the point of burnout, or worse, ‘walk out’.

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Tags: Change Management, Innovation, Leadership

The January ISM-New York Report on Business: Long Term Growth Without Employment?
Buyers Meeting Point
February 04, 2019
In January, New York City purchasing managers indicated short term decreases in the face of longer term optimism, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

The Procurement Maturity Curve, Part 2: Savings — and Value — at Every Stage
Determine
January 17, 2019
Part One of this two-part series on procurement maturity looked at how procurement is (and likely always will be at some level) linked to savings, even as our perspective on those savings changes. But the scope of procurement’s role has expanded. Technology and data are accelerating procurement along the value continuum and expanding our contributions beyond the bottom line. In Part Two, we look at how procurement professionals can leverage tools to increase our organizational effectiveness — and influence.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Imagining a World Without (Good) Spend Analysis
SynerTrade
January 17, 2019
Before procurement had spend analysis solutions at our disposal, every question about historical purchasing activity led to unthinkable manual work or a big question mark. Now that we can centralize, cleanse, and normalize data for analysis - often with the assistance of tailor-made automation – many of us have stopped thinking about what life was like without it. But not all spend analysis is up to the task. In fact, having inferior spend analysis can be almost as bad as not having spend analysis at all. Poor spend analysis inflates expectations about the level of visibility we have, and may artificially inflate our confidence about how well we understand the spend we’re working to manage.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement

The Procurement Maturity Curve, Part 1: Savings at Every Stage
Determine
January 15, 2019
After multiple years of transformation (first procurement, then digital), most of us have accepted the idea that we work in a state of perpetual change and self-examination. What are my company’s current practices? What am I doing to advance myself or my team to the next level? How does that compare to what my competition is doing? Isn’t this striving for growth what “procurement maturity” is all about?

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement

The December ISM-NewYork Report on Business: Downward Close to 2018
Buyers Meeting Point
January 03, 2019
I couldn’t help thinking about this month’s survey findings while watching the rain fall down on the New Year’s Eve revelers in Times Square on Monday night. For months, outlook and business conditions remained cautiously optimistic despite fears of global trade disputes. In December, it all finally came crashing down.

If I try to step back and think objectively about what this month’s report teaches us, I see both good news and bad news – despite December’s downturn.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Wondering What Your Procurement Contracts are Worth?
Determine
January 03, 2019
It would be easy to calculate the value of a contract by multiplying projected volume, negotiated costs and term. Accuracy notwithstanding, this answer limits the 'value' of the contract to its transactional footprint. Any procurement organization that insists their value transcends savings dollars or spend under management has to be willing to take the same approach when determining total contract value.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement

Additional Commentary on the November ISM-NewYork Report on Business: Outlook Stands Alone
Buyers Meeting Point
December 04, 2018
In November, New York City purchasing managers indicated lower conditions in all indices but two, the Six-Month Outlook and Prices Paid.

Current Business Conditions reached a seven-month low, coming in at 67.8 in November. Current Business Conditions have fallen between 2 and 4 points per month for the last three months.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Making the Business Case for Digital Procurement this Budget Season
SynerTrade
December 04, 2018
The days remaining in this fiscal year are slipping away quickly. All across the enterprise, decision makers’ attention is turning to 2019. The start of a new year brings new budgets – along with all their ups and downs. Procurement’s spend management mandate might lead one to expect that we have an inside line on securing funds, but this is not usually the case. Procurement teams have varying levels of visibility and influence during the annual budgeting process – especially when it comes to making the case for investment in our own technology. And an investment in digital procurement can be the difference between ‘getting by’ and ‘getting ahead’.

Procurement teams that have successfully transformed into a strategic and digitally-enabled function have stronger relationships with stakeholders and executive leadership. This is partially because of the increased access to information that transformation provides and partially because of reduced ‘static’ thanks to access to integrated, end-to-end digital procurement.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

3 Procurement Software Obstacles to Change
SynerTrade
November 13, 2018
“Hooray! Change!” said absolutely no one ever.

We work in a time of rapid, disruptive change. Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s passé trend, and yesterday’s innovation is… well, who can remember yesterday?



Procurement is often in the driver’s seat for change management efforts, and we must deal with natural resistance to change as well as competition from other enterprise projects. The following obstacles are commonly – and uniquely – faced by procurement teams in the course of rolling out processes and technology...

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Business Survey Chair Commentary on the October ISM-New York Report on Business: "Hotter Jobs Under Cooler Conditions"
Buyers Meeting Point
November 02, 2018
In October, New York City purchasing managers reported yet another new high level of Employment while indicating lower Current Business Conditions and a lower Six-Month Outlook, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York.

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Tags: Management, Procurement

Policy or Practice? Supply Chain Risk Management in Reality
All Things Supply Chain Blog
October 29, 2018
It is a scary reality for companies with global raw material supply chains that the data does not always exist to verify the source of the metals they and their suppliers buy. We can invest in supply chain risk management and/or compliance solutions and regularly audit our supply chains, but reliable visibility remains elusive.

This is not just a challenge for small or growing companies. The firms named in the WSJ article include Fortune Global 500 regulars such as Apple, VW, and Samsung. If they cannot keep conflict minerals out of their high visibility supply chains, how can any company hope to?

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management

Fleet Innovation - Beyond the Robots
ATSC Blog
October 08, 2018
Driverless fleet vehicles (a.k.a. autonomous trucks) have everyone so excited that you might finish your daily read of news from around the industry and think it is the only promising area of innovation in logistics. While fully autonomous fleets probably won’t become mainstream for a few years (at least!), there are plenty of other potentially disruptive advancements being rolled out right now – and not a single one of them involves robots.

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Tags: Autonomous Vehicles, Innovation, Supply Chain

Comparing the Merits of Digital and Electronic Invoicing
SynerTrade
October 04, 2018
If digital and electronic invoicing sound like the same thing to you, you’re not alone. Can an invoice be one and not the other? Absolutely.

With all of the hype surrounding digital (i.e. digitalization, digitization, digital transformation), it seems like the optimal form for invoicing. And yet, it has its limits. A PDF is digital, as is a Word document, a photograph and even a freeform text file. Digital just means that information is stored in ‘soft’ copy rather than on paper. And while an e-mailable soft copy is worlds better than a piece of paper, it doesn’t necessarily leverage the speed, efficiency, or effort-reducing capabilities of computing. Taking a picture of a paper invoice technically makes it digital, but that doesn’t make the data in that invoice accessible to most software programs.

The alternative to a digital invoice is an electronic invoice. Rather than being scans or images of invoice information, electronic invoices contain data directly in a file and, more importantly, in a format that can be accessed and interpreted by software. Electronic invoices change the playing field for companies looking to invest in either invoice automation or the automaton of the end-to-end P2P process, but they aren’t always the friendliest or most convenient format for the humans involved in the invoicing process.

