BuyTrain News

April 2007

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NAPM-ISW (Boise) plans to host the Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference on November 1 - 3, 2007. The conference will be held in the SUB at Boise State University. The plan includes a reception on Thursday evening, November 1st, conference sessions on Friday, November 2nd and half day sessions on Saturday, November 3rd. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Friday and Saturday as well as a dinner on Friday the 2nd. The conference will include a trade show and at least 30 exhibitors are expected. Boise would appreciate any help you can provide on recommending exhibitors; booth space will cost $250 and include a half page ad in the conference program. As speakers and exhibitors are confirmed we'll provide an update. We expect to have a block of rooms reserved at a hotel within walking distance of BSU.

For more information watch the Idaho SW web site or contact Norm Beckert, Conference Chair, at:   

Conference Plans?

Are you planning on attending the ISM International Conference in Las Vegas this May? If so plan time in your schedule to visit one or more the workshops assigned to the R. Gene Richter Award winners. The award winners will present workshops discussing their award-winning innovations. Winners and workshop locations will be announced at the conference. Read about the 2006 winners on the ISM web site at  . I was there last year and spoke met several of the other winners but missed the workshops. This year I am definitely making plans to hear about the innovative thinking that resulted in the awards.

Cost Counts

In recent newsletter articles I suggested analyzing the selling price of materials and services to negotiate a better contract. That is, by looking at the various cost elements involved in establishing the seller’s price, we can find opportunities to be creative in negotiating cost savings. With direct cost elements, it is usually obvious how to improve the bottom line and lower the selling price. Read more Cost Counts

But what about indirect costs? Indirect costs are seller’s expenses included in the selling price which are allocated to multiple projects using indirect cost pools. On the face of it, it seems implausible to negotiate out of the contract indirect costs associated with the supplier’s accounting department or company president.

But consider for a minute that negotiating a better contract isn’t always about saving money. A more valuable, cost-effective and complete contract is also a much better contract. Read more about negotiating more than just price… Creative Negotiating (part 2)

So here is a thought. In addition to cutting direct contract costs to lower the price – think about improving the contract by taking advantage of the indirect costs already included in the seller’s price. Negotiate a contract that identifies and makes better use of every possible benefit available and already included in the selling price as indirect costs.  Read more about negotiating a better contract with Indirect Cost Elements

Find more articles about Cost and Negotiating in the ToolBox

Seminar handouts posted

I've posted the outline from the Cost and Negotiating seminar presented in Oregon March 2007. It was a lot of fun. I think we could have gone on about the subjects for two or three days. I've also posted the outline for a PC tips workshop I will be conducting here is town in a April 2007.  Find recent seminar handouts and outlines here.

Personal Development

Suggestion for a fun home safety meeting:

We all know the value of raising safety awareness; but how often do we spend a few minutes talking with our families about driving safety? We can't just assume that someone with a driver's license understands how to be safe while driving. We all forget or misunderstand. The worst case would be someone who thinks they know how to be safe - but who has it wrong.

Here's a simple suggestion to improve the driving safety of all family members. Get together and take this online driving test. Either individually or as a group. Then review and discuss the correct answers. NOTE: it is very important to review the correct answers, so that family members don't just remember the wrong answers they might have selected.

How long has it been since you've taken a written driver's test? Well here's your chance to see how well you would do if given that test today. Studies show that 1 out of 11 current drivers cannot achieve a passing score of 70% on this GMAC driver's test. See how well you can do on the 20 questions below. You don't have to enter your zip code or reveal any personal information to take the test:

ISM News

ISM Electronic Supply Management Group –

member survey and annual meeting announcement.

Thank you for being part of ISM’s “Electronic Supply Management Group”  This email is being sent to solicit your participation in a brief survey of our members in preparation for our annual meeting in Las Vegas. Your responses to the survey will help us set direction and plan initiatives for the Electronic Supply Management Group for the coming year.

Please use the following link to respond to the survey:

If you plan to attend the ISM Conference, please join us on the evening of Sunday May 6th at 7:00 p.m. for our annual board meeting. The meeting will be held at the conference location (Bally’s Las Vegas) in the Director’s Room / North Tower / Casino Level. If you will be joining us, please send an email to me ( ) so we can plan appropriately.

Thank you in advance for your feedback - we look forward to hearing from you.

Jim Pfeiffer,  Chair,
ISM Electronic Supply Management Group

Software Tips


So - even after all I've said about NOT upgrading to Windows Vista - a friend of mine bought a new laptop - which included Vista. Needless to say, so far he isn't happy with the experience. Here is one of the reasons.

I've recommended NOT upgrading to Windows Vista. However, a new computer purchase will likely include Vista by default. When buying a new computer with Vista, get LOTS, of RAM. If the PC salesman says Vista only needs 512K RAM - DO NOT BELIEVE IT. How much should you get? I won't buy one unless I get at least 2GB and I hope to get 4GB of RAM.

When purchasing a PC - buy as much RAM as you can possibly afford. A slightly slower system with more RAM will perform much better than a much faster system with only a minimum amount of RAM.

Here is the simple explanation about RAM

Consider your computer like your office. In that computer office, the hard drive is like your filing cabinet. Get one that's big enough to hold all the pictures, music, spreadsheets, etc. that will be stored on the computer. Cram as much as you want in the hard drive (filing cabinet); keep it less than 3/4 full and defragment regularly. Just like the filing cabinet - as long as you can find what you want; it doesn't matter if it's 1/4 full or 1/2 full.

If the Hard Drive space equates to a filing cabinet, then RAM equates to the size of your desk. Even with the biggest hard drive available, and the fastest system speed, trying to work on a desk the size of a folding TV tray will definitely cause problems. Saying that Windows Vista will run on a system with only 512K of RAM is like saying you can do your job on a TV tray. Think about computer RAM just like a desk piled with working papers and files. Trying to do a lot of things at once? Then better get a bigger desk - and a lot more RAM.

As Fred Langa, one of my favorite columnists summarized, "So, does Vista really need 4GB? No. Vista will run in a limited way with as little as 512MB. It will run passingly with 1GB, and fairly well with 2GB. But, if you're looking to get as much out of Vista as it has to offer, then yes, you need 4GB of RAM."

Rename many pictures at once in Windows XP

If you import digital photos, you're going to love this tip.

1. Open the folder where you've saved your pictures. Select your first batch of pictures to rename.
2. Right-click the first picture selected and then click Rename.
3. Rename the first picture to whatever you like (for example, CaliforniaTrip), then click any empty space within the window to deselect the pictures.

Your pictures automatically rename themselves ("CaliforniaTrip(1)," "CaliforniaTrip(2)," etc.). This tip also works to rename any collection of files.


Matching colors between pantone and web colors…

Say hello in many languages:

Is this you?

Many years ago when I was a busy leader in a scouting organization - a good friend told me something profound.

Good managers know,  " If you want something done - assign it to a person who is busy." That is,  it's the busy people who are best at getting things done.

Meaning: You are busy because you are good at getting things done!  There probably isn't anyone in the company who could have a chance of accomplishing all that you are going to do. The stress you feel is because you are shifting in to high gear.  It's not worrying - it's adrenaline; and everyone else better get out of the way.

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!  



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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