August 16 - 27: Bridging the Gap, Categorypalooza, and Build or Buy Analytics

The procurement events schedule continues to be slow, so I’m going to give you another 2 weeks’ worth of recommendations in one post. Check out these great options if you’re in the office chugging alo...

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August 2 - 13: Delivering Value in a Talent Shortage, the ROI of SXM, ESG and Supply Chain Resilience

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ are between July 3rd and August 11th.” They earned that name because during this time, the sun is in the same part of the sky as Sirius...

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July 19-23: Dial P, Winning Category Strategies, Supplier Experience Management

This week I added two of the traditional procurement conferences to the calendar: Procurement Leaders’ Americas Congress and World Congress. Both are a combination of in-personal and virtual events, w...

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Sourcing Custom and Secondary Packaging: Considerations for Optimal Results

Each purchasing category, whether indirect or direct, has a unique set of parameters that can be optimized to take full advantage the savings opportunities in the market. The packaging category is no ...

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Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing

 “Very few organizations manage sourcing so well that there is no room for big gains. Category management is about changing sourcing in a radical way or a way that gives radical improvements.” (p...

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Book Review: Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals

Negotiation for Purchasing Professionals is the second book by Jonathan O’Brien that we have reviewed. Earlier this year we reviewed Category Management in Purchasing. While each of the books has a di...

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Book Review: Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA

 Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA by Magnus Carlsson (KoganPage, August 2015) is not a case study, although I didn’t need the note from the author in the introd...

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Book Review: Category Management in Purchasing (3rd Edition)

Just over 18 months ago I reviewed the second edition of Category Management in Purchasing by Jonathan O’Brien. (You can read my original review here). When I recently learned there was to be a third ...

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Being a leader doesn't mean everything comes easy - it means not expecting them to be easy

I recently interviewed Magnus Carlsson, the author of Strategic Sourcing and Category Management: Lessons Learned at IKEA. You can listen to our conversation on demand on BMP Radio. Although the book ...

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Jan 18-20: Top Finance Issues, Supplier Management Trends, Spend Category Outlook

Hello everyone – long time no speak! There have been very few events since mid-December, so I’m only now getting the weekly procurement event recommendations up and running. If you look at the calenda...

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Webinar Notes: Defining Procurement’s Story to Inspire, Motivate, and Lead Change

This week’s webinar notes are from an April 30th event hosted by Sourcing Interests Group and presented by Denali’s Alan Veeck and special guest Paul Smith from ‘Lead with A Story’, a coach, speaker, and author.

The webinar explored how professionals can leverage the techniques of storytelling to build influence and communicate an important message in an effective way. In Smith’s terms, storytelling is simple, timeless, contagious, and memorable, and it works across demographics.

Within the context of procurement, Denali has been incorporating storytelling into the training they provide to category managers. With the wide range of responsibilities being handled by category managers today, they have to function within an operating model that allows for proper division of labor. Coaching them is like cross training, bringing together a range of diverse skills that will help them become more strategic.

The lessons from this webinar combine to create something like ‘communication theatre’ that you can leverage to get your message through – as long as you are willing to put in the effort up front. What the speakers did not directly address in this event, but that should not be underestimated, is the time and planning required to apply storytelling. You have to know your audience, craft a story in such a way that it has the desired effect, and choreograph the execution carefully.

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The Role of a Sourcing Professional: How Many Hats Should We Wear?

Today’s eSourcing Wiki-Wednesday topic outlines the many roles and responsibilities associated with being a successful sourcing professional. One of those roles is to provide ‘deep domain expertise’:

Management, members of the individual procurement organizations, and stakeholders will all expect the procurement professionals in the center of excellence to have deep domain expertise, especially in strategic categories.

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Lessons from the Ultramarathon Trail to Prepare for the Category Management Journey

These webinar notes are from a September 24th webinar hosted by SIG and presented by Chris Eyerman and Alan Veeck at Denali Sourcing Services. The webinar is available on demand and can be viewed after a quick registration here.

