16 April 2018

Still waters run deep – are you getting the most out of your suppliers?

In principal, finding a supplier that satisfies your requirements sounds straight forward. But after more than 25 years working in this field, I still experience that it’s never quite as straightforward as one might think. Why? Maybe because it’s about people?

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By Mark Lindeman

2 January 2018

CEOs on the lookout for adaptable buyers!

Recently published research by Ayming Consultants* questioned 200 CEOs, CFOs and CPOs. The results showed that 50% of CEOs had doubts about the effectiveness of their purchasing function. According to researchers, this was due to the fact that purchasing managers focus mainly on the use of technologies and systems to improve purchasing performance. CEOs, on the other hand, would prefer to see purchasing contribute to the organizational strategy in variety of ways, rather than simply offering the deal to the lowest bidder. Sound familiar?

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By Mark Lindeman

9 October 2017

For those who don’t just believe in success stories

The economy is booming. Consumption is on the increase, and people are becoming less cautious about their spending. The financial crisis is fading into a distant memory and many of the problems challenging the economy over the last few years have been relegated to the history books. But there’s more to it. We’ve entered a new era where numerous technological advances still have to find their place in our lives and our environment. Blockchain and The Internet of Things, for example, are speeding up this change. But at the same time, they raise numerous questions about the impact they’ll have on our lives.

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By Mark Lindeman

4 July 2017

Inspiration session for sustainable clothing and textiles

Early June, together with Dutch Sustainable Business (De Groene Zaak), LB-IX organized a meeting for sustainable companies in the clothing and textiles industry, at UTZ in Amsterdam. The 20 participants represented all aspects of the textile sector, and included the industry trade body, entrepreneurs and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER). One of the dilemma’s and indeed challenges facing the industry is consumers themselves. Consumers who have yet to become game changers.

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By Mark Lindeman

29 March 2017

A toothless giant

The report, ‘Ezeltje-strek-je’ (The Golden Ass), was recently published by consultants, Gupta. It contained a study of profit, power and regulation in Dutch healthcare. Recommendations included intervention in instances where profit margins from healthcare suppliers were too high. The high profits made by healthcare suppliers is nothing new. But is the sector missing an opportunity to defend itself or is it simply a toothless giant?

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By Mark Lindeman

3 February 2017

Suppliers of innovation

Is the purchasing profession keeping up with the times? And what role will tomorrow’s buyers play? These and other questions provided food for thought during a discussion at Sterkenburg Castle in January this year. Participants included key business decision makers who work closely with procurement.

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By Mark Lindeman

18 January 2017

Blockchain: A chain around your neck?

Blockchain is hot. Numerous companies, banks and institutions are looking into the possibilities it offers. But what is it exactly? In short, a public ledger that can be managed globally. Anyone can instigate a transaction, which is impossible to falsify. In her TED talk, expert, Bettina Warburg takes you on a journey into the world of blockchain. She’s convinced that it will change the world as we know it.

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By Niels Bogman

4 December 2016

Indian folklore on collaboration

Traditionally, Indians lived in accordance with the principle that they would only make choices they knew would benefit seven generations down the line. In doing so, they accepted responsibility. And they passed these principles onto their children and in turn their children’s children. As a guiding principle it’s both clear and simple.

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By Mark Lindeman

24 October 2016

Board-members about Procurement: Focus on improving quality and building trust

Between peers, it’s often easy to appreciate the issues when it comes to the lack of understanding for their profession. Procurement is no exception. But how do the CEO and Board Members view procurement? And what are their expectations regarding procurement professionals? Without doubt, someone who looks ahead to the future. To understand what this means exactly, we invited a number of Board Members and policy makers to join us for a discussion in the Carriage House at Sterkenburg Castle.

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By Mark Lindeman

13 September 2016

From bargain hunting to purchasing power

This summer, 55 Dutch companies and organisations signed the ‘Sustainable Clothing and Textile’ covenant. In doing so, their aim was to contribute to improved working conditions for textile workers in countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, as well as less polluting production methods. A helping hand for textile buyers who want to procure sustainably, you would imagine? Or simply some strategic ‘greenwashing’?

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By Mark Lindeman

31 May 2016

Bargain hunter or collaborator?

When it comes to reducing costs, procurement professionals have a tendency to interpret it solely as squeezing suppliers as far as possible. We want more for less and don’t hesitate to put the supply chain under increased pressure. This was recently highlighted in the article ‘Shrinking turnover, profit margins stable’ featured in Dutch newspaper Het Financeele Dagblad on May 30. In the article, retired politician Gerrit Zalm, discusses a subject that remains top-of-mind in many boardrooms: the hunt for further cost savings.

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By Niels Bogman

26 April 2016

The question behind the question

We’ve got just the solution you’re looking for! If we had a euro for every time a vendor used this phrase we’d be rich. An interesting promise, particularly if the vendor in question barely knows his customer. As a customer, it’s easy to be sucked into a vendor’s cure-all formula. But for me personally, a niggling doubt normally starts to creep in halfway through the purchasing process. Where did things start to drag? Is this still heading in the right direction?

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By Mark Lindeman

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