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

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

The Art of Constructive Feedback

Posted by Mike McDonald on Apr 13, 2016 1:41:24 PM

Giving or receiving constructive feedback can be a touchy endeavor. When doling it out, we worry about how the message is going to be received, will the recipient truly hear what we're saying, and will his or her feelings be hurt by what's being said. When the criticism is directed at us we try to not get defensive or take it personally, but to examine the information so that we have an accurate grasp of it and can improve our mode of operation moving forward. None of this is particularly easy, but it's extremely important for any company looking to grow one day over the next. Every situation and relationship is different, but there are underlying principles everyone can integrate to get the most out of corrective feedback:

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

3 Ways GPOs Benefit Confectionary Manufacturers

Posted by Mike McDonald on Mar 29, 2016 10:52:21 AM

While sitting at lunch at an ISM (Institute for Supply Management) conference, there was a common theme in the conversations among the purchasing professionals at my table.  It didn’t seem to matter what industry they represented, nor how large or small their organization, the one thing each person cited wanting more of was: resources

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations, Manufacturing

Translate Organizational Objectives to Supply Chain Metrics

Posted by Mike McDonald on Mar 1, 2016 10:02:51 AM

Have you adjusted your metrics to drive toward this year's objectives? Operations and procurement play a big part in fulfilling a company's strategy. The role they play will vary depending on if you are launching new products, increasing quality or decreasing costs. The success of these endeavors hinges on your ability to assign proper metrics to track the progress.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Analytics and Technology

Are you Tracking your Procurement Savings?

Posted by Mike McDonald on Feb 11, 2016 1:17:03 PM

Before you can address any problem in business, you first have to know it exists. One of the most essential spotlight shining tools that successful supply chain managers possess is their spend data. Knowing where the budget is going, and examining the appropriate purchase information to determine how you are performing, is a key component to assessing the issue.

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Topics: Procurement, Analytics and Technology

The Top Seven Myths about Buying Groups

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jan 19, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Myths pervade our existence. Some people think you need to drink eight glasses of water every day. But in reality, you should just drink when you’re thirsty. Some people think that if you shave your hair, it will grow back thicker and darker. Nope, that’s not actually happening. And some of us even think we only use 10% of our brains. Okay, maybe that one’s true for me. Nevertheless, myths are everywhere. Fall victim to them and you might find yourself making some questionable decisions.

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations, Supply Chain, Procurement

3 Ways Truck Equipment Manufacturers Benefit from GPOs

Posted by Mike McDonald on Jan 12, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Location.  Location.  Location. You’ve probably heard this phrase a few times when talking about why a restaurant, gas station, or video store (ahem, I’m dating myself) didn’t make it. And it’s true. In the world of retail, excluding the internet, where you are matters a lot. So what does this have to do with why GPOs make sense for truck equipment manufacturers? Well, because GPOs can boast a similarly easy-to-remember and spot-on mantra: Resources. Resources. Resources.

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations

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