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Tags: Innovation, Procurement

The September ISM-New York Report on Business: Help Wanted! Employment reaches a new all-time high
Buyers Meeting Point
October 02, 2018
In September, New York City purchasing managers reported the highest Employment number on record, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York. Current Business Conditions were at 72.5 in September, a 4 point drop from the 12-year high of 76.5 in August. There are two really significant findings in this month’s report: employment and quantity. Both are interesting from an economics perspective, but you have to view them through a procurement lens to get the full color.

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Tags: Management, Procurement

Elements of a Diversified #Procurement Technology #ROI - Tracking the Value of Time, Efficiency and Risk Management
SynerTrade
September 06, 2018
When procurement is looking to select and implement new or replace Source to pay software, our focus is often on gathering requirements and comparing qualified alternatives. But we can’t view ourselves as the only stakeholders for the effort.

One of the earliest hurdles we must often get past is delivering a business case that documents the ROI corporate leadership can expect to see from the implementation.

Sure – there’s always savings, and no procurement technology ROI calculation would be complete without that element, but in an environment where every function, team, and individual is looked at to deliver ‘more’, a savings-only ROI may seem one dimensional.

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Tags: Customer Experience, Procurement, Risk Management

A Dose of Our Own Medicine: Improving Procurement Technology Selection and Implementation
Buyers Meeting Point
September 06, 2018
Working with a third party that specializes in selecting and implementing procurement technology offers a number of advantages, not the least of which is driving business outcomes. While completing a project on time and on budget are important considerations, the implications of prioritizing them over finding the right solution are significant – and long lasting. Although many procurement organizations have one or more IT category managers on staff, they rarely possess current expertise focused on procurement technology because their attention and effort are required elsewhere (like managing categories relevant to the business).

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Tags: Culture, Digital Transformation, Procurement

The August ISM-New York Report on Business: Nowhere to go but down... except up
Buyers Meeting Point
September 05, 2018
In August, New York City purchasing managers reported significant highs in Current Business Conditions and Current and Expected Revenues. Current Business Conditions were at 76.5, a new 12 year high over the 75.0 seen in July, but still failing to surpass the 77.1 reported in November of 2006.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

AI Needs Us More than We Need It – For Now
ATSC Blog
September 03, 2018
Imaginative business leaders dream of applying AI to spend data analytics, achieving full supply chain transparency, and deftly automating internal buyer support. While these remain on the table as potential applications for AI in procurement and supply chain, AI is being held back like many of the other enterprise technologies we implemented with equally lofty goals.

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Tags: AI, Procurement, Supply Chain

Evading the Strategy Trap in Pursuit of Procurement Agility
Determine
August 22, 2018
Procurement’s desire to be agile is as well-documented and frequently discussed as our interest in transformation. In both cases, however, we are at risk of falling into the ‘strategy trap’ – the lack of clarity, direction and actionability that accompany all things non-tactical.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Leadership, Procurement

Survey Chair Commentary: The July 2018 ISM-New York Report on Business
Buyers Meeting Point
August 02, 2018
The findings in this month’s survey are nothing short remarkable. Not only do we have a number of milestone index levels, they are high across the board. This is the only time that all of these indices have been collected (current and expected revenues have only been collected since February of 2012) and that they have all been above 60. Keep in mind, too, that we closed the survey for July on Friday the 27th – the day that the Q2 2018 GDP of 4.1% was announced – meaning that all of the optimism associated with that day did not meaningfully affect this month’s results.

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Tags: Procurement

The Private Company Paradox
Procurious
August 02, 2018
Many procurement teams have been tasked with diversifying the supply base. This often means partnering with small, diverse, or locally-sourced suppliers.

One challenge that arises is that many of the companies that qualify for such programs are privately owned. The lack of information that usually accompanies private ownership is at odds with procurement’s transparent supplier evaluation frameworks. Add to this the fact that participating in an RFP process just to be ‘diversity fodder’ is onerous and potentially even harmful to small businesses, and we’re left with a paradox:

How can procurement stay true to our mandate while also finding mutually beneficial opportunities for small and diverse businesses?

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Tags: Innovation, Procurement, Sustainability

Advantages of Having the Right End-to-End Procurement Software Solution in Place
SynerTrade
July 26, 2018
The value of working with one company, on one platform, for all procurement technology needs can be measured through ease of use, user adoption, and functionality. The advantage of taking a platform approach – with the right platform and partner – is that the results and intelligence derived from using the system are as expansive as the automation, user groups, and processes it encompasses.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Procurement steps up its game
Determine
July 24, 2018
In this, the third of our four-part blog series for the release of CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence, Kelly Barner of Buyers Meeting Point delves into the myriad facets of Procurement Performance in Chapter Three. There’s no debate that the importance and influence of procurement is on the rise across industries, but the question is, are procurement’s metrics – like spend under management – truly representative of those accomplishments?

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Tags: Analytics, Procurement

Making the Case for Libertarian Procurement
Procurious
July 10, 2018
Technology and consumer expectations have advanced to the point where we can consider the possibilities of ‘Libertarian’ procurement, an approach to spend management and compliance that nods to the free will of buyers whenever possible, even if it means giving up some of the ‘control’ traditionally associated with spend management.

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Tags: Procurement

Survey Chair Commentary: The June ISM-New York Report on Business
Buyers Meeting Point
July 03, 2018
In June, New York City purchasing managers indicated a solid end to the second quarter in the form of strong forward-looking business conditions and employment. At the highest level, this month’s findings were almost ‘directionally ideal’. What do I mean by that? Anything that we would want to see go up (current business conditions and employment) goes up and prices paid goes down.

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Tags: Procurement

Common Misconceptions About the Summer Supply Chain
All Things Supply Chain Blog
June 25, 2018
Freight is considered a leading indicator for the economy, and for good reason: goods have to be in place (or at least in distribution centers) before they can travel the final mile and be sold or delivered. This means that while many of us are ramping down for a few months, logistics activity is heating up along with the weather.

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Tags: Supply Chain

Survey Chair Commentary: The May ISM-New York Report on Business
Buyers Meeting Point
June 04, 2018
The May ISM-New York Report on Business was released on June 4th at 9:45am Eastern. This post reviews the report's actual findings as well as an interpretation of their meaning.

