Prime Advantage Blog

Dan Grant

Daniel Grant is the President of Prime Advantage, a Chicago-based Group Purchasing Organization for mid-market manufacturers.
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Recent Posts

How to Build Resilience in Your Supply Chain

Posted by Dan Grant on Jun 7, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Having a strong supply chain in today's rapidly changing and innovating marketplace is no longer enough to keep pace. A company's supply chain also needs to possess the fluidity to respond seemingly instantaneously to the unexpected that tomorrow brings. Gone are the days where merely having well-managed logistics and an advanced ERP system could set you apart from the competition. Procurement and supply chain managers now must be able to roll with disruptions as if they already had their calendars marked that the failures were coming.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Procurement

Overcoming the Top Concerns of Supply Chain Managers

Posted by Dan Grant on Apr 5, 2016 3:01:01 PM

Many of us do some of our best thinking when our heads hit the pillow to sleep each night. We're finally sheltered away from the bright computer screens, noises of the city or children, and the seemingly endless bombardment of information to consume. Unfortunately, for some of us, these moments just before drifting off to Never Neverland are also filled with apprehension about how to overcome challenges we find ourselves facing. And one group who knows this all too well right now is supply chain managers.

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations, Supply Chain

Five Inventory Management Tips to Cut Costs

Posted by Dan Grant on Mar 3, 2016 6:00:00 AM

One item that often gets misrepresented in budgets is the true carrying cost of inventory. Inventory isn't only about the physical space that is being taken up or the shelving that's holding your materials. It also encompasses the manpower and equipment required to stock and track your inventory, as well as the loss or damage that happens from parts sitting around. This begs the important question of, "what else could you do with that space, time, and money???"

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Topics: Supply Chain

Take Your Supply Chain to the Next Level

Posted by Dan Grant on Feb 16, 2016 8:41:00 AM

Time is the thing people wish they had more of the most. We can't create more time in the day, but we should always be looking for ways to better use it. Analyzing data on how manufacturers can improve their time allocations has been the focus for many. One area that often gets left out of the time-saving equation is procurement.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Analytics and Technology

A Broader Approach to Value-Engineering

Posted by Dan Grant on Feb 2, 2016 1:06:34 PM

It seems that the soaring optimism manufacturing has enjoyed the past several years has started to level off. Some manufacturers are bracing themselves for the call from their customer saying they need a lower price. For others, it may just be time to review a product or reposition it in the market. It’s never an easy task to cut cost out of your finished goods. Redesigning a product that is meeting the needs of the market is not usually the right action to take. Addressing the existing design may involve a sometimes painstaking process of finding potential substitutes for components that are working and performing well. The solution here is not to have a value-engineering project, but to instead kick off a value-engineering event.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Talent and Leadership

The Hidden Costs of Changing Indirect Suppliers

Posted by Dan Grant on Jan 7, 2016 10:43:31 AM

Indirect goods are a great place to make cost saving transitions for your company. Suppliers vying for your business by offering you a better deal are pretty easy to find. They may even allow you to keep the same brands you are currently using. But don't forget about the organizational impacts when engaging in this type of transition.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Procurement

The Habits You Need to Lead

Posted by Dan Grant on Nov 19, 2015 7:00:00 AM

What makes a great leader? What makes a single person command such influence over a large group of people with seemingly hypnotic control? Was it the chinstrap beard of Abraham Lincoln? Or was it Steve Jobs’ tight black turtleneck? Or maybe it was Winston Churchill’s top hat and bowtie? Sure, these characteristics made these historic leaders easy targets for Halloween costumes, but each possessed much deeper attributes that made them the bright beacons of light to follow.

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

It's All About Relationships

Posted by Dan Grant on Oct 22, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Finding the right supplier is imperative. Making sure that the relationship functions for all parties involved is the rest of the battle. Many organizations don't have one touch point with their suppliers. They use the same source across multiple processes, facilities or geographies. Each end use could have a different priority and expectation. Agreeing internally about how to manage the relationship is important, but then you need to create a process to gather and analyze the different internal stakeholders' feedback. KPMG breaks down the internal steps in a recent Spend Matters blog.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Strategic Sourcing, Procurement

Procuring Elite Product Development

Posted by Dan Grant on Oct 8, 2015 12:55:59 PM

Your company has a great product idea, so now what? It’s time to get to work. But not just any kind of “work,” it’s time to get down to smart work. And one of the biggest keys to efficient and intelligent product development is involving your purchasing department, along with your suppliers, as early in the process as possible. This allows your team to benefit more fully from component specific knowledge as well as additional engineering feedback. Considerable savings can be realized by early discovery of what will go into construction, what materials are suitable and what your suppliers’ capabilities and core competencies are. You’ll gain a better understanding of what is and what’s not feasible, potentially saving you the time and money you’d have otherwise spent while veering down bumpy paths and dead ends.

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Topics: Procurement

Creating Abundance in Your Negotiations

Posted by Dan Grant on Sep 17, 2015 7:00:00 AM

We have relationships everywhere throughout our lives. Some we want to keep exactly how they are and some we'd like to change. In the 2015 Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey conducted among our Members, we discovered that procurement relationship management is a critical skill that manufacturers are seeking. This is followed closely by negotiation skills, which is a key component in managing your relationships.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Talent and Leadership

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