For the last week, Next Level Purchasing has been hosting its own Purch-lympics. For the last five days, it has been posting short essays submitted by Purchasers around the globe that described a problem they encountered, the action(s) they took to resolve the problem, and the ultimate results. Each day, readers were allowed to vote on the best essay, and the top five advanced to a final voting round, which takes place today, where the winner receives a full scholarship to the SPSM Certification. (You can vote here or watch the vote here.)
Some of these essays had good tips from Purchasers like you that you could use in your daily jobs to solve your problems. To help you identify which essays are relevant to you, here is a brief overview of what each essay covers.
- Leonard Ruhukwa on Supplier Relatinoships Finalist
Monitoring and being aware of the foreign currency exchange rate helps you in negotiating a realistic price from your suppliers.
- Aung Kyaw Than on Specification Errors
Often the best way to win a dispute with your supplier is to do your homework.
- Grace Paddy Wanzala on Alternate Sources of Supply
If you know your suppliers’ capacity before awarding a large bid, you know when you can safely sole source and when you have to multi-source.
- Reybien Basto on Documentation
If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, keep good records — that way you can’t be blamed for someone else’s screw-ups.
- Jehu Selman Mamven on Bidding
In order to procure fairly, you need to stand by the rules of the bid.
- Evans Mudake on Implementing Payment Controls
A good purchase order / goods receipt system is needed to insure that you are getting what you pay for.
- G.P Thushara Sampath Gunasekara on Increasing Supplier Competition Finalist
If you make your RFP too strict, you will eliminate competition. Before issuing the RFP, research the market to make sure at least two or three suppliers can meet the minimum requirements. If the contract is long-term, and you partner with them, sometimes a tier-2 supplier can improve to the point where they are world-class.
- Enoch Dugbatey on Improving Cash Flow
If cash flow is limited, appropriately constructed Purchase Frame Agreements (FAs) and Blanket Purchasing Agreements (BPAs) can ensure that materials keep flowing on schedule (as suppliers are more confident they will get paid).
- Dylan Tao on Switching Distribution Channels
Before accepting a price increase due to “raw material price increases” do your homework on the cost structure. If most of the cost is value-add, and not raw materials, you might actually be able to negotiate a price concession, especially if you can work with the design team to re-engineer the product to require less effort in production.
- Bizerka Oreskovic on Creative Logistics Solutions
Logistics doesn’t have to be limited to rail, big trucks, and super-size cargo ships. Depending on how much you need, there are alternatives – like smaller boats and, for small deliveries, even cargo areas on busses.
- John Ransom on Evaluating Vendor Viability Finalist
To get through these tough times, take a positive attitude, re-balance the supply chain, and identify those vendors most likely to survive and partner with them to make it through the storm.
- Annette Opondo on Dealing with Internal Conflict
If you’re having a hard time securing the best deal because your manager has a preferred supplier, work out the cost models in detail and properly take them through the appropriate channels.
- Daniel Haakuria on Improving Logistics
A good understanding of shipping schedules and nascent negotiation skills will allow you to take advantage of opportunities when they become available and allow you to obtain a much greater ROI later for a little more up front.
- S.B. Odegha on Proving Supply Chain’s Sourcing Abilities
Sometimes you will have to educate Engineering and other departments in order to do your job effectively, as they will insist that only they can procure certain parts.
- Mukut Roy on Project Management
Sometimes you have to be creative to see a project to fruition, especially when a war splits the country you’re sourcing from into two or more countries!
- Abdul Khan on Vendor Managed Inventory
Sometimes the best way to identify the root cause of a problem, and an appropriate solution, is to form a cross-functional team that involves the vendor. And sometimes this will lead to a joint decision that vendor managed inventory is the right way to go.
- Alfred Onyango on Procurement Ethics
Ethics are important, but there are times you will have to stick to your guns to make sure your department behaves ethically.
- Sandi Derouin on Fixing Internal Customer Errors Finalist
Sometimes the best way to gain respect in Purchasing is to help other departments out of the mess they create for themselves by not involving Purchasing in the first place. But to do that, you’ll have to do some digging to get to the truth.
- Lynn Hoover on Surviving a Supplier Catastrophe
Sometimes the best way to insure continuity of supplies is to maintain some production capabilities in house.
- Khin Aye Myint on Sourcing and Sanctions
Sanctions can throw a wrench into your sourcing plans if you are not careful. Check denied party lists carefully before sending out an RFQ, or you might not get any usable responses.
- Burt Schilder on Implementing an ERP System
ERP still has a lot of value if properly deployed, maintained, and used … especially if you don’t overpay for it!
- David Ah-Tow on Obtaining Vendor Information
Sometimes you have to work with your vendor to get what you need.
- Denis Minnich on Obtaining Emergency Vendor Services Finalist
If your current vendor is non-responsive to your needs, all is not lost, there is always someone else ready and willing to take your business if you look hard enough.
- Yvetta Koleva on Negotiation
If you want to get the best price, do your homework. Some vendors will quote as much as they think they can get away with.
- Kacwa Ronnie on Increasing Procurement Visibility
Sometimes it will take a lot of education on your behalf to convince management of procurement’s value.
- Antony Naploli on Internal Customer-Supplier Relations
Sometimes the best way to improve relations is to take an active approach and form a process improvement team to get the job done.