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Tags: Procurement

The Story Behind the Numbers: The April 2018 ISM-New York Report on Business
linkedin
May 02, 2018

Current Business Conditions were at 64.3 in April, reaching the highest level since January when they reached an eleven plus year high of 72.5. The Six-Month Outlook fell to 58.4 in April. With the exception of the small increase we reported in March, the six-month outlook has declined every month since December 2017.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

The Story Behind the Numbers: The February ISM-New York Report on Business
linkedin
March 02, 2018
The February ISM-New York Report on Business was released on March 2nd at 9:45am Eastern and is available for download on the ISM-New York site. You can also hear my podcast commentary on BMP Radio, part of the Art of Procurement Network.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

The Story Behind the Numbers of the January ISM-New York Report on Business: Optimism Today, Optimism Tomorrow
linkedin
February 02, 2018
Current Business Conditions were at 72.5 in January, up almost 20 points from December. This marks the highest level reported since November of 2006 when current business conditions were at 77.1. At that time, the Six-Month Outlook was also in growth territory at 73.0, but it was lower than what we are seeing this month.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

Call for input: Preserving Trust and Respect in Negotiations
linkedin
September 21, 2017
Mark Bilgin, career negotiator and the author of Mastering High Stakes Negotiations (2017), and I will be doing a regular podcast series – one that we’re looking for community input on. Our first discussion (next week) will be focused on the importance of trust and respect in negotiation: how to foster them and signs that they are missing.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

Help! My webinar topic sounds boring!
linkedin
January 24, 2017
This content was originally featured on the Webinara blog.

One of the things we have talked and written about at length here at Webinara is the importance of having a compelling topic for your event. That topic is what will get people’s attention when you want them to register. It will give them the incentive to show up for the live event. Lastly, it will ensure that you hold their attention while you share your content.

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Tags: Procurement, Management

Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)
Buyers Meeting Point
September 15, 2016
January 15, 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the "Miracle on the Hudson". I’m as struck by his leadership now as I was then. While he is first and foremost talking about teamwork and leadership, he also teaches us about the tradeoffs of cost and risk, preparation and prevention.

My original focus was on the line about a “false dichotomy between cost and safety” but today the idea that “safety can pay for itself” stands out. After all, procurement organizations today are looking to stretch their influence beyond savings. Could a strategic, value driven approach to managing the supply chain have enough of an operational impact on the company that it would outweigh the direct bottom line impact from traditional savings? That is a question that each team will have to answer for themselves and their unique circumstances.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Procurement

How Procurement Saved the American Revolution
Buyers Meeting Point
July 04, 2014
As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, we have a lot to be grateful for. We are grateful for the simple things like peak of summer traditions: fireworks, grilling, and parades. We are also grateful that in the many years since the Declaration of Independence was signed our relationship with Britain has improved. We’d be awfully sorry not to be able to work with our British colleagues and partners.

All that being said, is the 4th of July a reason to be grateful for procurement? Absolutely. Procurement played more of a role in the American Revolutionary War than most people probably realize.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain

How Procurement Saved the American Revolution
Buyers Meeting Point
July 04, 2014
As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, we have a lot to be grateful for. We are grateful for the simple things like peak of summer traditions: fireworks, grilling, and parades. We are also grateful that in the many years since the Declaration of Independence was signed our relationship with Britain has improved. We’d be awfully sorry not to be able to work with our British colleagues and partners.

All that being said, is the 4th of July a reason to be grateful for procurement? Absolutely. Procurement played more of a role in the American Revolutionary War than most people probably realize.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain

3 Books
Finance Unleashed
Palgrave Macmillan
October 27, 2017
Finance Unleashed is based on a series of interactive interviews with a diverse group of global influencers and executives, all of which will challenge readers to think laterally and find inspiration in the new role of finance. Cases and interviewees represent organizations such as UPS and DHL, and the London School of Economics, and approaches such as Lean Six Sigma, innovation, customer-centricity, the financial supply chain, and behavioral procurement. The authors’ goal is to serve as a catalyst for leaders who are positioned to make meaningful changes today.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Fintech, Supply Chain

Procurement at a Crossroads
J. Ross
January 01, 2016
This book examines the 10 major questions regarding procurement’s role in the enterprise and how procurement is at a crossroads that will shape the future of the profession. The goal of this book is not to provide step-by-step directions on a hypothetical ‘correct’ path, but to illuminate the relative benefits of each choice available to procurement professionals. These thought leaders and subject matter experts also consider what the next phase of procurement’s evolution will be like by sharing the observations of others and taking some creative (but enthusiastic) license of their own.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, Procurement

Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals
J. Ross
November 02, 2015
This book provides procurement professionals with the process, skills, and resources to develop a supply market intelligence program that will deliver value to the organization as a whole. The authors clearly explain each of the concepts introduced and then provide the background and steps required to make execution possible.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

1 Founder
Buyers Meeting Point
Buyers Meeting Point
July 01, 2009
Buyers Meeting Point is an online knowledge and professional development resource for procurement and supply management professionals owned and managed by career procurement professional Kelly Barner. Buyers Meeting Point was founded in 2009 to provide the procurement industry with an events calendar, blog, content, and active social media network, all of which have remained trusted sources of information for practitioners and solution providers alike. In 2020, Buyers Meeting Point acquired MyPurchasingCenter, a website designed to provide procurement professionals with the information required to keep their companies competitive in a dynamic global marketplace, to expand their audience, social media reach, and content base.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Procurement, Supply Chain

1 Influencer Award
Top 5 Procurement Influencers
CPOstrategy Magazine
July 29, 2019
CPOstrategy Magazine has ranked Buyers Meeting Point Owner and Managing Director Kelly Barner the top influencer in procurement based on a listing published by ProcurementIQ.

The opening of the article, available in the July 2019 issue, reads as follows:

"With direct access to audiences across a global stage, social media has redefined the idea of influencers. Looking to tap into and explore this ever expanding resource, industry giants have their very own influencers steering and engaging the conversation. CPOstrategy looks at 5 leading procurement influencers as ranked by ProcurementIQ." - Dale Benton

The other influencers included in the ranking are Lora Cecere, Founder of Supply Chain Insights; Tom Derry, CEO of the Institute for Supply Management; Omid Ghamami, CEO and Chairman of the Board at the Center for Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Excellence; and Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG).

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain

11 Media Interviews
SCN LIVE: Procurement Priorities & Challenges: Kelly Barner with Buyers Meeting Point
Supply Chain Now
October 15, 2020
Scott W. Luton and Greg White sit down with Kelly Barner, Owner & Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point, to gain her thoughts & insights on the wide-world of Procurement.

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Tags: Business Continuity, Procurement, Supply Chain

SCN LIVE: Procurement Priorities & Challenges: Kelly Barner with Buyers Meeting Point
YouTube
October 14, 2020
Scott W. Luton and Greg White sit down with Kelly Barner, Owner & Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point, to gain her thoughts & insights on the wide-world of Procurement.

