Commodity Management – What is your Buying Strategy?

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In any company or industry that sells products the cost of the raw materials and components is often the single largest expense.  Despite the magnitude of this cost however there is a wide range of focus put on managing this expenditure from proactive and strategic to reactive and tactical.  In some cases there is a great level of  planning applied before a single purchase order is placed.  In other cases buying decisions are made subjectively and with very little focus.  Further the experience in those buying these goods can vary significantly as well.

Supply Chain is about much more than just negotiating lower materials costs.  A well constructed Procurement Strategy will raise the value of the Supply Chain to your company.

How do you manage your materials spend?  Are you executing a Buying Strategy or are you just blindly placing purchase orders ?

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Supplier Relationships – Don’t go over to the Dark Side!

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Early in my career I worked in a department that was responsible for the design,testing, sourcing and procurement of packaging materials.  It was a great experience and introduction to so many aspects of the Supply Chain.

But one day one of my peers was fired.  He was responsible for negotiating with the packaging suppliers.  As it turns out he was taking kickbacks.  When that was discovered and verified he was summarily dismissed.

I never got the precise details but I don’t believe he could have got more than a few thousand dollars for his illicit efforts.  More importantly he got a black mark on his resume, and in his life, that he could never erase.

That was my first lesson on the do’s and don’t of Supplier Relationships.

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What’s the Difference between Procurement and Purchasing? (Infographic)

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Blog post provided by http://argentus.com.  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

 

It’s a good question. We often see these terms used interchangeably, but there are some concrete differences between Procurement and Purchasing such that we think they are two different practices, each with their own set of concerns and skills.

We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to do a summary-style Infographic that highlights some of the core differences between what’s considered “Purchasing” and what’s considered “Procurement.” In short: Purchasing is an activity that’s a subset of the overall Procurement process. But there’s more to it than that.

We should give a caveat: in some professionals’ opinion, arguing about the difference between “Purchasing” and “Procurement” is a matter of semantics. The terms are often interchangeable. But at the very least, the discussion helps give some perspective on two different approaches to how organizations buy the goods and services they need to run. Some organizations are – sadly – still concerned only with “Purchasing” instead of the more nimble and strategic approach of “Procurement.”

Check out the Infographic below!

 

We hope you enjoyed the Infographic.  Please share your thoughts on this comparison!

Blog post provided by http://argentus.com.  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

 

Check out other Supply Chain Solutions in The Internet of Things (IoT) – Welcome the Digital Supply Chain!

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Procurement Outsourcing – Keep your Integrity!

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Like so many professionals Procurement people are very proud.  They are proud of the job that they do and the contributions that they make.  And they are most always proud of their ability to negotiate and get the best deal!

But at some point in their careers, especially in the age of Outsourcing, they are likely to have to deal with potential suppliers who provide Procurement services.  Procurement typically negotiates deals for other functions like I/T, HR, Manufacturing and every other area in the company.

Now they are faced with dealing with companies who basically state that they can do a better job at negotiating and Procurement than they do.

In the face of such a perceived, direct challenge to your abilities how do you and your Procurement team deal with this professionally and with integrity?

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Tail Spend: The Hidden Procurement That’s Hurting Your Company’s Bottom Line!

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Blog post provided by http://argentus.com.  Argentus is a boutique recruitment firm focused on Supply Chain and Procurement.

 

In the fast-changing world of strategic Procurement, certain categories of spend get all the thunder: IT Procurement gets to help drive a company’s innovation. Business Services Procurement gets to restructure a company’s operations and drive competitiveness. Travel Procurement gets to look at pictures of exotic destinations all day (just kidding).

And most large companies are well aware – by now – of the cost savings and strategic advantages of being more strategic about the way you buy things in an organization. For the most part. For most of the stuff a company buys.

But there’s another sort of spend that never gets any love, a sleeping giant that’s actually costing companies millions of dollars and opening them up to risk: Tail Spend.

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Procurement (Part 3) – Supplier Collaboration is a Win-Win Strategy!

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Suppliers are an intrinsic part of the Supply Chain.  It does not matter what business you are in, what products you make, distribute and sell, or what part of the world you are in.  And it doesn’t matter where in the Supply Chain you are.  You can not accomplish anything without Suppliers.

Yet I have seen, like many of you, Suppliers treated in many different ways.  No matter what the circumstances are poor treatment of Suppliers is never appropriate.  Given that Customers fundamentally need their Suppliers to be successful why do people treat them badly?  And how do we ensure there is a healthy and productive relationship between Suppliers and Customers?

Working together with your Suppliers is always a formula for success!

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Procurement (Part 2) – How to Enable Spend Aggregation!

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Aggregating your procurement spend for the purpose of delivering greater value is a sound objective.  Theoretically you should be able to generate better service, better terms and conditions, and better cost.

Yet there can be many obstacles in your way to achieving this seemingly simple goal.  Loss of control, fear of job loss, questionable benefits, and a perceived loss of margin are some of the obstacles you may run across.  We discussed these in greater detail in our post Procurement (Part 1!) – The Spend Aggregation Obstacle Course!

You may be trying to aggregate spend within your company or across companies, or you are trying to outsource this to a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO).  To overcome the Spend Aggregation obstacles there are a series of enablers you need to enact to make this successful.

Continue reading “Procurement (Part 2) – How to Enable Spend Aggregation!”