Daily Archives: January 4, 2007

Brief the Doctor

A new year has begun, which means a new year of traveling (at least for me) is upon us. I will be hitting a number of major US cities again this year, and am always interested in meeting with companies who have new and innovative offerings in the sourcing, procurement, and related supply chain space (especially if your offering includes optimization or sophisticated analytics capabilities).

Therefore, if you are in, or near (< 50 miles), a major US city [and Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Boston, MA; Las Vegas, NV; Newark, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; and Dallas, TX; in particular] and would like to brief me, or just talk to me, in person, please e-mail me at thedoctor<at>sourcinginnovation<dot>com, and I will add you to my list of companies to reach out to when I know I will be in the area. Please note that I will likely be hitting at least four of the parenthesized cities in the next two months, so the sooner you reach out, the better. Those of you who won the blog lottery (I know who you are and you’ve already peaked my interest) may already have an email from me, with SI or Sourcing Innovation in the subject line. If you do, I’d greatly appreciate a response regarding your interest one way or the other.

Just like Jason “The Prophet” Busch, I don’t believe in “pay-to-play”, so please feel free to contact me if you have a story for me to tell. ([shameless plug alert] You can also contact me if you need consulting advice and think I am the consultant for you.  Just drop the doctor an e-mail.)

And for those of you just getting back from vacation (I hope you enjoyed it!), Happy New Year!

Mastering Purchasing Fundamentals, A Review Part I

Recently I audited the online course Mastering Purchasing Fundamentals from Next Level Purchasing, a course designed to introduce you to the basics of purchasing and sourcing.

According to NLP‘s website, this course is designed to prepare you for the many changes you will face in the months and years ahead by walking you through a full and proper purchasing process step by step. In addition, you will learn how to make the many decisions necessary to identify the best potential suppliers, plus

  • How to most effectively prioritize requisitions
  • How to decide when to use competitive bidding, negotiation, or both
  • How to successfully conduct competitive bidding using solicitation tools such as RFP’s and RFQ’s
  • How to use financial and operational analysis to select suppliers with not only the best monetary offer, but also the least risk of failure
  • How to determine whether a contract, purchase order, or other method of ordering is best for a certain purchase
  • How to use follow up techniques to ensure supplier compliance
  • How to close out a transaction with confidence
  • How to think like a purchasing manager
  • How to prepare for the future of purchasing

Like the last two courses I reviewed, it also lived up to its promises. In addition, it:

  • overviews the types of budgets purchasing effects and the methods organizations use to control those budgets
  • details the different types of specifications you need to deal with as a purchasing manager and where they are required
  • discusses the importance of contracts and Statements of Work (SOWs) and how you put together a basic Statement of Work for services contracts
  • overviews the many different resources you have at your disposal to find and assess potential suppliers
  • discuss the various factors your firm needs to consider when evaluating a make-vs-buy decision
  • discusses, in detail, the challenges of the competitive bidding process and how to minimize the risks associated with the process
  • provides the criteria for good supplier selection, five methodologies to qualify suppliers, and an ideal supplier checklist
  • discusses the applicable laws you need to keep in mind when putting together a contract template and a statement of work
  • outlines the outset requirements for that need to be communicated upon award and tracked to ensure purchasing success

And like the last two courses, this course is also worth it. Covering the full breadth of the basic purchasing process, it also amalgamates a considerable amount of information into a single package that would take you weeks of research to replicate on your own. Furthermore, everything is organized in a logical format, and clearly explained with real-world examples.