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Tags: Innovation, Procurement, Leadership

Supernormal Influencer Series: Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
Procurious
October 13, 2020
In the Supernormal Influencer Series, I’ll guide you through the unexpected, confronting surprises head-on and dealing authoritatively with sudden changes in circumstances. Catch my exclusive chat with Procurious founder Tania Series in the Supernormal Influencer Series, available now: https://bit.ly/3iFKeXt

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Risk Management

DO YOU AGREE? 4 SUPPLY CHAIN INFLUENCERS ON WHAT’S CHANGED SINCE COVID-19
Procurious
July 16, 2020
In every industry, there’s a few powerful individuals who drive the conversation. These fortunate few are the ones that propel industries forward; they are the ones who decide what’s trending, what’s next and what our future might look like. They’re influencers, and within the procurement professional, we’re blessed with many whom we all aspire to.

And this year, with COVID ravaging our supply chains (and not to mention lives) as we know them, we’ve needed industry leaders and influencers more than ever to help guide us through and tell us what’s next. So that’s why, recently, we sought out the opinions of 30 of procurement’s top influencers. They shared some of their most profound and intriguing insights into what the COVID experience has been like for them, what they’ve learnt and what they expect to see in the future.

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Tags: COVID19, Procurement, Supply Chain

How Kelly Barner Became The World’s No 1 Procurement Influencer
Procurious
June 29, 2020
Reaching influencer status on social media in any industry comes down to two things. Procurement and Supply Chain Influencer, Kelly Barner reveals what what they are and why it is important…

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Procurement, Social

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Procurement’s History
Sourcing Solved podcast
May 13, 2020
In asking procurement professionals through a series of surveys, if they had to do it all over again, would they choose procurement as a career more than 50 per cent said no. What was even more telling was the fact that a good percentage of those who responded to the surveys were in the profession for less than three years.

Organisations today must demonstrate in principle and practice how procurement is no longer an adjunct function of finance with the sole mandate of acquiring goods and services at the best cost.

In this lecture, Kelly Barner talks about the steps your organisation must take to update its internal dialogue regarding procurement’s strategic importance to the enterprise to attract the best and the brightest candidates.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Amazing Advice From A Guru – Kelly Barner #WSW on Ms Category Management by Dana Small
Ms. Category Management
February 11, 2020
Advice from THE #1 Procurement Guru
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kelly Barner about my career and goals. She has always been willing to answer any question or give me help and advice when I needed it (can we say what a great informal mentor!). Not to mention, Kelly was one of the first to notice me when I started blogging and gave me a chance to try a new platform (podcast).

She did all this, with absolutely zero expectations in return.
I’ve found in life that when you give without an expectation to receive, life has a way of rewarding you. It’s typically through Karma. But, I didn’t have that type of patience. So I took the situation into my own hands.

It’s for these reasons; I wanted to interview Kelly for a special #WSW – women supporting women video blog post. Hopefully, we can all learn to support other women without the expectation of getting anything in return.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Procurement

How Procurement Can Re-invent Itself In The Workplace
Procurify
January 24, 2020
This interview is taken from an episode of the Spend Culture Stories podcast. In this episode, Kelly Barner from Buyer’s Meeting Point chats with us on the new role of the procurement executive, and how procurement can reclaim itself as a key function in an organization. She explains the hilarious and shocking stories behind how the role of procurement is behind everything that we see.

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Tags: Digital Disruption, Procurement, Supply Chain

2020 Predictions - Digital Transformation
Thinkers360
November 12, 2019
Thinkers360 2020 Predictions are member-sourced predictions from our opt-in B2B thought leader and influencer community with 15M+ followers on social media combined. The 2020 Predictions for Digital Transformation are part of a series intended to provide actionable insights for business and technology executives.

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Tags: Digital Disruption, Procurement, Supply Chain

5 Things I Learned from Interviewing Procurement Experts and Thought Leaders
Vizibl
October 30, 2019
A number of Procurement leaders are aware of the need to transform their function. It is certainly not clear what this will look like in the future, but there are a number of important areas CPOs must focus on in 2020 in order to guarantee long term success. It is certainly not clear how procurement will look in the future… Will it even be called “Procurement”?

I personally believe that sustainability and technology will sit at the heart of the function, giving Procurement a new, more meaningful purpose.

To Andrea, Anoop, Chris, Jonathan, Karina, Kelly, Mark, Michael and Tom, thanks for your time and insights!

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

On Earth Day, Digital Networks Turning Global Commerce a Brighter Shade of Green
SAP Ariba
April 19, 2019
By opening up transparency among the millions of buyers and suppliers who engage in commerce every day, digital networks enable trading partners to gauge each other’s adherence to Earth-friendly standards in their business operations.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

2 Panels
The 5 Most Expensive Mistakes AP Can Make – And How To Avoid Them
Tradeshift
August 16, 2018
The number one goal of any AP team – ensure that the company gets the most out of every dollar spent. The number one goal for strategic AP teams – become a driving force for positive cash flow. So what happens when the AP team makes a really expensive mistake? How long would it take for you to realize you had made one, and how much would it cost the business?

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Tags: Digital Disruption, Management, Procurement

Automation Deployment And Change Management Best Practices
Zycus
June 19, 2018
In the past, eInvoicing and eProcurement solutions were an adjunct component of large back-end ERP platforms. As a result, the functionality regarding their practical use in the real world was limited and even restricted. In other words, technological limitations created a misalignment between the way that the ERP systems worked and the way global buying decisions were made. To address this disconnect, change management strategies were introduced to force compliance with these technologies. These strategies included a concerted effort to eliminate maverick spend and rationalize supply bases.

Fast forward to today, and what Gartner has called the Postmodern ERP Era. With the emergence of on-demand or “by the drink” solutions that can be implemented within weeks if not days as opposed to months and years, compliance with these “user intuitive” systems is no longer an issue. This transformation raises the question; is change management as we know it from Finance and Procure-To-Pay standpoints still relevant in the digital era?

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Tags: Fintech, Procurement, Change Management

9 Podcasts
The July 2020 ISM-New York Report on Business: The Rebound Continues
Buyers Meeting Point
August 04, 2020
In July, New York City purchasing managers reported several 5- and 6-month highs while the Six-Month Outlook lost the gains reported in June, according to the survey taken by the Institute for Supply Management-New York

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Art of Procurement podcast episode 284: Escaping Your Traditional Environment – This Month In Procurement
Art of Procurement
November 25, 2019
In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (General Manager of AOP and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from November’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In November, we heard Bill Michels, VP of Operations Americas for CIPS, discuss proactive recession planning, and then Procurement Leaders’ David Rae and Geraldine Craven connected the results of recent research to how CPOs should be planning for 2020.

