BuyTrain News

January 2007

  ISM News
Personal Development
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My Favorite New Year Tip:

While you are watching football on New Year's Day, pick up your checkbook and write the year 2007 on the first dozen checks.

Compliance & Ethics Program

Doesn't your company have a written compliance and ethics program? If not, I suggest you start working on one. Companies and individuals can face fines and penalties for violating any number of laws.  Most surprising to me, is that one strategy company officials can use to defend themselves is to claim the employee was acting outside of company policy. That means, you could be on your own, facing a criminal investigation.  Accordingly, we employees who commit company funds, can be a little more protected by operating within written guidelines.  Read more...... 

Seminar and Workshop

On Tuesday March 13, I will be presenting a Seminar & Dinner program for my friends in the OMV affiliate. Thought you might be interested in seeing the synopsis. The seminar will be back-to-back 1/2 day workshops. Should be a lot of fun. If you are interested in participating, contact Sid Brown for details

Computer Tips for the Supply Management Professional  (dinner program)

A notebook and a pen used to be the only tools necessary for a business trip- but today it’s the laptop. And if the laptop crashes while you are traveling – it can sure impact the business. Worst of all, laptops seldom crash during business hours or when a helpful IT person is nearby. This workshop is geared toward the nontechnical professional who needs to keep his/her laptop healthy and functioning. We’ll review some tools, tips and techniques that everyone who travels with a laptop should be aware of. We’ll also shed light on some geeky computer terms and translate the computer tips into plain English.

Where Do Those Prices Come From?
Getting To The Juicy Roots Of Product Pricing

This workshop will start at the very basics of Cost and Price analysis. We’ll use a dirt-simple example to discover how producers construct product prices. At the same time we’ll expose cost elements and considerations which influence the selling price and pricing decisions. Once we have a common understanding of the basics, then we’ll explore various alternatives and options which can be influenced by our purchasing strategy. Along the way we’ll talk about more advanced products and production processes. Our goal will be to understand the cost factors that make the most impact on a manufacturer's selling price and determine ways we can take advantage of this knowledge to negotiate lower pricing.  Note; A ½ day workshop does not afford enough time to become cost analysis experts - but it does give us enough time to understand the basics and find some ways to reduce costs.  

Negotiation Tactics And Tips
Using Our Product Knowledge To Negotiate The Best Possible Purchase.

This will be a basic negotiation principles workshop where we will explore ways to use our production and cost knowledge to plan a negotiation strategy. We’ll identify cost elements and manufacturing processes that can be targeted for price-reducing negotiations.  We’ll also talk about negotiation tactics and Strategies which can be incorporated into day-to-day work habits. Our goal will be for each person to leave with a list of specific negotiation tactics ideas about how those tactics can be applied to reduce acquisition costs.

Personal Development

Caution: Opportunity Lost

Give a compliment, a words of thanks or a commendation while you still can. Positive reinforcement of helpful behavior given to colleagues or suppliers is the best way to encourage even more helpful behavior. Don’t forget to pass along your appreciation to their managers and decision makers before they make they decision to move or remove your favorite source of help, assistance, information and support.

Why am I mentioning this again?  Because I’ve been recently reminded that managers make organizational decisions based on what they perceive is best for the business. Lacking specific feedback and reinforcement, a manager’s perception of an employee’s value can be dramatically different than everyone else. Your most helpful resource may not be obvious to his manager.  Wait until after an organizational decision has been made, and you could loose a valuable resource.

Remember, many management decisions are a competition between two or more employees. You can  give managers a reason to keep/promote/encourage the one you like best.

Example: An accounting employee is a genius at Excel and teaches Excel classes to the rest of the organization during lunch.  The accounting position might be eliminated and the employee reassigned because management didn’t know the organization was getting benefit beyond just the assigned job.

How can we make a difference?


ISM News

Did You Know?

Electronic Supply Management Resource

The ISM Electronic Supply Management Group is preparing to announce their newly updated web site. The site includes experienced commentary, links and information about managing the supply chain using electronic  systems and tools.  A worthwhile resource to share with members and colleagues.

CPSM sample test question:

Financial institutions are much more cautious about storage and unauthorized disclosure of personal financial information because of the Financial Service Modernization Act of 1999 which is also know as the:

CPSM Exam Spec 1-A-4 7) I. 

I ran in to this set of initials in two places recently and it was new to me. GLBA, was referred to in the context of customer confidentiality.  It refers to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It didn’t click with me until I found web pages with the official name,  Financial Modernization Act of 1999. 

Then it clicked. This is the set of rules which govern the collection and disclosure of personal financial information.  It addresses personal privacy, sharing of customer information among banks, gathering financial information under false pretexts and more. You've seen the end result in numerous privacy disclosure statements.

Simple, now that I realize the more familiar name and subject, GLBA won’t be a problem for me on the CPSM exam.   I can imagine some really tricky questions, but I suspect that knowing the general subject matter and connecting it to all we hear on the news everyday will give me a chance of passing a question on this part of the exam specification.  Particularly so, after I spent a few minutes reviewing these web pages.

Software Tips

Did You See...... a network security alert a few weeks ago?

We sure did! Shut us down for a few hours while they resolved the problem. My question is; what do you do at home when you get a security alert at the office? First of all - if our IT people think the threat is serious enough to shut us down - then you should take it seriously at home! Whenever you get updates or security notices at the office - it's probably a good idea to follow-up at home. That includes discussing with the rest of your family-team to make sure the whole team is playing the same game.

  1. FYI - here is a link to the Microsoft notice that I think is at the heart of the latest scare.
  2. In this case the problems was with Word documents, so the first thing I told my team was…. DO NOT open any Word documents that you have received in the last few days.
  3. These may be Word documents you received via email from anyone - including yourself at work.
  4. Check on your anti-virus software company's web site and see if they have posted an updated antivirus solution
  5. Download the latest Word software security updates from Microsoft.
  6. Once you have an updated antivirus solution & security update to Word then save new Word files to a temporary folder and scan them before opening them.

Note: The solution may not be posted yet on anti-virus web sites for a few days and we may still get additional updates over the next few days as they try to determine the best way to solve the problem.  You'll definitely want to check a few times.  There are some Suggested Actions in the Microsoft Article referenced above that should be old-hat to everyone by now.

Q:  When will it be safe to go in to the water again? 
A:  It probably never was safe in the first place - it's just a matter of mitigating the risk. 
Sharks have been around for longer than we have - we just finally noticed them
Q:  How do I know if the documents I got are infected? 
A:  There is no way to know - they might not be
but it only takes one careless moment (or click of a mouse) to ruin your day.

Block That Careless User

Do you have problems with children downloading and installing virus-ridden games on your home computer?  If so, and if you are using Windows XP, you can easily solve the problem by setting up separate log-in accounts for each user. Set up a special account for your child to use that has limited use of the PC. The child can then use the computer for homework, but not download anything. You can find the steps in the Windows help file and in many forums on the web. Look for "user accounts".  It's an easy solution to prevent a child from downloading and installing less-than-desirable software.


A really cool new web site with pictures and stories about the Manhattan Project

Provide Feedback and suggestions for future newsletters at any time. I'll try and use what I can.

I really do appreciate those of you who take the time to write and comment on this newsletter!  



MLTWEB is assembled and maintained by Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M. 
Materials and articles prepared by Mike may be shared for purchasing education provided that this source is cited and no fee is charged. The rights for any other use are withheld.
Copyright;  Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M.
Last Updated: 05/23/2006