Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SPSM Certifications: An Explosive Month!

While the growth of SPSM's throughout the world has grown steadily since the Senior Professional in Supply Management Certification Program was introduced in 2004, the floodgates have opened this month!

In October, we have had as many students earn their SPSM Certifications as we had in the previous 3-1/2 months!

Also in October, the first SPSM's from Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were crowned.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Friday, October 27, 2006

Negotiating Tactics

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Negotiating Tactics You Can Use Today."

Like most negotiating experts, I strongly advocate preparation as one of the most important elements of a successful negotiation. I teach a great deal about negotiation preparation in the class "Powerful Negotiation For Successful Buying."

But, I know, I know. Many purchasing professionals simply don't feel they have the time to prepare as much as they would like. While I feel that better time management is a better solution than simply not preparing, I know that there are some people out there that will never change that thought pattern in their heads.

So this article is for them. Negotiating tactics can sometimes overcome lack of preparation to a degree, but I think that you'll get your best results when you combine preparation and effective tactics.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Qualities of a Successful Buyer

I've written a lot about the skills required to be a successful buyer in today's world. But today's blog post will focus instead on qualities - attributes that are more related to one's personality rather than their ability to learn a skill.

To be a buyer, you have to have "thick skin." When you're dealing with dozens or hundreds of vendors, things will go wrong. As much as smart buying can help minimize these problems, things will still go wrong.

Even if all of your suppliers have six sigma capabilities, that still means that they will produce 3.4 defects per million opportunities. One of those defects may be an order of yours!

So you have to have the personality that can withstand unexpected problems. Don't take them personally and let your emotions take over. You can't be the type that has a coronary at the slightest anomaly.

All such anomalies must be fixed, so you have to diligently pursue resolutions. And you don't handle each resolution the same way. I've seen a lot of buyers make mistakes in this area.

Some suppliers are chronically bad and are most responsive when taken to task, military-style. But other suppliers are committed to quality and customer satisfaction and will make corrective action an immediate priority. They don't need to be barked at. But unseasoned buyers sometimes go barking away. And that's an error in judgement.

When a problem arises with a supplier, you have to ask yourself "Can I get the same results in the same timeframe by being collaborative as opposed to combative?" If so, do not rip the supplier's head off! You hurt your reputation and may forever damage your company's relationship with that supplier.

The bottom line is that today's buyers must be capable of dealing with problems professionally. If you're not, then another profession may be right for you!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Monday, October 23, 2006

Procurement Benchmarking

I just wanted to share a quick thought before retiring for the night...

When procurement managers are charged with implementing improvements, they often look to benchmarking initiatives as a place to get some ideas on what needs to be done.

That's excellent. But it requires a degree of caution.

When benchmarking, procurement managers often look at what the "best in class" are doing. And they aspire to do the same things.

The trouble arises when the "as is" and the "to be" models are drastically different and the procurement manager tries to do everything at once. You see, the best in class, be it Wal-Mart or General Electric or United Technologies or anyone else, didn't get that way overnight. Their procurement processes are the result of years and years of small, incremental improvements.

Trying to become like GE in one fell swoop is almost a ticket for failure. You would literally have to demolish everything procurement-related and build from the ground up!

This approach would risk major disruptions in operations and be a change management nightmare.

So, proper benchmarking should culminate in a well-prioritized plan that has a near guarantee of success, not an instant upheaval that will likely not be fixed before the procurement manager is looking at our Web site's purchasing jobs page!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Preparing To Negotiate With Salespeople

One of the things that I teach in our online course "Powerful Negotiation For Successful Buying" is negotiation preparation techniques.

Among the many things you should do when preparing to negotiate is to anticipate what the supplier may say. I came across this article that teaches a salesperson what to say when negotiating with a buyer.

I suggest reading it before your next negotiation so that you can better prepare for what the supplier's salesperson may say.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At

http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Purchasing Video

Well, the innovation I referred to in an earlier post was officially released today - our first video podcast!

If you haven't seen it yet, you can download it from our Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast Series page or even check it out on YouTube!

This is new territory for us. Much like the contract management process that I discuss in the interview, our goal was to start simple and build complexity and improvements in over time.