Our discussion topic is getting away, or stepping away from your traditional environment to gain perspective and inspiration. We just spent two days in person planning out our strategies and actions for 2020, and it made all the difference in the world. Whether you have an upcoming team offsite or whether your holiday travels will carry you far from the office, remember to find ways to benefit from the objectivity that distance and reengagement offer.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Planning For 2020 – This Month In Procurement
Art of Procurement
November 04, 2019
This month’s discussion topic is one that most procurement professionals – most people, in fact – think about this time of year… How can I set myself up for success in the new year? With less than 60 days remaining in 2019, there isn’t a minute to waste. The AOP team is already actively engaged in the planning process, and we are positive 2020 is going to a much brighter – and bolder – year!

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Tags: Business Strategy, Procurement, Supply Chain

Transformational ROI: Why Your Suppliers Should Embrace E-invoicing
Determine
October 03, 2019
If you have been working under the assumption that digital transformation will solve all of your problems and catapult your company into leadership status, consider this: an email with an invoice attached to it is “digital.” That invoice still has to be manually sent, received and entered into another system for approval and payment. Despite being digital, this invoicing process is labor intensive, risky and inefficient. Hardly transformative, is it?

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

The Evolution of Finance and the CFO, Part 2
Determine
September 19, 2019
In a continuation of our discussion with Corcentric EVP and CFO Mark Joyce, we leave our focus on how the CFO role has changed in the digital age and we pick up the very popular topic of how finance and procurement can work together better.

While procurement is accustomed to thinking of finance as something of a brick wall, there is nothing to be defensive about in this CFO conversation. With data and analytics at the foundation of most corporate roles today, all corporate functions have a lot more in common than they realize, including a shared desire to impact as many parts of the organization as possible.

In Mark’s own words…

"Regardless of where procurement reports, their objective should be the same, which is to ensure the goods and/or services an organization is investing in or acquiring meet their requirements. In a collaborative organization, it shouldn’t matter where procurement reports, because everybody should be involved at the appropriate level and share ideas and work towards common objectives.”

In addition to the fact that, as CFO, Mark characterizes most spend as “investment”, in other words, of strategic importance to the enterprise, he discusses an interesting perspective on total cost of ownership that is not to be missed: what does it cost the company to make a change – whether in response to positive or negative conditions.

In the second part of our discussion with Mark, he addresses:

How the prevalence of “as-a-service” contracts has changed the way companies measure the value of their contracts.
How procurement’s role and priorities may be different in long term planning situations v. more straightforward, shorter term decisions.
The importance of making sure a company is prepared to act upon what they have set out as their chosen strategy.

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Tags: Leadership, Management, Procurement

The Evolution of Finance and the CFO, Part 1
Determine
September 17, 2019
In a recently released article and podcast about the evolving role of the CFO, McKinsey & Co. partner Ankur Agrawal and consultant Priyanka Prakash shine an interesting light on enterprise-wide change management in the digital age — from the perspective of finance. Of particular note are the number and range of corporate functions reporting into finance today, and how that shifting scope of responsibilities can stress a CFO’s bandwidth while also increasing their net impact.

To gain perspective on these changes, we spoke with Corcentric EVP and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Mark Joyce. He has been in his current position for nearly 13 years, and in that time he has had ample opportunities to observe the changing expectations of the CFO role. At the same time, he has been supporting the company’s growth journey while acting upon his unique vision for the future of finance.

Today’s strategic CFOs aren’t nearly as focused on “the pennies” as they used to be. Instead, their time is spent analytically leveraging the company’s data resources, learning from people at all levels of the organization, and ensuring that the operational focus of the enterprise is aligned with the opportunities that exist in the marketplace.

In this discussion, Mark will answer questions such as:

- How is the role of the CFO changing, and what impact is that change having on the rest of the C-suite?
- How can a CFO bring their personal vision to bear on finance and on the enterprise while also ensuring that finance as a whole delivers what is needed of them?
- Given the increased role of long term strategy and planning in finance, where can CFOs go to nurture and develop innovative ideas?

Thanks for listening in, and be sure to check back for Part 2.

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Tags: Leadership, Management, Procurement

Full Access: Kelly Barner with Buyers Meeting Point
Supply Chain Now Radio
July 08, 2019
Last week Kelly was interviewed by Scott Luton, host of the Supply Chain Now podcast, for their ‘Full Access’ series. Scott asked some great questions about how she reached this point in her career and what advice she would give to people just getting started, before changing tacks and digging into the latest procurement and supply chain trends.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain

Technology Alone Is Still Not A Silver Bullet For Transformation
Art of Procurement
March 25, 2019
In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major takeaways from March’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In March, Louis Bastone (Indirect Category Manager at ASML) talked about making the move into procurement from another function or later in one’s professional career. Sammeli Sammalkorpi (co-founder of Sievo) provided some grounded advice about AI, making clear that if we want it to generate real results, we have to apply it wisely. Finally, David Loseby (author, Soft Skills for Hard Business) reminded us that as long as people are still at the heart of the business, we need to be aware of our choice of language, their perspective on decisions, and the impact of small decisions compounded over time.

Don’t miss out on upcoming opportunities to connect with us in person at ProcureCon, Ivalua NOW, Ariba Live and the upcoming SIG Summit. We also have two AOP Live sessions scheduled in April, one with Kris Koneru at Infosys and one with Anthony Clervi at UNA. Make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list to receive notice once those events are open for registration.

This month’s discussion topic comes from a Harvard Business Review Article: ‘Digital Transformation is Not About Technology’. It reminds us that our technology may have changed, but implementation and adoption challenges remain the same – especially for organizations that are trying to significantly change and improve their operational capabilities.

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Tags: Change Management, Digital Transformation, Procurement

Insider's View: Procurement Transformation - Episode 2: Why Procurement Leaders Need to Speak Up
SAPAriba
March 06, 2019
Kelly Barner, owner and managing director of Buyers Meeting Point, shares why it’s essential that procurement leadership leverage their influence to achieve successful procurement transformations.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Procurement

3 Speaking Engagements
Aligning Intent And Investment To Build (The Right) Procurement Capabilities
Art of Procurement
February 25, 2019
In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from February’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In February, Andrew Daley (Edbury Daley) described the importance of conquering risk aversion when we scope out and fill open positions. Jens Hentschel (FIVIS Partnership) reminded us of the danger of “toiling away” at a tactical level while missing the big picture. Finally, Matt Clark (Corcentric) described the positioning challenges being faced by accounts payable organizations as well as the company’s recent acquisitions: Source One Management Services and Determine.

Don’t miss out on upcoming opportunities to connect with us in person at ProcureCon and Ariba Live, or the latest on the AOP Live schedule – including the free download on Building a Procurement AI Game Plan based on February’s session with Sievo.

This month’s discussion topic was driven by the findings of The Hackett Group’s 2019 CPO Agenda Report: Building Next-Generation Capabilities. The existing gaps between what procurement believes is important from a skills development perspective and what the enterprise values (and why) may be a quick read, but it deserves a lot of thought.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Leadership, Procurement

SIL Podcast: High-Stakes Procurement w/ Kelly Barner
Art of Procurement: SIL Podcast
July 19, 2018
Kelly’s advice to procurement professionals is to stop asking for permission and do whatever it takes to meet business objectives by looking at the long-term, larger picture. When procurement is involved in creating those strategic relationships across the organization, it can drive innovation that leads to cost savings and long-term value.

