Daily Archives: April 27, 2010

RIP, Purchasing Magazine and SCMR

Purchasing Magazine and the Supply Chain Management Review are DEAD, GONE, OUT OF BUSINESS.

Whether you are a reader or a solution provider who was counting on these sites, you are NOT out of options like Sourcing Innovation. Sourcing Innovation will continue to do what it’s been doing since day one — publishing a high quality, content-rich (twice-daily) blog seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year.

So if you’re a reader, stick around. Sourcing Innovation will continue to give you insight to set you right. And if you’re a solution provider, check out last week’s post to find out what Sourcing Innovation can do for you to help you get your message out. Sourcing Innovation has been growing month over month since its inception, and reaches up to:

  • 15,000 unique visitors a month, making
  • 50,000 unique visits, that view
  • 250,000 unique pages, that constitute
  • 15 GB of pure text (equivalent to over 50 copies of the Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Sourcing Innovation may have already published over 1.25 Million words in its brief 4-year existence, but it’s just getting started. Because, dear reader, it’s all about you.

Dos for Procurement Leadership, Part I

A recent article in the CPO Agenda had some good Dos and Don’ts of Procurement Leadership that are worth repeating. Today we’re going to dive into five of the dos and put an SI slant on them. DO:

  • Put a Man on the Moon

    Have a clear vision of success, a plan to get there, the ability to articulate this to your team in an inspirational manner, and the willingness to see it through — even if it takes almost a decade.

  • Build Your Vision on Solid Foundations

    Make sure your measures of success are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. These will be essential to not only communicate success within your organization, but to manage any processes you outsource to a consulting firm or a BPO. (See the roles of performance in the (out)sourcing process.)

  • Be a Business Function

    Use Total Value Management, which is the root of all value models, to make sure your objectives are aligned with overall (strategic) business objectives. Your wins become business wins, and you look like a superstar.

  • Develop Your Capabilities

    Make sure you develop personal development plans (PDP) for each and every team member and follow them through. Charles outlined some good ideas you can use in his post on Procurement Transformation in the archives.

  • Always Deliver on Your Promises

    You need to be seen as reliable and trustworthy. This will help you get the resources you need for continued success.

What is Strategy? And How Is It Obtained? (Part I)

While seeking a successful supply chain, chances are that one of the first three things every “consultancy” will mandate is the need for “supply chain strategy”, which must be in-line with the “business strategy”, where strategy is defined, on Wikipedia, as a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. But what does it entail? And how is it achieved?

It’s a good question, and one that Walter Kiechel III tried to answer in Seven Chapters of Strategic Wisdom over on Strategy+Business with his shortcut to the big themes in the conversation about corporate strategy. In the article, he offers a review of the best writing on strategy: not books, but seven of the best chapters from books related to the topic which covers the main definitions and arguments put forth by:

In essence, these “critical chapters” in strategic history defined strategy as:

  • the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals;
  • the pattern of major objectives, purposes or goals and essential policies and plans for achieving those goals, stated in such a way as to define what business the company is in or is to be in and the kind of company it is or is to be;
  • that which provides competitive advantage (which, in Porter’s viewpoint, basically boiled down to the pursuance of cost leadership, differentiation, or narrow focus on a geography, territory, or product segment);
  • an emergent property that begins with the hand the organization has been dealt and goes from there, with all the existing strengths and weaknesses, setting off in a general direction where the organization runs into reality — including markets, products, and competitors that don’t behave the way the organization expects them to, learn from organizational mistakes, make corrections, and “execute like hell”;
  • an exercise in pattern recognition, which is often centred around emerging technology and its “S” curve;
  • an attack mentality, even if it means innovating to supplant current organizational technology; and
  • a means of getting past the fallacies of predetermination, detachment, formalization, and marketing myopia.

However, a strategy:

  • has to indicate how the long-term goals translate into short term actions;
  • has to address geography and internationalization;
  • could also be differentiated in terms of service, environmental impact, or market definition;
  • has to be proactive as well as reactive;
  • has to be able to shape patterns as well as recognize them;
  • has to be defensive as well as offensive; and
  • has to account for the unknown.

Thus, these definitions, on their own, are not a sufficient definition of strategy. So what is? And given a definition, how is a strategy created? Part II will explore some other definitions of strategy and arrive at a working definition of business strategy.

Share This on Linked In