Archive for September, 2011

Your Company’s Engineers Think They Are Great Dealmakers, But Are Just Pawns

If you missed last week’s Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) webinar, you missed some great tips from Dr. Soheila Lunney on how to keep suppliers from conducting “backdoor selling” as a way of inflating their profits at your organization’s expense. One of the key points covered was how sellers are trained to avoid dealing directly with procurement departments. Dr. Lunney…

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Could Apple’s Supplier & Competitive Strategies Be Spooking The Stock Market?

With so much press speculation about a double-dip recession being imminent, I cannot help getting sucked in by headlines that may offer a clue on what’s to come economically. Such was the case today when I saw the headline “Is Apple Fearful of a Consumer Slowdown?” That headline actually scared me. After all, if Apple is scared of the short-term…

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The NLPA Dedicated Member of the Month for September 2011 Is…

Every month, the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) recognizes a purchasing professional who has made impressive progress in learning more about his/her field. We are excited to announce that the NLPA Dedicated Member of the Month for September 2011 is… Martin Molnar, a Senior Procurement Consultant from Prague, Czech Republic. In August, Martin completed all six Senior Professional in Supply…

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Supplier Diversity: Underrated As A Way For Procurement To Be Viewed As Strategic?

Last night as I was watching a few minutes of TV, I was shocked at what I had just seen cross my screen. It was one of those moments where you just blink your eyes a few times and wonder if you really saw what you think you just saw. What did I see? I saw a commercial about one…

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Will You Have An Early Warning That Your Supplier Is Going Bye-Bye?

I hope that you have enjoyed the article “How To Spot a Poorly Managed Supplier.” Life works in strange ways when odd coincidences happen. I had the above-linked article queued up for a few months, yet just today, one of our SPSM alumni contacted me asking for some guidance about a situation he was experiencing with an apparently troubled supplier.…

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Social Networks in Procurement

A couple of announcements from companies we’ve worked with have come across my inbox lately. And the common thread in these announcements is social networking in procurement. Social networks in general are certainly not a new concept. And with mixed reviews about the recently-launched Google+ – ranging from “it will put Facebook out of business” to “do we really need…

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Do 61% of CFO’s Lack Understanding of Procurement’s Potential?

I just read an insight-spewing article entitled “That Rising Feeling: CFOs are fretting about the prospect of inflation, but are split on how to respond.” The article includes quotes from several CFOs who share their concerns about cost increases and their strategies for combating them. While the entire article was quite revealing, the graphs – which I have included at…

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How Earning A Purchasing Certification Is (And Isn’t) Like Training For A Half-Marathon

This weekend, I completed my first half-marathon. While completing the 13.1 mile run in a time that surprised even me was fulfilling in and of itself, with me being who I am, I couldn’t help but draw parallels in my mind between earning a purchasing certification and training for this event. I’ll dedicate this post to exploring how these two…

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Input Cost Volatility: From Roller Coaster To See-Saw

Input cost volatility is a topic on every procurement leader’s mind these days. But input cost volatility isn’t new. However, the patterns of input cost volatility certainly seem to be changing. In the past, commodity costs would rise, peak, decline, bottom out, and repeat the cycle. That roller coaster-like cycle would often span years. These days, the cycle seems to…

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Your Supplier’s Negotiating Strategy: Know It, Beat It

I hope that you have enjoyed the article “Defeating A Supplier’s Negotiating Strategy.” In the article, I gave a couple of examples of suppliers’ negotiating strategies and how they could be identified and countered. I’ll use this blog post to describe one more strategy. I call this negotiating strategy “taking the sauce off of the pizza.” While everyone’s favorite pizza…

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