Tag Archives: Supplier Relationships

News You Can Use: 2/15/2017

  • It’s Time to Go Beyond Supplier Management, But Where is That?

    Organizations these days need more than traditional historically focussed spend analytics that tell them, weeks or months after, what was spent, on what, from whom, by whom, from where, to where, and in what quantity. You need to know what is being spent, by whom, on what in real time … and where the dollars are trending towards. Is a new supplier taking all of the spot buy spend, or even worse, spend that is supposed to be on another contract? Are product and services tastes changing? Are market costs changing? The application has to not only be able to keep up, but identify the most pertinent trends and options for dealing with them … it has to have advanced predictive analytics that, at the very least, identifies the most relevant changes (and ranks them by value or statistics or outlier distance from the expected norm), if not offering prescriptive analytics on how to take advantage of changes, minimize losses, or control them in (historically) well understood situations.


  • IT and Functional Departments – Finding the Middle Ground

    Procurement also brings market information (suppliers, price points, service levels) that IT may not be as focused on, but that could be critical to the overall solution. IT groups can at times limit themselves to certain suppliers for system or software solutions, but there may be alternate suppliers that easily integrate, or provide enough value to justify the effort required for working with disparate suppliers or systems. Procurement can bring that perspective forward and champion the needs of the business to balance the costs associated with IT change.


  • Consider Risky Moves by ‘Fear-Setting’
  • How Levi’s is radically redefining sustainability

    Levi’s has always been a leader in sustainability. In 1991, it established “terms of engagement” that laid out the brand’s global code of conduct throughout its supply chain. This meant setting standards for worker’s rights, a healthy work environment, and an ethical engagement with the planet. “It wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Dillinger says. “At the time, we were worried that doing this would drive up our own costs and prices.” In fact, what happened was that these practices were quickly adopted by other companies, who used it as a template to write their own rules. “We were actually leading industry toward new standards,” he says.


  • Don’t Be the Kobe Bryant of Your Office

    It doesn’t matter how productive you are if no one enjoys working with you. Steve Nash, a former NBA player that the researchers found to be particularly valuable at making his teams better, was famous for constantly high-fiving his teammates. There’s never been a direct measure of a “high-five to productivity ratio,” but doling out praise and encouragement seems to be indicative of creating a high-quality team culture, which in turn increases performance.


Photo: Oliver Cole

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SourceCast: Episode 53: Origins

This week I tell the origin story of SourceCast. How I started making it and why.

Photo: Janko Ferlic

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Video: What You Didn’t Learn in Vendor Management School

sn_airplane_Ashim D’Silva

Every industry is different, so suppliers must be agile and flexible in their ability to meet the demands of their clients. That was the message driven home by Prem Shanker and Robert Chojnacki who spoke on behalf of Southwest Airlines at Nearshore Nexus 2016.

Shanker, Southwest’s Senior Buyer, Supply Chain Management, explained that companies benefit from being very open with their suppliers, building relationships that help reduce costs, increase contract value, and reduce risk. “We don’t just look at meeting with top-level execs; when we started nearshoring, we met with middle level folks, and the folks that actually do the work,” he said.

Through an in-depth supply chain gap analysis, the company has found areas where it is totally exposed. For instance, Southwest relies on its pilot training simulators to keep aircraft in the air, so needs suppliers who can meet their demands when things go awry. “Service interruption is not acceptable for us, which is also the message we give to our suppliers: we have to trust that they will help us avoid this issue,” said Chojnacki, the company’s Senior Supplier Performance Manager.

Photo: Ashim D’Silva

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News You Can Use: 11/18/2015


  • Provider Damnation 66: Tier 1 Suppliers

    A contract locks you in until an exit clause is hit, which, in an average contract in an average organization, typically is only invokeable when a supplier fails to deliver a significant portion of the contracted goods after a significant amount of time has passed (and your organization has been stocked out for weeks and lost millions of dollars), the quality gets abysmal and the warranty return rate hits the double digits, they violate a federal safety or import regulation, or they commit a crime — assuming you have a well drafted contract.


