BuyTrain News

May 2011

  ISM News
Personal Development
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Personal Safety Thought:

Pick up a handful of the inexpensive safety glasses next time you are wandering around the home improvement store. Then store one pair of safety glasses with each power tool in the garage. They will be close at hand, and a good reminder, each time you (or a young helper) picks up the tool.




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.   Read More....

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!

Here is the latest Conference information.... 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      

Are You In Control of Your Supply Chain?

This article should give every commodity buyer goose bumps. Obviously, theft of a perishable commodity means someone was waiting to take delivery and ended up with stolen merchandise.


Raises an interesting question – as buyers scramble around to fill company needs, how do we ensure the seller is legitimate? .Also this brings up an even more troubling issue as it relates to food. If a buyer could purchase truckloads of produce and not know if it was stolen, how could the buyer be sure the food products met food safety and traceability laws?

This article might be a good reminder to reconsider our "due diligence" responsibilities with regard to selecting reputable suppliers. Read some previous articles on that subject here.

Negotiation Tip: Is this Commodity Perishable?

Recent television commercials about hotel room rates reminds us that sellers are motivated to negotiate when the product or service they are selling is perishable. This could be an advantage to Buyers.

It's an important fact to consider before entering in to a negotiation." Is this product or service perishable?”  If it truly is a time-sensitive transaction, then that just might be the leverage we need to find a way to reach an agreement.

It's an easy question if we are buying fruit or fish. It's a much harder question if we are buying industrial supplies or services. Here are some subjects to consider that might help identify the “perishable” nature of this transaction.

  • Obviously: Will it rot, dry out, spoil, or become unusable?
  • How else could it become unusable? Alternate product become available, , regulation changes, buyer’s requirement changes, shelf-life expires, etc.
  • How else could it expire?  E.g. a hotel room has to be sold before the night is over or it’s too late. An obsolete product has to be sold before the new model replaces it.

Corollary: Sellers are trying to use this “perishable” characteristic in negotiation with the famous phrase “ Sale ends Monday”.  It's their attempt to motivate the buyers - and it often works!

Procurement Fraud?

Where did all of our money go? Kind of make you wonder sometimes when reading a newspaper article about yet another company that lost thousand of dollars and couldn't figure out why or how it happened. Surprise!   In case you haven't noticed, millions of dollars are spent every day by supply chain managers. Fortunately, the vast majority of us are well aware of our ethical responsibilities and take our jobs very seriously. Unfortunately, there are many opportunities for fraud and misappropriation of company funds.  This potential issue drives (or should drive) senior managers to set up tightly-controlled procurement procedures and processes. More importantly, it should encourage them to require that everyone, including senior management, follow those procedures.  Read more...

Contract Fraud?

What does the Department of Defense tell auditors to look for as an indicator of contract fraud? Take a quick look through the DOD handbook for contract Auditors  http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/igdh7600.pdf

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

My Resume... Note to Self

Is my resume selling something? Have I given prospective managers a reason to select me instead of the competition? Does my resume describe my performance accomplishments and potential? Or is it just a bunch of buzzwords.................

What am I?
- A commodity;  one in a hundred with some experience?
- An extravagant purchase; too expensive to be practical?
- A frivolous waste of the effort to hire?
- A round peg looking for a square hole?
- A valuable asset
Think of a resume like sales advertisement.  Would you buy it?

Professional Attitude

Whether it’s a two-person lawn mowing business or a multi-national defense contractor, someone manages the supply chain of products and services needed to keep the business running. The extent to which the supply chain can be managed more effectively and efficiently can make or break a business of any size.  Natural Selection in the business community happens as the result of   losing customers because costs are too high, losing a major liability lawsuit,   losing critical sources of supply, missing deadlines and many other reasons which can be caused by Supply Chain mismanagement.