Key Takeaways:
- Procurement professionals should look at challenges and stumbling blocks as opportunities to save money and increase value.
- To get results and show procurement’s value to the organization, procurement needs to stop asking for permission. If it ruffles some feathers, that’s okay.
- The best kind of procurement talent are those individuals who can handle friction, challenge the status quo and readjust their strategies with agility.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Supply Chain

Negotiating for the Unknown: Buying Emerging Technologies
Art of Procurement Podcast Network
June 21, 2018
For enterprises and procurement organizations piloting or evaluating emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, and RPA, there is very little to go on when preparing for a meeting with an AI vendor.

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Tags: AI, Emerging Technology, Procurement

9 Webinars
Recommended Procurement Webinars Oct 19-23: Third Party Risk, Lasting Supplier Diversity, Resilience v. Immunity
Buyers Meeting Point
October 19, 2020
This is the time of year when it becomes all too easy to count down the days and weeks left on the calendar. By my count, we have about 8 solid weeks remaining – when you allow for Thanksgiving and the natural phase out towards Christmas. 8 weeks… that’s either good news or bad news depending on your perspective.

If you are planning your procurement webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “Digitally-enabled people for insight, resilience, and innovation” from Tradeshift and Spendency on November 10th.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management

Recommended Webinars September 14-18: Post-Crisis Procurement, Customer-Driven Digitalization, Food Supply
Buyers Meeting Point
September 14, 2020
I’m continuing to add new events to the calendar, both webinars and virtual conferences. While a virtual conference might not typically be your ‘thing,’ keep in mind that most of them are free to attend – meaning that 2020 is actually presenting us with opportunities to ‘attend’ events and hear from speakers that we wouldn’t have access to in a ‘normal’ year!

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Supply Chain

Recommended Webinars September 7-11: AI for Contract Analytics and Chasing Tail Spend
Buyers Meeting Point
September 07, 2020
Now that it is September, the fall conference season is upon us. Even though few will have the opportunity to gather in person, we can still make the most of these virtual chances to connect and learn. There are two upcoming virtual conferences I want to call particular attention to:

Mastermind LIVE: Art of Procurement’s Digital Procurement Event with a Difference
NESCON: The New England Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition
If you are planning your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend “International trade and compliance – what’s new in 2020?” From basware and EBG Network on September 16th at 2pm ET.

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Tags: Emerging Technology, Supply Chain, Procurement

Recommended Procurement Webinars June 15-19: Best Practices for Uncertain Times, Increased Resilience, Flattening the Cost Curve
Buyers Meeting Point
June 15, 2020
Another week, another 10 events added to the calendar – all of which are taking place between now and the first week of July. There are 8 webinars this week and 11 next, and several events already listed for the week of July 4th. That may indicate that the pause in business that typically surrounds the July 4th holiday in the U.S. will be shorter than in more typical years.

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Tags: Procurement

Recommended Webinars June 8-12: Outlook 2000, Resilient Companies, and Aligned Procurement
Buyers Meeting Point
June 08, 2020
Last Tuesday I announced that Buyers Meeting Point has acquired MyPurchasingCenter, a website and online community much like BMP. This step increases our reach, audience, and – most importantly – our content base. Some of the best known writers in procurement and supply chain were authors for MPC, including Jon Hansen, Bill Michels, Dr. Tom DePaoli, Rich Weissman, and Elaine Porteous. Look for more on that front starting this week!

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

Recommended Webinars June 1-5: Managing Supplier Risk and Embracing Automation
Buyers Meeting Point
June 01, 2020
As we turn the corner into June, the pace of even virtual events has slowed back to what I would expect to see in the summer months of a ‘normal’ year, which this decidedly is not. One sign of light at the end of the tunnel is this: I added a live event (yes, live – in person and with people in attendance) for November of 2020. Time will tell if that is going to hold and what it will look like, but it feels like a glimmer of hope all the same.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, RPA

Recommended Webinars May 25-29: Collaborate to Win, Manufacturing Resilience, and Virtual Procurement
Buyers Meeting Point
May 24, 2020
If you are outside of the U.S., just a quick reminder that Monday is Memorial Day, a Federal holiday and the unofficial start to summer. Most people are still marking the day in some fashion, but I suspect that very few will be taking to the roads, so the week should be relatively business-as-usual starting on Tuesday.

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Tags: Innovation, Supply Chain, Procurement

Recommended Procurement Webinars May 18-22: Risk, Resiliency, and Agility
Buyers Meeting Point
May 18, 2020
Holy webinars Batman! I added 14 new virtual events to the calendar last week. Clearly companies are embracing this method of reaching their desired audience (in the absence of an alternative). I just hope they aren’t all sad COVID-19 fallout events. If anyone hears about a webinar focused on how the ‘murder hornets’ are expected to affect the supply chain, please let me know?

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Tags: Procurement, Agile, Risk Management

Recommended Procurement Webinars April 27-May 1: A Crucial Coalition, Unlocking Strategic Value, CPO Rising 2020
Buyers Meeting Point
April 27, 2020
In addition to the events listed below, we also get one other fantastic gift this week – we FINALLY get to turn the calendar from April to May. I can’t think that I’m the only person that is past ready to bid farewell to April 2020 forever.

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Tags: Procurement

4 Webinars
Post COVID-19 Supply Chains: What is Needed to Adapt
Supply Chain Now
August 21, 2020
After COVID-19, most companies will be cash poor, margin hungry, and riveted on boosting supply chain resilience.

They say, “forewarned is forearmed,” but what specific actions should we take? Join Rod Sherkin, President of ProPurchaser, and Kelly Barner, Owner of Buyers Meeting Point, as they team up to share their insights on the challenges our profession will face and the solutions we can implement to thrive in a post COVID-19 world.

Kelly kicks off this discussion by explaining how some of today’s “best practices” may no longer be best, e.g.: building just-in-time supply chains, supplier rationalization, and pursuing low prices.

Rod continues the presentation with practical advice to prepare you for what's coming - how to keep the focus on cost containment while building resilience into your supply chain.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, COVID19

2020 CIPS/HAYS North America Procurement Salary Guide and Insights Webinar
CIPS/Hays
August 04, 2020
The CIPS/Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights 2020 is currently available for North America. On July 8, 2020 we will be hosting a live webinar providing an in depth understanding of the North America survey findings, including skills in demand for the future.

