Prime Advantage Blog

Mike McDonald

Mike is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Prime Advantage, a Chicago based Group Purchasing Organization for mid-market manufacturers. Responsibilities include managing business development, marketing, and the GPO's Healthcare Cost Containment program. He’s been a featured speaker, published author, and recognized award winner within the supply chain community.
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Recent Posts

Our Emotional Intelligence Holds the Key to Our Success

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jan 6, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Everyone’s familiar with what intelligence quotient (IQ) is, and probably hopes his or hers is off the charts. But it turns out, a person’s emotional quotient (EQ) is even more predictive of one’s success. Emotional intelligence is the capability to accurately assess your own emotions, as well the emotions of others. And then to manage or adjust your conduct based on this assessment in effort to achieve your goals. Studies have shown that people with higher EQs also have greater job performance, leaderships skills and overall mental health.

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Topics: Industry News

Is Your Procurement Strategy Long Overdue for a Reboot?

Posted by Mike McDonald on Dec 20, 2016 2:15:00 PM

The days of procurement being able to successfully hammer suppliers down solely on price are long gone. In many cases, vendors are operating at bare minimum profit margins so there just isn’t any additional juice to squeeze out of pricing. But that doesn’t mean there is any less of a premium on saving every last dime for purchasing departments at their respective companies. So where can procurement turn to keep satisfying this thankless part of the trade? According to Supply Chain Dive, the biggest opportunity for savings in the future lies in increased focus on transactional costs.

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Topics: Procurement

How Employees Can Subdue Rising Healthcare Costs

Posted by Mike McDonald on Nov 30, 2016 9:45:00 AM

Healthcare premiums are increasingly putting more and more of a financial squeeze on employers and their employees. It’s clear that proactive actions need to be taken as the rising healthcare cost train is not going to be slowing down anytime in the foreseeable future. Indeed, there is no magic pill to swallow to expel this money-destroying virus, but there are several measures each of us can take that when tallied up, can get health expenses into a manageable state. Forbes suggests 10 Ways Employees Can Beat Rising Healthcare Costs that could provide some relief. Here are a few of those recommendations:

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Topics: Industry News

Manufacturing’s Temperature Forecast

Posted by Mike McDonald on Sep 22, 2016 8:50:00 AM

Each year, here at Prime Advantage, we survey our Members to see where manufacturing, and specifically procurement within manufacturing, is today and where it’s heading. It’s always encouraging to see when the temperature of this porridge is “hot” or at least, “just right.” Well the results of Prime Advantage’s 8th Annual Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey are in, with some truly fascinating discoveries. On the bright side, 97% of our Member companies are expecting revenue to either jump or sustain in the next 12 months, in comparison to 80% at this time last year.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Industry News

Gear Up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by Mike McDonald on Aug 26, 2016 12:32:30 PM

It’s an exciting time in manufacturing because the next big revolution is upon us. Much like the steam engine, assembly line, and automation before it, the marriage of factories and technology is going to cause productivity and economic growth to skyrocket. And we need it. GDP and output progress have been in the gutter for the past several decades, and according to Industrial Systems thinker Olivier Scalabre’s TED Talk, The Next Manufacturing Revolution is Here, manufacturing revolutions have a way of injecting vast improvements in these areas.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Industry News

How Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) Save Time and Money

Posted by Mike McDonald on Aug 11, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Manufacturers join a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) to help solve sourcing and procurement concerns through advice and networking. GPOs achieve this by combining the purchasing power of businesses to get discounts from its vendors. The primary goal for Members is saving on cost, although there are many other advantages of joining a big network. Suppliers benefit from the increased market share and by building better relationships with customer organizations.

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations

Curbing the Pain of Healthcare Costs

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jul 22, 2016 1:11:55 PM

The cost of healthcare in the United States is in dire straits. Premiums are skyrocketing at an alarming rate and there seems to be no end in sight. The Health Affairs journal estimates that healthcare spending in the U.S. reached $3.2 trillion in 2015 and will make up a fifth of our economy in the next few years. Advancements in healthcare technology, treatments and medicines are all great for life expectancy, but they also bring an immense fiscal burden along with them.

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

5 Steps to Strategic Supplier Relationships

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jul 20, 2016 9:08:00 AM

Refining strategy is a never-ending process. Once you get a project, a relationship, a product line to lift-off, there will always be room for improvement and opportunity to tinker with its underlying strategy. When it comes to sourcing, sure we may be getting the job done, but are there areas that can be enhanced or further developed? We don’t just want suppliers who meet requirements or who are merely “good enough.” We strive for true partnerships, mutual benefit and shared skin in the game. We want vendors who can help take us to performance and end products that smash our goals and expectations. So, how do we get there?

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations, Strategic Sourcing, Procurement

Sparking Original Ideas at Your Company

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jun 16, 2016 12:52:29 PM

Coming up with original ideas and solutions is imperative to surviving the workweek. A client is perpetually questioning the value of your business relationship? <Insert original idea.> You’re having difficulty gaining traction in a particular market? <Insert original idea.> Rising costs are putting a strain on your department’s budget and you don’t see a single line item where you can lean up? <Insert original idea.>

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

Solving the Manufacturing Issues of Today

Posted by Mike McDonald on May 11, 2016 2:39:41 PM

051116_Image_2.jpgManufacturing professionals from around the nation met at the recent Prime Advantage Conference to tackle the most pressing challenges in manufacturing. The business roundtable and benchmarking sessions featured a wide array of topics that Members and Endorsed Suppliers worked through together, in effort to tease out solutions to bring back home for implementation at their respective companies. Here are some of the answers the experts who participated served up in several key areas:

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Topics: Manufacturing

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