Prime Advantage Blog

Thyra Nelson

Thyra is the Marketing Manager for Prime Advantage, a Chicago based Group Purchasing Organization for mid-market manufacturers. She works with the group’s Endorsed Suppliers to share products and services with Members.

Recent Posts

That Isn't Strategic Sourcing

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Jan 14, 2016 6:30:00 AM

People in procurement use the phrase "strategic sourcing" frequently. It means using a fact-based approach for optimizing an organization's supply base to improve the overall value proposition. With this definition in mind, let's walk through some traditional procurement behaviors to see where they may be lacking the strategic component.

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Procurement

The Hurdles in Qualifying New Suppliers

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Jan 5, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Raw materials are essential to making our products. Keeping your supply chain running smoothly to ensure the delivery of these raw materials is the focus of every procurement group. When you have a supplier that is struggling to keep up their end of the bargain, it is an arduous task to find their replacement.

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Topics: Buying Groups and Group Purchasing Organizations, Supply Chain, Supplier and Member Best Practices

Use Communication to Solve Your Problems

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Dec 15, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Leaders are faced with problems every day. Sometimes it may feel like for every fire you put out there are two more that start. But adjusting your approach to solving problems will aide your day's focus.

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

Tie Procurement Metrics to Your Business Strategy

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Nov 24, 2015 10:13:28 AM

We all know business metrics are important but the challenge is determining which ones to analyze and how to better use them to reach your company's goals. Metrics should be set by your overall company strategy and not be dictated by how easy they are to measure, or by what data is readily available. Gauging your performance in a way that doesn't support your strategy will create activities that could eventually undermine your overall performance.

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Topics: Procurement

Unlock the Benefits of Your Supplier Relationship

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Nov 10, 2015 9:38:41 AM

If you desire more innovation from your suppliers, you need to be willing to knock down your walls and collaborate to make this happen. Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is a journey where you set the course. There needs to be a solid organizational reason to pursue a deeper connection with a supplier. Understanding this goal before you start your process is the key. However, you don't want this type of relationship with every supplier. Many suppliers just need to deliver the product at the negotiated time. The suppliers in this category solely need to be held to the agreed upon metrics to be deemed a success.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Strategic Sourcing

Why Didn't You Change Your Metrics?

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Oct 20, 2015 10:40:24 AM

At the end of each year, most businesses create a plan to navigate through the next. We often put a lot of manpower and time into our strategy in hopes to achieve great gains. We pursue various ways to make our operations more efficient and responsive to our customers' demands. We even develop a roadmap and highlight the route we are going to take to get there. But sometimes, companies fall short when it comes to translating that great strategy into day-to-day success.

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

Confront Your Fear of Confrontation

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Sep 10, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Have you finally had enough? Is it time to address a problem that has been bothering you for far too long? Whether it is with your spouse, your family member or your co-worker, there is a way to address and resolve the issue without harming the relationship. Most people dislike confrontation, but if you don't adequately communicate your expectations, no one will ever live up to them.

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Topics: Talent and Leadership

What are the True Costs of Doing Business with Your Suppliers?

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Sep 3, 2015 7:30:00 AM

Everyone knows how to negotiate based on price. Dollars and cents are easy to compare, but how does one measure the value you receive at that particular price? This abstract concept has long been pushed as a best practice but can be vague and time consuming to measure.

The terms "Total Cost of Ownership" and "best value" are commonly heard throughout the industry, but full adoption of these concepts has been limited. The payback isn't as immediate as "piece price," for example, and it's difficult to justify a supplier switch by telling management, "Don't worry, it will pay off eventually."

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Topics: Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Group Surveys

Supply Chain Resiliency Growing in Importance

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Aug 18, 2015 8:52:00 AM

As we previously mentioned in our How Do Your Suppliers Measure Up? post, there are many ways manufacturers hold their suppliers accountable. We recently completed our annual Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey (PM Survey) of our Member companies and there were some fascinating results about how today's manufacturers are measuring their suppliers. The participants agreed, you still must maintain the standard three metrics of quality, delivery and cost. But companies are also placing growing importance on flexibility to respond to unexpected demand as well as responsiveness to change requests.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Group Surveys

Bridging the Gap Between Design and Manufacturing

Posted by Thyra Nelson on Aug 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

The quest for lean has been a long-pursued endeavor in the world of manufacturing. The more you can reduce waste while gaining a higher throughput, the more profitable your company will be. However, often times lean principles aren't applied until product development is well underway. This creates a situation where inefficiencies and rework run rampant as tasks performed on the project can quickly become obsolete. The best way to remedy this disorder is to start the lean initiative as early in the product development process as possible. Design and manufacturing need to be in sync during the prototype and preproduction phases while having a formal communication schedule at every major milestone along the way.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Talent and Leadership

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