In case you’re wondering, an ultramarathon is an INSANELY challenging combination of long distance running and trail running. Technically, they include any marathon over the traditional 26.2 mile run, but from the sounds of Eyerman’s description, they are also usually off road excursions that can be as long as 100 miles. And he should know – he has run them.

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Forget Behavior: It’s all About Mindset

In a new Art of Procurement podcast series, Philip Ideson and I will  stop each month and take a look back at the podcasts, news, and topics of the previous four weeks. You can hear the January episode here:  Leveraging Storytelling To Better Connect With Your Stakeholders.

It’s interesting how different an idea can look when you consider it in the context of other information. Most of us read a few articles and posts and listen to a podcast of two during the month. When you have to look back at them, two things quickly become apparent:

  1. Even the best ideas fade from your memory much faster than you might expect. Something you read four weeks ago will practically seem new if you read it again.
  2. The best ideas live in the space between pieces of content. When you compare, contrast and summarize, you end up with an independent point of view that is much more valuable than any one source piece.

The links to this month’s podcasts are below, but here are some of the insights I found ‘in between’…

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Sourcing Connectivity: Managing Wireless Spend

Connectivity is at the core of the modern business. Whether your organization is comprised of one small office with 10 people or a large multinational employing thousands, it is key to find the correct connectivity mix to support your business needs. 

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Category Experiences: Window Washing

We got feedback through our recent survey that you want more category insight from us. We're working on a way to bring you resources on that front, but in the meantime, Cindy and I have a lot of direct experience that we'd like to share. What are your unique category experiences and what did you learn from them? We'd love to hear about it: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Recommended Webinars June 8-12: Outlook 2000, Resilient Companies, and Aligned Procurement

Last Tuesday I announced that Buyers Meeting Point has acquired MyPurchasingCenter, a website and online community much like BMP. This step increases our reach, audience, and – most importantly – our content base. Some of the best known writers in procurement and supply chain were authors for MPC, including Jon Hansen, Bill Michels, Dr. Tom DePaoli, Rich Weissman, and Elaine Porteous. Look for more on that front starting this week!

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Recommended Procurement Webinars March 4-8: After Due Diligence and Total Talent Management

This week is much slower than last week with only two events currently on the calendar. As of right now it looks like the reverse of the proverbial saying about March: on our calendar it is coming in like a lamb but shaping up to go out like a lion. If you are planning your webinar schedule further in advance, there are two different events I recommend looking at.

The first is an Ivalua sponsored event focused on The Hackett Group’s Procurement Key Issues 2019 CPO Report on March 26th at 11am. Philip Ideson (Art of Procurement) and I discussed some of the most interesting findings of the report re: procurement’s capability needs v. investment on last week’s This Month in Procurement podcast.

The other event you may want to check out is from ProcureAbility and SIG – also on March 26th. The webinar is titled ‘Category Management in Only 30 Days!’ (their exclamation point). It will help you anticipate the gaps and minefields that might otherwise prevent you from rolling out a category management program… yes, in only 30 days.

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 June 25-29: Dashboard analytics, CPO Rising 2018, AI Category Management

If you’re thinking of attending a webinar any time soon, this is the week. Next week’s calendar is completely empty, likely due to the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. Even the week after only has one event as of right now, so we may finally be entering the summer slowdown.

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 June 11-15: BIC Category Management, Emerging Markets, and Optimized Public Procurement

This week’s webinars provide us with a broad range of topics – process trends, global supply chain crises, optimizing public procurement, and direct access programs for hiring independent talent – demonstrating just how expansive the knowledge base for procurement professionals has become.  

If you like to plan further ahead, I recommend “Get Smart About Your Digital Underbelly Or You'll Fail To Scale” from HfS Research and a panel of experts on June 21st.

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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