Friday, October 17, 2014

What is the Best Procurement Software System?

Recently, the Next Level Purchasing Association has been reviewing some of the available procurement software systems in the market.  This has really been due to the fact that we have read and heard (loudly, I might add!) numerous questions from our students and their executive leaders concerning, “what is the best procurement software system you have ever seen?” 

Face it, in my position that is a rather loaded question!  The beauty of a particular procurement software system is in the eyes of the beholder so to speak.  But much further beyond that clich├ęd statement lays a more important answer, which I will give towards the end of this post.

At the recent 2014 NLPA Conference, one of our speakers, Ron Nawojczyk from Oracle, brought up some interesting statistics about failed software ERP implementations during his presentation “Coaching to Win: How to Get Your Users to Drive Your Procurement System to Victory”. In his presentation, according to Panorama Consulting, 66% of ERP project implementations fail and, according to AMR Research, end-user adoption is the #1 reason for failed implementations.

Now while I was listening to Mr.Nawojczyk presentation, I started thinking about how many failed ERP project implementations I had witnessed in my previous career in IT.  The number caught me quite by surprise; 5 in the past 15 years, which includes 2 failed ERP initiatives at one company!

In the 5 cases I witnessed firsthand, there were other significant issues that contributed to the failures besides end-user adoption, but these other issues eventually circled right back to end-user adoption. 

So what allowed these failures to occur?  From my perspective there were two main issues.

The first issue that stood out was that organizations were ill-prepared to purchase the right system.  In defense of the vendors, they highlighted the features of their systems and those who were involved in the discovery process did not always communicate their specific needs (or were unaware of their specific needs).  In 2 cases, I saw modules purchased and installed that were never going to be used anyway.  So to this statement you ask, “where was procurement”?  My reply is simply, “good question”.  For some reason, in these 2 cases, procurement wasn't invited to the table for discussions and negotiations with these vendors!

When you fail to appropriately address the needs of the front-line user, it is exceptionally hard to get buy-in on an ERP system, procurement system or any other system for that matter.  Change within an organization is difficult enough to implement without apathy immediately creeping in because you are making the users' lives harder, at least through their eyes.

The second issue was an apparent lack of leadership championing the systems.  Whether you call it “sticking your neck out”, “putting your reputation on line”, etc., nobody was willing be a true leader and take responsibility for implementing the system.

Alright, so you've read this far because I promised you at the beginning that I would tell you the best procurement software I have ever seen, right?  So here it goes, it is hands down by far the following:  It is the one that has 100% buy-in and commitment from C-level executive management as well as end-users.

While 100% buy-in may be an unrealistic expectation, executives need to market and sell the procurement system to their team.  They absolutely must share their vision with their organization as to why the system has been selected and as to when they will be expected to start using it with no exceptions. 

Now, while this may sound like a harsh, “our way or the highway” type of attitude, it really isn’t if sold properly. The end-users need to have their say at the table as well, so why not task your front-line users to participate on discovery teams alongside more senior members of the organization?

In the vendor selection process, a cross-functional team can review vendors and weed out systems by vendors that potentially over-promise and under-deliver.  IT can offer their knowledge as to the ability to integrate the new procurement system with current ERP, AP and other legacy computer systems.  The procurement department can perform a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis and negotiate appropriate Service Level Agreement’s (SLA’s) to mitigate risk.  Dedicated super users can receive extensive training and become the subject matter experts of the procurement system and go-to person(s) for others within the organization who do not use the system on a more frequent basis.

When senior leadership takes the ball and champions the cause, there is far greater likelihood the procurement software implementation project will be a success.  While you may lose some non-adopters along the way, your business will be far better off when a successful plan is drafted, reviewed and implemented with a leadership champion at the helm.

So, in your opinion, what is the best procurement software system you have encountered?

Greg Uhrlen
Marketing Manager
Next Level Purchasing Association
1315 Coraopolis Heights Rd, Suite 1001
Moon Township, PA 15108
Phone: 1-412-262-1334

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The NLPA Partners With SourceOne To Launch Groundbreaking Marketing Procurement Course

In organizations, there are some departments that just refuse to cooperate with Procurement.  Some departments are harder to crack than others.  And Marketing is perhaps the hardest.

