Do You Know a Pit-bull of Procurement?


You probably have come across someone that I call the “pit-bull of procurement” – basically, that’s the person with a severe case of the Penny Wise and Pound Foolish ailment, making decisions based only on costs, the quick fix and the short term bottom line. The pit-bull is a major contributor to an organization’s optimization […]

Halloween and Scary Arts of Negotiation, Collaboration and Innovation


It’s that time of year again. Last year on this date I wrote about Halloween and the scary art of negotiation and how All Hallow’s Eve has some interesting—and often scary correlations to the way we negotiate. Unfortunately the points I made then still apply, although I like to think things are getting better, especially […]

PPV (Purchase Price Variance) is a Stupid Metric


Purchase Price Variance (PPV) is a procurement metric that’s designed to measure a procurement organization’s (or an individual procurement professional’s) effectiveness at meeting cost savings targets. The thinking about PPV is simple. If you spend $1.10 on a widget, then try to get the exact same widget next year for $1.00. The better the price […]

Redefining Partnership

peter senge_shared vision

When you hear the word “partnership,” what does it really mean to you? And what does it mean for your business partner? All too often I find individuals and organizations are not on the same page with a foundational definition of what they mean when they toss out this term. And this causes mistrust and […]

What Prevents Radical Collaboration?


I recently keynoted at the The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) global conference, which brings together the world’s heavy hitting thought leaders and businesses that help make speedy global commerce a reality. The theme of the conference was “Breaking Barriers. Creating Opportunities.” I was asked to keynote this important event because the air cargo industry […]

Count the Sunny Days

sunny days_lion towers

In a previous post I talked about how you can’t drive forward by always looking into the rear view mirror. However, I also want to stress that there are times that you need to look back and celebrate how far you’ve come, or question what is not working. In this Forbes post, Steve Denning reminds us why it is […]

You Can’t Drive Your Car with Your Rear View Mirror

Rear View_Chris Garaffa

While safe driving tips usually say you should check your mirrors frequently, there’s a good reason why the rear-view mirror covers only three percent of the size of your windshield: if it is too large it’s a distraction that obscures the view ahead. If this is such good advice why do so many companies spend […]

Never Too Late to Learn!


I came across an interesting post from Lance Stewart, supply chain manager for Genera Energy. Lance wrote, “I firmly believe that staying current in any profession requires constant education so I have been attending several of the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Management courses to keep on the forefront of our global economy’s rapidly evolving supply chain.” He shared […]

A Lesson in Maintaining Supply in the Wake of a Key Supplier Scandal

McDonald's in Shanghai_Jesse Varner

OSI Group LLC, a leading supplier of beef to fast food giants McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks – fell under scandal when production at a Shanghai Husi plant was suspended by Chinese officials in July after workers were caught repackaging and selling chicken and beef past their ‘sell-by’ date. No health issues were reported due to […]

Agreements Need Champions

Charon_Robert Ragan

Paul V. Weinstein’s recent post on the HBR Blog Network underscores the importance of having a deal “champion” to guide companies to a successful and lasting result. He invokes Greek mythology as an example: Charon, the ferryman who guides souls across the river Styx to the Underworld. Those who do not use his services are forced […]