Monday, February 28, 2011

Did The Procurement Profession Get Supplier Diversity All Wrong From The Get-Go?

I can't help it. I am always thinking outside of the proverbial box and challenging the way things are.

Such was the case this weekend when I started thinking about supplier diversity. And wondering if the procurement profession has gotten it wrong for all of these years.

Let me take you on an intellectual journey here. Let's begin by reviewing what typically constitutes "diversity spend" in an organization. Diversity spend is usually considered money spent with suppliers who are 51% or more:
  • Owned, controlled and operated by an ethnic minority
  • Owned, controlled and operated by a woman
  • Owned, controlled and operated by a military veteran

And in the case of UPS:

  • Owned, controlled and operated by a lesbian, gay man, a bi-sexual person, or individual who has had a sex change

The purpose of supplier diversity programs is to give an advantage to subsets of the population who have historically been discriminated against. A way of compensating for past social ills by swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction in the present.

That's noble.

But does this type of approach really help anyone? Or help as many people as it should?

Let's think about a situation where there are two suppliers who score equally well on all non-diversity-related criteria of a procurement department's evaluation. Supplier diversity status, then, could be a tie-breaker. In other words, if one is a "diversity supplier" and the other isn't, then the diversity supplier wins.

How about this for a wrinkle...

Let's say that Supplier A is owned by a woman. And Supplier B is owned by a caucasian man.

Supplier A's workforce is 100% male. Supplier B's workforce is 50.5% male and 49.5% female. And, in both suppliers' locations, the ratio of men to women is 51:49.

Supplier B's proportion of women in the workforce is actually greater than the proportion in the available labor population for the supplier. Maybe this is driven by the owner's desire to right the wrongs of past discrimination. Who knows? But one thing is certain: Supplier B will not be judged to be the socially responsible choice simply because of the owner's gender.

Supplier A will win. And that award will help one woman. Whereas awarding the business to Supplier B may help dozens or hundreds of women.

I could write a similar example for ethnic minorities, veterans, and members of the LGBT community. But I don't think that I need to for you to get the point here.

I believe that the policy of determining diversity status of suppliers based on ownership, and not workforce composition, is fundamentally flawed. And we, as a profession, have been blindly following along based on "the way things have always been done."

Is it time for a change? Is it time to get it right?

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Lieu of Lamenting The Lack of a Perfect Purchasing Instruction Manual...

I hate to break this to you, but there is no "instruction manual" that can tell you exactly what to do in every specific purchasing situation that you will ever face in your career. Sorry.

However, there is enough good education and information out there that can empower you to make the right decisions in most purchasing situations you face. But there is a caveat.

The education and information that you receive must be interpreted, adapted and applied to your situation. Unfortunately, not enough people demonstrate the ability to learn about how one similar, but not identical, problem was solved and then implement a similar solution to their own problem.

Too many people will say "But that situation was different, that solution doesn't apply to me" and not take anything away from the education or information they received. I'm here to tell you that you can learn something applicable from almost every bit of purchasing education or information you receive.

It may just require a little brain work. You're not scared of a little thinking, are you?

Consider these situations...

1. A school district buyer reads an article in a supply chain trade publication describing how a prepared food manufacturer's purchasing department was given credit for helping their company survive because it contracted with its corn supplier such that the food manufacturer sustained only a 9% increase in the cost of corn from January 2010 to January 2011 while the market price for corn increased by 63% during that same period. The school district buyer may say "This doesn't apply to me. I don't work in the food industry." I would argue that the school district buyer could learn something. If the school district buyer applied the same contracting techniques - understanding cost drivers, using market intelligence to predict future price changes, entering into a long-term contract, and accepting a fixed price that was slightly higher than current price because of expected inflation - the school district could have better contained its costs for diesel fuel used in its buses, which increased by 18% in that same period. Different industry, different commodity, similar solution!