Marketing departments are driven by creative thinkers.  People who aren't concerned with cost savings as much as they are concerned about ROI or, even moreso, enhancing the brand of the company.  If you think that winning support from Marketing can be done the same way that you win support from Legal or Finance, you are going to have a hard time ever getting the opportunity to manage Marketing spend.

It takes a creative approach.  So, the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) has taken a creative approach to teaching you how to work with Marketing.

Today, we have launched a new online course that we've developed in partnership with SourceOne Management Services.  SourceOne is a sourcing consultancy with deep expertise in many categories, including Marketing.

What we've put together for you is an online Express Course entitled "Adding Procurement Value To Marketing Spend," available exclusively through the NLPA's website.  Through this course, you and/or your procurement team will learn:
  • Why the Marketing environment is ripe for Strategic Sourcing
  • 3 valuable processes that Strategic Sourcing can bring to Marketing
  • Initial Marketing categories for Strategic Sourcing to consider addressing
  • How Strategic Sourcing should establish a relationship with Marketing
  • 5 phases of Strategic Sourcing for Marketing
  • 5 best practices of Sourcing Marketing
  • When it makes sense to collaborate with consultants when sourcing Marketing
To learn more about this online Express Course or to sign up, please visit

To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
President & Chief Procurement Officer - Next Level Purchasing Association
Co-Author - The Procurement Game Plan
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Minor Changes to What's Included in the NLPA's Course & Certification Offerings Are Coming

Here at the NLPA, we are always trying to tweak things to give our students, members and clients the most positive purchasing education and certification experience possible.

For example, this year, we've supplemented our physical mailing of beautiful parchment certificates with an immediate, print-your-own-certificate option for individuals who complete our online procurement courses.  And we've decided that, next year, we will NOT increase our prices!

We do have a couple of changes that some people may love and others won't.  You can read more about them at the link at the end of this post.  But the good news is that, if you don't like the changes, there is a way to avoid them.

For example, one of those changes is that the duration of access to the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program (which is what candidates complete to earn their SPSM® Certifications) is being shortened to one year.  After more than a decade of offering this certification, we've found that a shorter time frame is more effective at motivating individuals to "get 'er done."  The average SPSM completes the program in seven months, so two years is too much.

However, if you feel you need two years instead of one, you can secure that benefit for yourself simply by signing up for the program on or before December 31, 2014 and you'll have two years!

To learn more about both changes and how you can avoid them if you'd like, please visit

To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
President & Chief Procurement Officer - Next Level Purchasing Association
Co-Author - The Procurement Game Plan
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Supply Chain Social Responsibility Laws: Which Apply To You?

I hope that you have enjoyed the article, "A 12-Point Supplier Responsibility Checklist."
In the article, I referenced two supply chain social responsibility-related laws:  the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the Dodd-Frank Act.  If you are just starting a supply chain social responsibility program, one of the first things you need to do is to figure which of these Acts applies to your organization.  It could be that neither, only one, or both apply.  So, let me give you a quick reference to applicability in this post.
  • The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act applies to your organization if it "does business" in California and has annual sales of $100 million or more
  • The Dodd-Frank Act applies to your organization if it is a publicly-held US company
As you saw in the checklist, there are many areas of social responsibility for a supply chain professional like yourself to focus on.  However, complying with the law should probably take priority over some of the voluntary issues if you don't have the resources to work on everything at once.

To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
President & Chief Procurement Officer - Next Level Purchasing Association
Co-Author - The Procurement Game Plan
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Speaker's Recap: Feeling like a Winner at the 2014 NLPA Conference

The following is an unsolicited guest post from Brad Carlson, Director of Supplier Relationship Management at Source One Management Services.  Mr. Carlson was a panelist at last month's NLPA Conference.

At the end of September, I was lucky enough to attend the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s theme was sports related, “Where Procurement MVPs Are Made.” This made perfect sense, given our location in ‘Dahntawn’ Pittsburgh in full view of PNC Park and Heinz Field.

I’ve been to many procurement conferences over the years, and this one was unique. Rather than just a trade show where you are herded through a maze of vendor booths, NLPA creates an environment that made it easy to establish real personal connections with others. It was also more educational than any other conference I’ve been to. The speakers were fantastic, engaging, and very approachable. 

