Last week, we had the pleasure of finally meeting Charles Dominick, of Next Level Purchasing fame, in person. Charles (who is president of NLP) and his Business Development Manager, Michael McCollum, happened to be in the Philadelphia area visiting with one of their corporate clients, and we were fortunate enough to have schedules that allowed us a meeting followed by a good dinner (at least my Filet was good, I can’t speak for them).

So what did we learn on this meeting? Well, for one thing, business is booming for both of our organizations. We both have experienced an uptick over the last couple of years, and we seem to agree that the industry as a whole is just starting to come into its own. Purchasing, Procurement, and Supply Chain is becoming a little bit more “mainstream”, regardless if you are on the training end like NLP or the procurement transformation side, like Source One.

The second thing we learned is that NLP’s services reach far deeper than just their SPSM and SPSM2 certification programs that many people are familiar with. That’s ‘Senior Professional in Supply Management’ in case you were wondering. In fact, a large portion of their expanding business is based in the development and delivery of full-length online supply chain classes that are not necessarily tied to the entire certification track. So you don’t have to go for the whole training and certification program if all you want to do is become a procurement master of Microsoft Excel, or learn powerful Negotiation techniques used by successful buyers. Better yet NLP has also introduced a series of “express courses” which are inexpensive online micro-courses, shy of one hour in length that could become a value supplement to any procurement practitioner’s bag of tricks.

We learned that Next Level Purchasing is strong in attracting both individual students (from around the world) as well as corporate accounts to their online classrooms. They intend to offer new programs in the very near future that may make it even easier for corporate accounts (no matter how big or small) to offer on-demand training to their staff. Better yet, joining the ‘Next Level Purchasing Association’ is free and gives members access to a variety of benefits including webinar access and a free online express course “Managing Supplier Performance”.

We also briefly discussed Charles Dominick and Soheila Lunney’s new book “The Procurement Game Plan” which is an excellent companion to another great book written by two super smart dudes, “Managing Indirect Spend, Enhancing Profitability through Strategic Sourcing”. I’ll write more about “The Procurement Game Plan” at a later date, but needless to say, it is definitely worth picking up a copy.

Our meeting wasn’t entirely about telling each other about our products, services, customers and business plans. We actually talked a bit about some supply chain industry trends and expectations for the next couple of years. As it turns out, Charles and I share a similar niche interest, something I call “What Not to Do” in strategic sourcing and procurement. In fact, I’ll be joining Charles sometime in the near future over on The Purchasing Certification Blog to participate in a podcast on that topic. Check back later for the date and time.

Source One and Next Level Purchasing will hopefully be doing more activities together in the future. Keep up to date by subscribing to the Source One and Strategic Sourceror newsletter.
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William Dorn

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