NAPM-Idaho Southwest (Treasure Valley) and ISM Idaho
(Pocatello) will 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.
It should be a great conference to consider
- Nationally known speakers and programs in a
- Quality educational programs in a much more
- Conference is close-at hand and, for some of
us, drivable, saving considerable airport-security frustration
- Registration fees are reasonable
- Lodging costs in Boise are less than they would
be if you attended a similar conference in San Francisco, LA, New York or
Paris..... [maybe even comparable to Fargo]
- A chance to network with supply chain
professionals from companies throughout the northwest.
- The weather should be acceptable around the 1st
- Boise is a fun town to wander around in.
raptor rehabilitation center on the snake river is a very interesting side
- I'll be there, so you'll know at least one
For more information visit the
Idaho SW web site
Career Change in your future? Then plan to attend my program at the
conference. Here is sneak preview of one of the programs I am preparing
for the conference (working draft).
Career Coaching – practical advice,
links and information
- Making the performance appraisal process work for you?
A personal purpose and strategy for job evaluations
- Skills I need to compete for a job tomorrow?
Professional skills vs skilled practitioner
Sharpen your tools:
- Professional Strategies
What can I do to enhance my marketability?
- Positioning yourself in the job market?
What are managers really looking for?
- Where do I find the jobs that are never posted?
- Gathering knowledge and applying it to your public image
Trip reports and newsletter articles as a career enhancement
- Asking better questions
- Networking & building “Social Capital”
A good first impression; maintaining contact; working the network;
- The Interview
How do others in the company perceive me?
Articles and references on these pages:
here is one article from my web site......
Where do you want to go today? Someplace
warmer/colder/wetter? A company that is more cutting edge?
A place where you can get some respect? Somewhere to make
more money? Anywhere because I lost my job? Regardless of
the motivation, many of us have thought about changing jobs
or changing careers. However, unless we start working on
that thought we’ll never make it happen. Not doing anything
is getting further behind. Waiting until a change is really
needed could be way too late.
The bad news: the “internet age” of “electronic
communication” is dynamically affecting the job changing
process. New skills are required to compete for jobs
today. Younger competitors in the job market have grown up
with sharp computer skills.
The good news: We can learn to use electronic tools. We
have experience to sell. We know what employers really need.
Here are some ideas on how to get started using today’s
- Sharpen internet
skills and learn to do effective web searches. It
takes lots of practice with web-search tools to find
a specific company or job among billions of web
pages. Thousands of jobs are being posted on line
and many thousands more are only hinted at in
company news releases. Many companies which never
advertise, might be good fits for your experience.
Think of it like this “That company doesn’t know
it yet, but they need me…..” If you find yourself
lacking in Internet skills, start spending some time
on line. Recreation counts for practice and
- Practice preparing and
transmitting electronic documents. Cover letters and
resumes are often requested and submitted via
email. Crisp correspondence, timely email messages
and accurate attachments all advertise your ability
to be an effective professional. Team with a friend
and start sending each other practice documents.
BTW – if your internet service can’t handle
attachments or blocks the wrong messages, you need
to change services now!
- Evaluate your job
skills at one of the on-line career learning web
sites. Create an exhaustive list of skills,
abilities and ways that you add value. There are
some ideas in this article:
www.mltweb.com/prof/prodev.htm Check out the
www.businessweek.com/careers/index.htm or at
the ISM Career Center
- Scan as many job
postings as you can. Glean ideas from each
advertisement even if you are not interested in the
specific job. The sought after skills and keywords
are important. Mirror the advertisements in your
resume and you are more like to be found. Company
resource specialists will often search through
e-resumes electronically looking for key words and
phrases. Fill your resume with key buzzwords and
accomplishments not passive adjectives. Consider the
difference between “prepared blanket orders for
supplies” and “implemented e-commerce ordering
process”. Other buzzwords like “advanced Power Point
and Excel” “public presentations” “C.P.M.” ,
“contract claims”, “supply chain management” should
also come to mind. Check out current literature and
magazine articles for the hot topics.
- Get help and advice to
prepare an electronic-age resume. A clean concise
and well thought out e-resume makes more difference
today than a professionally prepared document on
expensive parchment. Look at some of the on-line
resources and samples.
