What Supply Chain Canada Has Done For Me.

Let me tell you a story…

What has my Supply Chain Management Professional designation and the Supply Chain Canada association meant to me and my career?

Without question, I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a nice sunny day in June of 2005.  I opened the mailbox and saw the letter I had anxiously been waiting for. The results had come back for my final exam from the Supply Chain Management Association (now called Supply Chain Canada).

It was so stressful. I knew that I was prepared to write the exam again if I didn’t pass the first time but I had already put so much time and effort into getting to this point, in other words, I did not want to do this again. So, it goes without saying, I wanted this badly.

I felt such a rush of relief and jubilation. 

As I opened the letter I saw the first sentence, ”Congratulations on passing….”.

Right at that moment I think I yelled out right there. I didn’t even read the rest of the letter until I got home. There was a rush of relief and jubilation.

This was back in the day when I could only attend the courses during the week at nighttime. Four years of studying and learning to get those initials behind my name. You may ask why would I do this? All that time, effort and money?

I believed that this designation would be a great boost for my career.

I knew that this designation would pay off for me. Consequently, I knew that it would be recognized and get me the opportunities that I wouldn’t normally get if I didn’t have it. My belief at this point in time was that I wasn’t doing this for that moment or day, I was doing it for my career ten years down the road. Ever since that day this designation has been worth every penny and all the efforts I had put into achieving it.

It has afforded me an amazing career so far and has paid for itself many times over, not only financially but in the opportunities it has given me.

However, my career has not been the standard career where I have worked with one company my entire career. For instance, my career has been filled with many changes, company closures, strikes, bottoms falling out the oil price’s and natural disasters like fires has caused me move probably more that I would have liked in my career. But, this career path has afforded me many unbelievable opportunities to work in many different industries and  different organizations, private and public, that others just haven’t had.

Supply Chain Canada has continued to support my career.

Moreover, I have continued to lean on Supply Chain Canada, the Alberta association and the national office, for training, guidance, news, articles, conferences and I have always trusted that this association would promote this designation and fight to make sure my career was relevant.

This is what they have done for my career since I started in Supply Chain Management 23 years ago in 1998.

Since I have been a member of this association my entire career I have witnessed many changes. We continue to see changes even to this day and probably now, we, as an association, face one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced with the consolidation of the regions into one national association. Whatever the outcome this may bring, there is one thing that stays consistent with me always. The belief that the association always has and will have the best interests of the members in mind.

So, in conclusion, support Supply Chain Canada, the western regions, and attend Supply Chain Week during the week of May 10th to the 14th. I hope to see you thereSince.

Copyright @2020 InsideSupplyChain.ca

It’s All In The Specifications.

chalkboard, story, blogging

Let me tell you a story,

While developing an RFP for a roofing project, a buyer ran into an issue regarding warranty specifications. 

The RFP was for a public tender for multiple roofing projects, and the buyer had already posted the RFP on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website.

When the buyer posted the RFP, a vendor came back with a question. They commented that the RFP was not fair, open and transparent to all companies because of the specific conditions.

Remember to always sweat the details.

The comments the vendor had made were clear, concise and, most importantly, correct. While reviewing the RFP for issues, the vendors identified an error made in the specifications. 

As procurement professionals, we try to be as detailed as possible and review scopes of work. Still, the subject matter experts and business units typically draw up the development of these specifications.

Nevertheless, the owner made an error in developing the specifications. The RFP called for a specification for a type of warranty offered by the Alberta Roofing Construction Association (ACRA). 

Know the CFTA thoroughly.

The ARCA warranty is a standard warranty offered by roofing contractors in Alberta and is very good. Many specifications in roofing projects ask for this warranty, but the kicker is that you must be a member of the Alberta Roofing Construction Association.

Procurement professionals are acutely aware of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and its guidelines. It states clearly that the procuring party cannot specify brands, technology or other specific items that would hinder or otherwise prevent vendors from not being able to bid on the RFP. 

Now, of course, this is my language, and I am paraphrasing. The following link takes will you to the actual agreement with the language. The CFTA details the requirements in Article 503.

 When making these errors, what can we do?

