What Does Procurement Maturity Do For Your Business?

Procurement maturity. Yes, at some businesses this is an oxymoron, but at most, when the Procurement Organization has become more mature, so does the value contribution and increased financial performance.  The chart below is based on a client’s path to excellence and the value contribution attributed to achieving higher levels of performance when focused on improving twelve critical components of success.  Continue reading

Attitude Opens Doors

George Palmatier said, “The biggest challenge is not getting people to change the way they do their jobs, but in getting people to change the way they think about doing their jobs.”  In the post, The Journey of Excellence Starts with Change, Sosha and Peter illustrated that the way they each approached their jobs was directly related to the outcome. Attitude was a huge factor in their respective approaches to the business challenges.  Sosha approached her job with facts and used those facts to guide her direction.  Peter let the business drive his needs and his daily routine.  While each is perfectly normal, only one was successful in driving business results and outcomes – Sosha. Continue reading

The Journey towards Excellence Starts with CHANGE

The journey towards excellence is fraught with many challenges: organizational structure, technology, business process, talent, performance, etc.  Challenges are the norm on a journey, as is change.  However, change is the most ignored requirement for the journey.  Changing the way you think, the way you view challenges and embracing the flip side of change opportunity – is what makes the journey more enjoyable.  Staying focused on the successes along the way, the great outcomes that are just over the horizon vs. the struggle and grind of the daily issues focuses a team on winning, rather than just getting by.  Attitude is everything, as Jeff Keller noted in his book of the same name. Changing your attitude – the way you think and look at the world – can bring greater returns to you and your business. Continue reading

March Madness: Supply Chain Lack of Talent vs. Rest of NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket

March Madness – the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – has begun.  Naturally, I am thrilled that my alma mater, Michigan State University, is in the tournament and at the onset, a strong candidate for the final four.  Heck, even our President has picked MSU to win it all; from my vantage point I am hoping it is the same outcome as his pick in 2009!

When I look at the NCAA bracket, I find very few noted Supply Chain schools in the tournament.   In late January, a former colleague, Kevin O’Marah, now with SCM World, posted research from 2013 on the top SC Schools (below). Continue reading

March Madness: Get Your Game On

It has begun, March Madness – the annual NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.  The madness of the matchups, competition and the pursuit to be number one are the drivers of a fun and serious series.

This tournament also represents a great business performance check point for 2014.  In other words, it is almost quarter end – is your performance on par, below average or excelling?  Check points are opportunities to tweak, fine tune or rev up and improve your business; get your game on! Continue reading

Major Retailers Overcoming Adversity with Renewed Focus on Supply Management

The brick-and-mortar retail industry is facing the perfect storm of market volatility: bankruptcies are up (Deloitte), consumer discretionary spending is down (Standard and Poor’s) and supply prices continue to rise.  And that doesn’t even take into account the never-ending price pressure from online retailers, or this winter’s blistering cold – which continue to hurt sales. Continue reading

Apple’s Tantalum Supply Chain is Conflict Mineral Free – How About Yours?

On February 13, Apple announced that it has verified no conflict minerals are used by any of its tantalum suppliers.  The company is also actively pressuring suppliers of gold, tungsten and tin to use conflict-free materials that go in to its products, most of which are manufactured overseas.  Apple, an iconic global brand, is considered to be at the forefront of conflict minerals reporting. Continue reading

What is Change Management?

Today we begin answering the first of a series of questions on change management seen through the lens of the Supply Management profession.  Each article in this series will be based upon a tutorial by Prosci®, The World Leader in Change Management Research.   You can find our first article here. Continue reading

“…the role of the CPO remains one that is focused on Change Management..”

“While the CPO role continues to evolve, for many enterprises, the role of the CPO remains one that is focused on Change Management – changing the way the business buys things”1

The parallels between the evolution of the Sourcing and Change Management professions continue to fascinate me.  Both are rapidly evolving disciplines that are increasingly recognized as core competencies within today’s business environments, they both focus on business transformation and ROI, and they both offer a rich set of tools and best practices for a professional to draw from. Continue reading

How to Make a Bigger Impact in 2014, Part 3: Sharing Your Successes (the right way)

In our last two blog posts we outlined the changes that procurement needs to make in 2014 to make a bigger business impact. So now that you’ve followed all of our instructions and you’re seeing amazing results, what’s next? Continue reading