The Top 10 Best Practices to Reap More Value from Your Supplier Relationships

Over the last few months I have listened to many businesses discuss their quest to obtain more value from their supplier relationships. The traditional methods are tapped out while leaders such as General Motors have evolved to longer term contracts for new products to cut costs and gain access to advanced technologies.

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The GCC Oil and Gas Industry: Maturation and Transformation

Authored by Fayaz Haq and Henry Shepperd

Representing 30% of the global oil production and boasting some of the highest global per capita GDPs, it isn’t hard to quickly uncover what makes the six member state countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain) representing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) so distinct. There is no doubt that the state owned Oil and Gas industry can be a very profitable industry, however, it comes with a price. Significant investments must be made to ‘set up shop’ in the upstream domain for exploration and extraction, and in the downstream area of refining.

The dynamic regional industry is also exposed to key challenges including: Continue reading

Technology Fear Tactics

By: John Ryan Shaw, Sr. Director Adoption Services, BravoSolution

Do people really fear new procurement technology?   I don’t think so, certainly not in a literal sense.   It is hard to picture a Sourcing Professional sitting upright in the middle of the night, sweat beading down their forehead, trying to shake images of giant procurement technology monsters emerging from the surf.

No, it is much more likely that technology fear is rooted in the known or unknown implications of a technology change.   When you are responsible for achieving business results with a new technology, this is an important mental shift to make.  By making the shift we move away from a nebulous battle against fear and accept that a technology adoption problem can be broken down and solved like any other set of professional challenges.

What are some of the tactics that we can we can use to accomplish this? Continue reading

Lessons in Supplier Development: The Apple Watch

April 24th marks the release of the long awaited Apple Watch. The hype around this new product is quickly gaining momentum and shipments are expected to reach 4.8 million units in Q1 and up to 9 million in Q2. These high projections could have some serious ramifications for the supply chain, especially since Quanta Computer is said to be the sole manufacturer of the watch. In light of these factors, significant supply and demand issues are expected.

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Four Lessons Learned from March Madness

By: Rick Long & Mickey North Rizza

Every year, March Madness brings out the best and the worst of the NCAA men’s basketball teams. The drive for each team to be the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion is arduous and long. After the ‘play-in’ games, the first round of 64 teams battles in head-to-head competition to narrow the field to 32, then to the ‘Sweet 16’, ‘Elite 8’ and finally to the ‘Final Four’ and the National Championship.

Monday’s night game was the culmination of March Madness. Continue reading

Not All Spend and Suppliers Are Created Equal

By Rick Long, Vice President at BravoSolution

“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Unfortunately, this common phrase is all too often representative of the approach taken by many so-called “strategic” sourcing organizations, where sourcing professionals go blindly into strategic sourcing exercises using the wrong tools or techniques for the situation.

In some cases, they leverage totally inappropriate tools for the category just because they have them. In others, they sub-optimize the results they generate for their company because they try to take a one-size-fits-all approach to sourcing and supplier management. Both processes bring some value but only a fraction of what can be achieved for the amount of time and energy spent.

Savvy sourcing professionals use a variety of tools to determine the most appropriate approach to sourcing each category. Continue reading

Can You Imagine A Business Without Procurement?

By: Mickey North Rizza

Can you imagine a business world without Procurement? Some of you say, “it is possible” and others are a firm, stubborn, “No.”

It’s possible to have a world without Procurement. In the future Procurement may be replaced by technology that predicts the right buyer/supplier relationships, selects the relationship, monitors the progress and outcomes, and resolves issues that might occur. In today’s world technology is starting to replace much of our everyday processes, both consumer and business processes. Think about it in terms of consumer – I now do my mortgage and banking online, with my computer or smart device vs. going to the bank, starting a relationship, opening an account and working directly with the banker to set up the mortgage. While my relationship is very important to the bank, the managing of it and customer service can all be done by technology with little touch by the bank and me.

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Adoption: Asking the Right Questions

By: John Ryan Shaw

Quantifying the value of project activities such as communications, training, coaching and building a sponsor network can be difficult.   Most professionals intuitively appreciate that these are valuable activities that can help make the implementation of a new process or tool more successful.

In practice though, many project leaders struggle to determine how important they are and when they should be allocating their limited budgets to those activities.  This is natural and understandable because the value of these activities varies from project to project.

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2015 is Easier to Navigate with Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites

By: Mickey North Rizza

As a 2015 present to businesses globally, Gartner has published their 2015 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites.  The ‘MQ’ as it is affectionately known, is perfectly timed for executives to find, short list, evaluate and select their Strategic Sourcing Application Suite Technology Provider in early 2015.

In my previous role as Supply Chain Research Director with Gartner, I came to appreciate the time, dedication and sheer hard work that goes into producing the MQ.  Months of in-depth vendor interviews and product reviews coupled with endless customer references go into presenting an accurate map of industry leading vendors at that point in time.

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Modernizing Public Sector Procurement

By:  Dan Warn

Public sector procurement in North America is ready for massive change. Are you?

Ontario recently implemented a modernized and streamlined procurement process that is open, fair, and most of all, transparent. This new model of procurement brings efficiency, cost savings, and the ability for teams to help drive local and national initiatives. Technology acts as a catalyst for enabling this transformation, but at the core, success lies in the people and processes behind the technology.

What can a modern public sector procurement team do?

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