BuyTrain News

January 2013

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Personal Safety Thought:

Online Safety – worth sharing with all of your family and friends who use the internet. I know of several people who were recently infected by this type of internet virus (and someone who seemed to be fooled!) Read more...

Keep your fork!

Good advice from our friend and educator, Ross Reck.  Read more...


Selecting a Responsible Contractor

Finding, vetting and selecting a contractor who has a reasonable chance of performing successfully, is one of the more important contributions we make to the supply chain. Here is a discussion of issues and options for evaluating potential contractors and making a responsibility determination. Included is a draft checklist you can build on with your own processes and a copy of the presentation files I will be using in an upcoming NCMA program.

Electronic Records

Does your company have a problem with electronic dust bunnies? [you are not alone!]

  1. Employees are saving thousands of email messages in various folders scattered all over the network, backup CDs, external drives, thumb drives, smart phones and elsewhere
  2. Some of those file and messages are important parts of the official company record
  3. There is no practical way to locate a key file needed to support a dispute with a supplier or regulator
  4. There is no practical way to preserve the legal efficacy and prevent “spoilage” of the electronic files
  5. There is no cost effective or timely way to respond to a legal discovery order and certify that ALL records have been located and examined for submittal to the court
  6. There is no cost-effective and reasonable way to review, classify and sort thousands of electronic files
  7. Business sensitive and attorney-client privileged communications have to be identified and isolated before they are accidentally submitted to the court along with all other files
  8. Discerning and deleting duplicates, drafts, redline markups and unofficial versions will overwhelm the discovery effort or else introduce redundancies in the data supplied to the court
  9. Email junk (pizza day at the office, notes to mom, etc.) will clutter and confound the discovery review effort
  10. Regular file cleanup, if not systematic and consistent will invite criticism that messages were deleted at the last minute to specifically avoid pending litigation
  11. Employees will unwittingly (or on purpose) violate legal hold orders by deleting messages without legal review and concurrence
    [NOTICE: the first person to be convicted in the BP gulf of Mexico oil spill prosecutions - was an engineer who erased messages from his personal cell phone.  ]

Electronic records problem are huge and multiplying daily. What can we do? Here are some ideas:

First and foremost - supply chain managers have to become engaged in the process. We need to become familiar with the legal and business issues relating to electronic records and help make the policy and procedural decisions for our companies.

We create the records and are in the best position to decide which files are critical to the supply chain record.

If we leave the decisions about managing to electronic files, to the IT department - they will make technology-driven decisions that  might not support our business processes. Already, some IT departments are using software that automatically deletes email files - and worse.

We can't wait for lawyers to figure it out either. Many lawyers are on the same end of the learning curve as we are. Unfortunately there are also legal sharks selling electronic discovery services and software to litigious clients.

My recommendation: Start a cross functional working group - include IT and lawyers. Start from the beginning, identifying the purpose and use of electronic files in your process before working on legal issues related to how they are stored and retrieved. Then train everyone - frequently.  read more here...

Bribery Concerns in the Supply Chain?

Educational & funny video that could form the basis for an interesting discussion among company staff and members of your affiliate. 


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. If you doctor said " I don't keep up with current medicines because my manager won't pay for it," would you stop using that doctor?  Is our profession any different? Are we prima donnas who only learn what our managers require and pay for? Are we willing to let someone else will take responsibility for our professional development.  Read more....  Here is sample strategy

Buyer Loses by Default

Buyer loses protest when considering past performance in the evaluation.  GAO Case excerpt.

Lessons learned:   Past performance can be a factor in selecting contractors – but It has to be applied consistently and the decision well documented.

Rationale for making a determination, mitigating circumstances and analysis documented in the file makes it easier for an auditor, reviewer, or the “court” to decide the buyer exercised due diligence. (even if there are disagreements about the conclusions ).

From a negotiation perspective – consider it this way:   If, after reading the file documentation, it looks like you have done your homework, then as an auditor, it’s a lot more effort for me to challenge your analysis and assertions.

Point Taken - it's my job

When we get involved with a contract action that is not normal or typical. Could be oddball scope, creative contract terms, unique circumstances or special payment processes.  We have to take the time to methodically consider all of the various changes, additions or deletions to our normal process. Our standard terms may not be adequate. It's our job to notice the difference and make sure we have done our due diligence before proceeding.   How? here are some suggestions:

Step back from the action and ask what could go wrong. [ an experienced buyer knows that anything that can go wrong  -will] . If it can go wrong, write the RFP or contract provisions to cover it and negotiate mitigating remedies in to the contract.  Then read the entire document and see if the words really say what you are planning on doing.

