Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Animal-Friendly Purchasing Covered On Spend Matters

When another blogger posts about a story, I usually opt not to post it here. But I'll make an exception this time because of my keen interest in the issue...

I recently learned from Spend Matters that Staples recently joined its industry peers by discontinuing its relationship with a significant supplier, Asian Pulp and Paper (APP), due to "eco-concerns." Specifically, a Supply Chain Digest story that Jason links to says that the supplier's "forest-clearing endangers tigers and other animals. Office Depot and some European companies had previously ceased doing business with APP over these and other eco-concerns."

It's interesting that more and more people are including animal welfare under the umbrella of environmental responsibility. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I think animal-friendly purchasing is going to be a growing part of socially responsible purchasing.

Looking for ways to be more animal-friendly in your purchasing will keep you ahead of the curve.

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

Monday, February 25, 2008

What Is Market Intelligence?

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Buyers Ask: What Is Market Intelligence?" As several of our articles do, this article was accompanied by a podcast from our Purchasing & Supply Management Podcast Series.


Do yourself a favor: download the podcast!


Not because I'm a great podcast host. But rather because of the quality of my guest on this one.


David Hargraves is a superstar as a sourcing practitioner. Having the opportunity to learn from him (at no charge, nonetheless) is a great benefit. Don't pass it up.


Speaking of the podcast series, I have another one in the works that will also be extremely helpful for those of you who are looking to make a career move in purchasing in the next few years.


OK. I wanted to have suspense on this one. So I'll shut my mouth - uh, I mean the figurative mouth that my typing fingers represent - for now.


Just stay tuned!


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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Procurement Transformation & Talent Development

I was honored to be asked by Michael over at Sourcing Innovation to contribute a guest post to his talent series. The topic I chose was the role of talent development in a procurement transformation.

You can check out the guest post here.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New International Procurement Course

You're the first to know...our new course "Basics of Smart International Procurement" is now open for enrollment!

I'm really excited about this new course. To buy interenationally takes a lot of preparation and requires you to understand many things that you don't need to consider when sourcing domestically. This course covers dozens of concepts you need to learn before even beginning to communicate with international suppliers.

Here's just a sampling of what you will learn:

  • How to assess the cultural differences that you may experience with suppliers from different parts of the world
  • 7 key characteristics of cultural differences that you need to know to avoid any unpleasant surprises from your suppliers
  • How to determine whether international suppliers might be withholding bad news from you
  • How international suppliers differ in the importance they place on personal relationships
  • How the importance of contracts will differ among international suppliers
  • When you might face one of the worst shocks - an international supplier's request to renegotiate a contract
  • 5 critical clauses that should be included in every international procurement contract
  • 6 principles for writing contract language that is clear and ideally suited for international procurement situations
  • Tips for reducing intellectual property risks
  • How to handle communication when you and your supplier have different native languages
  • Little known facts for reducing communication misunderstandings with foreign suppliers, including the use of jokes, hand gestures, and written communications
  • How exchange rates get factored into international procurement transactions
  • How to calculate currency conversions
  • Currency risks associated with international procurement transactions
  • How hedging tools like forward contracts and options are used to protect buying organizations from cost increases
  • 3 ways that products are services are priced and a currency strategy for each
  • The increased significance of accurate forecasts in international transactions and how poor forecasts impact cost
  • A risk sharing formula that truly distributes risk equally between a buyer and a foreign supplier

You can enroll in Basics of Smart International Procurement on our Web site's Sign Up page.

And if you have any questions about the class, please call us at 1-412-294-1990 or email us at help@nextlevelpurchasing.com.

Official press releases and mailings will be coming out shortly. But I wanted you to know first!

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Purchasing Manifesto

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "The Purchasing Manifesto."

A key takeway I wanted you to get out of this article is that you have to communicate to your internal customer what is in it for them. And saving money isn't at the top of their list in many cases.

You see, internal customers will often scoff at the notion of saving money because they (sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly) feel that you are going to sacrifice quality, service, delivery, etc. by finding the lowest price. It is up to you to convince them how they will benefit by working with you.

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

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Will The Economic Stimulus Package Work?

There was a short discussion on Spend Matters a couple of weeks ago in which the effectiveness of the economic stimulus package was debated. I had posed the question about whether the last stimulus package worked but the community did not respond.

