Last February, CIO ran a great article on 20 Things You Can Do in 20 Minutes to Be More Successful at Work, which had some great advice for those of you looking to improve your game in 2009. As the article notes, not all changes require a military campaign. There are things you can do in just one-third of an hour that can have a meaningful and, yes, even a long-term, positive effect on your life, your job, and your enterprise. And when the suggestions are tweaked to the supply management profession, as I will do in this post, you know it’s worth the effort.
- Counter Intelligence 101
Grab the annual 10-K reports that your top competitors have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and read the section called “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” that describes what happened to the company in the past year that was good and bad. Look for anything supply management related to see where additional opportunities might lie for you.
- The Mini-Meeting
Reschedule all of your internal supply management meetings for just 20 minutes … as the article notes, there’s only about 15 to 30 minutes of true productivity in most meetings, even though most last an hour or more. If there’s too much to cover, hold another mini-meeting the next day after you’re refreshed. And, finally, cancel all regularly scheduled meetings … you should only meet to discuss major decisions, not minor ones.
- Business Intelligence 201
Pay attention to projects that didn’t meet expectations last year … then think about how new processes and technologies could help you do better next time around, and make sure you get those processes and technologies in place before the category comes up for re-sourcing.
- Your Solution Provider, Revealed
Ask your most important software and service providers to conduct an assessment of their relationship with your organization. Then ask them to present their top three ideas for improving the relationship and providing more value to you, their customer. You might be pleasantly surprised.
- Self-Knowledge is Power
Take a good look inward and ask yourself if you’re working toward something with a tangible ROI or just going through the motions. If it’s the latter, figure out what you can do to get back on track.
- Call a Customer
Pick up the phone and call the various individuals in your organization that are the most affected by your sourcing decisions and ask them how you’re doing, what they like about the current contract, what they don’t like, and what you can do better. After all, if you’re not meeting their needs, you’re not doing your job.
- Forget E-Mail
If you’re a best-in-class organization, you probably have a plethora of best-of-breed procurement tools at your finger tips … and chances are that at least one of these will have an internal collaboration platform. Use the tools you have to their full potential … you have them because e-mail and spreadsheets don’t allow you to achieve maximum potential.
- Say Yes to Training for You and Your Staff
Best-in-class organizations are best-in-class for a reason … they do everything they can to stay best-in-class, which includes regular training. And the great thing about (good) supply management training is the return is always exponentially greater than the investment. Just do it.
- Communicate with Everyone
Talking to representatives of the different groups in your organization gives you a more complete and cohesive view of organizational realities that you aren’t likely to get simply from conversing with your peers on a daily basis.
- Go for a Walk
Not only will it reduce your risk of heart attack, keep your weight down, and help you manage stress … but it will clear your mind to help you think more clearly and creatively … and we all know that innovation is the path to success.
Come back tomorrow for the next 10 things you can do to increase your success in only 20 minutes a day!