Archive for July, 2007

The Half-Truth Of Inventory Management

Jason over at Spend Matters posted a thought provoking piece on inventory practices in Cisco’s supply chain. I posted a comment there and thought that I’d post it here, too, for your reading pleasure. The half-truth of inventory management is that moving to a lean inventory reduces cost. That’s not necessarily true. If the inventory just shifts backwards in the…

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The Purchasing Talent Crunch Paradox

Yesterday, I posted a long entry that analyzed the market for purchasing jobs: tactical purchasing jobs are being eliminated while strategic purchasing jobs are being created faster than they can be filled by qualified candidates. The latter situation is what is known as the “talent crunch.” This can seem like something of a paradox. If purchasing professionals are being displaced…

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Read Yesterday’s Purchasing Blogs? Don’t Panic!

Yesterday, my friend Tim Minahan posted an entry on Supply Excellence about the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook for purchasing professionals. He rallied other bloggers in the space to incite a letter-writing campaign targeted at the BLS and at least two other bloggers (Jason @ Spend Matters and Michael @ Sourcing Innovation) obliged. I really admire the work…

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Supply Chain Optimization

I hope that you have enjoyed the article “Supply Chain Optimization Simplified.” I am sure many of you are wondering, “Will I ever need supply chain optimization technology?” Well, here’s a little test. Imagine that you are requesting bids for nuts and bolts in a situation with these characteristics: There are three bidders – Alice, Bob, and Carol You need…

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The Best Purchasing Certification? More Evidence…

Since the SPSM Certification was launched in 2004, we’ve seen it rapidly rise in recognition and supplant other certifications as the “best” certification available in the eyes of purchasing professionals around the world. Yesterday, one more piece of evidence surfaced suggesting that the SPSM Certification is indeed the top procurement certification. Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine released its “Supply…

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Buying From Sister Companies

One of our students recently sent a very interesting question to me. She asked how to handle buying products and services from “sister companies” (i.e., companies who are owned by the same parent company that owns your company). This is a great question and one in which there is no definite answer, only opinions. My opinion is that you should…

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Training’s Role In Procurement Transformation

Purchasing Magazine published an article on Saturday about Kimball International’s sourcing team and the massive and measurable success they’ve had with transforming their organization into a more strategic one. If you were looking for a real-life example of how to add value, this article is a must read. After reading it, you will be left with many ideas on how…

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Information on Purchase Orders

I’ve recently received a question like this from a student: “What is better to use on a purchase order: an item number or a free text description?” Well, first let me say that these two pieces of information do not need to be mutually exclusive. The purpose of an item number, purchase order description, or specification is simple: to communicate…

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Supply Chain Talent Poaching

Last year, I blogged about how Alcoa was poaching top talent from other purchasing organizations. Specifically, I alluded to two extremely talented individuals in particular who had recently joined their team at the time. Well, apparently what comes around goes around. I spoke with both of those individuals recently and, just one year later, they are with different companies! And…

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Early Supplier Involvement

I hope that you have enjoyed the article “6 Early Supplier Involvement Tips.” While the article focuses on how to best work with your suppliers, I think that another benefit of having these tactics at your disposal is being able to scare engineers into working with you. What? Yep, you heard me right. Engineers are more than happy to select…

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