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How much can procurement change on their own? (Determine)

This content was published on the Determine blog on April 2, 2019

Real lasting change requires give and take. If procurement is to make enough change to satisfy even a fraction of the wants and needs listed above, we can’t do it alone. This is probably the largest factor missing from procurement transformation efforts; we are trying to change ourselves in a vacuum.

If our goal is to become more strategic by creating increased shareholder value or contributing to corporate competitive advantage, we need access to shareholders and corporate strategy setters. If we are going to collaborate with suppliers, we need the authority to take a multi-dimensional look at carefully selected spend categories and play a long-term, relationship-oriented game that isn’t tethered to a savings target.

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To Maximize Employee Engagement, We Must First Define It (Thinkers360)

This content was published on the Thinkers360 member blog on March 25, 2019

In the March 23rd Wall Street Journal, Sam Walker had a fascinating piece about the connections between effective middle managers and the performance of the company as a whole: “One Fix for All That’s Wrong: Better Managers”. Walker cites Gallup research which found that good middle-level managers account for 70% of the difference between high and low productivity companies. “In other words,” Walker writes, “if it’s a superior team you’re after, hiring the right manager is 70% of the battle.”

One reason for this difference is what Gallup defines as ‘employee engagement’, or how employees feel about their jobs and the work they do. Engagement is characterized as an emotional measure rather than as a set of actions. It has to do with fulfillment, and a sense that the company values each person and what they are capable of. 

While many companies track audience/customer/prospect engagement as measured by clicks, views, reads, listens, downloads, likes, shares, etc., Gallup takes a much softer point of view – but it may be far more meaningful. Engagement isn’t an action at all. It is a feeling. If there is one thing we know about social media, it is that what people do often has very little to do with how the content makes them feel. Too often they haven’t even read it.

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This Month in Procurement Podcast: Technology Alone Is Still Not A Silver Bullet For Transformation (Art of Procurement)

This AoP podcast was published on March 25, 2019

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major takeaways from March’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In March, Louis Bastone (Indirect Category Manager at ASML) talked about making the move into procurement from another function or later in one’s professional career. Sammeli Sammalkorpi (co-founder of Sievo) provided some grounded advice about AI, making clear that if we want it to generate real results, we have to apply it wisely. Finally, David Loseby (author, Soft Skills for Hard Business) reminded us that as long as people are still at the heart of the business, we need to be aware of our choice of language, their perspective on decisions, and the impact of small decisions compounded over time.

Don’t miss out on upcoming opportunities to connect with us in person at ProcureCon, Ivalua NOW, Ariba Live and the upcoming SIG Summit. We also have two AOP Live sessions scheduled in April, one with Kris Koneru at Infosys and one with Anthony Clervi at UNA. Make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list to receive notice once those events are open for registration.

This month’s discussion topic comes from a Harvard Business Review Article: ‘Digital Transformation is Not About Technology’. It reminds us that our technology may have changed, but implementation and adoption challenges remain the same – especially for organizations that are trying to significantly change and improve their operational capabilities.

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Is Blockchain Ready for the Challenge of Managing Complex Supply Chains? (ATSC blog)

This content was posted on the All Things Supply Chain Blog on March 25, 2019

Blockchain – or distributed ledger technology – is most commonly known for being the technological and intellectual basis of the crypto currency ‘bitcoin’, but it has many other applications as well. ‘Blocks’ on a ‘chain’ are used to store information securely via a peer to peer network. Each block contains identifiers from the blocks that precede it, making the chain difficult to modify or hack, but more importantly, making unsanctioned modifications very hard to conceal. Because the ledger is distributed, living on all machines in the network, no one company or person ‘owns’ the data stored in it. For this reason, blockchain is being studied for its ability to guarantee visibility into multi-enterprise contracts and extended supply chain transactions.

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