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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 for October 31 – November 4

This is an incredibly busy week for procurement and supply chain webinars! The end of 2016 is filling up fast. In fact, there are only really 7 weeks left in the year once you subtract the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Click on the title of each webinar 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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3 Things that Keep Global Procurement Execs Up at Night

If there was any doubt that managing the supply chain is also an exercise in managing risk, just ask someone who works in procurement – particularly the world of direct procurement. These professionals patrol the front lines of the manufacturer-supplier relationship, overseeing their company’s purchasing activity, executing purchase orders, and working with multiple stakeholders to ensure the right materials make it to the right place at an optimal cost.

It would seem procurement leaders thrive on a steady diet of pressure and caffeine. But even the most experienced professionals have their limits. Several experts weighed in on the topic this spring at the University of Tennessee Supply Chain Forum.

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Perfecting the Recipe


Our daughter is working on perfecting the recipe for cranberry jam. Some have walnuts, some with various spices and some just the original mixture of sweet and tart. In that quest, she is following the DMIAC problem solving methodology without realizing it.

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Julia Childs and Quality

Julia Childs was not always a good cook. It took a long time, a lot of training, trial and error and practice. Once she got there, she was a fanatic about quality.

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Webinar Notes: Introduction to Quality Management in Procurement

qualityProcesses will always have some variations in output despite the best controls. Constant measurement is the best approach, tracking variations on a sampling of product. The key measurement technique is sigma, a measurement of standard deviation. A small sigma (or deviation) is most desirable, with the expectation that supplier quality will be within six sigmas (or 2 parts per billion) of the center.


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The Pareto Principle at Play in Procurement

This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is the Pareto Principle - also known as the 80/20 rule. Many of us use it all of the time, but do we really understand the implications of the distribution principle? I'm sure I hadn't fully thought about it until reading up for this weeks' posting. Other things I did not know about the primciple are that it was incorrectly attributed to early 20th century economist Vilfredo Pareto because he observed that 20 percent of the landowners in Italy owned 80% of the land. (He also noted that 20% of the pea plants in his garden produced 80% of the peas...)

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Interesting and educative. well done Kelly
Monday, 09 February 2015 07:35
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What Dr. W. Edwards Deming Can Still Teach Us Today

This week's Wiki-Wednesday topic is an excerpt from th Wikipedi page on Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the American statistician that taught post WWII Japan to manage quality, but wasn't discovered in the U.S. until the very end of his career. Not many business strategies would survive that kind of test of time, but his does.

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