2. A purchasing manager for a bank reads a blog post about how to build a should cost model. The example used is one that involves the manufacture of a part that will be used in the production of automobiles. The purchasing manager scoffs, "Ah, should cost models are for manufacturers. I'd never need to use one." Yet, that very day the bank purchasing manager is reviewing three bids from providers who will produce and install decals with the bank's business hours to be used on the front windows of each of the bank's 100 branches. One bid is $2,000, the second bid is $5,000, and the other bid is $20,000. Wow! What a range of prices! Should the bank accept the lowest bid? It is pretty cheap. But is it too cheap? Might the supplier not know what they are bidding on? And is the supplier who bid $20,000 trying to rip off the bank or might they know something that the other bidders don't? A should cost model would help the bank purchasing manager figure out the materials, labor, and the cost for each of those to determine what a range of legitimate bids is. Of course, a service industry would never use a should cost model...right? Uh, wrong.

I could sit here for days typing examples of how some people in purchasing roles refuse to think outside the proverbial box and end up limiting their potential and their success.

So, instead of wishing you had the purchasing instruction manual that gives guidance on every specific problem imaginable down to the exact industry, commodity, and smell of the saleswoman's perfume, my advice to you is to have the willingness to say "Hmmm, how can I apply this to my situation?" and spend a little time thinking creatively instead of saying "This doesn't apply to my situation." You may come up with more effective solutions to your purchasing problems that you ever imagined.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Supply Chain Software Provider Takes Unique Approach To Marketing

Thanks to my ever-useful subscription to news feeds from Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine, today I came across perhaps one of the most unique approaches to marketing to the supply chain space I have ever seen.

Kinaxis, a provider of supply chain and sales & operations planning software, has launched a multi-part video series entitled "New Kinexions." Each episode is a mere 90 seconds long and is a sitcom-ish dating metaphor for using supply chain software.

Just to give a little hint as to the type of humor employed, the two unpleasant, geeky characters in the episodes are named Sally Ann Perkins (SAP) and Ari Cole (to sound like "Oracle"). If you've had a bad experience with either of those ERP vendors, you will definitely relate to the videos!

I'd be doing the well-done episodes a disservice by discussing them any more without sharing the videos themselves, so here are the first six episodes...













To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exactly When Are Purchasing Negotiation Skills Needed?

I hope that you enjoyed the article "Use Negotiation Skills To Elevate Purchasing."

The premise behind the article is that there is a difference in perception as to when a negotiation begins. Many buying organizations think that negotiation begins when a requisition - with a virtually unchangeable supplier suggestion - is handed over to the purchasing department.

When do sales organizations start the negotiation process?

With the very first communication with a buying organization!

So, if that first communication is with an engineer, end user, or other internal customer, the negotiation has begun whether the buying organization's representative knows it or not. And, if that person is not a truly skilled negotiator (not whether they think they are, but truly are), he or she is probably being taken advantage of by the savvy seller.

The bottom line is this: if a purchase is expected to exceed a certain value, the purchasing department should be given the opportunity to be involved in that first communication and every subsequent communication as well. Deviate from this recommendation, and your organization's ability to maximize the value from the deal is severely limited.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Is The Remedy For Shortages In The Health Care (or Any Industry's) Supply Chain?

A Chicago Tribune article entitled "Drug shortages prompt hospitals to use older treatments, pay more when they do find a supply" from this weekend caught my attention. The article describes how hospitals are encountering major challenges with "the worst shortages" of pharmaceuticals in at least a generation.

The article implies that the causes of these supply shortages are primarily manufacturing issues and quality control problems that are apparently being increasingly discovered due to "the federal government's crackdown on drug safety." With reports of hospitals paying "double or more for certain drugs because they are working with a supplier that normally doesn't supply them with large volumes of a product" and the US government proposing "legislation that would require drugmakers to give the FDA an early notification 'when a factor arises that may result in a shortage,'" (i.e., the government doing the medical industry's supply chain visibility for them), I began to think: "Does health care procurement need it's head checked for being so inept?"

Well, before making such a conclusion, I needed a second opinion.

Doing a little research, I found that the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists actually had a set of formal guidelines on managing shortages in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Were these guidelines good? Could they be applied to other industries as well?

Let's check the vitals of these guidelines together...

