Here are just some random things bouncing around my head on this busy Friday…

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  • I just read this sales article called “What Buyers Want You to Know.” I’m not convinced it’s entirely accurate, but it may give you a chuckle (especially the part about no one talking to a buyer at a tailgate party).
  • One thing I hate about making annual purchasing predictions is that sometimes my predictions outpace reality. In other words, I predict things for a certain year that actually don’t happen until a few years later. At the end of the year, I look like a doofus for making predictions that don’t come to fruition. Such was the case when I published my annual predictions in the January 13, 2004 edition of PurchTips and predicted that purchasing with wireless handhelds would be a hot topic. Not so much in 2004. But Jason over at Spend Matters reported that Emptoris this week unveiled its eProcurement software that works on an iPhone. ’bout time!!!
  • The China sourcing furor isn’t dying. Just this week, I’ve encountered new mentions of China-related recalls on The Tonight Show, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and (I even get to do my first hat tip here) Tony Poshek. While every one is talking about evaluating or reversing China sourcing strategies, I’ve not seen anyone talking about something that is, in my opinion, more important: evaluating specifications and contracts with Chinese suppliers. For all of these products, do the buying companies’ specifications specify the paint to be used or do they leave it up to the supplier? What about the contract? Do the contracts require that all materials conform to US laws and standards? If they do, do they specifically mention lead paint? While everyone wants to point the fingers at China, these problems may be caused by poor purchasing practices.
  • My car rental experience with Thrifty in Atlanta was excellent – obviously much better than my Thrifty car rental in Chicago. The aberration in Chicago with Thrifty reminded me of some lessons learned early in my purchasing career: (a) even good suppliers have bad days; (b) just because one of a supplier’s plants performs well doesn’t mean that another one will – be cautious if a good supplier says that they are moving production of your products; and (c) a supplier’s people make a difference – evaluate the people when you evaluate the supplier.

That’s about all for now. Talk to ya next week.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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