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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Recommended Procurement Webinars Feb 11-15: CFO Sourcing, AI Game Planning and Organizational Psychology

The month of February is quickly filling up, and we had several last minute additions to the calendar for this week. If you are planning further in advance, I recommend ‘Vested for Success - An Innovative Approach to Complex Services Acquisition’ from Public Spend Forum and Vested’s Kate Vitasek on February 20th.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Jan 28 – Feb 1: 2019 Trends and Predictions, Leadership Lessons Learned from 2018

If you have a tendency to look ahead to Friday every week, just a warning: Friday is the start of February. (What?) On the bright side, industry webinar hosts seem to have gotten back into the swing of things after the holidays, as I added 7 new webinars to the calendar this week.

If you are planning further in advance, I recommend 'The Psychology & Business Case for Workplace Organization' on Feb. 15th from Supply Chain Now Radio, Talent Stream, APICS Atlanta, and Beau Groover, Founder & President of The Effective Syndicate.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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The Procurement Conundrum: Savings or PR?

These are tough times to be in business. Costs are rising but selling prices are not, mainly due to global competition. The arithmetic is simple: profits are being squeezed. Finding ways to drive down costs lower than your competition's has become more important than ever – but value and customer service can’t be ignored either.

I like to take an approach to supplier negotiations that I believe will help you gain an edge in these tough times. It starts by finding an answer to the ‘procurement conundrum’.

Many procurement pros are handicapped by having to wear two hats:

First there's the tough-negotiator hat. Driving down costs is a fundamental part of the job; that's why we spend so much time negotiating.

Then there's the good-relations hat. Production requirements and customer needs are constantly changing. Procurement needs suppliers to react quickly to fluctuating demands. As a result, we need to cultivate give-and-take relationships to make sure this happens.

It's easy to see how the two ‘hats’ conflict. Imagine phoning a parts supplier on Friday to coax him into running an unscheduled weekend shift, then on Monday asking for a better price. It’s hardly a recipe for long term success.

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Recommended Webinars September 24-28: Lagging Procurement Tech, Digital Financial Transformation, Software for Managing Freelancers

The last full week of September is going to be a busy one. There are 12 webinars taking place in three days and ProcureCon Indirect West will take place Monday through Wednesday in Scottsdale, AZ. A few of our good friends will be there, including Greg Tennyson, Michael Shaw, Joanna Martinez, Phil Ideson, and Bill Michels.

If you’re looking to plan your webinar schedule beyond this week, I recommend RPA -  The BIG Picture 2018 from IRPA AI and Virtual Operations on October 10th at 12n ET.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars April 9-13: Brexit, Financial Health for Risk Management, Enterprise AI

Last week was a ghost town, but we’re back in action this week with 8 webinars. It would seem to be feast or famine with the webinar schedule these days. If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend  “Managing Suppliers in a World of Digitalization” on May 10th at 11am from ISM and SynerTrade, but also involving The Hackett Group, RapidRatings, and EcoVadis. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Feb 19-23: Supply Chain Visibility, Global Risk Review, Improving Business Spend Management

In addition to the virtual procurement and supply chain events taking place this week, ProcureCon Indirect East is running in Amelia Island, FL from the 20th through the 22nd. If you are interested in a ‘long shot’ webinar worth considering, I recommend “De-risking the international back-office during an acquisition” from SIG and TMF Group being offered on March 22nd at 1pm ET. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Webinars for November 13-17: 2018 Prepping, the Supplier Experience, the BIG Finance Procurement Panel

We may be approaching the end of the year (scary!!) but the webinar topics and speakers in our calendar show no signs of losing steam. This week we have three very forward-looking topics, one that literally looks at the year to come, one that considers the supplier experience, and one that may finally break the ice between procurement and finance. Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

 

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for August 21-25: Growth, Long term P2P Success, Customer Centricity

And just like that, the summer and the drought on webinars are coming to an end. Even though Labor day is another two weeks away in the U.S., schools are about to be back in session – for kids and for professionals! Click on the title of the webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for July 17-21: Digital Innovation, Private Suppliers, 3 Measurable Goals

After a two-week hiatus (because there have been very few events) our recommendations return this week with three great webinars. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

 

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for April 24 - 28: Procurement Finance 'Drama' Plus Millennials

It is spring, and there’s something in the air… it’s not quite romance, but there will be plenty of drama with two examinations of the procurement finance relationship on Wednesday. If you’re looking for an alternate subject, consider the role of millennials in supply chain or sourcing optimization. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 17-21

This week our recommended procurement webinars bring us three ideas: supplier prequalification, the bullwhip effect, and finance transformation. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 8/22 - 26

The following events are the ones I recommend attending this week out of all the webinars taking palce. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Book Review: Financing the End-to-End Supply Chain

“…more than 70% of the top 1,000 companies around the world will have adopted supply chain finance programmes within the next couple of years.” (p. xiii)

Financing the End-to-End Supply Chain, by Simon Templar, Erik Hofmann, Charles Findlay, is an educational investment that many procurement and supply chain professionals will benefit from. Despite being one of the top ‘up and coming’ professional topics, there is still a lack of solid understanding in the professions that will be required to see supply chain finance programs through.

I came to this review with just enough knowledge to be dangerous – and enthusiastic. In my opinion, supply chain finance is the ‘Robotic Process Automation’ (RPA) of 2016. BY 2017, SCF will be a regular part of corporate conversations across industries and geographies.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 6/20 - 24

This week’s event schedule is a little crazy – one on Tuesday, one of Wednesday, and then EIGHT on Thursday! With that many events, there is bound to be one that you’ll benefit from. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Should procurement be paid commission?

