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Mitigating the Cost of Expensive Sentences: An Interview with Author Jack Quarles (Art of Procurement Podcast)

Posted on the Art of Procurement on February 15, 2018Posted on the Art of Procurement on February 15, 2018

Today I am joined on BMP Radio by Jack Quarles. Jack is the author of Expensive Sentences, a fascinating new book that shines a spotlight on the casual remarks made day in and day out at companies that are costing them money.

“The old phrase is that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, that’s attributed to Peter Drucker. We repeat that a lot, and of course, a lot of us understand what that means, because if something is going against the culture, it’s not going to succeed because your culture is so important. My only issue with that phrase is that, breakfast ends at 8:00 and culture is hungry all day. And culture will eat your tactics, and your tools, and your software, and your consultants and everything.” – Jack Quarles

In the podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Jack explains how to identify and respond to expensive sentences – and how to make it an internal movement that changes things for the better.
  • There is a great deal of frustration internally with traditional procurement and sourcing processes – by executives, stakeholders, and procurement alike. How can procurement get to the root of the issue and improve the situation?
  • A passive aggressive approach to resource efficiency (intentional or otherwise) can be as dangerous as a flat out refusal to work with procurement.

Click here to listen to the podcast

Breaking Through the Hysteria of Tech Hype: DO NOT EAT! (BravoSolution)

Posted on the BravoSolution blog on February 9, 2018

Over the last few months, have you – like me – found yourself at a complete loss that teens all over the U.S. are making videos of themselves eating laundry detergent tablets? Some are pressured by peers and others are driven forward by the desire to ‘go viral’, but all of them are taking a terrible risk with their health. This awful trend is so hyped from a peer to peer perspective that Rob Gronkowski, a tight end for the New England Patriots, recently made a 20 second video targeted at teens where he says “NO” over and over and finishes on a very clear note: “Do not eat.”

Hype, no matter what kind, allows actual or perceived peer pressure to come between otherwise rational people and their judgement. Hype can lead to euphoria or madness (or both) and is always accompanied by nearly irresistible momentum. Resisting hype can feel like defying gravity – even when doing so is in our best interests.

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Increasing Procurement’s Risk Agility with a Silver Lining Strategy (SynerTrade)

Posted on the SynerTrade blog on January 30, 2018

Being the good process stewards that we are, procurement never just focuses on one topic. Instead we dynamically map how that topic interacts with the rest of the operation. Enterprise risk provides the perfect example. We don’t talk about risk, but rather risk management, risk assessment, or risk mitigation. Procurement is a function in motion – always driving forward towards the next objective.

When you look at the three verbs most commonly associated with risk – management, assessment, and mitigation – it is clear that risk is perceived as something to be avoided. Procurement’s primary objectives are to minimize the cost and operational impact associated with risks that materialize, and to put plans in place for risks on the horizon. Risk is bad, and we’re going to do our best to keep an eye on it.

What if, however, procurement was able to look at risk with a neutral eye? In reality, risks are things that we think might happen, or that are completely unexpected. We have to respond to these events and circumstances in the most optimal fashion possible. A risk is anything that causes us to deviate from ‘the plan’ and that can be unpleasant. Traditional risk management is aimed at increasing predictability and certainty because it is easier and more comfortable to make business decisions in known circumstances.

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The ‘Why’ Behind the Drive for Retail Process Efficiency (Procurious)


Posted on the Procurious Blog on January 24, 2018

As we expand the impact of procurement beyond savings, one of the most frequently cited objectives is process efficiency. In theory, if procurement can help the company execute internal processes more swiftly they can… something, something, something (?). Process efficiency is good, and savings are good. But neither will have any real impact if we don’t understand why we are driving them.

The retail industry is a perfect case example for the need to understand the big picture impact of process efficiency. When you work for a B2C company, customer satisfaction is the answer to every question. In retail, the benefit of every project must be traceable all the way to the store.

The wholesale goal of retail: customer experience and satisfaction

Sourcing project teams usually sit down and articulate their goals and objectives at the outset of the process. Too often they are focused on the impact of the product or service on the company and its employees when they should trace that efficiency forward to the value it creates for customers. This perspective provides the context for many of the decisions made during the sourcing process.

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