Game Time Budgeting

Small Business Pandemic Survival Tips

The impact on small business of COVID-19 has yet to be truly quantified. During this unprecedented time, all small business owners need to understand exactly what is and is not possible from an economic standpoint. The inability to generate revenue, cover operating expenses, and repay outstanding debt has turned the lives of small business owners upside down. Read more

Holony Media Founder & President Gere Jordan

How a Minority-Owned Marketing Agency Accelerated ConnXus’ Growth

Investing in a minority business can make the difference

At ConnXus, we don’t just preach the power of supplier diversity & inclusion, we live it and experience its power first hand. 

In this supplier spotlight, we explore our multi-year relationship with Holony Media, a minority-owned marketing agency that helped ConnXus embark upon a digital transformation and grow our reach to record breaking heights.  Read more

How to Maximize the Technology Innovation Process for Better ROI

Legacy enterprise planning systems are key to all global supply chains, but they are also cumbersome, expensive and aren’t made to support the type of relational data businesses deal with to drive decisions. 

Procurement organizations are thinking more and more about innovating old processing systems. What areas have inherent risk in innovating? To what degree do we change? How do we manage it? Who do we get involved? A lot of attention is focused on getting results from innovation and change, especially ones associated with people. Most companies have implemented procedures to manage and grow innovation, but I believe one of the most under-analyzed risks in innovation, and one that could be the biggest threat going unaddressed today, is the risk of groupthink in implementing change in procurement teams.

Thought should be given to what current challenges and problems you are experiencing now.  After you answer that question, it’s time to determine who should be a part of your COE (Center of Excellence), which should include subject matter experts who are impacted by the innovation process. These experts will enable the process to have more diversity in thought and input on upstream and downstream controls that may impact key process  stakeholders. 

As we look ahead to the rest of 2020, cutting-edge technologies will play an important role in the innovation of procurement. New technology brings with it new responsibilities and it’s easy to become lost in the sea of the digital tools available from blockchain to automation to application programming interfaces. It’s important to assess what these tools can actually bring to the organization, and they are most effective when utilized with strategies closely aligned to the values and goals of the wider business. Focusing on a problem and selecting a tool that solves this problem will be vital to its success.

With this in mind, I believe there are three fundamental questions that should frame technology decisions in procurement functions.

Where do we start?

Before selecting any tool, organizations must first assess its’ capacity, including the strengths and weaknesses of the procurement process. A careful analysis of today’s state will lay the roadmap for future strategy and success. For example, corporations are increasingly being held accountable for issues around transparency and risk within their supply chains. Procuring with purpose will look different to different organizations. Analyzing problems first will frame the goal, and ultimately frame innovation choices.

Who gets what information?

Technology revolutionizes the way information is distributed. It lowers the barrier to entry for receiving timely, accurate data and gives power to a broader user base, such as business users that might not have technical backgrounds. But in many organizations, this data is currently scattered across numerous internal and external silos, making it difficult to use this information accurately. Digital tools can consolidate data repositories and provide centralized, real-time access to this information.

How do key stakeholders communicate?

If the answer is ‘not well’, there is an opportunity to introduce tools with new communication features. Leveraging your COE and key stakeholders is key to having domain expertise in the specific areas they operate in, and improved communication and collaboration will create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The growing ability to track multi-tier data has become an important facet of telling an organization’s innovation story to its various internal and external stakeholders.

By asking these three key questions, innovation, procurement, and their organizations will be better placed to choose the tools that best fit their business needs.

Daryl Hammett | GM & COO  ConnXus

CSP, CSMP, C3PRMP

How to Stay Motivated When Business is Crazy

We’ve been there — the phone is ringing off the hook with back-to-back meetings, deadlines are seemingly endless and your to-do list is more likely to resemble your college thesis paper than your agenda for the week.

The good news?

Because we’ve been there, we have this kind of stress on-lock and have solidified some tried and true ways you can stay motivated during the most hectic of times.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Eat The Frog

If you’ve never heard of the “Eat the Frog” method, the answer is no, we’re not asking you to down some slimy green amphibians. Instead, we’re encouraging you to choose your “must do” for the day — the project that leaves you dreading its existence — and tackle it first thing.