- Subscribe to an
on-line e-mail service about jobs and careers. There
are several free ones. How do you find free
newsletters? [take note of the first bullet
above] Give up? Try this Google search:
- Put your name and
experience in front of the world. Contribute
articles, post messages and make comments to
magazines, newsletters, and web sites. Consider that
every time your name appears on the internet is a
new opportunity for a “headhunter” or potential
employer to find you.
- Stay current with the
profession. Communication skills, e-commerce
experience, cross functional work groups and a
big-picture knowledge of current business issues
matter more today than 20 years of buying
- Post your resume and
start getting feedback. ISM members can post resumed
online at the ISM Career Center Members-Only site.
A few final metaphors:
- If you are really serious about making a change,
start making it happen, while you still have time.
- You are steering your own ship, so pick a good
- The real question isn’t “Where do want to go today?”
it should be “Where are you going today?”
are one of the most exciting and valuable events that
affiliate leaders can attend. Excellent workshops and timely discussion build
enthusiasm and energy. If you missed the workshops this last summer, you can
review discussion notes on the ISM web site at
www.ism.ws/MembersOnly/content.cfm?ItemNumber=15674 . [You will
have to log in to the members only area of the web site to view this page]
As most of you already know, I am a huge fan of the
Leadership Workshop program (read
more here...) and I highly recommend them for
all members who are interested in keeping your affiliate strong. ISM has already
posted the dates and locations for the FY08 workshops. It's not too early to
start making plans to attend.
How Can I Verify an Individual's C.P.M. or
Potential employers wishing to verify an individuals C.P.M.
or A.P.P. certification status can use ISM's Credentials Verification.
You are able to search by individual's last name
and C.P.M.s only, A.P.P.s only or either C.P.M. and A.P.P. There's also an
option to view all individuals certified or accredited within the last 30 days.
Please remember there may be instances where a
candidate's information may not be up-to-date due to the time factor in
processing applications and recertifications.
To access ISM's Credentials Verification:
If you are a C.P.M. or A.P.P., you might want to
verify that ISM's database has listed you correctly…..
Dress to Impress……
New Career Management
Tools and Resources. There's a
new area in the ISM Career Center designed to put you in touch with tools and
resources to assist you in your career/professional development. On the new Web
Career Management Tools and Resources,
there are links to tips, articles,
newsletters, Web sites of interest and professional development resources. This
information is available to both members and nonmembers.
NEW IRS Filing Requirements for Affiliates
Will Your Affiliate Need to File
Beginning in 2008, small tax-exempt organizations
that previously were not required to file returns because their gross receipts
were normally $25,000 or less
will now be required to file an annual electronic notice,
Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File
Form 990 or 990-EZ. This filing
requirement applies to tax periods beginning after December 31, 2006.
Some affiliates may have already received an
IRS letter notifying them that they may be required to file the e-Postcard. The
IRS is developing an electronic filing system (there will be no paper form) for
the e-Postcard and will publicize filing procedures when the system is completed
and ready for use.
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA)
requires the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of any organization that fails
to meet its annual filing requirement for three consecutive years. Therefore,
affiliates that do not file the e-Postcard (Form 990-N), or an information
return Form 990 or 990-EZ for three consecutive years, will have their
tax-exempt status revoked as of the filing due date of the third year.
If you would like additional information
about this new filing requirement, including notification when the filing system
is ready, or information about other new developments,
subscribe to the IRS's Exempt
Organization's Update, an e-newsletter that highlights new filing requirements
posted on the
www.irs.gov Web site.
An old friend and I were
exchanging information about workforce management. It reminded me of several
interesting articles I ad read about current workforce issues and changes.
Why should I care? Because;
1) I am a member of that workforce and have to compete for my job for at
least a few years longer. 2) I can use this information to plan my personal
professional development needs 3) I can share this information with managers
and professional contacts - thus gaining some name recognition in case I
ever need to search for a new job.
GAO testimony on worker
Follow-up ---- here is a link to the
referenced GAO report.
Among other things was a
recommendation that the DOL revise the FLSA workplace poster. The new
workplace poster is dated June 2007
Also found this tool on the DOL site
which helps determine proper DOL workplace posters - and has links to
download the new posters. DOL - Poster advisor - which workplace
posters are required:
GAO revisiting proper classification of
employees vs. independent contractors. Recommendations to the DOL about
changes in enforcement. link to the GAO report:
should I care? Because; 1) I contract for service employees
and want to make sure not to be bothered by co-employment claims. 2) Because
some of the contracts I issue require contractors to post the DOL poster in
their workplace. [ the DOL web site has a lot of information about
I bumped into this old link a few days ago. If you
need help creating a secure password, this tool will suggest one for you. It
includes options you can select to make the password more secure and complex.
