Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Procurement Career Webinar This Wednesday!


February's live-only webinar: "How To Take Charge of Your Procurement Career & Make It A Successful One" sponsored by the Next Level Purchasing Association will be held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at 11:30 AM Eastern US Time.
Is there a big difference between what you want your procurement career to be and what it is now?
If you're like most procurement professionals, you dream of getting pay raises, promotions, and recognition but aren't finding those things happening right now. Every day feels like it goes by without any career progress. Then, those days turn into weeks, those weeks turn into months, and those months turn into years.
Two years down the road, do you want your career to be stalled exactly where it is today? If not, what is your plan to push your career forward? If you don't have a plan, it's like trying to drive from one end of a country to the other without a GPS, map, or written directions - your chances of making it to your desired destination aren't great.
The good news is that you can quickly learn how to develop a career advancement plan and put that plan into action.
In this month's members-only webinar, "How To Take Charge of Your Procurement Career & Make It A Successful One,"you will learn how to get high levels of respect in an organization, increase your visibility as an expert, and prepare yourself for a higher-level procurement position whether you are currently employed or not. If you envision yourself advancing your career at any point in the future, you can't afford to miss this webinar!
This webinar is free to all members of the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) and membership in the NLPA itself is free and instant.

Here's how to register for the webinar:
If you're already an NLPA member: Log in to the association at
http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/login.html and navigate to the "Webinars" tab. There you'll find a registration link, be sure to enter a valid email address as attendance details will be sent to you by email.
If you're not yet an NLPA member: Sign up for your free membership in the Next Level Purchasing Association at http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/procurement-association.php. After doing so, you'll receive an email with information about how to log in. After logging in, navigate to the "Webinars" tab. There you'll find a registration link, be sure to enter a valid email address as attendance details will be sent to you by email.
Registration is free but may be limited, so sign up soon to ensure access to this event. I hope that you will join me for this exciting webinar!
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer - Next Level Purchasing Association
Author - The Procurement Game Plan
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At
www.NextLevelPurchasing.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Procurement Strategy Do's & Don'ts - An Exciting New Podcast & Series of Articles!

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Procurement Strategy Do's & Don'ts, Part I."

This article - and the forthcoming Part II - were based on a podcast that I recorded with Coupa's Ravi Thakur. For a procurement strategy-packed 30 minutes of education, I highly encourage you to download it from our podcast page and give it a listen!

Part I of this series has five sets of procurement strategy do's & don'ts and Part II will have three more sets. But that isn't all that came out of the podcast. There is one more set of do's and don'ts that I will post here as a bonus for you, my loyal blog reader!

Ready? Here goes...


DON’T underestimate the value of having a good procurement system. DO implement tools that maximize your ability to capture spend. “A good procurement platform is typically the second most-used piece of software within a company, besides email,” notes Thakur. “A good procurement tool is going is going to get you 80 to 100 percent of all your spend under management…Everyone within the company is going to be leveraging and using that technology. There [are] very few solutions out there of any type of software that [are] are really used by most people within an organization…That should be your goal as a procurement executive because, if you don’t have that, then your procurement strategy – odds are – that it’s going to fail.”
There ya go! Stay tuned for Part II coming out in a future edition of PurchTips!

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Myth: Learning Inventory Management Is Painful

Bad inventory decisions can kill an organization's profitability, whittle away at its market share, and generally wreak havoc on the supply chain. Unfortunately, most supply chain professionals are operating on informally-learned tactics and exposing their organizations to disastrous supply chain and financial consequences. Today, Next Level Purchasing launches its newest full-length online course, “Profitable Inventory Management and Control,” which teaches supply chain professionals time-tested best practices that enable them to make the inventory decisions that will maximize their organization's success.

"Profitable Inventory Management and Control" focuses on the skills needed to use inventory as a strategic weapon for boosting profitability and giving an organization a competitive advantage. Supply chain professionals will learn the fundamentals of inventory management and control; how to mitigate inventory risks; how to develop more accurate forecasts; how to set up the inventory replenishment cycle, including setting safety stock levels, reorder points, and economic order quantities (EOQ); how to measure and improve inventory performance; how to reduce and optimize inventory levels; and how to leverage inventory management technology; and much more.

“Since we began providing training in 2000, inventory management has gone from being a function quietly managed in an organizational silo to one that is continuing to become one of the primary responsibilities of purchasing and supply chain professionals,” said Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2 President and founder of Next Level Purchasing. “With this redefinition of responsibilities, purchasing and supply chain professionals have struggled to quickly identify, learn and implement best practices for optimizing inventory. With ‘Profitable Inventory Management and Control,’ these professionals finally have a resource to utilize in order to become the experts they need to be for their organizations. Plus, this course - like all of our online courses - makes learning fun and rewarding, not painful!"

