Friday, May 27, 2005

Supplier Size Guidelines: Set In Stone?

You might be wondering whether the supplier size guidelines mentioned in "Supplier Size: It Matters" are absolute rules for selecting (or rejecting) a supplier.

Please keep in mind that these are ONLY guidelines. There will absolutely, positively be exceptions.

For example, Next Level Purchasing has a supplier awards program in place. In our most recent mid-year supplier evaluation, the leading candidate for our 2005 Supplier of the Year Award was a huge company. Next Level Purchasing's business comprises less than 1% of their annual sales. But, their performance - irrespective of our relative size - is what makes them special and worthy of an award.

So, supplier size is just one of many criteria that you should consider when selecting a supplier.

However, in a large number of cases, you will find that supplier stability and attentiveness to your needs are highly correlated with the guidelines in the above mentioned purchasing article.

What percentages are you finding to be the thresholds? Please share your experiences by clicking on the Comments link below.

Thanks for reading!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Metrics & Supplier Evaluation

One topic I am often asked to speak about is supplier evaluation.

A question that I am virtually guaranteed to hear during my presentation is "How many metrics should I use when evaluating supplier performance?" The number I like to recommend is four. I feel that by using four metrics, you can address the most important categories of supplier performance and can create a four-quadrant dashboard.

If you use less than four metrics, you're probably going to miss an important aspect of supplier performance in the evaluation. If you use many more (around 8 or more), you are going to dilute the value of each metric. It will be more difficult for the supplier to understand its overall performance and the priority of each metric becomes unclear.

Next Level Purchasing offers a FREE online class about supplier evaluation. I invite you to be my guest and sign up for it.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Purchasing Seminars: Do You Do Them?

I often get asked, "Charles, do you do any live purchasing seminars?"

Next Level Purchasing's bread and butter is offering procurement training and purchasing certification online. However, I do live speaking engagements for purchasing associations and private companies from time to time. My fees vary depending on a number of factors including whether I can use an existing purchasing seminar or if I have to create something customized.

If you'd like to discuss having me speak at your event, please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Getting Certified: Purchasing Managers Want To Know How Long It Will Take

On the Web page describing the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification, we list a table showing the length of time it will take a purchasing manager to become certified based on the amount of time s/he is able to dedicate to study.

I felt that it would be helpful to share some statistics regarding the length of time it is actually taking individuals to complete the SPSM Certification Program and earning their purchasing certification. Here they are:

Average time it has taken SPSM's to earn their certification: 139 days

Shortest amount of time it has taken an SPSM to earn certification: 71 days

If you have any other questions, please click the comments link below to leave a comment. Include your email address if you would like a personal reply.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Another blog to check out...

I found another pretty interesting blog in our field - Spend Matters.

Check it out for the author's thoughts on current topics like sourcing, supply chain technology, and international trade. Good stuff.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Friday, May 13, 2005

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I hope that you enjoyed the article "6 Ways Purchasers Get More Respect."

While maximizing the respect you get can take months or even years, I really believe that these tips can help you get incrementally increasing respect right away. And we all love instant gratification, don't we?

What do you think? Do you have any other tips you'd like to share?

Share your thoughts by clicking on the comment link directly below this post.

Good luck!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My Purchasing Credentials

Many individuals who are interested in Next Level Purchasing's purchasing courses ask me what my credentials are. Some ask it in a way like "What makes you think YOU are qualified to teach ME?"

So, I thought that I'd post a little bio of myself here...

I am the president of Next Level Purchasing, Inc., based outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Through the online purchasing classes that I have developed for Next Level Purchasing, I have trained purchasing professionals from multi-billion dollar organizations throughout North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/Oceania.

I am frequently recruited to deliver educational seminars for purchasing associations and private companies throughout the US.

Prior to founding Next Level Purchasing in 2000, I acquired about 1o years of results-producing experience in purchasing at the Kurt J. Lesker Company, US Airways, and the University of Pittsburgh and saved those organizations tens of millions of dollars.

