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  • Webinar Notes: Inventory Management in a Market-Driven World

    Unsurprisingly, forecasting is getting harder and harder to get right. Specifically, the error rates and percentages associated with demand forecasting are growing. Traditionally, there were less items being sold in higher volumes with more regular, more predictable demand. Products were also being supplied and sourced closer to the point of purchase or consumption. Cecere talked about helping companies and leaders move from demand driven supply chains and networks to market driven. So much change has taken place elsewhere in supply chain practice that inventory has been overlooked as an area for improvement. Technological innovations have improved productivity or output per employee but have done little to improve operating margin because they have not effectively tied in inventory management. And there is a correlation between inventory turns and market cap that easily justify the time and investment. She also discussed the concept of the ‘Buy Make Deliver’ team – in other words ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 17 April 2015
  • Procurement and Taxes

    Today is April 15 and also TAX DAY in the United States. It is the deadline for citizens to file their income tax returns for both the Federal and States taxes. Yes you can get an extension but only if you fill out the forms needed. Plus if you owe taxes, then you have to pay them anyway by April 15 and the paper work just follows. Sometimes you have overpaid and get a refund. Then it seems really worth doing all the forms and filing early! With that in mind, I came across this book, “Death, Taxes and Procurement, An Effective guide for Small Businesses”. The author, Robert D. Horesjh, takes a fictitious company through the steps necessary to do business with the US Federal Government. They are the one of the largest consumer of goods and services for businesses to sell to. Of course they are – they have just finished collecting everyone’s taxes so there is money to be spent!! The marketplace extends to include schools, towns and local agencies. Full disclosure, I did not read the bo ...

    by Cindy Allen-Murphy
    Wednesday, 15 April 2015
  • Strategic Sourceror: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement’ book is “spot on”

    On April 13, Joe Payne, Vice President of Professional Services at Source One Management Services, published his review of Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals on the Strategic Sourceror blog. You can read his full review here. The book, which I co-wrote with Cottrill Research Founder Jeanette Jones, was published by J. Ross in late 2014 and can be purchased directly from them or on Amazon. Payne, the co-author of Managing Indirect Spend with Source One’s Bill Dorn, described the take on market intelligence for procurement as “spot on,” saying, ““Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals” tackles one of the most important, yet least tangible aspects of the sourcing profession – how to get access to good, relevant information about supply markets quickly, and then maintain that information so that you have it when you need it.” You can read the other reviews of Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals, including reactions from Susan ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Tuesday, 14 April 2015
  • Webinar Notes: Mitigating Risks and Impact of Sanctions Regimes on Your Supply Chain

    The primary regimes that assess and require compliance with these sanctions are the United Nations Security Council. In the United States, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which reports into the U.S. Department of the Treasury, manages sanctions while the Department of Justice brings charges against violating organizations. The information presented by Dunn in the webinar was both interesting and thorough – including even live sample searches for a company he knew would have sanctions against it on the US Treasury website. In my opinion, however, the most interesting part of the webinar was hearing the audience submitted questions. I was very curious to see what sorts of questions would be submitted. Realistically speaking, how many procurement professionals are even remotely concerned that they would do business with Iran or Sudan? Approximately half of the questions submitted reflected an understanding that sanctions violations could take place at the second or t ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Friday, 10 April 2015
  • Surviving Natural Selection in the Procurement ‘Wild’

      keelvar: Vision for Optimization I’ll start with keelvar because it is Alan’s post that gives me the reason for this line of thought. When he and I spoke, I was most struck by was the fact that he was looking at procurement’s relationship with optimization in the context of analytical decision making. He didn’t limit himself to the context of sourcing, where he might have articulated keelvar’s value proposition based on the scope and scale of the data points his solution can handle. Instead, he looked at the decisions procurement is faced with either making or enabling – all of them – and focused on any that could be improved with automation. While we consider ourselves a fact-based organization, we still make a lot of ‘manual’ choices. I think about it like playing a game against the computer. If it is possible to capture inputs and weight decision factors, optimization can be applied for better results. The computer will always be faster, more accurate, and more objective ...

    by Kelly Barner
    Thursday, 09 April 2015
  • Death of a Software Salesman

    In today’s traditional enterprise software sales scenario, big companies harbour dreams of realising quick and effective change management across large organisations. Strategically important investments such as software infrastructure often receive generous budgets but the process for spending this is often deeply flawed. Large enterprises have historically tended to trust other large enterprises and been willing to pay a premium for perceived quality of service. This worked for engineering and infrastructure projects in the past so why change the model for software? The problem, however, in the software industry, is that smaller nimbler providers who often provide best-of-breed solutions for niche requirements have to compete with larger counterparts offering broad suites but usually lower quality solutions that improve slowly, if at all On paper, the easiest decision is to spend more with a single vendor as it has the appearance of being an easier to manage solution. Underneath t ...

    by Alan Holland
    Tuesday, 07 April 2015
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