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Buyers Meeting Point is home to two blogs: The Point is written by BMP's Kelly Barner and a diverse group of guest contributors. MyPurchasingCenter was acquired by BMP in 2020 we now showcase their content archive on BMP.

Hail to XaaS!

Many years ago, our telecom operator outsourced customer bill printing. That was an example of the basic outsourcing, as the business process still stayed fragmented between the external provider, our company owing customer data and managing billing cycles, and the government post service collecting and sending envelopes. Of course, no SLAs, service credits, or else. Our benefit was only not to invest in the acquisition and maintenance of the expensive printing and enveloping machine.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars July 20-24: Team Contracting, Insourcing, and Protecting Cash and Revenue

Following is a list of the upcoming webinars that are worth of an hour of your (scarce) time. Some I recommend for the topic, others for the speaker, but all of them will give you something new to think about – and goodness knows, we can all use more good ideas to stand up to the challenges 2020 has handed us.

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Recommended Webinars July 9-13: Supply Chain Vulnerability, State of Outsourcing, Leading Procurement

After last week’s hiatus, we’re back with a full slate of webinars. If you’re looking to plan a little longer term than just this week, I recommend checking out “Don’t Go Chasing Unicorns” from Procurious and SAPAriba (a #ProcurewithPurpose webinar) on July18th at 2pm ET.

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 Procurement Webinars for June 12-16: Two Perspectives on Building an Agile Modern Workforce

In addition to the virtual events below, ISM-New York is holding their annual meeting on June 14th at the New York Executive Conference Center. Join them to hear speakers from D&B, Bloomberg, and more. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

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 Procurement Webinars for March 27 - 31: RPA, Millennials, Annual NLPA Salary Survey

This is a busy week - 13 webinars in 3 days – with webinars covering a wide range of topics. If the events below don’t match your interests, check our calendar for webinars on warehousing, analysis, DPO, and Pharmacy. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

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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Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

Non-employee talent is getting more and more attention in the executive suite, as contractors, freelancers, and other knowledge-based contingent workers become increasingly important in achieving company goals. However, when management attempts to align its current contingent labor management program with corporate objectives, many companies find they are unable to answer the most basic questions about the effectiveness of their current practices.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Welcome back from the US Thanksgiving holiday! With 5 weeks left in the calendar year (3 effective working weeks) the time to get in your professional development time is now! 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.

** BONUS: Mark your calendars and join me for a live Twitter #Instaschat discussion December 1st at 1pm ET!

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 24-28

In addition to the webinars I’ve recommended below, ProcureCon Pharma is running in Philadelphia from Wednesday through Friday. If you’re going, be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends SAP Ariba, Source One, and tealbook! 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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2016 Nobel Prize for Economics Goes to: Contract Theory

I live in the Boston area, so when the 2016 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Dr. Bengt Holmstrom, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Oliver Hart, a professor at Harvard, it made a considerable splash in the local news. I love economics in action, so I started reading more - but I never expected to find contracts as the center of their work.

Each of the newly selected Nobel laureates has a different area of focus, but both are relevant to procurement and supply chain professionals.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/12 - 16

After a drought last week, webinars are back with a vengeance! There are 9 this week and 12 already scheduled for next week. Having so many events to choose from doesn’t necessarily make it easy to pick just a few to recommend, but it does ensure that if you make the time you will learn something new. Click on the title of each event 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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Nearshoring: Why Now? - Warnings

As we covered in Nearshoring: Why Now?, outsourcing production operations to Mexico (or nearshoring) offers a number of tangible and intangible benefits over traditional “low-cost” country sourcing. Take China as a prime example: with labor rates in China, on average, exceeding those in Mexico since approximately 2013 and holding an advantage in productivity per worker, Mexico is increasingly becoming a hub for U.S.-based companies looking to transplant their supply chain operations. In moving operations closer to home, many companies are either fully or partially outsourcing manufacturing to suppliers in Mexico and in some cases, even placing full production facilities in that country. Sourcing suppliers in Mexico, however, is not without its obstacles: challenges that can quickly halt nearshoring operations for unprepared companies.

 

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Nearshoring: Why now?

When you think of outsourcing manufacturing operations, what country do you typically think of? China? Vietnam? Philippines? Yes, Asia is typically the go-to region for companies looking to cut costs by outsourcing production processes - and for good reason. Asia possesses both the labor and raw material resources to make the region an effective substitute to higher cost labor in the U.S. and the limited availability of certain raw materials in North America.