NLPA President, Charles Dominick, kicked off the conference with a keynote speech entitled, “Every Team Needs X’s and O’s: The Magic of Using Models in Procurement.”  He reviewed how some jargon can be confusing for internal stakeholders as well as within the procurement profession itself. Charles stressed that you need a playbook and common verbiage to keep everyone aligned when transforming your procurement department and dealing with varying stakeholders and suppliers.

As the Director of Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) at Source One, this hit a chord with me. One of the most efficient instruments for an SRM program is a toolkit. A toolkit outlines the standard methodologies and activities used throughout an organization to monitor program performance, support program objectives, drive executive involvement and ensure ongoing collaboration. One element of a toolkit can be a glossary so that suppliers understand the terminology and can communicate more effectively.

Additionally, there was a session from David Hargraves, Vice President of Clinical Sourcing at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His session was entitled, “Playing To Win vs. Playing Not to Lose: Take the Offensive with Strategic Supplier Relationships.” I learned a lot from David’s session, but most importantly, I was intrigued with his points about flipping the script as a strategic sourcing professional. Many of us may naturally take a reserved approach on projects – not wanting to ‘upset the apple cart’ too much in dealing with suppliers.  Through that approach, we are all selling ourselves short.  So much can be gained by developing a systematic approach to identifying potential suppliers.

I always preach that proactive supplier engagement is a fundamental element of SRM. David Hargraves was able to drive this point home. By challenging and engaging suppliers to think outside of the box, your company can reap greater value from their contracts. In fact, those who do not have an SRM program in place often see one of two scenarios:

1)    Suppliers can be essentially ignored, even after long and timely negotiations

2)    Suppliers are somewhat managed, but not enough to sustain any long-term value

Ultimately, by ‘flipping the script,' your strategic sourcing team is supporting collaboration efforts and processes so that suppliers are engaged and aligned with your business objectives at all times.

Day 2 featured more great workshops including, “Suppliers as Partners:  Why and How Supplier Relationship Management Can Be a Competitive Advantage for Your Company” and “Your Team Needs Fans: How Procurement Can Win Over Hard to Please Stakeholder” by Ron Larimer. Ron took a unique approach – no power point slides. It was purely an interactive working session.

Day 2 sessions wrapped with “Be Prepared for the Game Ahead: A US Economic Outlook,” by Kurt Rankin, AVP Economist from PNC Bank, and “Getting the Lead Right Out of the Gate: The Decisions to Make and Pitfalls to Avoid in the first Six Months of a Procurement Transformation,” by Michael Dewitt from Highmark. Kurt gave great insight into the reasons behind the jobless recovery, while Michael spelled out a premier game plan anyone can use in preparing a procurement transformation.  Day 2 was capped with a perfect evening to take in a ball game at PNC Park.  Pittsburgh defeated Boston 4-0.  LET’S GO BUCS!

We started Day 3 early – on the bus for breakfast at Heinz Field.  Not only did we get a great insider’s tour of Heinz field, but we had two sessions.  First was “From Contender to Champion: Transforming Procurement from Good to Great,” by Dr. Soheila Lunney president of Lunney Advisory Group and co-author of The Procurement Game Plan.  The second was a panel discussion after lunch moderated by Dick Locke, featuring yours truly and Stephen Yuter Deputy Director of Acquisition and Acting Head of the Contracting Activity, US Department of Health and Human Services. 

The main points of my presentation surrounded the value achieved through SRM and how its successful practice can lead to increased efficiency, cost savings, revenue growth, risk management, preferred buyer status, and innovation. During my time speaking at the event, I aimed to offer an explanation of how I’ve seen effective supplier management serve as an attribute in any business model.

Hands down this conference was a WINNER!   I can’t wait to see what NLPA has in store for next year...

The NLPA sincerely thanks Mr. Carlson and Source One for such a wonderful recap of an amazing event.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Directworks - Manufacturing a Powerful Sourcing Tool

More often than not, one-size-fits-all business-type solutions are often a poor fit in one area or another for many businesses.  Specific nuances of their industry are often overlooked leading users  to becoming “creative” in ways they shouldn’t be in order to make these solutions work for their specific needs.  However, in the manufacturing sourcing arena, one solutions provider is doing things differently.

