Why is Integrity Important Only after You’re Caught?


In a recent blog I questioned some of the supplier practices of Apple. But I don’t mean to single out any one company—it’s the nature of the business that often questionable supply chain practices don’t surface unless there’s a lawsuit or, in the case of Apple, a bankruptcy filing by a supplier. It seems there […]

Happy Thanksgiving!


On this Thanksgiving I’m thinking about the Vested movement and thanking all those who have brought us here in five short years, starting with one slim book based on solid research and a great idea. Movements are not necessarily easy to foster or even recognize. In my talks and classes I describe Vested as a business model, […]

Virginia’s Forum 2014: Challenging Procurement Norms


I was pleased and honored to participate earlier this week at Forum 2014, Virginia’s Department of General Services’ big event for state and local procurement professionals and supplier partners. Indeed it is a very large event, taking place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center over four days, featuring more than 80 sessions, anchored by more than […]

Do Your Sales Reps Suffer From “Deal Heat”?

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The urge to close the deal and move on to the next one—no matter how disadvantageous—is a common situation that I somewhat jokingly refer to as “Deal Heat.” Basically sales reps are so hot to close a deal, perhaps after a long negotiation with a really big new client, that they don’t see the big picture. […]

No Progress without Change

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Jagdish Dalal reminded me of this great quote from George Bernard Shaw: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” I like this quote because it has so much of what Vested is all about embedded in it: Progress: Vested is a collaborative business model that progressive companies use to help […]

Apple’s Lose-Lose deal with GT Advanced is a No-Win Situation


We all hate lose-lose games. And I am guessing Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is asking himself how his company got into its recent lose-lose situation with GT Advanced Technologies – Apple’s manufacturer of sapphire glass for phone screens and consumer electronics that filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Oct. 6. It was only a little over […]

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

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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 […]