Just like any other business cost, the amount of time, effort and formality spent on Supply Chain personnel and processes depends on the nature and scope of the business. Quick reaction times and low costs are just as important to a very small business as documented processes and audit-proof records are to very large businesses.

I know from first hand experience that some procurement people can be a valuable asset to a company without ever learning about terms and conditions or the UCC. We lived by the principle that by doing our job better, quicker and with fewer problems than the estimator had quoted in the project – we could be a profit center to the manufacturing company. When I moved into government contractor procurement – was I in for a shock?  Performance was still important, but the primary emphasize was on having super-duper documentation that could survive a government audit. Read more of this article.............

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

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 Value Added Tips

Ask your members who attend the Leadership Workshop or Conference to take and trade lots of business cards. Have them make a note on the card about an interesting characteristic or reason to know the other person. After the conference, gather all of he cards and scan them into one PDF fie for distribution among all of  your members.

Personal Information Update

Have you checked and updated your personal information on file at ISM lately? Wondering why you might be missing important notices and updates? Could be your ISM information is out of date. It's easy to check and update your personal profile on the ISM web site. Here is survey of information every member should know about the ISM web site - including how to update personal profile.  Read the list....


Do you read the Newline? It's published monthly by ISM Affiliate Support and includes timely and valuable information for affiliate leaders. For example: in a recent issue, affiliate leaders were warned about the change in ISM policy about accepting credit card payments. Given that advance notice, our affiliate was able to make a change to our process in time to avoid problems (se the following article). For information like this, and affiliate success stories, I highly recommend affiliate leaders read the newline. At the very least, an affiliate could assign one person to read the newsline and report items of local interest. Here is a suggested process.  Find the latest issue of Newsline on the ISM web site.

Process Improvement Opportunity:

Effective March 31, 2011, ISM Can No Longer Process Affiliate Credit Card Transactions

Result: Affiliate Paypal account. Members pay affiliate dues online using their personal credit cards. Receipts transferred directly to affiliate bank account. Cost = ½  of the ISM charge for processing dues. Report and processing real time instead of weeks.

What’s involved. 

  • Create an account with Payal (no charge and about 30 minutes)
  • Input Bank account routing and account numbers then process 3 confirming transactions of <$1 to validate accuracy. (3 days)
  • Submit copy of incorporation document to request lower nonprofit rate, confirm organization identify and identify Tax ID number. (scanned copy, about 3 days)
  • Publicize link for members and start receiving payments.
  • Potential drawback in withdrawals if you haven’t gotten the Tax ID information correct.

Software Tips

Virus Infection Path

Important reading for home PC users.  In this article, the author shows how malware can trick average users into infecting their computer systems.  Fake security messages that popup on home computers are a very real problem for unsuspecting or casual users.

I can easily imagine several people I know, not realizing the messages are fake and clicking the button to perform the fake security scan.  As Fred points out, once you take the last step, your normal security tool is disabled.

I’d suggest sharing or discussing the gist of this article with any non-sophisticated computer users in your family. ( parents, kids, pets, etc.)


Speaking of fake messages……. Have you received any fake shipping notices yet? Messages purported to be from UPS or DHL with an “attached shipping information file”  usually a ZIP file?  

Notice I said FAKE.  Do not open or run the attached file.  Delete the message. If you receive a potentially fake tracking number for a package, copy the number, manually navigate to the shipper site (www.ups.com, etc.) and perform the track manually. Read more about the fake shipping notices.



What is Going On At Hanford? 

The Department of Energy is releasing the first chapter of “The Hanford Story” to the public today.  The Hanford Story is a multimedia presentation that provides an overview of the Hanford Site—its history, today’s cleanup activities, and a glimpse into the possibilities of future uses of the 586-square-mile government site in southeast Washington State.

The 17-minute video has been posted to the site’s YouTube Channel on www.youtube.com/hanfordsite, as well as the Department of Energy’s Hanford website on www.hanford.gov.

Office of Federal Procurement Policy Guides



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

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.  



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