This years' report provides a fascinating insight into the challenging social, political and economic environment in which organizations are operating in; combined with the digital revolution resulting in the increasingly complex demands being placed on procurement and supply chain management. As a result, business leaders are turning to procurement for solutions to reduce risk and find new opportunities. It has never been more important to have fully qualified professionals in the team with the right skills to deliver.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

The Road to a Successful Compliance Technology Purchase
MyComplianceOffice
July 16, 2020
Purchasing software or choosing a vendor can be a multi-faceted effort. Firms are expected to maximise profits and reduce costs and the fast-paced regulatory environment is preventing them from achieving this.

Consequently, the role of Compliance and Procurement within financial services is set to be more tactical than ever as organizations look to gain value through their choice of compliance technology.

Firms are facing higher levels of regulatory scrutiny and are counting on vendors to help them mitigate risks. At large firms, procurement teams are an essential player in helping to manage risk factors and ensure support to the compliance team when choosing a compliance solution.

In this webinar, Kelly Barner, Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point looks at what compliance officers need to know about working with procurement when implementing new software and the importance of each player in the buying cycle.

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Tags: Management, Procurement, Risk Management

Procurement and supply chain: Today's most crucial coalition
Fairmarkit
April 30, 2020
The interconnectedness between supply chain and procurement is critical, especially during these unprecedented times. Listen to procurement experts, Jill Robbins Senior Director, Global Indirect Procurement at Elanco, Kelly Barner, Owner & Managing Director at Buyers Meeting Point, and Erin McFarlane, Head of Strategy at Fairmarkit, as they discuss how to creatively work with suppliers to bring innovation across your supply chain.

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Tags: Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain

2 Whitepapers
The Procurement AI Gameplan Workbook
Art of Procurement
March 11, 2019
There are an increasing number of examples of how AI and machine learning add value in procurement. They include spend classification, capturing supplier information from public sources, and parsing the key terms from lengthy, complex contract documents. Automation can be implemented as a pilot project or an enterprise-wide effort, and it can improve legacy processes as well as parts of the business that have been deliberately re-worked to leverage the unique advantages of AI.

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Tags: AI, Digital Transformation, Procurement

Boosting Supplier Performance with 360° Information
SynreTrade
July 16, 2018
What a company wants from each supplier varies widely by industry and spend category, with one exception: transparency. Procurement (and the internal stakeholders they support) are always on the lookout for opportunities to increase supply chain visibility.

In this paper we will consider the impact that building an actionable 360° picture of supplier performance has on the long term success of third party relationships by combining:
- Supplier onboarding
- Profile enrichment
- Performance scorecarding

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Tags: Big Data, Digital Transformation, Procurement

Radar

3 Predictions
Procurement Prediction 2021

Date : September 29, 2020

I predict that in 2021, the two 'hemispheres' of procurement - cost savings and value creation - will finally coexist in harmony. Rather than being the result of procurement's internal elevation or expansion, it will be as a result of the extreme pressure being put on companies to remain profitable while staying competitive in the shadow of the pandemic. Procurement is entering into this time of pressure as carbon, and will emerge as diamonds.

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2020 Predictions for COVID-19 Business Impact

Date : September 28, 2020

I predict that in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, procurement will not only (finally) embrace the value of strategic supplier relationships, we will improve our methodology for selecting which companies to partner with. Companies that actively invested in supplier partnerships before the pandemic have been able to weather the storm and even benefit from their suppliers’ understanding of disrupted markets. It is not always the largest spend suppliers that are the most important partners, but rather the ones that hold the most value for the operation. The methodology for selecting these suppliers may be more difficult, but the ROI will be far higher.

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2020 Predictions for Digital Transformation

Date : September 25, 2020

The phrase “digital transformation” will be replaced by multiple, more specific initiatives as the failure to deliver concrete results eats away at corporate interest and willingness to invest.

Rationale: The promise of digital transformation has been accepted without proper scrutiny. This has made it difficult to set objectives and measure ROI. Rather than being everything to everyone, digital transformation now means nothing at all.

Action: Executives in the middle of a transformational effort should focus on specifics: what technology, what results, what timeline? Companies just starting a digital journey should learn from others and demand clarity and specificity before moving forward.

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Blog

4 Article/Blogs
Dear Procurement… I need to make a profit!
Thinkers360
July 23, 2020
I often receive questions about procurement from all directions and perspectives. I recently received one from an entrepreneur that I thought everyone might benefit from reading my answer to. The question related to the onerous requirements and processes that procurement teams put up which are expensive, time-consuming, and often push for early pay discounts regardless of the size of the vendor or the size or duration of the contract. In this case, procurement was hindering business between the parties, rather than facilitating it, and the entrepreneur was questioning whether to walk away.

If you’re a small business owner, you’re certainly not alone in being fed up with “us” – meaning corporate procurement. That seems like a funny thing to say these days, as I’m not really in procurement anymore. I am on the small vendor side and I completely sympathize with your procurement overhead struggles.

That said, I think I can connect the two sides of my experience – being in corporate procurement and running my own B2B business – to provide some actionable advice that you and others may be able to use to protect your bottom line while aggressively growing the top line.

1. When a customer’s processes or requirements drive up your costs, you have to increase your prices to cover them. Whenever possible, make sure they know what they are doing to make themselves expensive to serve. If they have a procurement team with any sense at all, that will raise red flags all over the place. If they don’t care, don’t walk away - RUN!

2. Only raise prices on the companies that drive up your costs; don’t try to distribute the increased overhead across clients or packages. That indirectly forces easy to serve companies to ‘subsidize’ the difficult ones and punishes the wrong companies for the wrong reasons.

3. Take the proposed length of the agreement into consideration, especially if you suspect the customer will be high maintenance. The harder they push for things like early pay discounts, etc., the longer you should push the agreement. It should make sense to them that if you are going to take on risk for them, you need some certainty (and liquidity!) to protect yourself in return.

4. Don’t agree to ‘volume discounts’ if they aren’t associated with efficiencies on your part. People often ask me, “How much will you lower your prices if I promise to hire you to do more writing for me?” I tell them that more work is just more work. It isn’t like building components where I realize an economy of scale by doing more writing. If the time/cost savings aren’t there, you can’t be expected to pass them along.

5. BUT… Be prepared to tell people how they can make themselves less expensive to serve. I have a whole list of ways I can save myself time, therefore lowering my customers’ costs. Sometimes that means the customer point of contact takes on a bit more work, but if it saves me time and lowers my costs, then they get lower prices.

I have also ‘fired’ a few clients over the years, either because I couldn’t make any money serving them or because they were horrible and disrespectful to deal with. Small business owners have to protect our bottom line, and if that means losing a client, so be it. There is no reason to have a client that you lose money to service.