 As was mentioned earlier, make sure you know and understand

The CFTA Clearly before responding. In this case, upon review, the supplier was correct. 

Therefore, a solution to the problem is to issue an addendum with clarifying language that states the requirement for the specific warranty and includes the language that indicates approval for a “warranty of equal value and qualifications.” 

I have, of course, simplified the language for this article. The details of the alternate warranty should be explicit in terms of requirements. You’re not asking for a specific condition, but the respondents must meet the needs of the requirements.

I want to hear your comments or solutions. 

For procurement professionals, this is common, especially with RFx’s, and sometimes different solutions are needed. In this scenario, this was the easiest path for the answer. I would love to hear your stories and what happened.

Why Should Procurement Get Involved in a Digital Transformation for Customer Experience?

“I see the CX industry finding new, faster and more efficient ways to meet their customers’ needs, maybe through the use of new technology, while also balancing a deeply personal, empathetic human connection.”

Shep Hyken, CS & CX Expert, Keynote Speaker, and NYT Bestselling Author

Earlier this month, in an, Ask Me Anything (AMA) segment, ACLIVITI’s Ryan Young talked about the role that procurement should play in digitally transforming customer experience capabilities.

Now you may be wondering why CS & CX is so important and why procurement should facilitate the digital transformation of the call center?

In this article, we will give you the answer.

A “No Brainer”

We see call center optimization as a big opportunity that should become a priority line item on any procurement professional’s no-brainer list.

After all, everything ultimately runs through the procurement department, giving us an unprecedented level of vision regarding the enterprise’s collective operations. As a result, we know that elevating call center capability requires more than simply renewing a software license or getting the best price on a patchwork solution to fix an acute problem. We will talk more about patchwork approaches to call center efficiency shortly.

By taking the lead in transforming our call centers from an outdated phone system to a digital platform, we can deliver cost savings opportunities that over time can count in the tens of millions of dollars.

Outdated Call Centers

When was the last time that you called a 1-800 number for support? Did you receive one of those annoying messages warning you that wait times will be longer than usual due to an unusually high volume of calls?

Add into the equation the impact of COVID-19 on call center proficiency in which working remotely is the “new reality,” and you can understand first-hand why we will never want to call an 800 number again.

According to a February 2021 article, “It is HIGHLY unlikely that we will see a return to the contact center in the way that many anticipated at the beginning of the crisis.” What this means is that “investments in infrastructure and new contact center technology to make remote working possible won’t vanish.”

In his assessment of the situation, Ryan Young—ACLIVITI’s CEO—agrees change is needed and inevitable. The question he has is how to get there from both a technical execution and cost standpoint.

Beginning at the End

During the AMA segment, Young highlighted the fact that pre-COVID the budgets to make the transition to digitally transform your customer or call center capability beyond the legacy vendors was minimal.

The lack of financial commitment is especially a problem because, in a post-COVID world, companies now live or die based on their ability to “raise the bar” of customer service experience.

So, how do you find the funds to transform your customer experience into a digital environment without an overarching Phoenix-type rebuild?

In the AMA segment, Young advocates a “start at the end” approach.

Begin at the Arrival Point

You cannot solve specific problems on a siloed or patchwork basis, which most organizations tend to do. This approach’s irony is that beyond the inefficient delivery of service, addressing problems as they arise ends up costing twice as much as a complete overhaul. Think of the fable about the boy trying to plug the holes in the dam. Eventually, the water is going to breakthrough.

What is needed—and this is where procurement’s expertise comes into play—is presenting a viable business case for the digital transformation of the call center that starts with the end in mind.

Beginning at the arrival point, you then work backward into which tools lead to the desired outcome. Those organizations who have used this approach have found that the initiative is self-funding from the get-go and provides an immediate ROI.

This post was originally published on this site

Automated Procurement

“What are the five R’s”

As I started to research this post for insidesupplychain.ca , I started by investigating different procurement articles and websites. What I found was pretty interesting. I started to see some clear common themes. This topic is wide open for discussion and opinions. As far as I’m concerned no one answer is wrong.

The answer to the question depends a lot on the job you have, the industry, the location, the economy, the demographics and so on. I then started to talk to fellow procurement professionals and much like the websites and articles there was common themes.