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Communication in Procurement: Back to Basics

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Sep 15, 2016 8:35:00 AM

Fast Company’s Gwen Moran recently published an article entitled 8 Ways To Put Anyone At Ease; Eight strategies for being more approachable and fine-tuning your communication skills. Although we talk a lot on this blog about the importance of communication; both with stakeholders (Boosting Buyer Buy-In and Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers) as well as with leadership (When Your Sourcing Program Falls Short of Expectations and What's Holding You Back? 4 Sourcing Strategies for Success), this article got me thinking about the importance of how we present ourselves to others in the most basic of ways.

Everyone agrees that there has been an evolution of sorts - the stakes are higher and procurement plays an important role in the organization. Success is based, in part, on our ability to influence, persuade, and affect those around us. If we’re successful in these areas our odds have having a meaningful impact on the success of the organization increase substantially.

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Topics: Motivational

Five Quotes to Inspire Procurement Success

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Aug 25, 2016 8:30:00 AM

We love to help our clients come up with new ideas and ways to procure the items they need. To get there, sometimes it’s helpful to look to the musings of great minds for inspiration.

We’ve pulled together a few thought-provoking quotes that remind us of procurement and motivate us to reach our goals.

  1. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."- Albert Einstein

Success in procurement no longer stems from simply cutting costs, managing supply, and periodically improving your processes. To really make an impact and thrive in the midst of external market pressures, procurement teams need to go deeper by capturing new revenue, driving high impact financial growth, and proving their role as a major competitive weapon for the organization.

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Topics: Motivational

Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers

Posted by Jason Heffelfinger on Aug 4, 2016 8:30:00 AM

It's common to run into a bit of resistance when trying something new. And it's no different with eSourcing. New process can be viewed by some stakeholders as an invasion or challenge into their specific areas of expertise.

The common body language seen in these interactions include suspicious looks and crossed arms. These buyers feel, rightly so, that they are the best at what they do. Oftentimes statements from buyers like the following come up during these initial conversations and confirm their apprehension:

“So how can you help me? “

“I already get the best price.”

“I can't get the same items; I'll have to compromise for a better price.”

“You'll make me award the business to a vendor other than my incumbent.”

“I'll have to pick the low quote provider.”

All valid concerns. And these are just a handful of the misconceptions that surround eSourcing.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy

Mission Impossible: Adding Capacity to Procurement without Expanding the Team

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Jul 28, 2016 8:15:00 AM

To say procurement teams today are busy is a large understatement. Facing high expectations from the c-suite, ambitious cost savings and innovation goals and the looming reality of potential supply disruptions and noncompliant suppliers, teams have a lot on their plates. As procurement’s scope of responsibility grows, it can be challenging for teams that stay the same in size to keep up with mile long to-do lists and simultaneously find the time to be a strategic partner for the business.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy

Strategic Sourcing—the myth, the legend, the hero

Posted by Tracie Rohn on Jul 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

We have heard this buzzword “Strategic Sourcing” more times than we can count on all of our fingers and toes but the truth is this—in the procurement world this one phrase you don’t want to forget or ignore. What does it all mean? What myths about strategic sourcing exist? What accomplishments has strategic sourcing achieved that could be seen as legendary? And of course everyone loves a hero—why is strategic sourcing the hero you need in your organization?  

The Myth:

Lowest Cost is ALL that matters.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Strategy, About e-Sourcing

4 Ways Sourcing Drives Business Value

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Jun 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM

"Smart sourcing" is not just for procurement. The approach can generate value that positively impacts every corner of the organization. From sales and finance to operations and marketing, sourcing can help every department grow and reach their goals.

Stakeholders without a procurement background may not fully understand at first how valuable sourcing can be, but its role in areas like finance, risk management, customer satisfaction and brand reputation can reap tremendous rewards when implemented throughout the entire business. Which areas have the greatest potential?

Finance: the foundation for the future

Sourcing is an incredibly effective way to improve your organization’s bottom line. Think more savings, new revenue and unlocked working capital. By taking suppliers to auction on a regular basis, teams secure fair pricing, and can often end up getting a better deal on key supply sources. It seems simple: by driving costs down, profitability goes up, but these benefits must be sustained, measured and optimized over time in order to see real financial gains.

Key metrics to track include total cost of ownership (TCO), cost avoidance and company valuation. Sourcing complex categories like OpEx and CapEx, focusing on TCO, and understanding how these purchases truly impact the bottom line helps drive stronger, more sustainable results. Ultimately, this financial impact will shape the growth and direction of the organization.

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Best Practices

Staying in the Know: Ten Procurement Influencers to Follow

Posted by Michelle Fombelle on Jun 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM

When you work in procurement, social media might not seem completely related to your job. After all, it’s a platform for reconnecting with old friends, keeping up with what’s going on with family and distant relatives, and posting photos from your most recent vacation, right? Although those notions are true, social media, especially LinkedIn, can be a valuable tool for sourcing teams looking to stay abreast of the latest trends and news impacting their space.

Procurement leaders understand that using social platforms can be a great way to learn from and engage with industry peers and satisfy a thirst for knowledge while balancing a busy schedule.

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Topics: Motivational, Strategic Sourcing In The News

How to: A Guide to Implementing eSourcing

Posted by Lindsay Bernacchi on Jun 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Implementing eSourcing within a company can be a daunting task. Especially if it is a culture that has never experienced sourcing in that form. One would think that in 2016 most companies have had some type of experience with eSourcing but that isn’t always the case.

Recently Gregg Brandyberry, President of Rapid Deployment Procurement Excellence Inc. sat down with CPO Rising and gave some advice on successfully implementing eSourcing into an organization. Brandyberry’s 5 lessons to be learned are: 

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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Successes

Sourcing: The Secret for Driving Extra Business Value

Posted by Brian Miller on May 12, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Sourcing's_Business_ValueSmart sourcing is not just for procurement. The approach can generate value that positively impacts every corner of the organization. From sales and finance to operations and marketing, sourcing can help every department grow and reach their goals.

Stakeholders without a procurement background may not fully understand at first how valuable sourcing can be, but its role in areas like finance, risk management, customer satisfaction and brand reputation can reap tremendous rewards when implemented throughout the entire business. Which areas have the greatest potential?

Finance: the foundation for the future

Sourcing is an incredibly effective way to improve your organization’s bottom line. Think more savings, new revenue and unlocked working capital. By taking suppliers to auction on a regular basis, teams secure fair pricing, and can often end up getting a better deal on key supply sources. It seems simple: by driving costs down, profitability goes up, but these benefits must be sustained, measured and optimized over time in order to see real financial gains.

Continue reading →

Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Best Practices

Making Sourcing a Strategic Supply Chain Asset

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Apr 29, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Companies that have mastered management of their supply chain have a distinct advantage over the competition. Just a 1-2% decrease in cost has a material bottom-line impact. So whether your organization falls into the mastery category, room for improvement, or somewhere in between - standing still is the surest way to fall behind the competition.

Sourcing, specifically, can create a significant advantage when companies think about leveraging the function as a strategic asset, rather than just a tactical means for securing savings.

Examples include:  

  • Improving Customer Satisfaction with unique and innovative new products, supporting the creation of an exceptional customer experience, or passing on savings
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Topics: Motivational, e-Sourcing Best Practices, e-Sourcing Strategy