My Resume... Note to Self:

I wonder what a potential employer will find about me online? A well-crafted resume will end up in the shred bin - if the internet turns up questionable postings and gives hiring managers reasons to doubt. Just as important as crafting a good resume - is crafting a good image. I need to use all of my online searching skills to see what someone would find out - and clean it up - before I start my job search


ISM News

ISM Web Site - New and Improved!

Rubbing Shoulders With the World

This case study clearly show a different end of our profession in the commercial world; Supply Chain Management in a multi-national competitive business. At corporate procurement levels our business changes dramatically.

In that environment – it might take many months to assemble the requirements and develop a solicitation strategy. In these huge contracts, every penny saved in the supply chain becomes part of the margin that management can use to be more competitive & provide ROI to stockholders. Very different than the “I need it now” kind of procurements we get involved with at a construction project.

One of the best aspects of participating in an international professional organization (like ISM) is the opportunity to chat with people who are involved in different parts of the profession. At the national conferences, you could easily end up sitting next to the buyer who managed a procurement like one of these.

Direct link to the white paper


2013 Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference

Save these dates!! Mark your calendar now!!  October 23 – 25, 2013

NAPM-Spokane is very proud to host the 2013 Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference at the beautiful Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Spokane, Washington. Northern Quest is the Inland Northwest’s premier resort, with 250 guest rooms and suites, more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a luxury spa, a first-class casino, plus 14 distinct dining and entertainment options.

We are very excited to host the 70th annual conference, sponsored by the Northwest Purchasing Education Council (NPEC). The host committee is hard at work lining up programs on current issues and topics in the supply management field. The event will be an outstanding educational opportunity for local members to receive education to enhance your professional career and earn credits towards ISM certification.

The Conference will include a one-day vendor showcase. If you know of a vendor that would be interested in participating, please forward their contact information to Bob Collinge, at  and we will send them an invitation and information packet. Further details will be forthcoming thru emails and our website at:

ISM Groups

Another valuable aspect of ISM  membership, is the chance to associate with professionals who are interested in the same work-related topics. ISM also includes groups of members with very narrow and specialized interests - such as Chemicals or Healthcare. As a member of ISM, you are welcome to participate in one or more of these groups at no additional cost. Take a minute to review the latest news from ISM groups, you may find just the right group of colleagues. 

Software & PC Tips

Instead of railing against new technology – get even with it. Learn to use new software tools to your advantage. People who say they don’t have enough time to read instructions, learn about software tools and practice new features – never will have enough time.

In case I haven’t already mentioned this to you….

Warning: Before buying a new tablet or portable device? Windows 8 and Windows 8-RT are NOT the same. Even some salespeople don’t seems to know this. None of your current Windows programs will work on Windows RT devices. That’s absolutely none. The only programs that should work are the Windows 8 Apps bought via the Windows Store.

Even if you buy a laptop and ensure you are getting Windows 8 – don’t expect your old version of Office 2003 to work. Office 2003 applications are not compatible with Windows 8. 

Fraud - [what, again?]

Identify Fraudulent web site before you shop. Worth sharing with family and friends 


Using Office 10

Office 10 toolbar & menu finder

Customize the Outlook quick access toolbar

Organize inbox messages

Avoid sending hidden text in your documents

Use the Outlook Journal

Some people seem to misplace documents on a regular basis. Here is a tool that might mitigate. 

Use the Outlook Journal feature to record the path and save a link to an Office document. This is a good way to locate a document you might have worked on a few days ago – but can’t remember where you saved it.

a. Keeps a running list of documents you have worked on and the path. NOTE: the Journal only records the document when you save it.

b. Open the journal and change the view to show a list of documents by date or type.

c. This is only saving a link to the document in the location you last saved the document – it is NOT saving a copy of the document

d. Set the journal Options in the Options menu >JOURNAL OPTIONS. Pick the files types to record, and set the double click to open the files.  Remember to set the autoarchive options to clean up old journal entries or you’ll soon fill up your mailbox.


Add  some drama to your life... see how they do it this tourist town.

Need a quick mileage estimate between two cities? Try this site

A well-written article about a sad accident. Posted for my friends who ski.

For my friends with multiple iPods in the family. A challenge for your next party

 Here is a video that shows how complex and dangerous it can be to remove contaminated equipment from the buildings.

 Hanford channel videos about  the site – many more videos:

Run for the Money?
Interesting GAO report -the sixth time GAO has recommended the change 

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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