The guidelines start out by identifying 11 of the contributing factors of pharmaceutical supply chain shortages. Here are a few of those that I feel can be adapted to almost any industry (including yours):
  • Raw and bulk material unavailability. Disruptions in the supply of raw or bulk materials are especially problematic when the primary or sole source experiences production difficulties or discontinues production, affecting multiple manufacturers...Availability
    problems can arise when armed conflict or political upheaval disrupts trade, animal diseases contaminate tissue from which raw materials are extracted, climatic and other environmental conditions depress the growth of plants used to produce raw materials, or raw materials are degraded or contaminated during harvesting, storage, or transport.
  • Manufacturing difficulties and regulatory issues. Drug product shortages can also occur when the primary or sole manufacturer of a drug product halts or delays production
    in response to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement action concerning noncompliance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs). Contributing
    factors may include antiquated manufacturing equipment, a shift of resources from maintenance of equipment and facilities to research and development, loss of manufacturer personnel experienced in production and compliance issues as a result of company mergers or retirements, cGMP-related problems with subcontractors who supply products to multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers, and limited FDA resources for timely inspections of manufacturing sites.
  • Manufacturers’ production decisions and economics. Manufacturers’ business decisions are based on a variety of factors, including availability of generic products, market size, patent expiration, drug-approval status, regulatory compliance requirements, and anticipated clinical demand. Occasionally, manufacturers temporarily or permanently reduce production quantities of certain drug products as they shift production efforts or reallocate resources to other products. A manufacturer’s reasoned, sound business decision to discontinue production of a drug product because of insufficient financial return or a
    high cost to correct manufacturing issues can cause an unanticipated, serious shortage, especially in the instance of a sole-source or medically necessary product.
  • Industry consolidations. Manufacturer mergers often result in decisions to narrow the focus of product lines or move a production line to a new facility, resulting in the discontinuation or delayed availability of drug products. Mergers between two companies that manufacture similar product lines typically result in single-source products. As the number of manufacturers of a product decreases, resiliency in the supply
    chain also decreases, making product supplies more vulnerable.
  • Inventory practices. Communication and transportation efficiencies throughout the supply chain have allowed inventory reductions at all levels. Most manufacturers, distribution centers, and health systems use “just-in-time” inventory management to reduce the cost of inventory on hand and optimize cash flow. This strategy is recognized as sound business management for all stakeholders, but an unexpected shortage at any point in the supply chain can significantly affect the end user and patient.
  • Unexpected increases in demand and shifts in clinical practice. Occasionally, the demand for a drug product unexpectedly increases or exceeds production capacity. This may occur when a new indication is approved for an existing drug product, when usage patterns change in response to new therapeutic guidelines, when a substantial disease outbreak occurs, or when unpredictable factors influence demand.
  • Natural disasters. Natural disasters can have a profound effect on the availability of drug products. Damage to manufacturing facilities, particularly those that are the sole source of a drug product or category of products, is likely to cause long-term shortages.
After reading this, my blood pressure returned to normal levels, with me getting some confidence that the health care industry actually had some procurement savvy for managing drug shortages. However, my temperature rose once more when I got to a section entitled "Phased approach to planning for drug product shortages."

In this "planning for shortages" section, I was a bit appalled by a figure that illustrated the process for dealing with shortages. Guess what the first step was...

It was "Drug shortage identified."

In other words, no action is taken until a shortage is identified. That's a little late to start figuring out what to do, don't you think?

Though the guidelines themselves state that "Health systems should develop a contingency planning strategy to prepare for the possibility of a prolonged drug product shortage. Although it often is not possible to predict when shortages will occur, the process for dealing with them can
be defined in advance," the rest of the guidelines do not describe such a proactive approach but rather a reactive approach.

Compounding the insanity is the guidelines' recommendation against increasing inventory in anticipation of a predicted shortage (generally, when done well, an effective strategy in competitive industries). The report points out the downsides of such stockpiling - it may direct quantities to a location where they are not needed instead of a location where they are and it may result in spoilage/obsolescence due to overbuying - but it doesn't address the upsides, which include sparking a demonstrated demand in the supply chain that would compel manufacturer's to beef up production. This recommendation kind of promotes a "let's all be screwed together" approach rather than one in which the smartest health care procurement system comes through for its patients while the dumber ones fail (and might actually learn a procurement lesson in the process).

As we teach in our online course, "14 Purchasing Best Practices," risks should be identified and strategies be put in place to mitigate those risks in advance.

