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  • Book Review: Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA

      Category Management The first question that might come to mind is ‘how does the author suggest we segment our spend or supply base to get the best results from category management?’ He advocates segmentation by manufacturing process – and yet he introduces the idea that the processes he is accustomed to are different than the ones most commonly seen. The steps in any process must be allowed to influence each other – not just downstream, but back and forth. This philosophy brings the entire process to life and pushes those managing it to emphasize agility and flexibility. Several of the take-aways I detail below provide examples of where learning something or changing a requirement must be allowed to affect the trajectory of the project no matter how far through the process it is. That being said, Carlsson does not suggest that processes should be ‘loose’. In fact, he explains that the difference is in the details – the difference between mostly getting a process right and ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Monday, 27 July 2015
  • Webinar Recommendations for July 27 - 31, 2015: Digital marketing spend, Selecting a spend analysis solution, and Early engagement in sourcing projects

      The digital disconnect (Proxima Group) 7/28, 11am EDT If there is a category of spend that has only most completely evaded procurement management it is legal. If there is ANOTHER category of spend that has eluded us it is marketing. In this week’s event. Proxima Group and a panel including members form Warburtons and Transform UK will take on digital marketing spend. According to Proxima, digital marketing budgets are on the rise, and yet, companies have had difficulty pinning down the return on that investment – just ask Twitter and Facebook. The combination of rising budget and minimal governance is good news for procurement teams looking to break into marketing spend.   Spend Analysis Solution Selection: What to Look for in Software and Services (NLPA) 7/28, 11:30am EDT Although I don’t usually think of the Next Level Purchasing Association hosting technology-analyst style webinars, this event promises to be a line drive out of the park. As they point out in the ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Saturday, 25 July 2015
  • Guest Post on Design News: Your Supplier is Not Your Friend

    Companies should never confuse a supply relationship with friendship. In fact, part of the role of any good provider is to challenge its clients in a productive way. Many times, companies outsource in order to transfer the majority of risk to suppliers. In June, Design News hosted a webcast on product lifecycle management presented by team members at Sparton, a firm that handles the both design and manufacturing efforts for low/medium-volume, high-complexity components. Their presentation, “Why Product Lifecycle Management Is an Emerging Trend,” included all of the cost, timing, and supply chain implications of PLM.   During the webcast, Sparton presenters spoke about the importance of building relationships with key suppliers. That emphasis makes sense because, in Sparton’s role as an outsourcing provider to manufacturing companies, the company sees advantages realized with those that they are able to partner with versus those that hold them at arm’s length or push back on ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 23 July 2015
  • Keeping Procurement Moving at the Speed of Modern Communications

      In fact, recent research found that instant communication channels are both feeding our need for ‘in the moment’ action and also making the problem worse. As reported in the Telegraph, “Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms. The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds.”   Now, whether or not you know what an electroencephalogram is, the message is clear. In 15 years, we’ve lost a third of the length of our attention span. To put today’s available focus period in perspective, the Telegraph also offered up that “goldfish .... are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.” Unless you are in the business of buying goods and services from goldfish, it is wise to consider the speed of the overall sourcing process and all of the activities that are a part of it.   The ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 22 July 2015
  • How much should a procurement process vary by company or category?

    (A) Barnes and Ayars: Strikes me as being very demand management conscious. All of the investment in understanding root and alternative causes after identifying the need but before making a decision suggests to me that if the need is proven to be justified, it is less important who is selected as the supplier. (B) Bunn: Feels more like an ongoing or long term category management strategy than a process that would lead to the selection of a supplier and the signing of a contract. (C) Cardozo: This process is interesting because it results in a test cycle rather than a contract. It might be appropriate in a capital equipment purchase that is for one need or location but which might be repeated in the future at another site. (D) Choffray and Lilien: Reads like the process I might use if I were selecting a third party service provider for a strategic outsourcing deal. The up front, detailed investment in understanding constraints and requirements sounds like a self-discovery process, ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Wednesday, 22 July 2015
  • Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Contract Management: Yours, Mine, and Ours

    In his recent book Global Supply Chain Ecosystems, Mark Millar wrote, "…today's supply chains encompass complex webs of interdependencies, frequently spanning the globe, designed and deployed to optimize critical attributes – such as speed, agility, and resilience – that drive competitive advantage." His point plays out on a daily basis through the contract management strategies and practices in many organizations. Because our supply chains are no longer linear or consecutive, we may be buying from and selling to the same company at the same time. This puts our organization in the role of being simultaneously both buyer and supplier. While there is no problem with this, it does raise complexities for the procurement and sales teams if one or the other is unaware of something going on. I can honestly say I have seen this happen firsthand. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON THE SOCIAL CONTRACTING BLOG ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 21 July 2015
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Buyers Meeting Point was founded in 2008 with the goal of helping procurement and purchasing professionals find the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. We centralized blogs, white papers, and solution provider listings. As our collection of information grew, we realized that we would need to provide advice about which information was best – and our role as a filter of procurement thought leadership began to take shape.

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