The Supply Chain Detective™ and the Mystery of the Rock Star Boss!

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My plane had just landed.  I turned on my cell phone.  And almost immediately my CEO called to ask me about my recently hired “Rock Star” boss.

“Have you heard from Rick?  Nobody’s heard from him in several days.”

Rick was my new boss, the CPO, a guy that the CEO hired a couple of months before.

“No I haven’t heard from him either.  That is very unusual given the incredible pace he set for himself”, I said.

“Ok. Let me know if you hear from him and I’ll do the same.”

Where the heck was he?  He seemed to be working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.  All of his direct reports were getting dozens of emails from him at all hours of the day and night.  But lately there was nothing.  Complete radio silence.

What happened to my new boss? It was a case for the Supply Chain Detective™.

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Supply Chain Collaboration – The New Way to Drive Value!

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Supply chain collaboration is a hot topic today and no wonder: companies that collaborate effectively across the supply chain have enjoyed dramatic reductions in inventories and costs, together with improvements in speed, service levels, and customer satisfaction.

Supplier chain collaboration itself isn’t new. What’s new is that it’s taken on a much greater urgency and importance.

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Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain List! Is it Relevant?

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Gartner recently announced their Top 25 Supply Chains List.  I always find it interesting to see the list, to see who came out on top, and to hear what their views are on prevailing trends.

But as I review the list, compare it to prior years, and consider the scoring methodology I do wonder whether the list in its current form continues to be relevant for identifying the best of the Supply Chain.

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Is Single Sourcing, or Sole Sourcing, Dead?

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The Coronavirus Pandemic has quickly and severely disrupted Supply Chains of every kind around the world. Lockdowns have resulted in the temporary closure of Manufacturing and Distribution facilities and discontinuation of Logistics and transportation modes.

Additionally dramatically higher demand for household supplies (eg. toilet paper) and medical personal protective equipment have resulted in stockouts and shortages.

In many cases the use of single sourcing, or sole sourcing, Procurement strategies has limited the ability for Supply Chains to access alternate sources of supply and more rapidly support higher than normal demand levels.

As we progress through and past the pandemic, is it time for Procurement to adopt parallel Supply Chain strategies, such as dual sourcing, and limit or abandon single sourcing and sole sourcing?

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Procurement Don’t go 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.  He went over to the dark side.

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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Fake News or Supply Chain Fallacies?

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Lots of things are happening in Supply Chain Management! Is Supply Chain immune from fake news?

The field is becoming more digital, with end-to-end planning and blockchain technologies transforming the way products are coming to market. It’s becoming more strategic, as companies integrate their Supply Chains and use them as a source of competitive advantage – instead of just a back-office function.

Larger societal changes are affecting the way companies are planning their Supply Chains of the future – everything from the looming arrival of driverless cars, to consumers’ demands that companies be more socially responsible.  And the prevailing use of the term “Fake News“.

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Strategies for Improving Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)!

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Strategies for improving Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) are the hallmark of the Modern Procurement Function.  

In this article we are providing our list of 10 strategies for effective Supplier Relationship Management and overcoming Supplier management challenges.

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Report Card: Most Executives Think Procurement Isn’t Strategic Enough!

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As we’ve chronicled on the Argentus Blog, it’s no secret that the world of Procurement is changing and fast. With automation, big data and burgeoning AI systems removing more and more of the profession’s “tactical” or “clerical” tasks, the Procurement report card is that companies are calling on their Procurement teams to be more strategic, more nimble, and more innovative.

They’re expecting their Procurement functions to deliver not just bottom-line cost-savings, but other sorts of value, adding to organizations’ overall competitiveness.

Procurement, you’ve come a long way, baby!

But a new survey of 200 C-Suite executives from a variety of industries and functions presents a rather dispiriting picture of the Procurement function today – or at least how it’s perceived.

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The 3 Pillars of Digital Procurement!

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Procurement professionals have the same question looming over their head on a daily basis about Digital Procurement:

“How do you plan on dealing with digitalization?”

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Our 2019 Top 10 List! (Part 2)

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As we come to the end of our 3rd year here at Supply Chain Game Changer it is time to publish our semi-annual 2019 Top 10 List.

First we want to thank our readers. Our audience and reach continues to expand with Supply Changer now being ranked as one of the Top 20 Supply Chain blogs in the world and one of the Top 15 Procurement blogs in the world. Both are record achievements for us.

Second we want to thank our guest contributors. With dozens of writers and articles we continue to fulfill our vision of sharing expertise and experience from all over the world.

We thank you for your ongoing support and ask you to continue to spread the word about Supply Chain Game Changer. There is truly something of value for everyone no matter what challenge you are facing each and every day.

Here we present our Top 10 list for the second half of 2019. Enjoy!

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Procurement Experiences and Trends!

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Where is procurement, outsourcing, sourcing, supply chain, and purchasing going? What is happening in the marketplace? What are companies thinking at the executive level and what type of actions are they taking?

First off, we will outline a few of our observations about what we are seeing first hand. Secondarily, we will include information from other procurement professionals and procurement firms about their experiences, what they forecast, and what they are seeing.

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Kristie Syndikus, VP Procurement at Maple Leaf Foods!

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At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe.  As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action” Interview series at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Kristie Syndikus, VP of Procurement at Maple Leaf Foods.

Kristie was also recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Canadian Women in Supply Chain.

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IKEA’s IWAY Lessons For Procurement!

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My girlfriend and I have a dog, named Charlie.

He’s only one and a half years old and is already, now, rather well trained. Sure, he has an occasional hiccup and puts his paws on a friend from over excitement, or pulls on the leash a bit too much as we approach the lake. But, all in all, my girlfriend and I (mainly her) have done a pretty solid job raising him.

Then again, we didn’t approach this whole dog ownership business with a ‘wilyl-nilly’ mindset.

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10 Steps for Procurement Strategy Development! (Infographic)

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All over the business landscape, more companies in more diverse industries are transforming their Procurement functions and Procurement strategy.

They’re leaving behind more transactional models and becoming more strategic, implementing total cost of ownership Strategic Sourcing models, either centre-led or decentralized.

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Commodity (or Category) 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. This is all managed by either Commodity Management or Category Management.

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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