You can read the full description of this exciting new online course at http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/inventory-management-and-control.php.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What Is A More Professional Job: Corporate Purchasing or Fingernail Painting?


"What is a more professional job: corporate purchasing or fingernail painting?"

Interesting title, eh?

And, because I know the typical demographics of my readers, it is very likely that you answered "Duh, corporate purchasing!"

But is it?

Well, consider this...every state in the United States requires "nail technicians" to acquire a certain number of hours of training before they are licensed and thus allowed to work in a fingernail-painting job. Alaska requires a mere 120 hours of training. My home state of Pennsylvania requires a below-average 200 hours of training. And the pack is led by Alabama and Arkansas, which both require 750 hours of training. To paint fingernails. (source: beautyschoolsdirectory.com)

And what training is required to become a purchasing professional?

None.

That's the way it is. Not the way it should be.

A Spend Matters whitepaper, entitled "What Is Your Best Option? Purchasing Certification and Training Today," notes that "research suggests that fewer than 10 percent of the procurement workforce in North America has a procurement certification or has gone through a formal degree program in supply management or a related field."

So, 100% of nail technicians had accumulated a minimum number of hours of training before being allowed to do their jobs. And less than 10% of purchasing professionals have accumulated a minimum number of hours of training.

Who is to blame?

Well, unlike the fingernail painting "profession," the government has left the purchasing profession in the hands of practitioners and employers. And both have almost abused that freedom by not getting training or requiring certification of purchasing job candidates.

It's a shame. And, acquiring a purchasing certification doesn't even require the same number of hours as the least restrictive nail technician license. As an example, the SPSM® Certification requires 44 hours of training in the six online classes that comprise the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program.

You mean to tell me that 90% of purchasing professionals can't spare 44 hours over six months or a year?

Or that employers are too timid to require prospective employees to have spent a piddly 44 hours of learning how to do a job that may have them spending tens of millions of dollars and evaluating products and services that might involve substantial amounts of risk?

Who else is embarrassed by this behavior in our profession?

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Animal-Friendly Purchasing Goes Viral

In a blog post from almost four years ago to the day, I asked the question "Is animal-friendly purchasing the future?"

Today, I think the answer is clearly "yes."

During the broadcast of Sunday's Grammy Awards, Chipotle Mexican Grill has produced a video that has since crossed the 5 million view mark on YouTube. The video - embedded at the end of this full blog post - is intended to draw attention to Chipotle's animal-friendly purchasing policy through which they have "sourced 100% of [their] pork from producers...whose pigs are raised outside or in deeply bedded pens, are never given antibiotics and are fed a vegetarian diet."

Then yesterday, McDonald's announced that "it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to provide plans by May to phase out crates that tightly confine pregnant sows," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. McDonald's actions could be blazing a trail for animal-friendly purchasing to grow dramatically. In the above-linked article, the president of Mercy For Animals, an animal rights group, said that McDonald's has "the power to move an entire industry, to set an example that other food providers often follow...We hope it's the beginning of the end of these cruel and abusive practices."

So, animal-friendly purchasing is definitely an increasingly hot topic. But don't think that it is only for food producers. We, as a profession, have a long way to go because you may not even realize where your opportunities lie for being animal-friendly. Does your organization buy furniture, cleaning products, or laptop bags? If so - and who doesn't? - then your organization has the opportunity to be more animal-friendly. See my 2007 article entitled "Purchasing, Social Responsibility & Animals" for more details.

You are part of the future.

Here's the video I mentioned earlier...




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

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ethically Soliciting & Using Supplier Ideas

I hope that you have enjoyed the article "Ethics & Supplier Ideas."

The topic of suppliers bringing cost savings ideas to the table is one I could write volumes on. In fact, it was difficult to fit a conversation about the topic into the format I use for our PurchTips articles. But as I started thinking about the topic more, I realized that I could condense some guidelines even further into some simple do's and don'ts of soliciting and using supplier ideas:

Do's:
  • Do solicit supplier ideas. It is a growing expectation of professional procurement.
  • Do give yourself the flexibility to select alternate proposals.
  • Do stick to the rules that you set forth in your request for proposal (RFP).
Don'ts:
  • Don't limit yourself to one way of doing things. Better ways may exist that you, your engineering team, your internal customers, or your company haven't discovered yet.
  • Don't share one supplier's idea with another supplier.
There. An even more concise set of guidelines.

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

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