With this recent reading that I've done, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed with drug procurement in the health care industry - an industry that has taken strides to improve its procurement practices but, apparently, still needs a prescription for better procurement performance.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Proactive Ethics vs. Reactive Ethics

In the context of an ethical scandal, I reported yesterday that Pennsylvania Senator Joe Scarnati had his trip to the Super Bowl paid for by a local company, CONSOL Energy. Well, in a quick response to public scrutiny, Senator Scarnati yesterday announced that he would be reimbursing CONSOL for the costs.

That's what I call reactive ethics.

Separately, I had previously reported about an issue where Michael Kinney, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA), was the subject of an investigation because he awarded substantial business without adequate competition to a supplier that was run by friends and then changed the scope of work after award such that the supplier made more money. Well, this past weekend, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the PWSA dropped the investigation after Kinney resigned the executive director's job in December.

In dropping the investigation, PWSA told the law firm conducting the investigation to instead develop new ethics guidelines. These new guidelines suggested that PWSA should "provide ethics training to employees, develop an ethics manual, fine-tune contract procedures, and impose unspecified checks and balances on the next executive director."

What do you think I call that?

Right, reactive ethics.

It should not require an ethics scandal for ethical guidelines to be put in place, whether in government or in procurement. Can your organization - or your career - afford to have an ethics scandal happen before establishing ethical guidelines?

Putting ethical guidelines in place right away is proactive ethics. And proactive ethics beat the heck of out of reactive ethics. Why? Well, do you think Scarnati and Kinney will have challenges with being trusted again due to their embrace of reactive vs. proactive ethics?

I think so.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Monday, February 14, 2011

Proof That Government Is NOT A Role Model For Ethical Procurement

When I saw the headline in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that read "Pa. senator's Super Bowl trip courtesy of Consol," I thought for sure I'd be reading about an elected government official being unseated over a breach of ethics.

Not so.

Despite the fact that "Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, had his ticket, plane ride, and hotel bill paid for by Consol Energy Inc., a major coal producer and one of the companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale," it appears that the senator is not only being allowed to keep his job but, shockingly, is credited for behaving within the guidelines of ethical conduct set forth by Pennsylvania government! Let me first give a brief introduction to the Marcellus shale drilling controversy and then I'll talk about why strict ethical guidelines are important in both government and procurement...

The whole Marcellus Shale drilling issue is one of the most controversial political things happening right now in Pennsylvania as many residents are concerned about drinking water contamination, property value reduction, and other ill-effects of the drilling. So, for an elected official to accept Super Bowl tickets and travel accommodations from a company with an interest firmly on one side of the issue is unfathomable to me.

However, the article points out that "Pennsylvania law allows legislators to accept such tickets and travel so long as they report everything above a $650 annual threshold." That's troubling!

Look, gifts either influence the receiver or create the perception that the receiver is influenced by them. To allow a legislator to have no limit on the gifts s/he can receive and be influenced by as long as they report what they get - whoopdeedoo - is scary.

What scares me more is how Senator Scarnati's office, like Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has in the past, used the "but the rules say it's OK" defense in deflecting any ethical scrutiny. Yes, the rules say it's OK but, c'mon, don't these politicians have common sense?

If you're accepting such extravagant personal gifts, you're going to be influenced. And any decision you make in favor of who bought you those gifts will appear to have been the result of that influence.

Accepting gifts - unless required by a culturally sensitive situation and then only when there is an ethical way of distributing those gifts so that you do not personally benefit from them - is a dumb move. It is clear that, if the "rules" are loose and leave room for the potential gift receiver to exercise judgment, good judgment will not prevail on many occasions.

Moral of the story: organizations and their procurement departments should have tight, documented standards against accepting gifts. And you'll have to look to the procurement community for those standards. Obviously, government is not a role model for ethical procurement.

One last note: Even if there is no procurement policy that currently forbids you from accepting gifts, decline them anyway. You'll be a better professional for having standards that are above-and-beyond those that are written (or not yet written).

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Friday, February 11, 2011

What's Wrong With On-The-Job Training In Procurement?

What's wrong with on-the-job training in procurement?

The answer is nothing - as long as it's not the only training that a new procurement professional gets.

