BuyTrain News

March 2011

" Ready for Summer?"

  ISM News
Personal Development
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Personal Safety Thought:

Want something productive to do when visiting your parents? Take some extra batteries and spend a few minutes checking mom's flashlights.




The Oregon Mid-Valley Purchasing and Supply Management Association is excited to announce the 68th Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference  to be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Portland, Oregon from October 24 -26, 2011. 

This Conference will be focused on educational learning opportunities which will allow each attendee to be able to add value to their own personal professional knowledge and skills while enhancing their company’s profitability.  This Conference will also provide an excellent opportunity for continued networking with your professional peers from  all over the Pacific Northwest region.  We are planning a minimum of 24 educational programs for you to select from.

More information will follow soon. Mark your calendars so that you will not miss out on this exciting educational event which is being specifically organized for everyone working in or with the purchasing and supply management profession!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Conference Co-Chairs:

Ron Brown, C.P.M.  or  Sid Brown, C.P.M., A.P.P. sidbrown@aol.com      

Negotiation Leverage;

The principles behind a "bakers dozen" can become a buyer's negotiation advantage. This was the title and premise of a program I presented to NAPM Columbia Basin. We looked at a very simple example of  how cost principles can be leveraged to negotiate a more complete and better contract. View the powerpoint slides here.

Follow the Money

Program suggestion: We asked a local Certified Public Accountant (Heidi Rybarczyk-Gomez )to present this program - it was a great learning experience.

Accounting principles and practices that drive the Buyer seller relationship.

Almost all contracts and purchases orders issued by buyers in every type of company have one thing in common; they depend on a negotiated exchange of money.  Of course the negotiation issues become:  how much money, when is it paid, in what increments, under what circumstances, etc.  All of these cash-flow and financial-management issues are concerns for contractors and suppliers driven by their accounting systems, financial regulations, tax laws and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP).

We’ve asked Heidi to spend some time with us discussing, describing and explaining those accounting principles and issues which might directly affect the buyer-seller relationship. Accounting-related questions like 1) What might cause a supplier to prefer title transfer at a certain location, 2) Under what circumstances would a prompt payment discount be an incentive for a contractor 3) What questions about a seller's accounting practices would yield useful information for structuring a long-term contract 4) Are there financial warning signs we can observe directly?  All these and whatever else we can think of are on the table for discussion.

By better understand a seller’s financial concerns, we have the opportunity to negotiate better agreements.

Personal Development

Professionals develop their own professional development programs! No one would want to use a doctor or a tax attorney who hasn't kept up with the latest advancements. Are we any different than them? We are, if we hope that someone else will take responsibility for our professional development. Read more.... Here is a different look at a strategy


Here is an Interesting test question for your next educational workshop.

What is the dollar threshold for the Statute of Frauds in sales agreements?  Cite the $ value and UCC section number. You are allowed to use the Cornell Law School UCC web site as a reference for your answer. http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html

  • Wrong answer: $5,000, Section 2-201

  • Wrong answer: $500, Section 2-201

It’s a trick question on several levels.

  1. The Cornell UCC has been updated to show the new thresholds for a UCC amendment which was never adopted by any state. So the $5,000 value on the Cornell web site is wrong. Section 2-201 is the right section in the UCC for Statute of Frauds.
  2. However, the UCC citation is irrelevant and not valid.  The threshold which applies is the value identified by the specific U.S. State in that State’s adoption of the UCC. 
  3. The Cornell web site includes a link to the law citation for most states and could be used to find the Statute of Frauds value in the Revised code of Washington (RCW).
  4. The correct answer would cite the value and code number for the specific State’s laws which govern the transaction.
  5. RCW 62A.2-201 and $500 for a sales agreement in Washington State.

I’ve chatted several time about attempts by the NCCUSL to amend UCC article 2 to bring it into the modern world.  Sadly, those amendments never made it. The last change drafted in 2003, among other things, would have raised the Statute of Frauds threshold to $5000, and deleted title transfer terms (FOB point)  [2-319, et al]  in favor of the international transaction INCOTERMS.

No states ever adopted the amendment – which was apparently derailed, in part, by the manufacturing industry. Go figure.

In digging around this issue, I was reminded of a very important premise.

The UCC is only the basis for how the law is enacted in the state who’s laws apply to your contract.

Of course this raises even more interesting questions. If you are placing international orders, what shipping terms are you invoking?


Business Contacts?

The time to meet new business contacts is now – before you need them.

Contact someone you know who might have appropriate business contacts in your area. Get an introductions and follow-up.  Improve your career options by making contacts and developing new business acquaintances.

Attend local professional organization meetings and programs. Doesn’t really matter what organization as long as you start making the contacts. Determine if the organization allows non-members to attend programs and jump around going to a different one each month. Shake hands, trade business cards and talk to different people each time you attend. It's an investment in your future.

My Resume... Note to Self

I want hiring managers who read my resume to understand what I accomplish. I will talk more about things I do and less about abstract education or background. I want a hiring manager to wish I was already in the organization.

Positive Attitude

Some thoughts to keep in mind when transferring work

  1. I am going to respond to questions and problems directly without getting wrapped up in who asked or why.

  2. I am going to provide the benefit of my knowledge and experience to provide facts.

  3. I will provide opinions and suggestions only when asked

  4. I won’t lecture, if I would have done it differently – Ill just say so plainly .

  5. I’ll contribute what I know and all that I can do – but keep in mind that other people need to start making decisions.

