As a regular reader of the Sourcing Innovation blog, I know you’re a consummate professional always on the lookout for ways to enhance your capabilities and advance your career. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the wide range of free resources that are available to you. Today’s World Wide Web, which has enabled an unprecedented level of information sharing since it’s introduction by Tim Berners Lee in 1990, contains a wide array of resources that you can use to increase your knowledge and supply management skill sets. In this article I will introduce you to some of these and the advantages they have to offer.
While some free newsletters amount to nothing more than spam marketing by the sender who wants to sell you something (that you may or may not need), others can be packed with informative articles that can help you expand your knowledge base. There are a number of good, informative, newsletters in this space. Some of the ones that I’ve found to be very informative include Paladin’s Checkmate News, Aptium Global’s GunPowder, and Denali’s e-Whitepaper
Newsletter. You can find more in the growing newsletter directory on the resource site.
Free Whitepapers from independent analyst firms and supply chain bloggers can give you an unbiased educational view into important issues and innovative technologies. Aberdeen makes many of its benchmark studies freely available for a limited time, and both Spend Matters’ Perspectives and Sourcing Innovation Illuminations are free as well. Plus, Charles Dominick has made it a weekly wont to review some of the better whitepapers that are freely available in his Whitepaper Wednesdays on the Purchasing Certification Blog.
Bloggers delight in providing you with free information, and in addition to Sourcing Innovation, Spend Matters, Supply Excellence, and Deal Architect have deep content archives of over a thousand deeply informative posts that address best practices, technologies, and innovative developments going back three, four, and even five years. Plus, you can find over 100 supply chain and related enterprise blogs indexed in the Supply Chain Blog Directory on the resource site. (Just remember that not all of them will publish as regularly as the aforementioned blogs.)
Web 2.0 Wikis and Social Networks
As a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably familiar with Facebook and the Next Level Purchasing Facebook group in addition to the new Sourcing Innovation Linked-In group. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The e-Sourcing Wiki, the Safe Sourcing Wiki, and the WikiSCM are jammed packed with dozens of white-papers and hundreds of entries on a wide variety of subjects that are sure to increase your supply management awareness.
In addition to the univerally known Facebook, we have the supply chain social networks that include iProcurement.org, the SCM Profesionals group, the Buyers Meeting Point, and the Shared Services Outsourcing Network. On these networks you can interact with, ask questions of, learn from, and even educate your peers anytime, anywhere. These wikis and communities are indexed, with others, on the Resource Site.
Webinars and Podcasts
Educational webinars and podcasts can be a great supplement to the deep content that you find on leading blogs like Sourcing Innovation and Supply Excellence. That’s why the Sourcing Innovation Supply Chain Resource Site indexes over sixty archived podcasts and three hundred and twenty archived webinars that you can access at your leisure to dive into a wide variety of topics, all indexed and searchable from the Search page.