I was thinking about on-the-job training this week as we onboarded a new employee for a newly-created finance position here at Next Level Purchasing. This "OJT" made me a little nervous and crystalized in my mind these three common problems with on-the-job training everywhere it is done:

1. Too little preparation time goes into it. It is amazing to think of the hundreds of hours that went into each of Next Level Purchasing's online classes, yet, comparatively, how little time went into the preparation for training our new employee. As a result of lack of preparation, the resultant lack of structure in on-the-job training confuses the new employee. Additionally, there usually ends up being too many errors and omissions in the documentation designed to guide the employee.

2. It is conducted by people who don't train for a living. Even if an incumbent employee is the best at what they do, they may know how to do what they do but not how to effectively teach what they do. The training prowess of the individual doing the training can make a tremendous difference.

3. It teaches the way things are done, not necessarily how things should be done. For example, we may have certain processes for completing transactions in our accounting system. But that doesn't mean that they are the most efficient or best processes. There may be better ways of doing things. But, once an employee is trained a certain way, habits might be created and could prove to be hard to break later when better methods are learned.

There will always need to be some degree of on-the-job training in procurement departments - proper use of computer systems, company-specific policies and procedures, what needs approval when, etc. But for teaching basic core procurement skills - soliciting bids from suppliers, understanding terms and conditions applicable to purchases, ethics, etc. - there's no need to burden employees with that responsibility when there is such high-quality training already available from expert sources.

If I may close with one shameless plug for training for someone new to procurement, I'd recommend our online class "Mastering Purchasing Fundamentals."

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Whitepaper Wednesday - Improving eSourcing Results

Today's installment of Whitepaper Wednesday is written by Erick Opdenbosch, SPSM. Please help me welcome back Erick for his third contribution to the Purchasing Certification Blog!

Welcome to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I will be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “eSourcing from the Supplier’s perspective: Improving Bid Submissions and Event Outcomes” from Denali.

For the past 15 to 20 years, the Internet has brought many benefits to the purchasing profession. It is common to implement electronic solutions for supplier evaluation, bidding, and cost analysis. Sometimes, even though the technology seems like a great tool, it is the way it is used that does not yield the desired outcome. As for eSourcing, there are still struggles with user adoption and supplier participation because of the way suppliers are pulled into the new process. This whitepaper becomes handy because it focuses on how suppliers view eSourcing technologies and the way the process can be improved so that bid submissions can be optimized.

The whitepaper claims that “the supplier’s perspective is important because their understanding of and satisfaction with each eSourcing event directly affects the quality of bid submissions and overall outcomes.” Indeed, when a RFx process is not done properly, all the benefits that can be brought by implementing an technology-driven event, such as fair competition, lower market and sales expenses, access to new customers, validated competitiveness, and reduced negotiation time can barely be accomplished. As the whitepaper says, “Suppliers can be frustrated and dissatisfied, which begins a downward spiral of weakened communication and trust that eventually leads to weaker event results.”

How can you improve the process? The whitepaper, which gathered information from eSourcing tools and interviews with suppliers, brings some practical, yet basic, best practices. I won't cover each of them, but I will address the ones that I found to have the greatest impact.

1. Have detailed RFx requirements. What if you had to extend the due date of a bidding process because the RFx was not complete? Not very professional right? The whitepaper explains that “when requirements are accurate, detailed, and specific, suppliers are able to submit a more competitive bid.” It is the buyer's responsibility that all the specifications, including quantity, delivery date, and shipping location, are clear and complete.

2. Post-bid feedback. The whitepaper argues that the buyer should provide feedback to both winners and non-winners. It is helpful to give an idea to the winners on what they did well “and assist them in replicating the good work.” On the other side, non-winners will get to know what they can improve in order to “provide more competitive future submissions.”

Regardless of if it is through an electronic tool or not, the final goal of a RFx, as proposed in the whitepaper, is to have “more competitive, high quality, and accurate bids from suppliers.” It is important to remember that supplier collaboration in today's world makes the difference. By mutually sharing strategies, investigating risks, looking for improvements, and considering suppliers as an extension of the business, companies should be more profitable. I believe the whole purpose of this whitepaper is to encourage collaboration between buyers and suppliers

If you would like a copy of the whitepaper (and learn about the other suppliers' perspectives), you can download it from Delani's website (no registration required). http://denaliusa.com/whitepapers/2551

Monday, February 07, 2011

Supplier Insurance Requirements - The Often Misunderstood Risk Management Tool

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Supplier Insurance Best Practices, Part I."

