US Procurement News: Procurement Conference Reviews, Shared Services Beyond AP, IKEA in India

TONS of Spend Matters PRO previews this week.

What Procurement Conference Should You Attend in 2013? ISM Review -- Let's be candid. ISM events are generally inferior in terms of content consistency. The great irony of this is the approach they take to evaluate potential presentations and speakers nearly a year in advance! It clearly doesn't work, as the amount of duds and dogs that work their way on stage who would never pass muster at Procurement Leaders, SIG, ProcureCon or other shows is more than material. Yes, there are some great talks. But overall, the ISM conference brand is the most inconsistent of all in learning and speaking quality.

What Procurement Conference Should You Attend in 2013? ProcureCon Review -- ProcureCon – ProcureCon is a bit of an enigma to us. We say this having been to just about all of their events over the years – indirect, direct and now, targeted categories (e.g., services procurement and marketing). The general manager of ProcureCon, Carina Kuhl, is concerned with high quality content and the experience of her attendees. Carina is probably the best events GM in this sector – working for a vendor or working for a conference company. This is ironic because the parent company, WBR Research, is all about the numbers, and we believe it really doesn't give a fig about anything but the bottom events line.

Procurement & Shared Services: Beyond Accounts Payable (Part 1) -- We recently covered shared services for the first time in detail on Spend Matters PRO, examining the intersections of accounts payable, outsourcing and procurement, including detailed case analysis of what organizations including Fiserv and Eli Lilly are up to. (Part 2 here)

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A lesson in labor.

LA Port Strike Highlights Labor’s Role in Supply Management Risk -- Over the past week, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has held thousands of containers hostage, shutting down shipping at two ports on the US West Coast. While current shipping delays are impacting hundreds of manufacturers importing from China and other Asian ports (primarily), the greater takeaway for supply management professionals is the importance of factoring labor into supply risk equations. While we often think of individual suppliers as primary risk drivers in risk calculations, labor can play a role as well – not to mention hidden suppliers, including ports, which do not even show up in most multi-tier supply chain diagrams and schematics.

India’s imposing strict rules around what can be sold, and where it should be sourced.

Supplier Diversity: IKEA in India -- Supplier diversity comes in many shapes and forms, and one of the functions is to identify and develop small, and local businesses that can be brought into the company's supply chain to drive sales and meet government requirements (city, state, national) and/or appease certain constituents. Done correctly, this does not become a window dressing or cronyism exercise but drives profitable growth through increased innovation and stronger ties to the customer base.

We always enjoy hearing from BravoSolution’s Mickey North Rizza.

Sourcing and Procurement in an Executive Context -- Tomorrow, we'll be dropping by a joint Corporate United and BravoSolution event in Chicago: Changing the Game: Evolving Procurement to Become Vital to Your Company. Mickey North Rizza is presenting on the concept of "moving procurement to a vital, relevant and valuable function." The topic is one that goes beyond strategic sourcing to encompass a broad range of supply management topics.

Today in music, we have to honor a true legend (and quite snappy dresser):

- Sheena Moore

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