Made famous by business bigwig, Brian Tracy, he insists that this is the secret to keeping productivity high and people successful. After all, if you’re going to work up to being the top company in your industry, you have to tackle it step-by-step, project by project. If you can’t be laser focused on one of those steps, how can you expect yourself to juggle 5, 10, 30?

Our recommendation? Blend yourself a Bulletproof Coffee (famous for making brain fog disappear + performance increase) and get to work. May the frog be with you.

2. Time Block It Out

According to a recent article by Fast Company, time blocking could replace your to-do list and in our experience, they might not be too far off from that substantial claim.

To make it brief: Time blocking is taking your agenda and creating dedicated time slots to each of your tasks. For instance, your meeting won’t run past 11, you must use the time from 3-4 to clear your inbox and make that HIIT class you keep intending to from 6-7.

We’ve found that when utilizing the time blocking approach, we feel more motivated to accomplish the things we jot down into our planner and cross them off in bold black ink. Our personal advice? Get yourself a Miracle TimeCube Timer to set an alarm that will go off when your allotted time is up — it will keep you from that “I’m just going to check Facebook quick” urge.

3. Get Outside

It’s no secret that getting some good old fashioned Vitamin D can widely benefit your productivity. In fact, in a recent study from the California Energy Commision, it was found that 6-12% of call center employees work better when they have a view of greenery.

Prop your desk up close to a window, take phone meetings walking around your favorite local park and eat that Thai bowl you just picked-up on that bench you never see being taken advantage of outside your coworking space. When you get back into the office prepare to feel invincible! And maybe even a little less agitated.

4. Zenify Your Office

Okay, we’re not saying you have to carve out a space for a meditation cushion and a koi pond, but doing little things to make your workspace a more enjoyable atmosphere can payoff big. Start with diffusing motivating or calming essential oils (depending on what you feel called to that day), choose a Spotify playlist that makes you feel your most motivated self (may we suggest “Deep Focus?”) and incorporate some green houseplants. Don’t exactly consider yourself to have a green thumb? Here are some options that are tough as nails.

5. Activate a Shutdown Time

With a long task list, it’s often tempting to work until it’s done but that usually leads to one thing: Burnout.

Set an alarm (make it a favorite song of yours!) that will alert you when you’re done for the day and resist the urge to do just “one more thing.” Close your laptop, pack up your briefcase + head home to dinner with the family, happy hour with some friends or the gym; whatever tickles your fancy. Come back feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead — with an end in sight.

We want to know: What do you do to stay motivated in business? Let us know in the comments!

© Baker Creative

 

 

Supplier Feature: Rincon Technology

The way in which we communicate with others has become increasingly more efficient in today’s world. The internet and mobile phones have made communication faster, easier and more cost effective. Given the fact that communication is such an essential part of day-to-day life, people should be able to communicate with minimal distractions or obstacles. Rincon Technology has built its’ business around that exact notion. 

According to the company mission statement, Rincon believes that communication and information are “Not only basic human rights, but essential to economic prosperity for people throughout the world.” The founders of Rincon understood this principle, which is why they made it their goal to ensure the whole world had easy access to communication and information in their daily lives. 

Building communication networks takes a considerable amount of time and money, and usually has a significant environmental impact. Rincon believes that a market-based approach is best for solving these problems and has spent years implementing its Technology Migration solutions that reduce the time, cost and environmental impact of building communication networks.

Rincon provides customers with high quality new and used equipment, sometimes with discounts up to 90%. Through their partnerships with companies like HP, ECI, Vecima, Infinera, NetApp, RAD, Nokia, Proxim Wireless, Dragonwave, and Aruba, they are able to get you the equipment you need faster and more easily than ever before. In addition to their wide range of quality products, they also provide convenient professional services such as consignment sales, spares management, reverse logistics and warehouse management services. 

Rincon Technology is a certified minority owned business (NMSDC and CPUC) with a commitment to continued quality improvement as demonstrated by its ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015, OHSAS18001:2007, and R2:2013 certifications. Rincon is also a pioneer in the Employee Owned movement and joined the Certified EO Association, who helps promote and propagate Employee Ownership across different business types and verticals. 