It is not uncommon for procurement to receive a bonus payment based on the savings the department has achieved. In this post we discuss if procurement would benefit more from being on a salary plus commission payment structure.

AFTER READING, TAKE OUR TWITTER POLL: Should procurement be paid commission?

The traditional approach for calculating pre-contract savings is to obtain a minimum of three supplier quotes, select the mean as the base point then count the additional savings achieved above the base point. The challenge for the CFO is because the savings are subjective, they are unable to truly identify tangible and quantifiable savings from procurement’s impact, therefore the level of bonus they might apportion directly to procurement is limited.


 

Assessing bid submissions based not just on initial costs but total forecasted end to end costs is becoming more prevalent as businesses take a wider view of the true cost of ownership. However, since the model for encouraging procurement to strive for savings remains focused on the bid submission, applying this approach to determine bonus compensation has a high likelihood of conflict. The bonus payment approach could arguably be stated as outdated, thereby creating an opportunity for procurement. An alternative approach might be to replace the bonus model with a commission structure, based on the end to end total contract savings.

 

Procurement benefits would include:

  • Ability to be recognised for the full business value a team/individual delivers.
  • Encourages and rewards end to end contract ownership and relationship management.
  • Encourages post-contract collaboration, ultimately leading to the possibility of generating post-contract savings within the same contract term.

 

The potential benefits for the business include:

  1. Maximises pre and post-contract savings.  Post-contract savings is an area currently underdeveloped as the main focus remains on pre-contract savings, which is understandable given it is the main area for bonus achievement.
  2. Creates a catalyst for procurement cultural change, focused on supplier collaboration and successful implementation. This unlocks the supply chain and drives innovation and collaboration across the business to increase bottom line profits.
  3. Ensures operational costs are kept to a minimum.
  4. Encourages and rewards end to end contract, maximising contract savings

 

There are many people within procurement who have “fallen” into the role rather than pro-actively sought to become procurement professionals. Even those who have deliberately sought after the role, few may still believe it was a good career choice. The change to commission based compensation has the potential to raise procurement salaries to new levels, provide a catalyst for change, and enable procurement to reflect their full business value, which could in turn could attract new talent and retain experience that is sorely needed.

Like all new ideas, there is an upside but also a downside. Moving onto a commission structure based on the overall savings from successfully managing the contract could quickly lead to some personnel being identified as under delivering. The key to gaining business support in this initiative is by demonstrating greater profitability for the CFO in undertaking this route. The central question is: does procurement want to undertake this direction?

 

 

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Best Webinars 11/16 – 11/20: Taking Procurement from Good to Great – Finance and Risk Notwithstanding

With the Thanksgiving holiday ahead in the U.S. next week, this week is like two weeks of events in one. 11 events in three days provides plenty of options – and my three picks are below. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/5 – 10/9: Getting out ahead of challenges and opportunities

This week I’ve picked two Finance-oriented events and one on supply chain risk. All three of them allow procurement to look outside the box of their own environment for ways to positively impact the enterprise as a whole. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the CEO Pay Ratio

In August the SEC adopted a measure that will require public companies to publish a CEO pay ratio in their financial statements. The ratio, which compares median worker pay to the CEO’s salary, is a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act and it takes effect in January 2017.

Some of the early, albeit unofficial, CEO pay ratios seem to demonstrate an enormous pay disparity between the leadership and workers in a company. In other cases, it calls attention to CEOs with strikingly low compensation for the position they hold. For instance, Apple’s Tim Cook has a CEO pay ratio of 43:1, Ford’s Alan Mulally has a 113:1, and Goodyear’s Richard Kramer has a whopping 323:1 ratio. IBM and Intel have ratios of 25:1 and 30:1 respectively.

Any time procurement is evaluating a publicly traded company, we naturally make use of their financial statements and annual reports, which are valuable sources of information. But is this new ratio relevant to the evaluation of a supplier for financial stability, risk, and collaborative potential? Should procurement take this information into consideration when ranking and selecting suppliers?

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Guest Post on the Social Contracting Blog: Is there “Tough Love” Embedded in Your Budget Process?

It is the worst question Procurement ever faces. C'mon – you know what question I'm talking about. That horrible, terrible question from Finance for which there is no good answer…

If Procurement worked so hard and saved all of this money, WHERE IS IT?

Ugh.

The problem is that the space between negotiated and realized savings is full of pitfalls: unexpected requirements, inaccurate demand, and budget holders who see an opportunity to unofficially reallocate savings elsewhere. Even when additional value is created, many times by the end of the year the savings have all but evaporated.

This is a problem that has to be handled by the top level of the organization. If the strategic vision of the leadership team requires that all uncommitted funds be returned to a central account, they have to be willing to support Procurement by issuing a mandate. Declaring that all funds saved by Procurement are to be removed from line of business budgets is a tough love decision. But all that really matters is whether or not it is the right decision for the company as a whole.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON THE SOCIAL CONTRACTING BLOG

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Blog Pick of the Week: Good Surprises are Wonderful

 

Everyone loves a good surprise. Maybe is it an unexpected birthday present. Or perhaps it is a visit from a dear friend that you have not seen in quite some time. An unforeseen professional opportunity is offered to you that would open up new growth and financial rewards. There are so many events that pleasantly surprise us and we do look forward to those.

 

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