So stay tuned. And please feel free to share any feedback good or bad - we'll use it to keep delivering the high-quality educational material that you've come to expect from us!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Contract Management Process

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Is Contract Management A Critical Process?"

Let me share with you what inspired me to write this article...

Regular readers of this blog know that I recently spoke at the AFLA Annual Conference. At this conference, there were buyers (i.e., fleet managers) and sellers alike. Mention "strategic sourcing best practices" in a room full of sellers and one begins to see steam billowing from ears!

During the Q&A session, several sellers stood up and asked questions about the accountability for apparent savings generated through strategic sourcing. They said things like "After the contract has been signed and the winning bidder has made all of its promises of savings, who goes back and makes sure that all of those savings are achieved?"

These folks implied that they felt that no one ever did confirm that savings estimates were achieved and that their competitors' empty promises unfairly beat them out. They wanted me to confirm their suspicions.

I had to be honest...sometimes actual savings are tracked, sometimes only the initial estimates. But, the point is clear: contract management is necessary! Not to pacify losing suppliers. But to ensure that no savings fall through the cracks.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Next Level Purchasing Wins Innovation Award!

One thing I always try to be is "ahead of my time."

Being ahead of your time is anything but a way to become an overnight success. Believe me, there were some discouraging times in the early part of this decade when people said "Online purchasing training? That'll never work!"

Maybe it wasn't the most popular concept in 2001. But with the same vision I had back then, Next Level Purchasing has grown into a globally recognized provider of procurement courses and supply chain certification.

I don't really look anywhere else other than in the mirror to assess whether or not Next Level Purchasing is staying on the cutting edge. But it sure was nice to be honored by the prestigious Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce as their 2006 Innovative Business of the Year!

Here's me with the award...


And you can read the press release on our Supply Chain News page.

Oh, a heads up...we are debuting our latest innovation on Tuesday, so stay tuned!!!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At

http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Supply Risk Certification Blogstorming

There's been some interesting brainstorming going on over at Spend Matters. Check it out.

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At

http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Documents For New Purchasing Manager

I received an email from someone in a parent company who has been asked to take over the purchasing department of one of that company's newly acquired subsidiaries. She wanted some suggestions as to the documents she should request from the subsidiary's existing purchasing team.

I thought that I'd share those suggestions with you, too, here on this blog. Here were my suggestions:

  • Organizational chart
  • Job descriptions
  • Contracts
  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Purchasing goals and objectives
  • Last several months worth of weekly reports
  • Personnel files
  • Performance reviews
  • Cost savings reporting documents

Can you think of any additional suggestions?

If so, add them to the comments!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine

Yesterday, I received the printed copy of the edition of Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine containing the article about supply chain certification. In preparing for this article, the S&DCE staff asked us to refer them to a customer of ours who could discuss the SPSM Certification for the article.

Upon receiving the printed edition, I was pleasantly surprised that our customer, Paul Sas from Palomar Pomerado Health, was on the cover! Check it out...



I'm obviously delighted that Paul gave such a positive, executive-level review of the benefits of enrolling a staff in the SPSM Certification Program. But we're not the only ones to benefit from this coverage.

I am sure that being on the cover of, and being positioned as an expert by, a prestigious publication can only help the level of respect that Paul gets in his organization. He represented PPH quite well!

I think that this is another great example of how Next Level Purchasing can help purchasing professionals have rewarding careers. We can't promise every student that he or she will end up on a magazine cover, but you never know...

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cost Savings Reporting

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Cost Savings Reporting: Dot The I's."

An additional cost savings reporting formula with which you will want to be familiar is this:

Savings = (LYP x TYQ) - (TYP x TYQ)

Where,

LYP = Last year's price

TYQ = This year's quantity

TYP = This year's price

If you explain this formula to managers in conjunction with the principles taught in the aforementioned article, they are more likely to understand how you are coming up with the metrics in your cost savings report. Let's do an example...

LYP = $5

TYQ = 100,000

TYP = $4

Savings = ($5 x 100,000) - ($4 x 100,000)

Savings = $500,000 - $400,000

Savings = $100,000

I hope that the article and this blog post helps you develop more believable cost savings reporting procedures. Good luck!

Respectfully,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM Certification Online At
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

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