On the flip side, if you find a good client, do anything you can (within reason) to keep them – and keep them happy! If your relationship works because of your point of contact rather than the company, protect yourself via a statement of work and offer up additional help or insight ‘under the table.’ That way, if they leave the company, you aren’t stuck finishing a ‘friends and family’ deal with someone you don’t like, and the point of contact may even bring you in to their new company.

Good procurement teams want their suppliers to make money. Not too much money, but enough to make a profit, take care of their team, and reinvest for the future. If you’re feeling heartache before the contract is signed, there is no reason to think things will improve after the ink is dry.

Good luck!

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Tags: Startups, Procurement, Legal and IP

Procurement Must Manage Spend, Not “Spends”
Thinkers360
September 07, 2019
For procurement organizations that are driven by a clear cost efficiency mandate, spend is spend. No spend should be considered ‘other’, ‘different’, or ‘theirs’, whether the issue is oversight, technology, or value. At the same time, procurement’s strategies and management approaches have to reflect the overall direction and priorities of the enterprise. Declaring that ‘spend is spend’ doesn’t mean that we should treat it all the same.

Procurement must work to unite all spend, regardless of how and where it has been addressed in the past. We must also use the full potential of our technology, using it to consolidate and analyze spend rather than just showing us where the cracks are and hoping we make the right choice in response to that information.

Our technology platforms have no need for fragmentation, even in the face of so much data. They are designed to manage and analyze huge pools of spend and large numbers of transactions in a fraction of a second. Much of the fragmentation we’ve dealt with to date has been put in place by procurement (sometimes through technology) because we were more comfortable dealing with one cut or slice at a time. As a result, we sometimes made progress in confined areas of the business at the cost of larger, more impactful opportunities.

Rather than relying upon technology to show us where fragmentation exists (such as in tail spend), and then ‘fixing’ one fragment at a time, we must look to technology as the solution to fragmentation itself. If we can use technology to consolidate and contextualize all of our data together rather than artificially segmenting it for own comfort, we can power intelligent decisions in real time, seizing greater opportunities and avoiding previously unforeseeable risks.

Enterprise-level spend management is a big task; there is so much data created as a result of so many types of business activity. Companies gather data from sales and production, facilities and finance, customers and suppliers. Add to that the information footprint from social media, text messages and audio/video content, and the scale of what’s available quickly becomes more blinding than illuminating.

Click here for information on how this strategy applies to different categories of spend: Procurement must manage spend, not spends

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Management

ATMs Provide a Cautionary Counterweight to Digital Transformation Optimism
Thinkers360
April 27, 2019
In the March/April Harvard Business Review there is a fantastic article on Operational Transparency by Ryan W. Buell. His research shows that when customers don’t have a clear understanding of the effort and expertise required to complete a task, they assign less value to it and customer satisfaction suffers.

Buell illustrates his point with the adoption of ATMs. When first introduced in the late 1960s, ATMs were successful beyond banks’ wildest expectations. Customers loved the 24/7 access to funds and banks loved the decrease in staffing costs. But the news wasn’t all good. As Buell writes:

“When customers use ATMs more and tellers less, their overall level of satisfaction with their bank goes down. It turns out that when consumers can’t see the work that’s being done to serve them, their perception is that less effort went into delivering the service, so they don’t appreciate or value it as much.”

I believe this offers a critical consideration for procurement organizations pushing full steam ahead with digital transformation. Transformation almost always implies automation, with overall accuracy and improved buyer empowerment being the goals. But perceptions can be hard to control, regardless of the intent. Buell’s research serves as a counterweight to digital optimism, and reminds us that as automation lifts the weight of any given effort, we have to ensure the user understanding required to ensure the same level of value assignment and satisfaction.

So how will procurement ensure that our value assignment (something that we might already say is in question) survives digital transformation?

Option #1: Increase visibility and understanding through face to face effort and proactive involvement in stakeholder projects. Like the tellers that remain in banks, procurement has the opportunity to engage on a strategic basis to address complex needs and high risk supply chains.

Option #2: Emphasize the collection, validation and COMMUNICATION of performance metrics. If procurement is able to increase measured performance, then we can show value. The catch is that if colleagues don’t trust the numbers, or even worse, don’t know about the metrics, they won’t do us any good.

Digital transformation presents a huge opportunity for procurement to increase value, efficiency and performance, but we must be aware of perceived value loss. Any transformation planning effort must address this risk and outline steps to mitigate it.

See blog

Tags: Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Procurement

To Maximize Employee Engagement, We Must First Define It
Thinkers360
March 25, 2019

In the March 23rd Wall Street Journal, Sam Walker had a fascinating piece about the connections between effective middle managers and the performance of the company as a whole: “One Fix for All That’s Wrong: Better Managers”. Walker cites Gallup research which found that good middle-level managers account for 70% of the difference between high and low productivity companies. “In other words,” Walker writes, “if it’s a superior team you’re after, hiring the right manager is 70% of the battle.”

One reason for this difference is what Gallup defines as ‘employee engagement’, or how employees feel about their jobs and the work they do. Engagement is characterized as an emotional measure rather than as a set of actions. It has to do with fulfillment, and a sense that the company values each person and what they are capable of.

While many companies track audience/customer/prospect engagement as measured by clicks, views, reads, listens, downloads, likes, shares, etc., Gallup takes a much softer point of view – but it may be far more meaningful. Engagement isn’t an action at all. It is a feeling. If there is one thing we know about social media, it is that what people do often has very little to do with how the content makes them feel. Too often they haven’t even read it.

Anyone driven by metrics can easily fall into the trap of prioritizing activities that can be measured, whether they have any meaning or not.

If Gallup’s study is right, and employees engage in response to (a.) good middle managers and (b.) corporate investment in professional development, then procurement organizations have a lot of ground to make up. We have to invest in our teams and feelings of satisfaction. This will require real leadership. If we don’t care about our work, we can’t generate good results.

People are a competitive differentiator. When we view engagement as an intangible upside that companies desperately need to create customer and shareholder value, we have to position it as equally important to procurement as savings.

See blog

Tags: Management, Procurement, Supply Chain

Opportunities

1 Media Interview - Print/Online
Professional Writing / Ghost Writing Services

Location: Virtual    Date Available: January 01st, 2020    Fees: Content Menu Avail. Upon Req.

Submission Date: July 22nd, 2020    Service Type: Service Offered

Kelly Barner is an experienced procurement practitioner, consultant and thought leader, and she creates content with the authenticity and authority required to appeal to procurement executives and decision makers. Content deliverable types include articles, blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, ebooks, website copy and more. The topic of each deliverable will be determined in cooperation with your team and will take your marketing objectives into consideration while remaining non-promotional.

Unlike impersonal content generation services, Kelly manages each project efficiently and provides you with constant visibility. You maintain total control and will feel confident about the quality of the final product. Writing and editing are completed in an accelerated fashion so you can put the resulting content assets to work for your business sooner!

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