NLPA Blog

More On “Performing Above Your Pay Grade”

In this week’s edition of PurchTips entitled “3 Buyer Career Lessons From The Stanley Cup,” I wrote about how Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel has been performing above his pay grade in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I translated that scenario into a tip for buyers to apply a similar mentality to their procurement careers. Here is an important point that I…

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The True Achiever Challenge

In this world, there are two types of people:  true achievers and everyone else. The problem is that a lot of the people in the “everyone else” category mistake themselves for true achievers.  When you think you are great and you’re not, that misconception is actually a barrier to greatness.  You don’t seek new challenges.  You just go on doing…

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A Common Phobia of Leaders…Even Procurement Leaders

When you’re in an entry level role, your personal success at that role is largely in your hands.  But, when you’re in a leadership role, your personal success is highly dependent upon the people you manage. There’s no doubt that good leaders can mentor and motivate people with ordinary skill levels to produce extraordinary results.  And there’s no doubt that…

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The Challenge of Hiring “Procurement Butterflies”

According to CNN’s analysis of a LinkedIn study, millennials switch jobs an average of about four times in their first 10 years in the workplace.  This is a dramatic increase over the previous generation, which averaged just two job changes in their first 10 years. Like butterflies flitting from flower to flower, it is difficult to predict how long a…

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RFP Specifications Spark Lawsuit: Breach of Contract or Supplier Sour Grapes (er, Tomatoes)?

Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a leading food manufacturer was being sued by one of its packaging suppliers. The lawsuit was sparked by the specifications used in an RFP issued by the food manufacturer.  Specifically, the RFP was requesting bids for the snap tops used on the food manufacturer’s ketchup bottles.  And, the supplier claims that the design…

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Take This Job And…Shove Me A Letter of Recommendation?

Though not related to the NLPA or even procurement, I recently witnessed a crazy employment situation.  It involved a company that provides services in consumers’ homes. On a certain Friday, an employee of the company didn’t show up on time for one of the consumers.  The consumer unsuccessfully tried to reach the employee directly.  Then, after more time had passed, the…

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The “Easter Egg Hunt” of Procurement

I enjoyed celebrating Easter this past Sunday. Even though my kids are now 13 and 15, we still have a tradition of doing an Easter egg hunt on Easter morning.  It’s fun, like having wee little kids again, if even for just a few minutes. Strangely enough, thinking about this year’s Easter egg hunt got me thinking about procurement.  Specifically,…

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Good…Or Cheap?

Here at the Next Level Purchasing Association, we consider ourselves pretty good at explaining the most advanced topics in procurement today. But we also recognize the importance of not ignoring the fundamentals.  Often times, people take an over-complicated view of procurement and that gets in the way of making the simple tweaks that can add up to real performance improvement.…

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The Evolution of the Cloud and Its Impact on Supply Chain

Special thanks to Source One Management Services for this guest post   Cloud computing continues to rise in popularity as cloud-based technologies play a critical role in businesses by creating new competitive advantages. To start off, what exactly is cloud computing? The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology describes cloud computing as “A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand…

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Why Do Your Subordinates Do What You Ask?

Leadership is one of my favorite topics.  I love to study the psychology of what makes someone in a leadership position a true leader. So, if you’re a procurement leader, I’d like you to ponder a question about your leadership.  Think about your subordinates completing tasks that you assign. Why do they do what you ask? There are answers along…

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