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5 Ways To Strengthen Your Communication Skills For Career Success

“Supply Chain is the linking of people, products and ideas around the globe. You need to be a connector.” Amanda Decook, Sourcing Associate, A.T. Kearney. Most supply chain professionals would agree. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Thomasnet.com showed that more than 90% of purchasing professionals believe communication is essential to their career and more so, 39.39% believe it is the most important skill for success.

However, mastering communication is not easy. For some, it’s not a natural skill, And even if it is, a third of respondents believe it is the one skill they consistently need to work on. “Communication is king. It’s the key to success, and it will make or break things on so many levels depending on if it’s there or not.” Sara Robichaux, Strategic Sourcing Category Lead – Services, Apache Corporation.

So how can supply chain professionals practice effective communication with colleagues, stakeholders and suppliers? These 5 tips could be a career game changer.

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Reduce Costs in Product Design Through Raw Materials

It is often later in the product lifecycle that procurement teams are brought in to lead a competitive bid process and conduct negotiations accordingly. This might seem like a straightforward approach to reducing costs. However, taking a deeper look at your product design and raw materials before the manufacturing phase could be the best way to proactively optimize costs.

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The BMW Supply Chain Breakdown: What Happened?

It's no secret that having transparency into your supply chain is essential to mitigating risk. In fact, companies are investing in supply chain visibility and collaboration tools at a faster rate than any other supply chain discipline, putting their money where their risk is. 

Clearly, companies are taking transparency seriously in an effort to stay plugged in to their suppliers. However, in order to ensure a strong, steady and productive supply chain, having visibility into your own suppliers isn't enough – you need to have visibility into their suppliers as well. This is especially true in industries that are driven by outsourcing in an effort to lower costs and shift production requirements. 

One major auto company recently learned this fact the hard way, which led to massive production delays, lots of unflattering headlines, and painful financial repercussions along the way. 

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TCO: Why Reshoring May Be The Smart Move For Your Supply Chain

Discussions about bringing manufacturing back to the United States are heating up as reshoring and U.S.-based manufacturing have become more lucrative. Many CEOs and CFOs are realizing that their businesses would have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with U.S.-based operations when potential steep tariff hikes and reshoring tax benefit programs come into play. Tech giants like Apple, Foxconn, and Offsite Networks are now looking to manufacture more affordably, locally, and, most importantly, with more integrity.

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3 Tips To Sourcing Packaging

No matter what industry you are in, you most likely have to source packaging for your business to operate.

Your needs could be as simple as corrugated boxes to ship products or as complex as custom-designed, die-cut folding packaging made from a material selected for strength and flexibility due to volatile shipping environments.

As you navigate the complexities of selecting the best sourcing options for your packaging needs, always remember that you have options. Let’s take a look at three areas of sourcing flexibility to find best performance, price, and supplier.

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Communicate Procurement's Worth With Your Stakeholders

Did you know that only 29% of procurement organizations are viewed as valued business partners? However, when the role of procurement is elevated, businesses realize ROI improvements of up to 250%?

So why are so many businesses forgetting, or ignoring, procurement as a valued business partner, and what can be done to address the issue?

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The THOMASNET.com Team Chats With Manufacturing Talk Radio At ISM2017

ISM2017, The Institute For Supply Management (ISM) annual conference, just wrapped up in Orlando, Florida. The THOMASNET.com team was there, uncovering the latest trends and challenges impacting supply chain professionals every day

In addition to speaking with supply chain professionals, we also spoke with the duo Tim Grady and Lew Weiss of Manufacturing Talk Radio for a series of interviews. Listen to the podcasts below. 

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30 Under 30 Stars Share Their Perspective On Global Supply Chains

Supply chains are more global than ever before, and that's reflected in the supply chain workforce of today.

Our 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars include professionals that live and work around the world. We recently got to chat with two of those supply chain stars to get their perspective on working in the global supply chain. Here's what they had to say:

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5 Supply Management Takeaways from ISM2017

Thousands of global procurement and supply chain professionals gather annually at ISM’s conference “learn, share and network with the best and brightest minds in supply management.”

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