The world today makes a lot of things more complicated. Communication shouldn’t be one of them. If you’re looking for a way to build a fast, effective communication network at a price you won’t get anywhere else, Rincon has the solution you need. 

ConnXus raises the bar in Cyber Security with HITRUST

At ConnXus, we’re committed to delivering robust and secure software solutions. We continue to innovate and adapt privacy standards to protect your data and your business. On top of complying with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework set by the US Department of Commerce, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards for personal data use, as well as satisfying the recently enacted provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Over a year ago, we implemented SOC 2 Type II protocols. Organizations with SOC (System and Organizational Controls) meet rigorous standards designed to keep clients’ sensitive data secure and are audited by independent certified public accountants. The SOC 2 Type II framework is the most comprehensive type of SOC control, built on financial reporting and standardized operation for organizational and regulatory oversight, as well as vendor and risk management.

As a third-party vendor, our SOC 2 Type II protocols give confidence and peace of mind to our partners and clients. They allow us to better serve our stakeholders with consistent, documented standards. Performance and reliability is an essential part of our products. Our in-house technology and security teams creates processes and systems that ensure your information is protected up to the standard of the latest industry best-practices.

With the rise in the number of breaches and information, security-related concerns are on the rise. We have decided in response, to implement another layer of security leveraging HITRUST protocols. HITRUST has created the myCSF framework which can be used by all organizations that create, access, store, or exchange sensitive information. The HITRUST myCSF framework was developed as a way for organizations to assess their compliance with a variety of information security regulations that may be included within a HITRUST.

We are now integrating HITRUST controls within our SOC2 framework for our global supply chain landscape. Fortune 500 companies have with alarming frequency had sensitive information leaked because hackers have targeted their vendors and business partners, organizations that might not be as secure as their corporate buyers. Every supplier and business partner becomes an added risk.

Who are you allowing to manage your spend reporting and data? Are you confident their platform is secure and compliant?

Ask yourself this: Are they compliant with SOC 2, GDPR, CCPA, HITRUST or Privacy Shield? Do they bring in third-party agencies to audit their security protocols to support a robust independent security program?

If you can’t answer these questions, please call ConnXus.

 

Sincerely,

Daryl Hammett CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP

COO I GM

Supplier Feature: TechFides (Musa Asset Management)

How does the current “standard” IT consulting model make you feel?

Does it inspire confidence that a team of outsiders, many of whom have never worn anything besides a consulting hat, are going to walk into your enterprise and understand the sweat equity you and your team have invested to get to where you are?  Will they respect the culture you’ve carefully cultivated with your employees and customers?  Will they take the time to understand the nuances and details that make your enterprise unique?

Or does it feel like making a quick buck off of your company is their top priority?

TechFides (doing business under the Musa Asset Management umbrella) is an up and coming strategic and operations consulting outfit in the Dallas area, with a broad network and resource pool underpinned by a core team with nearly a century of global enterprise experience in companies like Honeywell and Schneider-Electric. Founded in early 2019, our company was established to fill the void created by disconnected, rank-and-file consultants lacking the flexibility and desire to step outside of standardized models to meet customer needs. TechFides is working to realign the consulting value proposition to the customer, where it belongs.

TechFides is looking for partners and subcontractors to help fill contract needs, and we’d love to be considered as a candidate to help your team.  Our mission is to provide high quality strategic and operational guidance in the form of cutting-edge infrastructure and IT knowledge and practices.

Your business is at a crossroads.  TechFides has the map.

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ConnXus Certified

Introducing ConnXus Certified®: A Small Business Enterprise Certification Program

We are pleased to announce the launch of ConnXus Certified®, a Small Business Enterprise Certification Program offered by ConnXus through the myConnXion® Business Center (myCBC)Read more

ConnXus Partner Highlight: Jaggaer

Diversity certification is critical to any diverse supplier, because it allows buyers to verify that the business is controlled by an official diverse group. Since not all businesses that fall into the minority-owned category are certified diverse, it can at times be difficult to determine whether a supplier possesses official diversity qualifications. Luckily, the ConnXus SmartScrub Data Enrichment service helps to solve this problem. Read more

Supplier Feature: Elevate My Brand

Sometimes, appearances are everything, especially in today’s world. Read more