Based out of Wexford, PA, Directworks is very upfront in stating that their sourcing tool is specifically designed for direct materials spend within the manufacturing industry.

According to Michael Cross, Director of Marketing for Directworks, "manufacturers need sourcing and supplier management solutions that have been built around their specific needs. It is at this stage of the product design process where profits are truly established."

One of the main points behind Directworks is the problem people in procurement constantly face; chasing after spreadsheets saved who knows where and trying to bring them together into one concise document to share with co-workers and suppliers all the while trying to keep track of updates throughout a project.  A monumental (and somewhat impossible) task to say the least!

Another pain point Directworks alleviates is the problem with suppliers who tend to fail at filling out mandatory fields on spreadsheets leading to hours and days of wasted time and effort chasing down information.  Within Directworks, quotes are not permitted to be incomplete as the fields are immediately flagged.

Directworks is a SaaS/Cloud-based application / database system.  A big advantage to Directworks is that there is no need for additional hardware for your IT organization to maintain.  It also has private “email” capabilities within its system.  If specifications change, everyone involved has the opportunity to see the changes at the same time.

RFQ’s are configurable by you and you are then able to line up supplier quotes all in one area, on one screen which proves to be a huge timesaver.

Directworks contains many standard and highly configurable reports to capture the particular information needed for your organization to make decisions based on a wide variety of specific details.  The most popular of these is the total cost analysis report.  This report shows you who the best supplier to choose is based on cost savings and other weighted overall fields.

Directworks is also a secure workspace in sourcing solution.  It allows for pure sharing and collaboration between employees and vendors / solution providers that login in through an encrypted Internet portal.

A most important feature we found with Directworks is the viewing tool which allows you to look at engineering drawings created in any software format.  Thus, those collaborating do not need the same software to exchange ideas and create enhancements.  The viewing tool also has a security feature that allows you to share images at any level.  So if you only want a collaborator to see particular spec levels of a drawing, you can share just that particular to allow editing, suggestions, etc.  Another great feature you can use in the tool is the ability to zoom in extremely tight on specific areas of the image and insert questions pointing to the exact point in question. 

The reporting features of Directworks are very strong and if there are reports missing to your particular specifications, their technical support staff will help you create the reports you need for your organization.  For example, you are able to run cost savings reports to find outliers based on a percentage difference (too high or too low) of price per part.  You can then export this data to Excel (or other spreadsheet applications) and show your suppliers where they are out of line in comparison with other suppliers.  Our point of concern here would be potentially sharing supplier information amongst competing suppliers so one needs to tread carefully here in an ethical manner.

The quote scenario report in Directworks allows you to show the best way to produce a product and allows you to target numbers for even greater savings.  For example, if one of your suppliers is a little bit higher on a particular part than on others, you can create this report and indicate within the tool to your supplier(s) where they could possibly do a little better.  Overall the quote scenario report saves users a considerable amount of time allowing the user to focus on more quotes and negotiate greater cost savings.  The quote scenario template also handles such details as a VAT (value-added tax) and currency conversion capabilities for overseas suppliers.

In the RFP area, you are able to run extremely detailed reports showing cost savings, manufacturing time, net-terms, delivery terms, lead times, and many other options.  Within this area you can add user (and supplier) comments easily as well.  Thus, if a particular proposal looks, by “running the numbers” better than other proposals, the comments area allows you to red flag potential concerns (for example lead times).  This area allows for data-driven decisions for sourcing projects.

Directworks has a wide variety of reports that track cost savings at various levels such as project level, supplier level, etc.  Within these reports you can measure and graph actual cost savings against estimated cost savings. 

Among this plethora of reports within Directworks is a supply chain social responsibility report based on watching for suppliers who use conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, or 3TG).

Directworks offers enterprise licensing based on annual revenue and is always free to use for suppliers.  Included in the enterprise license fee is 24/7/365 technical support (for users and suppliers) which is based in Pittsburgh, PA and Shanghai, China (with English speaking and Mandarin Chinese speaking support specialists).

Mr. Cross suggests that you have at least one Directworks power user who knows the platform inside and out and can help other users who don’t need to have that level of expertise to use it effectively.