While outsourcing to low-cost countries such as China has its benefits (i.e. labor/overhead costs, raw material costs, scalability, freeing up the business’ time to focus on other critical functions, etc.) it comes with challenges as well. Lead times, language barriers, time zone differences, IP integrity, and a general lack of physical presence make outsourcing certain functions a constant struggle for US-based manufacturers and can outweigh the initial savings gained over the long-term. Companies oftentimes look at the price-tag of outsourcing functions such as IT support or manufacturing assembly work, figuring the decision is obvious. However, to minimize risk and to optimize/streamline domestic manufacturing operations it is important to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing, especially in deciding which low-cost region to outsource to, which processes to outsource, and which partner(s) to use.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/30 – 6/3

Even with the holiday Monday in the U.S. this week, there are still a couple of events worth catching. In fact, one is a ‘don’t miss’ webinar. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/16 - 20

In addition to the events below, Jon Hansen and I are presenting an IACCM webinar on Thursday on an unconventional topic: Picture of Dorian Gray, Procurement Pro. Hopefully you can join us! As to my other recommendations, click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 2/1 - 5

We kick off the month of February with a strong, diverse week of webinars. The three that I have chosen to recommend have their finger on the pulse of procurement: 3rd party risk, the future of procurement, and BPO. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 12/7-11: Procurement Outsourcing and IT Collaboration

The year may be winding down, but the webinar calendar is still going strong. There are quite a few events left in the year – this week included. I’m recommending two of the webinars scheduled for this week. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Should Procurement Fear or Embrace Procurement-as-a-Service?

I recently had the opportunity to interview Phillip Ideson, the founder of ProcureChange, a new Procurement-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider. You can listen to the entire interview on BMP Radio.

My first reaction to PaaS – one that I think is quite natural – is concern about what it will mean for today’s procurement practitioners if it catches on. Will we be outsourced the same way we have outsourced so many other formerly in-house capabilities?

As it turns out, however, the news is better than I expected. PaaS, far from being a threat to procurement, may be one way for us to achieve the strategic status we crave.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Alun@marketdojo
We have many partners who have embraced our methodology in SaaS (Software as a Service) for eSourcing and taking that through to P... Read More
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 07:09
Guest — Philip Ideson
Thanks for commenting, Alun. I do think it is important to note that this is very nuanced approach that will not work for all com... Read More
Monday, 23 November 2015 23:28
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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/26 – 10/30: Two Types of Outsourcing and a Look at Supplier Engagement

This week may not be as busy as last week, but the topics are as diverse as the presenters. And since so many companies ran events last week, this week’s hosts and speakers offer a fresh diversity of perspectives on procurement topics. Remember that we are in daylight savings time season, so double check the starting time of each event in its host country as well as your own. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Webinar Notes: The Raw Truth About Intelligent Automation

These notes are based on attending an October 13th webinar hosted by HfS Research. The event can be viewed on demand here.

The panel included two HfS team members (Phil Fersht and Charles Sutherland) and two executives from Cognizant: Robert Hoyle Brown and Matt Smith. I listened to the event end to end twice – once live and once on demand. The topic of automation is fascinating and it was well covered and discussed in this webinar. My challenge was to figure out what this growing trend means for procurement.

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Webinar Notes: The End of Outsourcing? RPA is Here to Stay

These notes are from an August 18th webinar by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA). The primary speakers were Barry Matthews Managing Director at Alsbridge, and Eric Shander, Vice President of Global Technology Services at IBM Global Services.

I’ve been covering all of the Robotis Process Automation (RPA) events based on IRPA’s recently released ebook meant to educate people about RPA. The most important things to know are that RPA is best suited to logic-based, repeatable tasks currently performed by in house employees or third party outsourcers. In some cases, robots can even provide governance or oversight of other robots. The other thing to know is that these aren’t mechanical robots – they are software robots: programs designed to handle tasks and learn over time.

The piece of this particular event that I found the most compelling was the potential for negative impact, or the ‘bad and ugly’ as they put it in the webinar. Let’s face it, as much as people decry the impact of offshoring, RPA’s cost structure and scalability raises a significantly larger concern about job loss. The honest truth is that RPA will have an effect on jobs, but it may not be quite what people think.

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