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The Sourcing Innovation Blog

Sourcing Innovation (SI) FAQ 1.1.1

Last Updated May 11, 2010

Index

Advertising / Sponsorships
(Editorial) Content
Disclaimers
Events
Requests
   Resource Site
Reviews
Services
Unsolicited Offers
Writing Services

Can't find the answer you're looking for? Google that Sh!t.

Full Table of Contents

Services

  • What kinds of advertising services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of writing services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of research services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of lead generation services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of event promotion services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of consulting & advisory services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • What kinds of technology services does Sourcing Innovation offer? Answer
  • Does Sourcing Innovation offer speaking services? Answer
  • Does Sourcing Innovation offer any other kind of special services? Answer

Advertising / Sponsorship

Writing Services

(Editorial) Content

  • Will you cover my story? Answer
  • Do you want to speak to our VP/CXO about ______, as (will be) announced in our latest press release? Answer
  • Will you post my press release on your blog? Answer
  • Will you publish my article? Answer
  • Will you do a sponsored post on a particular topic? Answer
  • Can I submit a guest post? Answer
  • Can I become a regular contributor? Answer
  • Do you purchase articles? Answer

Disclaimers

Events

Requests

  • Will you write an article for me? Answer
  • How about writing for my newsletter? We have X,000 subscribers on our list! Answer
  • I'm new to sourcing/procurement/supply chain and I noticed you have collected a great deal of solid information and resources. Where should I start? Answer
  • Can you help me get a job? Answer
  • Can you help me? Answer

Resource Site

  The Sourcing Innovation Resource Site has its own FAQ. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

  • Can I submit my company? Answer
  • Can I submit my event? Answer
  • Can I submit my white paper to the white paper library? Anser
  • Why does it say my URL is invalid? Answer
  • Why should I submit my event on SI? Answer

Reviews

Unsolicited Offers

Answers

Services

What kinds of advertising services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

Simply put, Sourcing Innovation offers the following advertising services:

What kinds of writing services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

Sourcing Innovation offers the following writing services:

What kinds of research services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

Sourcing Innovation is not a traditional Analyst 1.0 shop, nor is going to pretend that it's a new age Analyst 2.0 shop. As such, the types of research services it offers at this time are limited and most are of an advisory or assistive nature. If you have a specific need, please contact the doctor for more information.

  Do you publish a research agenda?

No. Publishing a research model a year in advance is an Analyst 1.0 model that Sourcing Innovation does not follow because it wants the ability to adapt to current markets and changing needs. If you're interested in a parcitular piece of research, you can contact the doctor to find out if it's on the current agenda. Note that research agendas are influenced by requests to sponsor Illuminations or Inspirations on particular topics congruent with topics that Sourcing Innovation regularly covers.

What kinds of lead generation services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

Sourcing Innovation's lead generation services revolve around it's public label Illumination and Inspiration executive style thought leadership white papers. Please refer to those services for more information.

What kinds of event promotion services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

You can

What kinds of consulting & advisory services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

Most of Sourcing Innovation's consulting and advisory services revolve around marketing support or technology development, given the doctor's unique background as an Enterprise System Architect in e-Commerce and Supply Chain with a PhD and as a technologist turned e-Commerce and Supply Chain business consultant who focusses on helping small and mid-sized solution providers help the mid-market as well as the Fortune 500 and Global 3000. Common offerings include:

For Solution Providers:

  • Total Solution Assessment
    the doctor will spend a few days on site and meet with your senior staff to collaboratively explore your technology offering, services offering, training and education materials, product roadmap, messaging, positioning, and current marketing strategies and then, a week or two later, provide you with a written high-level assessment that captures where you are, how that compares to the market, and, if appropriate, what you could be doing to be more competitive. Finally, after you've had a few days to digest the report, he'll conduct a one to two hour conference call to assess the findings.
    Many small companies overlook the importance of having an external review, which should be done at least every few years, as this gives not only gives them an unbiased look at how they are doing, but what they are doing (wrong) that is limiting their potential. Every company has flaws. The good ones recognize that and undertake continual performance improvement initiatives to find, and fix, those flaws before it impacts the quality of service or solution delivered to the customer.
    As a skilled enterprise solution architect and business consultant, the doctor knows first hand that just like no piece of software was ever developed bug free, no company was ever built problem free on the first try. It is the companies that recognize this fact and work on continual improvement of themselves and their solutions that win in the end.
  • Technology Roadmap Assessment & Recommendations
    the doctor will spend a few days taking a deep dive into your technology offering -- functionality, architecture, platform, and UI; compare it to the state of the practice; assess it with respect to customer needs; and then prepare a detailed written assessment that captures where your solution is with respect to the market (in general), what improvements might need to be made, and what enhancements could be made to differentiate it. After you've had a few days to digest the report, he'll conduct a one to two hour conference call to assess the findings.
  • Marketing Strategy
    If you're a small to mid-sized solution provider targeting the mid-market, where the bulk of today's customer base lies in supply management, then the doctor, who has been carefully following the space for longer than many analysts at the Analyst 1.0 and Analyst 2.0 shops, can provide you unique insight on how to stand out and get noticed in what may seem like a crowded market with limited opportunity when, in fact, the opposite is true. In fact, Sourcing Innovation is so intent on seeing any player with a decent solution and a drive to help the customer succeed, that it's just giving away the base formula that it starts with in any engagement with a small company that reasonably expects 1M to 10 M in revenue over the next 12 month and understands the importance of new media in today's Supply Management marketplace. This advice is free. If you want a tailored plan for the next 6 to 18 months, Sourcing Innovation can usually generate one in a few days, and then it's on to ...
  • Marketing Support
    Great marketing, despite the idiotic advice of the PR Twits, first and foremost requires great content. That's the only way you get great copy. Sourcing Innovation excels at the generation of great content and can help you with tailored content for each phase of your go-to-market strategy. For more information, refer to Sourcing Innovation's writing services that form the foundations of this offering.