Mr. Cross also mentioned Directworks realizes the importance of having a simple, easily adaptable UI (User Interface) and from the in-office demo we attended, we believe they have succeeded in this area.  If you and your team are comfortable using Microsoft Outlook, it is most comparable in terms of look and feel.

A powerful feature Directworks offers (and strongly encourages customers to try) is their Proof of Value (PoV) pilot program which gives users 2 to 3 months to learn and use the capabilities of Directworks within their own business to get used to doing real work with the system and seeing the potential cost savings and benefits of the system. 

Directworks target market is for manufacturing organizations averaging $400 million dollars (US Currency) and above in revenue.  Their largest customer is in the $100 billion dollar revenue area and runs thousands of reverse auctions per month within the tool.  To further quote Mr. Cross, “Whirlpool knows how to do sourcing, but we can show them how to do it faster and more efficiently”.

Overall, Directworks is worth serious consideration for any large-scale manufacturing organization that is looking to improve cost savings, time savings, project management, innovation of products and secure exchange / viewing of documents.  Visit Directworks at .

Greg Uhrlen
Marketing Manager
Next Level Purchasing Association
1315 Coraopolis Heights Rd, Suite 1001
Moon Township, PA 15108

Phone: 1-412-262-1334

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The 2014 NLPA Conference Hit A Home Run With Procurement Professionals!

It's taken me a while to catch up afterwards, but I am now ready to declare the 2014 NLPA Conference an overwhelming victory!  Procurement professionals from throughout the US and the world gathered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from September 15th to 17th, 2014 and I'm pretty sure that I saw each one leave with a smile on their faces!

We had such a special inaugural conference in 2013 that exceeded expectations, those of both attendees and NLPA staff alike.  Could we top that amazing event in 2014?  Let's review some highlights!

The first two days of the event were held at the beautiful and super-classy Renaissance Hotel along the shore of the Allegheny River.  I knew when I arrived the night before the event and looked out my hotel window to see PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the beautiful bridges of Pittsburgh that attendees' first impression of the event would be awe inspiring.

I kicked off the event with an always-provocative keynote speech in which I encouraged today's procurement professionals to completely rethink the way they interact with CEO's in order to advance the procurement professionals to heights never before reached.  I closed the speech by challenging the attendees to use the week to get into a creative mindset to create new models for procurement where they are lacking today.

One of the things I always preach about our conference is the diversity of perspectives that attendees will get exposed to (unlike our competition - who I call "the Dinosaur" - whose old-boy-network gives the same presentations every year and who never invites "outsiders" with certifications other than their own).  After my speech, I dispatched the audience to break out sessions, the first group of which were conducted by top supply chain executives.

That first morning was heavy with real-world education.  So, for our lunch keynote speech, we invited former Pittsburgh Steeler football great, Craig Wolfley, to lighten things up a bit with his belly-laugh-inspiring, but still motivational, speech:  "Teambuilding Through Storytelling."  His stories of how the late four-time Superbowl-winning coach, Chuck Noll, led his teams to success had as many business takeaways as they had chuckles.  And the crowd appreciated the opportunity to shake hands with a true celebrity.

I invited our top two speakers from last year to return again this year.  And Day 1 closed with a general session conducted by one of them, David Hargraves.  Did he deliver the goods again this year?  I'll get back to that in a bit...

The education portion of Day 2 got started with another constituency of speakers that we like to have represented:  consultants!  The thing I love about having consultants speak is that they get to see, first-hand, how things work in multiple procurement departments, not just one.  So, they get to share practices that are truly transferable.  Ron Larimer from Procurement Done Right and Julie Brignac and Ashley Hatcher from Vantage Partners delighted the audience with practices that they've seen work consistently for their clients.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I love to keep abreast of what's going on in the sales profession and encourage all procurement professionals to do the same.  So, as part of my commitment to provide a diverse array of speakers, I asked master sales trainer Scot Teachout, from Peak Performance Management, to share some seller's secrets with attendees.  Attendees were pleasantly surprised at how much they could learn from a sales specialist!

Throughout the first day and the first half of the second, attendees made good use of their opportunity to meet in the exhibit hall with our friendly sponsors, ThomasNet and Puridiom, who had the chance to demonstrate why they are among the leading providers of procurement technology tools.