My article, "Powerful Principles For Managing Growth," was published in the October 2004 issue of Inside Supply Management Magazine and my four-step process for learning how to source a new category of goods or services will be published in the July 2005 edition. I have also had several of my articles published in the newsletters of purchasing associations as well as the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM's) Web site.

I have taught eBusiness and Certified Purchasing Manager Exam Review classes for Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2002, I have served on the board of directors for ISM's Pittsburgh affiliate.

I have earned the Certified Purchasing Manager and Senior Professional in Supply Management purchasing certifications. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University.

If you want to know more about me, please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Purchasing Certification & Government Approval

I get a lot of questions about whether the SPSM Certification is "authorized" or "recognized" or "accredited" by government bodies. I thought that I would answer that type of question here.

I cannot say how all governments operate with regard to professional business certifications. But I do know how the US government, and other similar governments, handle them. Quite simply, they don't.

Unlike medical licenses, the US government does not get involved with reviewing professional business certification programs. They leave the validation process where it belongs - in the hands of the organizations and individuals who stand to benefit from certification.

So, how do you know if a purchasing certification program is legitimate? Consider three things.

First, what employers are enrolling their purchasers in the certification program?

Second, what employers are seeking to employ individuals with the certification?

Third, what are people saying about the certification?

For the SPSM Certification Program, prestigious employers (including several Fortune 500 companies) from throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia have enrolled their purchasers. For a partial list of organizations who have enrolled their purchasers in the SPSM Certication Program or in the individual classes that are part of the program, visit our "Who We Educate" page.

Furthermore, companies like office products giant Corporate Express and massive restaurant chain Boston Market have posted purchasing job advertisements with the words "SPSM Certification preferred" on our purchasing jobs page.

Finally, listen to what this SPSM Certification candidate had to say just one month after enrolling in the SPSM Certification Program:

“I'm far more prepared now for new, higher challenges than before I signed up with Next Level Purchasing. I'm glad I signed up!”

Anayo Onwuka
Project Materials Coordinator - SCM Major Projects Infrastructure
Shell Petroleum Development Company


NOTE ADDED JULY 2006: I'd also recommend that you check out Purchasing Magazine's article about the SPSM Certification and watch the video slide shows of SPSM Certification Success Stories where SPSM's describe how their employers demonstrated how much they valued their certifications.

NOTE ADDED OCTOBER 2006: I also recommend reading Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine's article about supply chain certifications in general and the SPSM Certification in particular.

In summary, you don't have to worry whether or not the SPSM Certification Program is legitimate. It is a rapidly growing certification that the best organizations in the world are embracing.

Still not comfortable? Contact me. I would be happy to personally discuss the SPSM Certification Program with you.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Outsourcing of Purchasing

If you've read "Will This Purchasing Trend Take Your Job" and are worried, let me help.

The thing to remember is that outsourcing any function is a way of spending money to save money. Getting a return on an investment with an outsourced supplier.

Third party procurement providers sell themselves based on return on investment. "You spend $1 million with us, you'll save $3 million."

Cut them off at the pass. Before they even have the opportunity to make their pitch to your senior management, you should already be calculating your return on investment.

If you're a buyer, you should be calculating your salary plus overhead (add 30 - 50% to your salary) and comparing that expenditure with the amount of money you are really saving your company.

If you are a manager, you should be comparing your department's annual budget with your department's annual savings.

You should be saving more money for your company than your company is spending on you or your department.

And - this is really important - you should be reporting your return on investment to management. They may think of your pay or your budget as a cost, not an investment unless you are continually and persuasively communicating your value.

Beat the third party procurement providers at their own game. But do it before you are placed in a situation where you are essentially bidding against them.

Do you have thoughts on this issue? Click the comments link below to share them!

Good luck!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, C.P.M., SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.

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