Author Archives: Kelly Barner- Buyers Meeting Point

How Much Are Your Contracts Worth?

How much value is your business gaining from your contracts? If a procurement executive asked you what a given contract was worth, you would likely give an answer based on estimated spend value as a result of projected volume, negotiated costs, and term. While this is accurate, it is also a limiting perspective that places more emphasis on the transactional footprint of the contract than what it means to the company’s operations. Patrick Stakenas, Chief Strategy Officer of Selectica, recently … More

Supply Chain Finance Collaboration

I recently wrote an article for eSourcing Forum about the role procurement can play in carrying out a company’s working capital strategy. Since more procurement pros are reporting to Finance, I shared three ways procurement can support the CFO: Establish Payment Terms Implement Technology to Manage Initiatives Manage Interface With Suppliers The third way, which leverages procurement’s existing relationships with suppliers, allows procurement to contribute to working capital by managing the importance of expense-based supply relationships to an operation. As … More

3 Ways Procurement Can Support the CFO’s Working Capital Strategy

Working capital is defined as the amount of cash an organization has on hand at any given time. Some people also refer to working capital as net liquid assets or current assets minus current liabilities (where ‘current’ means due within a year). The amount of working capital held by a company is a primary measure of operational health because it communicates a steady top line and the ability to manage costs. The management of costs is a clear reason procurement … More

Collaborative Supply Thinking Outside of the ‘Giga’ Box

Has your organization considered entering into a highly collaborative supply relationship? Some organizations are moving in this direction. Let’s take Tesla Motors and Panasonic for an example. On July 31st, Tesla Motors announced details about their plan to build a lithium-ion battery factory (Tesla Gigafactory) with their primary battery supplier, Panasonic. The factory will most likely be located in the Reno, Nevada area and is being hailed as the solution to Tesla’s lithium-ion battery supply constraints. According to current plans, … More

“The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement – Part 3 of 3

If you are just joining this series of posts on “The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement, you can read Parts 1 and 2 here and here. We have looked at the need to make meaningful change from within procurement professionals, and the importance of mindset discipline in the face of demanding stakeholders. In this post, we will conclude our series regarding Norman Vincent Peale’s inspirational bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking with rule number six from his “ten rules … More

“The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement – Part 2 of 3

If you are just joining this series of posts on “The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement, you can read Part 1 here. We started with a look at the need for procurement professionals to make a change from within in order to get a different external result. In this post, we will focus on rule five in Norman Vincent Peale’s “ten rules for taking the hard way out of your job” from the international bestseller The Power of Positive … More

“The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement – Part 1 of 3

Since it was first published in 1952, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale has become an international bestseller, selling over 7 million copies in 15 different languages. Inspirational quotes from Peale are often found on calendars, greeting cards, and bookmarks, but it would be a mistake to dismiss them as platitudes. His philosophy applies to our professional as well as our personal lives. Peale emphasizes the need to find a balance between enjoying our work and having … More

Are You Speaking the Language of Value?

Procurement organizations are constantly being challenged to create more value. The initial step for each company is to define exactly what value means given their unique economic context. The language of value, like value itself, is about discussing topics with an emphasis on creativity and potential. Since value is qualitative, procurement must be able to discuss, explain, and promote it without being overly reliant on the quantitative measures to which we are accustomed. Having the ability to discuss value creation … More

How Risky is Supply Chain Risk Communication?

How risky is supply chain risk? Leading organizations assess it, manage it, and communicate it. But in an effort to be both cautious and proactive, it is important to remember that there is more than one audience for risk information. Information shared in a routine disclosure to one reader may signal a crisis to another, or so the Chipotle Restaurant Chain learned the hard way earlier this month. The Chipotle Restaurant Chain is reassuring consumers after an industry blogger highlighted … More

Keeping the Procurement System Working Like a Well Oiled Machine

Procurement is more than the process of finding, contracting, buying, and paying for products and services. In an effort to do all of these things and more in a way that creates a sustained corporate competitive advantage, most procurement organizations have built up systems of initiatives, each of which offers some improvement to their performance or results. This system of loosely interconnected disciplines and solutions drives procurement’s efforts through the procure-to-pay process and beyond. Some of the most common procurement … More

Is Your Supplier Management Strategy Inclusive?

Supplier diversity programs are common in large organizations such as Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart. Even smaller organizations are starting to recognize the importance of having a supplier diversity program in place. Usually procurement is responsible for managing and reporting on progress against diversity targets, but successful organizations will find ways to include and inspire the entire company to participate in the supplier diversity program. Even though supplier diversity can mean something different for every company, a recent article … More

2 Questions You Should Ask Your Supplier Sales Rep Before Thanksgiving

Brace yourself: the end of 2013 is just around of the corner! We’re all trying to make the most of the time we have left. This includes maximizing remaining budgets, tabulating results, and starting to plan for the year to come. The same is true of the sales teams of our suppliers. Not all companies close their books on December 31st, but those who do are trying to hit their quotas before the close of the biggest quarter of the … More

3 Optimization Tips for Success

Optimization is undoubtedly one of the most advantageous parts of managing a project using an eSourcing solution. Look at any standard sourcing process diagram, and you are likely to find optimization placed near the end, squeezed in just before negotiations are scheduled to begin. While optimization scenarios cannot be run until supplier bids and information are received, planning must begin well in advance before opening an event, whether it is an RFP, RFQ or Auction. Cost components may be straightforward … More

Myers-Briggs for Procurement, Part 6: Personality Type in Practice

Welcome back! Just joining in? This is the final post in our series on the four Myers-Briggs dichotomies, or pairings of opposite traits, that define a person’s natural tendencies. We introduced the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators in Part 1, focused on extraversion vs. introversion in Part 2, and considered the two sets of psychological functions in Part 3 (sensing and intuition) and Part 4 (thinking and feeling). In our last post, we wrapped up the four dichotomies with a look … More

Myers-Briggs for Procurement, Part 5: Judging and Perceiving

Welcome back! Just joining in? We’re working our way through the four Myers-Briggs dichotomies, or pairings of opposite traits, that define a person’s natural tendencies. We introduced the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators in Part 1, focused on extraversion vs. introversion in Part 2, and considered the two sets of psychological functions in Part 3 (sensing and intuition) and Part 4 (thinking and feeling). In this post, we will review the last of the four dichotomies, judging versus perceiving, also known … More