Daily Archives: May 5, 2013

Want to Get Ahead in your Supply Management Career? Read!

CEO.com recently released a short study on CEO Information Consumption: How Business Leaders Stay Informed that contained the results of a joint study by CEO.com and Domo who surveyed more than 350 chief executives. With the goal of finding out how CEOs consume information, the study made one thing crystal clear for anyone looking to get ahead in their career. You have to read!

Consider the following responses to the question that asked what forms of media do you (as CEO) prefer?

  • 02%: Podcast
  • 08%: Video
  • 18%: Inofographics
  • 22%: No Preference
  • 57%: Text

In other words, a total of 75%, or 3 out of every 4 CEOs, prefer to read. They don’t waste time on Youtube or Riotcast, they read. And, 3 out of 4 CEOs mostly consume information online! So read this blog, Supply Chain Matters, CPO Rising, Strategic Sourcing, and others that bring you education and insights on a daily basis and prepare yourself for career progression!

What else should you read? Based upon the top 10 business related searches for CEOs, you should also read:

  1. Supply Chain News
    You may live and breathe supply chain every day, but sometimes it’s easy to get trapped in the trenches and fall behind on what’s happening in the marketplace. Good sources included Procurement Leaders, the Supply Chain Management Review (SCMR), and Spend Matters.
  2. Market / Industry Trends
    It’s important to come up from the trenches on a regular basis to see where the industry is going and prepare yourself when it gets there. Good sources include The Economist, the ISM, and MetalMiner.
  3. Supply Chain Insights / Expert Advice
    Chances are that your organization, even if you think it’s above average, is only average. An organization only remains above average if it is continually improving, and that requires fresh insights on a regular basis. Good sources include Tompkins International, Supply Chain Shaman, and Supply Business (the former CPO Agenda).
  4. Technology Trends
    Technology drives the modern supply chain. Good sources include The MIT Technology Review, TechCrunch, and this blog*.
  5. Marketing Trends
    The lifeblood of a company is cash flow, and that comes from sales, generated by marketing. Getting a grip on what marketing is likely to be doing is key to cementing Supply Management’s place as the go-to organization for help and advice, which is where you need to be to get that critical spend under management and increase the value-add of the products and services you source. Since “good marketing” is largely a matter of opinion, I’m not going to direct you to any specific resources but advise you to get multiple inputs and take everything you get with a few grains of salt.
  6. Competitor Analysis
    You don’t necessarily need to keep up with the Joneses, but you should be aware of what they are doing. For this, you will need to work with the analyst/market research firms and keep an eye on import data. SI recommends The Hackett Group and Supply Chain Insights in the former case and you can look to Zepol and Import Genius in the latter.
  7. Case Studies
    Good case studies can often provide deep insights into improvement. In this case, look to the leading publications (including the SCMR and Supply Business (the former CPO Agenda referenced above)), purchasing associations (such as the Next Level Purchasing Association), and leading Sourcing and Procurement Vendors (including SI sponsors BravoSolution and Wallmedien).
  8. Executive Lifestyles
    While SI doesn’t recommend spending too much time on this one, because, even if you are a CPO, you probably don’t have much time to enjoy the executive lifestyle, it is important to understand what executives like to do in their spare time so you can relate to them when you get the opportunity. Once they see you in a positive light, that light may carry over to what you do (and help you close the disconnect). **
  9. Webinars / Virtual Tradeshows / Events

      Busy executives don’t have a lot of time to travel to many events on top of all of the business travel they already have to do, and neither do you. So webinars are a good way to consume information quickly when you have a lunch hour free, for example. (Archived webinars are even better as you can scan the presentation and focus in on the key parts that are relevant to you.) Vendor web-sites are a great starting point for free (archived) webinars.
      Where events are concerned, focus on conferences that revolve around education, and not vendor offerings. And avoid the big expos like the plague (that they are a breeding ground for). Smaller groups allow for more interactive workshops and knowledge sharing between attendees, and tend to attract more senior, more experienced, and more career-focussed people. Procurement Leaders Conferences and the Next Practices Xchange are good examples of this type of event, and the upcoming Next Level Purchasing Association Conference should prove to be as well!
  10. Speeches / Panel Discussions
    This is really a continuation of #9 and the search for knowledge. Don’t be afraid to branch out from Supply Management to spark the creative juices and ask TED.

Finally, when it comes to social media, take a tip from the CEOs and stick to LinkedIn. Most CEOs, especially those over 50, don’t waste any time on Facebook or Twitter.

* (the doctor does have a PhD in Computer Science!)
** Apparently, executives spend a lot of time thinking about their shoes. the doctor would like to think this is not the case, but considering that Jason Busch, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Spend Matters, has felt the need to educate the reader about shoes on multiple occasions (including posts about business shoes and shoe lessons), it probably is. 🙁