Fortunately, an article in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provided an answer, saying:

"Some academic research dating back to the previous round of tax rebates in 2001 suggests households will spend at least a portion of this rebate on consumer durable goods, which can have a stimulative effect on the economy.

"'We expect to see most of that stimulus in the second half of the year,' said Robert Dye, a senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, Downtown. 'History shows there will be a boost to consumer spending because of this. Some will go to debt repayment and savings, but a good portion will go to consumer spending.'"

Of course, history is not a reliable indicator of future performance. But, in my opinion, if it worked before, it's worth trying again.

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

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

ISM's PMI is BS

If you've been watching blogs such as Spend Matters and Supply Excellence, you know that I am a critic of the Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index as an economic indicator.

But, finally, some financial analysts are realizing how suspect (at best) ISM's index really is. In today's New York Times' article entitled "Dow Plunges of Survey of Business," Julian Jessop of Capital Economics said “One extreme number on its own is not a reliable recession signal...It is so out of line with other January indicators that it is hard to know whether or not to believe it.”

I don't doubt that the economy is experiencing a slowdown. But the crazy drop in the ISM index (over 16% from December 2007 to January 2008) is simply outlandish.

I'm glad that the financial analysts are finally starting to see the flaws in ISM's index. I think that in the near future either ISM will make some changes to its index to make it a better indicator or Wall Street and the media will stop paying attention to it.

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

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Is Animal-Friendly Purchasing The Future?

There was quite a diversity of response to my October 2007 PurchTips article "Purchasing, Social Responsibility & Animals" and the accompanying blog posts (here and here). Some agreed that animal-friendly purchasing was a big part of the future of corporate social responsibility. Others didn't.

So I found it interesting when the front page of today's USA Today featured the results of a survey that asked American kids if they could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

The #1 answer?

Save environment/protect animals with 44% of the responses.

So, in the eyes of our future corporate leaders, protecting animals is a part of saving the environment or the "green" movement that has gained so much traction in the past couple of years.

The remaining responses?

End wars/terrorism - 21%
Cure disease/cancer/AIDS - 14%
Feed the hungry - 11%
End racism/prejudice - 4%

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

Monday, February 04, 2008

Job Openings In Pittsburgh

Next Level Purchasing has been growing tremendously over the past several years. We've kept a lean employment base for a long time but now is the time to expand.

We will be creating several new positions over the coming months. Right now, these two positions are available:

Business Development Manager

The Business Development Manager will be responsible for increasing Next Level Purchasing’s sales of educational services to companies with large purchasing departments. The ideal candidate will have:
· At least 2 years of consultative business-to-business sales experience
· Great communication and listening skills
· A knowledge of, and interest in, purchasing and supply management processes and skills
· A passion for education
· Familiarity with the use of customer relationship management software
· Previous experience selling services used by purchasing departments, such as software, consulting, etc.
· A tenacious commitment to professional follow-up

We are able to offer the successful candidate a competitive salary and commission as well as a constant flow of new leads. The position is based in Next Level Purchasing’s offices near the Pittsburgh International Airport and will involve some travel. SPSM Certification preferred.


Technology Specialist

The Technology Specialist will be responsible for developing and implementing new technologies that will make our internal operations more efficient for our staff and our online education experience more effective for and impressive to our students. Responsibilities include:

· Using Web-based scripts to further automate sales processes
· Expanding the use of our shopping cart and its integration with our Web site
· Consolidating flat files of student information into an integrated online database
· Web-enabling all new content including the creation of interactive exercises
· Planning the technology required to support our growth,
· Implementing new software and hardware as needed
· Updating the Web site
· Upgrading the interface of existing content
· Troubleshooting technology problems

The successful candidate should have experience and high levels of capability in programming/utilizing PHP, Perl, MySQL databases, HTML, Javascript, and Flash. SPSM Certification preferred. Knowledge of office computer networking is a plus.



To apply for one of these job openings, Please send your resume and a cover letter by email to jobs1q2008@nextlevelpurchasing.com. Include the words “Technology Specialist Job” or "Business Development Job" in the subject line.

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

Friday, February 01, 2008

The SPSM Certification Reaches Even More Countries In January

The SPSM Certification continues to expand its global footprint. In January, we certified the first SPSM's from Australia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda. These ambitious purchasing professionals join others from a host of different countries who have earned the SPSM.

Today, employers from over 60 countries throughout the world have enrolled their purchasers in the SPSM Certification Program. And additional growth is forthcoming.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
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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