  • Technology is Harming Our Relationships, and We Can Stop It (the paradox of choice)
  • This is how millennials will change management

    Emotional intelligence is the new buzzword among millennial managers. Concepts of self-awareness, self-regulation, and relationship building will be key to millennial-managed workplaces. “Millennials are highly relational,” says Espinoza. While you may hear the old generation of managers say, “I don’t want to be friends with anyone who works for me because one day I might have to fire them,” Espinoza says millennial managers would never take that attitude. This generation of managers will put people and relationships first.

    The blend of work and life for these relationship-oriented millennial managers also means that the relationships they have at work won’t just be considered work relationships, but are likely to extend beyond working hours.


  • If Coupa goes public, will it ruin the company? – YES

    In what many consider to be a controversial article titled The Myth of Ariba, a former executive for the company said the following; “Ariba was a real company with a real product that got swept up in its own hype, with unfortunate consequences,” and that “Ariba was basically a fraud . . . creating [the impression that Ariba was constructing a global marketplace]. . . even though this was seen as being “a rather impossible task.”

    According to the article and related book, they “went through the motions” of building this marketplace because “the stock was the only thing that mattered. A valuable stock gave Ariba currency it could use to buy other companies.” In the end, “Ariba started out very much as a real company, but was actually blindsided by the Internet boom.”


  • Is It time to re-evaluate your BYOD policy?

    That said, it may surprise you to find out that a growing number of security experts believe companies should follow the second option. Too many employees are skirting the policies to begin with, so you may be better off forbidding personal devices to connect to the network all together, especially if your industry is highly regulated.


  • Is the IT offshore industry’s business model illegal?

    There is a “widespread practice in high skilled workplaces,” wrote Morrison, “by which jobs of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents are terminated, often in large groups, and whose work is transferred to contract workers who are present in or brought to the U.S. as employees of firms providing these contract services.” These workers are predominantly on H-1B visas.

    The use of contract workers on temporary visas “is not incidental to the process,” wrote Morrison. “Rather, it is the explicit business model of the contracting companies to staff their contracts with such temporary workers.”


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News You Can Use: 10/21/2015


    I will point out this one since I get into a disagreement almost every time I mention removing it…

    “These are a bit old school and are generally pretty generic,” Bacon explains. He believes they’re also typically too focused on what the candidate wants for themselves instead of what they can do for the company to which they’re applying.


  • Should Vendor Executives Be Held Personally Liable For Failed Implementations?

    What if company executives had to personally guarantee that they had performed a “capability audit” before entering into a contract, verifying that they could indeed deliver a working solution within the appointed time and for the agreed upon cost. This capability audit would then become the basis to hold not only the company, but the executives themselves, personally liable if said implementation did not occur has promised.


  • China to consume nearly 30% of the world’s flash, 21% of DRAM

    “Increasing shipments of Chinese-branded PCs and smartphones in recent years have contributed to the overall DRAM demand,” said Avril Wu, assistant vice president at DRAMeXchange. “China’s top PC maker Lenovo and the global PC market leader HP are neck on neck on shipments, and this is an indication that the Chinese brand vendors’ purchasing power in the DRAM market is getting stronger every year.”


  • Why You Might Want to Hold Your Next Business Meeting on a Boat
    Somebody needs to share this with the big boss… officially a trend setter.

    “It’s a perfect place to close a deal,” says Adrian Gradinaru, co-founder of Sailo, an online peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace where you can compare and book a boat for a day or even part of a day. “You tend to be a bit more open to things when you are really happy, so people tend to be happy on the water, looking at New York. You tend to be a little bit more cooperative when you are on the water.”


  • 3 Tips to Develop a Balanced Supplier-Vendor Relationship

    While there is always room for caution, never approach a new partnership as if you are going to be cheated. Instead, remember that a bit of humility and humanity can go a long way. Even when negotiations do not go as well as expected, remaining positive can preserve partnerships for long-term success.


  • Office “treehouses”…
    I am not big on the “resting places in the office” fad, be it a cocoon or a tree house or even a heavily pillowed area.  I don’t care how “cool” the work place environment is, if an owner or executive walks by and sees someone taking a powder… game over.  (But they are kinda cool)
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