  6. I will be a good resource, not a pain in the rear

  7.  “ It has been my experience that……”

  8. “It’s your decision, and before making it, I’d suggest you consider….”

GAO Report on DCAA Audits

Kind of an interesting appendix talking about DCAA functions that the GAO thinks are non-audit functions that DCAA should not be doing. Check out the paragraph relating to T&M contracts. Definitely a high-risk perspective. Then many pages criticizing DCAA starting on page 13.

With this level of criticism, it's easy to see why DCAA has become even slower and less responsive to our audit requests.

Contract Audits: Role in Helping Ensure Effective Oversight and Reducing Improper Payments, GAO-11-331T, February 1 (34 pages) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-331T

ISM News

ISM Leadership Training Workshop

This is by far one of the most valuable tools that ISM offers local affiliates. The Leadership Workshop brings people together from across the country to talk about leadership functions, issues and techniques. This year it will be in Orlando on May 13 and 14. I encourage affiliate to send a team of people. I also highly recommend that someone lead the team in planning how best to take advantage of the program, before they arrive.  . This is the ISM web site about the leadership workshop ( it's in the members only area).  Here are some notes and suggestions to share with people who are planning on attending

Corporate Membership Program

ISM has implemented the new corporate membership program. A large corporation can negotiate a single fee to enroll all of their corporate Supply Chain personnel as Direct members of ISM.  Terex Corporation  is the first to take advantage of this membership opportunity for their employees. News Release: http://www.ism.ws/about/MediaRoom/newsreleasedetail.cfm?ItemNumber=21138    Corporate Program web page

How will this new program affect local ISM affiliate? Not much. Think about it this way

  1. Think about Affiliates as corporations.  ISM negotiates a corporate membership discount with affiliates.  Thus a member of an affiliate corporation can also become an ISM member at a discounted rate.

  2. Other corporations (like GE or Boeing) can negotiate discounted rates with ISM so their employees can become a member of  ISM.

  3. ISM also has Direct members who have elected to join and pay their dues directly to ISM.
  4. Affiliate can recruit ISM members from other corporations ( even other affiliates) by offering them added value and a local affiliate membership rate as a dual member who already has ISM membership some other way.

Social Media

ISM embraces multifaceted communication mediums that support the way business and people think and network with each other. To facilitate information sharing, ISM has pages and groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Plaxo. ISM also has several video clips on YouTube.com. These social networks provide a forum for supply professionals and executives to learn, gain insights into the challenges faced by other leaders, leverage resources and stay up to date on ISM news and events in this multigenerational business environment.

BOD Discussion Ideas

  1.  ISM BOD minutes……… http://www.ism.ws/about/content.cfm?ItemNumber=8811
  2.  ISM Corporate membership program. How will our affiliate recruit corporate members, what Value added services can we offer, and what will we charge for local membership? What corporations are involved in our affiliate who could benefit from the program and how will we inform them of the opportunity?
  3.  Participation the ISM leadership workshop in Orlando.
  4.  How to encourage members to take advantage of the Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference.
  5.  The new ISM Supplier Diversity certification.
  6.  How to encourage student members to take advantage of the ISM conference scholarship for students

Software Tips

Home Wireless Network

I am amazed when I travel at how many people still have unsecured wireless networks at home. It's not hard to lock a home network. This tutorial from Microsoft makes it easy to understand. tutorial,

Microsoft PC Security Web Site



Start a PowerPoint slide show – any show will do. Press F1 and you will get a popup dialog box that shows various shortcut keys that can be used during presentations. Very HANDY!

Also, the best advice I've ever seen for preparing more effective PowerPoint slides, "Dare to be direct!!"

Are You Working in the "Cloud?

Wonderful, but how are you preparing for system outages? Here is a short article I found which should be a wakeup call for businesses who have climbed on the cloud bandwagon.

Online e-mail service failures: slow recovery
About 30,000 Gmail users lost their e-mail on the last day of February. Not only could they not send and receive messages, they couldn't access any of the messages they had sent, received, or archived since they put their trust in Google.

Google had backups, but five days after the disaster struck, some people's e-mail collections were still unrestored.

This very scary incident should work as a wake-up call for anyone who keeps e-mail in the cloud. Whether you're using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or something more obscure, if you're doing mail from a webpage, an error made by someone thousands of miles away could eliminate thousands of precious messages that you chose to save, including vital information from your doctor, your accountant, and your boss.

And because that error would probably rob thousands of other people of their mail, too, you wouldn't receive careful service, concentrating on you, from the company at fault.

Not sure what clouds are?  Read more.....


Math Homework no fun anymore?

This web site might liven it up: http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/

Edit Your Photos

A great tutorial about those cryptic photo editing tools.

Meeting Icebreaker:

Put this image on the tables and let the challenge begin.

Elderly Parents?

some great gift ideas: Handybar.  Here is another site with lots of great ideas and devices,.


 Check out my friends web site: www.blackheronspirits.com/

Local Fresh Food

Use your zip code to find local produce. http://www.localharvest.org/ 

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! As always, you are welcome to use my articles or presentations for educational purposes. Just as long as you are not charging for the materials and credit the source.  



Read more articles in the Purchasing Toolbox at http://www.mltweb.com/prof/tools.htm and in the BuyTrain news article archive at http://www.mltweb.com/tools/buytrain/index.htm Return to MLTweb

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