TIP: Try a different
Having problem reading a particular document or
web site in Windows XP?
Maybe the sun, the window colors or text size makes
the screen hard to read……..
Try turning on the HIGH CONTRAST display.
Use this key combination to toggle the High
Contrast Display on or off.
Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (or PRTSCRN)
More XP key shortcuts… <http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7163489>.
Or for Vista….. <http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7163463>
SPAM got you down?
you all as cranky with the heat and allergies as I am?
It doesn't help that I am starting to get more spam
in my email.
Thought revisiting some of the old spam reminders
might be useful.
In most cases it's obviously spam and should be
deleted without ever opening the message.
However, you do get a message you're not sure
about be very careful with any attachments.
Don't ever click
on any attachments you're not sure about…. You
can't click just a little - it's all or none.
Even if the message
looks like it might have come from someone you know. Be Skeptical [Buyers are
usually good at this]
Email spammers can make a message look like it came
from someone else…
Just like addressing a letter by hand; I can put
anyone's return address on the envelope - good spammers can make the message
look like it came from someone you trust. But when you open the message and
see it's an apparent offer for beauty products - then you can probably assume it
wasn't from me.
Just wanted to remind you that you can immediately
delete spam from your Outlook emails by holding down the Shift Key when you
highlight a message and click to delete. Outlook will permanently delete the
message instead of dumping it into your deleted items folder.
Find a lost window in Windows XP or VISTA
[you penguin system users can/should/probably-will ignore this]
1) …that you try this tip at least once before you
2) …that you keep it handy - because someday you
will need it - I know at least one procurement manager who wished I knew
this trick a long time ago drag this message to
your desktop and place it in a folder called windows tricks
I've lost an open program window. It's either
on the second monitor (which just died) or got shoved off the screen to the
Outer Limits. The application is running. You can see it in the taskbar,
but you can't see it on the screen, because it still thinks it's running on the
How to move it back:
- alt-tab to the program window you want to
- Key in Alt+Space,
- Key in M,
- then click any Arrow key just once
- now move your mouse to move the window
where you want it
TRY IT NOW while you can see a window on your
monitor so you can see what's happening. Note: In case you are wondering
how often this happens... it happens a lot. We are using dual monitors. It's an
amazing productivity increase for our office where we cut and paste, drag and
drop, and move data between applications and network locations a lot.
HUGE Excel files?
How you format and work with Excel Spreadsheets can
make a big difference in the file size.
We had a problem with an excel spreadsheet this
morning that was too big to email.
The file size was 3Mb but the spreadsheet only had
a few rows of data on it.
When the user set up the spreadsheet, she turned on
line formatting to make the data easier to read.
However, instead of just turning on line formatting
for just a few rows of data, she ended up turning on the line formatting for the
entire spreadsheet ( all 64,000 rows).
Thus, Excel was saving a
spreadsheet of 64,000 rows. Even though most of the cells were empty, Excel was
still having to display all the lines for all the cells in the whole
Once excel thinks the spreadsheet is 64,000 rows
long, just turning off the formatting won't fix the problem.
[I think this is a long know issue in Excel -
wherein the file size won't change even though data no longer is visible]
So the simple solution
was just to block and copy the few rows of actual data to a new spreadsheet.
In this case it reduced the file size from 3Mb to
about 15Kb for the new file.
When working in Excel, be careful to highlight and
only work on the actual data, not the whole spreadsheet.
Do not click to highlight the whole column, the
whole row or the whole spreadsheet, just highlight the parts that contain your
Spelling was never my strong suit -
it might not be my only weakness. I found this page by accident and it just might help a little. Interesting
reading and examples of compound word usage. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/compounds.htm
Congress resource for understanding copyright laws
I found this and love it as an easy way to see what
the weather will be
like in any city I plan to visit. Just insert replace my zip
code(99352) in the link with your zip code. It's easier than trying to find the link on the web
What is metadata &
Why do I want to know?