PNC Financial Services Group Vice President and Economist, Kurt Rankin, gave a compelling and extremely up-to-the-minute lunchtime keynote speech on the state of the economy.  He declared that the economy has fully recovered from the "Great Recession."  He also expertly fielded some questions about what current economic indicators mean for the pricing and supply concerns of procurement professionals.  A very authoritative and relevant speech!

The education portion of Day 2 closed with perhaps the most provocative speech of the event.  Highmark's Vice President of Procurement, Michael DeWitt, gave a brutally honest view of what the first six months of a procurement transformation are like.  While some in attendance were a little overwhelmed by a discussion of some of the negative aspects of a procurement transformation, most attendees appreciated that Mr. DeWitt refused to sugarcoat the unavoidable conflict that a procurement leader will face when trying to drive a successful plan from vision to execution.  This was a real-world discussion at its most raw.

If there's anything that people who've attended either of our conferences know about the Next Level Purchasing Association, it's that we believe in having fun - like loads and loads of fun!  So, after we challenged our brains during the day, we walked across the Roberto Clemente Bridge to PNC Park to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates demolish the reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox, 4-0.  (Yes, the fun is included at no additional charge!)

For the third and final day of the conference, we moved to Heinz Field for a boatload of additional education and, yes, a little fun, too.  Attendees were split up into two groups:  one would go on a supply chain-themed tour of Heinz Field while the others got to learn from the other of the top two speakers from last year, Dr. Soheila Lunney.  Then, the groups switched and each got to do what the other did.

When I asked the Heinz Field team to include supply chain elements to the tour, they said "Huh?  No one's ever asked us to do that before."  But with a little coaching, they prepared something that only a procurement crowd would love like they did.  We got to peek into their warehouse and hear from a member of their supply chain team who discussed issues like how they approach supplier quality.  Here's a pic from that segment of the tour...can you guess what the supplier error being discussed here is?

And more visuals from the tour...

I mentioned that David Hargraves and Dr. Soheila Lunney were the top two rated speakers from last year.  And they were again, despite the fact that we worked hard to top last year's amazing speaker quality and got some crazy-good speakers on board.  In fact, our average speaker rating (on a scale of 1 to 4) increased to 3.53 in 2014 from 3.42 in 2013.  Speaker quality is such a high priority for us, so it is rewarding to know that our attendees acknowledge that quality!

The event ended with a scintillating and interactive panel discussion featuring panelists from vastly different backgrounds:  Dick Locke, SPSM, SPSM2, author of Global Supply Management and former procurement executive for HP; Stephen Yuter, SPSM, Deputy Director of Acquisition and Acting Head of Contracting Activity for US Department of Health & Human Services/Indian Health Services; and Brad Carlson, Director of Supplier Relationship Management for SourceOne Management Services.

It was a triumphant feeling to conclude the conference.  Attendees told us that it was the best procurement conference ever.  At the NLPA, we certainly strive to put on a great event that blows away the competition and it was awesome to know that we succeeded.

If it sounds like a great event, it was.  And you've only read some of the highlights!  There were plenty more speakers and activities that made these three days special!

As they were filing out, attendees asked "Where is the next one gonna be?" and "When is the next one gonna be?" and "How in the world will you ever top yourselves after this?"

Well, we have our thinking caps on.  We definitely set the bar very high and it will indeed be very difficult to top the 2014 NLPA Conference.  But our goal is to do just that!

No decisions have been made yet.  But we have some ideas that we think can make our next conference even better.  And it may take more than a year to be able to accomplish something so groundbreaking.  We are thinking somewhere other than our hometown of Pittsburgh.  And we are thinking May 2016.  And, yes, that is around the same time the Dinosaur will be doing its conference.  But, now that we've proven that we can host an event so far above procurement professionals' other options, we are ready to go head-to-head and show the Dinosaur's crowd (who prefer a Spring event) how much better a procurement conference can be done.

Procurement professionals deserve a breathtaking conference experience.  The NLPA wants to deliver that and more.

Thanks to everyone who came and helped to make the 2014 NLPA Conference an event that will have a lasting impact on careers and memories!

(see our Facebook page for more photos!)

To Your Career Success,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
President & Chief Procurement Officer - Next Level Purchasing Association
Co-Author - The Procurement Game Plan
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At