One thing that I see over and over again is procurement professionals asking suppliers to sign contracts with absolutely inappropriate insurance requirements for the situation. What scares me most is that these procurement professionals don't even try to understand what the requirements are so that they can replace them with more appropriate requirements. Instead, they rely on their suppliers to come back and say "Uh, can we change this insurance requirement? It's a little ridiculous."

Well, one of the reasons this happens is that there is such a lack of good educational information out there with regard to supplier insurance requirements. And Next Level Purchasing is in the process of changing that.

While we already offer a course that addresses supplier insurance contract language (Supply Management Contract Writing), we are now launching some additional resources to address the finer points of supplier insurance. One is the above-linked article. Another is the extensive podcast on the topic, which I highly recommend you check out in its entirety. And, then, there will be a Part II of the article coming soon.

Do you know what everything in the supplier insurance clause in your PO's and contracts mean and if it is appropriate for all situations? If not, you no longer have to make excuses that claim that there is a lack of available information.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Learn Finance For Procurement At ProcureCon for Corporate Sourcing

I am remiss in waiting until now to share this, but ProcureCon is putting on another one of their impressive conferences this week. ProcureCon for Corporate Sourcing started yesterday and runs through tomorrow in Atlanta.

I will be presenting my "express version" of Finance For Strategic Procurement tomorrow at 11:45AM. I hope that you're either enjoying the conference now or planning to attend over these last two days. There are some great workshops being presented and I'm particularly looking forward to the "Building A Proactive Team & Procurement Organization" panel featuring three leading procurement execs.

Like many recent ProcureCon events, this conference qualifies for CEH's towards SPSM® recertification.

If you're there and see me, be sure to say "hi!"

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
Next Level Purchasing . com

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Technological Evolution Enhances Purchasing Certifications


Next Level Purchasing continues to lead the technological evolution of the professional purchasing certification domain with the launch of the SPSM2® Certification and Enhanced Results Program, in which students now have the option of two high-tech supplemental components; an iPad or iPod Touch. Next Level Purchasing is the only purchasing certification provider to offer these cutting-edge devices as an optional enhancement to its globally-recognized professional certifications, the SPSM® and SPSM2®.

Next Level Purchasing pioneered the use of this cutting-edge technology for earning the SPSM® Certification in October 2007 with the release of the SPSM® Certification & Enhanced Results Program with iPod and continued to break new ground by introducing an iPad option in December 2010. The SPSM2® Certification & Enhanced Results Programs were created in direct response to tremendous student demand following these releases and, starting today, purchasing professionals can now earn the SPSM2® Certification, the higher-level credential requiring the SPSM® Certification as a prerequisite, utilizing these devices.

Purchasing professionals enrolling in the SPSM2® Certification and Enhanced Results Program receive access to four high-level, interactive online classes, a 30-minute implementation consultation by phone with their instructor, and the exclusive SPSM2® Multimedia Study & Implementation Guide - a collection of 40 audio and video clips, which are preloaded onto the iPod Touch or iPad. Designed to further help the student implement the techniques they learn during the program and to maximize their score on the SPSM2® Exam, students get to keep the device and are encouraged to utilize additional applications for both personal and business use.

"The SPSM2® Certification represents the most cutting edge skills in the purchasing profession, so it is only natural that we give students the option to earn it using the most cutting edge tools available," said Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, president and founder of Next Level Purchasing. "The most successful purchasing professionals today are those who are at the forefront of change and we want to encourage our students to be leaders in every way."

Next Level Purchasing is a leading provider of online training for purchasing professionals. Its training includes the globally-recognized SPSM® and SPSM2® Certifications for world-class supply management success. Its services enable organizations to lower costs, support operations, and reduce risk by improving purchasing processes and expanding the capabilities of supply management organizations. Visit Next Level Purchasing at: http://www.nextlevelpurchasing.com/.

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