Everyone will continue to get more involved with identifying, describing and
applying metadata to electronic documents and records.
metadata is a property of each file , document or email message
metadata is used to wrap the file in identifying information just
like an envelope wraps a letter
metadata for electronic files can be automatically generated as well as
metadata is most meaningful when specified by the person preparing the
metadata accuracy is the key to finding the electronic file in the midst of a
giant pile of electrons
What is it?
metadata is identifying information about a document, file or record. It is
not the document content. It is the document “index”, “description” or
“properties”. metadata has been in use since paper files, we just never called
it metadata before.
Examples of commonly used metadata:
A contract number is a form of metadata. The number format doesn’t really
matter as long as it is unique and is applied to all of the contract documents.
We can find associated emails, NCRs, QA records, etc as long as they are
identified by the contract number. The contract number helps us sort and
organize all of the NCRs.
An archive box number. The box number can be used to identify and locate
specific archive records. As long as the box number metadata traceability is
maintained, the file can be retrieved, returned to storage and located
The ISBN or UPC code on a book or product identifies the item but is not part
of the item.
Microsoft Office stores metadata about documents and calls it “document
properties”. Open a Word or Excel file and in the file menu select PROPERTIES to
see who prepared the document and the date it was last modified.
Experiment. In windows XP, Open My Computer and drill down to folder which contains a lot of
office documents. On the VIEW MENU select VIEW DETAILS. In the list of files
window, right click an empty space in the column headings above the file list
and select Author. Windows will add a column to the display showing the document
author. This is one of the properties of the document and a piece of metadata
about the document.
Notice that in all of these examples, the metadata can include more
than just an identifying number. Looking up the contract number in our database,
metadata also includes the buyer, contractor, contract type and contract issue
date. Using metadata we can store, sort and collect related documents by document category,
author, date and even various versions (revisions) of
Notice that the metadata is not random. In order to be effective the
metadata has to be applied diligently with structure and uniformity .
Example: We could apply a variety of unique random ID numbers to books. In a
bookshelf of only 10 books, the books would be easy to find. But in the New York
public library, the only way to find a book would be to use the dewy decimal
system as a structure for our metadata numbering.
Why is metadata becoming an issue now?
As the pile of electronic information grows bigger and faster, it is even
more important to have accurate and meaningful metadata. Electronic filing
systems will be only as useful as we are rigorous about keeping our metadata
complete, accurate and consistent.
Example: In the 9 years we have been using Passport (our electronic
contract system) we have issued over
47,000 unique contracts and purchase orders. However, we can find a specific
contract document relatively easily if we know some of the metadata about the
contract. Knowing the contract number, vendor and/or buyer we can quickly search
to find the document. We are able to find the contract because we have
consistently applied the metadata in the PassPort database. In fact the more
metadata we know about the contract, the easier it is to find (contract type,
issuing company, approximate issue date, etc.). That’s why we maintain vendor
and buyer information even though they may be obsolete. That’s also why we have
asked that Contract Supporting documents be filed in the Contract Share area
using the contract number.
Warning! metadata can go bad.
- Wrong indexing or erroneous information may result in a document that can
never be found
- Missing metadata can be disruptive and confusing to someone looking for a
document. Consider how irksome email messages can be when they are missing a
- metadata that is cryptic or uses jargon & oddball acronyms is useless, since the searcher must
understand what they are searching for.
How does this affect me? What can I do?
- Each person who prepares and handles Office documents needs to be aware of
the metadata hidden in the document properties. The information needs to be
correct and in some cases the hidden data needs to be carefully removed before
distributing outside the company. (read
- Make File names need to be useful. Instead of SOW.doc include a contract
- Use short file names, with underscores instead of spaces and only letters
and numbers (not funny *@#$*&).
- Email messages should include a meaningful subject line.
- Look at the properties of documents and ensure that they are
meaningful and as complete as possible.
How will we ever find anything?
Google, Microsoft and their competitors are improving search engines and
databases every day. But even the best tool can't help if the identifying
information is missing or wrong.
JUST FOR FUN?
Try this little brain teaser as a contest
in your next affiliate meeting.
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!
Read more articles in the Purchasing Toolbox at
and in the BuyTrain news article archive at http://www.mltweb.com/tools/buytrain/index.htm
Return to 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
||Copyright; Michael L.
||Last Updated: 05/23/2006