For Buying Organizations

  • Needs Assessment
    the doctor will meet with your team on site to identify what your problems are, where you are on the process and technology curves, and what solutions would be best for your organization. He will then prepare a written report that summarizes your challenges, your current processes, your current technology, what you need to look for in a technology and/or service solution, and what benefits you can expect to receive.
  • RFX Preparation
    If you need a new technology(-based) solution, the doctor will help you create the RFx that you need to be sending out to make sure you get the information that is relevant to your needs. This will insure that not only do the right players respond, but that you end up selecting the right solution. The reality is that it's hard to write an RFx for a solution you don't yet fully understand. As a result, every day dozens (if not hundreds) of companies are sending out RFXs for sourcing and procurement technology solutions that don't effectively communicate the solution the company actually needs. There's no need for your company to be among them. With the doctor's vast knowledge of supply management and supply management solutions, he can help!
  • Solution Assessment
    the doctor will help you assess proposals from potential solution providers with respect to your needs so that you can understand the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal and make an informed decision
  • Train the Trainer
    the doctor has a background in both academic education and industrial training, and can assist you in training your power users and star performers on new processes and new technologies. The goal will be for these key resources to achieve the level of understanding and proficiency necessary to be able to disseminate their knowledge to the rest of the organization, thus making your organization independent of vendor and other third-party services personnel and consultants.

However, as long as Sourcing Innovation is able to deliver a competent and valuable service, it is willing to consider any consulting or advisory request that you may have. Simply contact the doctor to find out if Sourcing Innovation can help you. Sourcing Innovation wants to help in any way it can.

What kinds of technology services does Sourcing Innovation offer?Home

In addition to solution assessments and roadmap recommendations, Sourcing Innovation may also offer the following technology services on request.

  • Architectural Services
    If you have a vexing architectural problem, the doctor might be able to help. Having personally architected a number of enterprise software systems in e-Commerce and Supply Management over the last 15 years, primarily on Java and C++ technology stacks, he has some unique architectural expertise that he may be willing to bring to bear if your problem is challenging enough and your (proposed) solution innovative enough. (But don't ask if there are a thousand other architects out there who can solve your problem. the doctor only gets his hands dirty for a real challenge.)
  • Modelling Services
    the doctor, with a Ph.D. in Multi-Dimensional and Spatial Data Structures and Computational Geometry (on top of a B.Sc. in Mathematics) and extensive experience in the design, development, and implementation of decision optimization and data analysis systems, is a first-class modeller, and that's a rare skill; as a result, Sourcing Innovation will occasionally take on modelling challenges where only the best can produce a solution.

Does Sourcing Innovation offer speaking services?Home

Sourcing Innovation will consider any request for a speaking engagements. If it is for a public event, the request must be related to the subject matter of Sourcing Innovation and adhere to all of the requirements outlined for an event speaking engagement. If it is for a private engagement, requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Does Sourcing Innovation offer any other kind of special services?Home

If you have a special request that does not fall under the standard service offerings, feel free to contact the doctor and he'll let you know whether or not your request might fall under a special service offering.

Advertising/Sponsorship

Can I (banner) advertise on Sourcing Innovation? Home

Unless you want to advertise an event that is acceptable to SI (see below), no. SI does not do (traditional) advertising, only sponsorships. More information on sponsorships can be found on the Sponsorship Information Page.

What about text-link advertising. It's unobtrusive and I can make it worth your while.Home

Definitely not! the doctor loathes text link advertising that takes you to completely unrelated subject matter when you click on a link. (He doesn't need your Viagra and he's willing to bet his intelligent, sexy, energetic audience doesn't either!) Furthermore, suggesting you can make it worth my while only makes me laugh. You need to understand that I'm a PhD who has turned down, and left, six figure jobs in the past because I had moral or ethical objections to what I might be doing or whom I might be working with. So if you think I'm going to do something I loathe for a few measly thousand, You've Got Another Thing Coming.

What about sponsored links in your posts or on the sidebar?Home

SI does not do sponsored reviews or sponsored posts. Therefore, it does not do sponsored links within posts. However, it will permit sponsored links in the "Sponsored Links" box (which falls under the events box) on the blog sidebar to educational white-papers, webinars, and similar materials. This is the only other advertising permitted in addition to sponsorships (which give sponsors a logo) and select event advertising. Note that even sponsors, who get one free link, are only allowed to link to resources of an educational nature.

Will you do a link exchange with my site?Home

If you have to ask, the answer is no. The resource site only links to supply chain resources (which you can submit if you have them) and the blog only links to relevant resources that the doctor thinks are truly exceptional. (And if the resource site won't link to them, the blog certainly won't.)

How can I sponsor Sourcing Innovation? Home

Everything you, as a discerning forward-thinking company, need to know is on the Sponsorship Information Page.

Can we do a lead generation agreement instead? Home

Definitely Not!

First of all, that violates the very core of Sourcing Innovation's openness and impartiality policies. (Even sponsors don't get leads! While I do make a verbal commitment to mention a sponsor anytime someone asks for a list of solution providers who offer a solution the sponsor also offers, I also do my best to also offer at least two additional alternatives.)

Secondly, in the doctor's view, this is the most backwards-thinking advertising strategy you can employ. Most enterprises only get to make big solution purchases once a year, at most, when new budgets are allocated. This means that they can generally only consider a purchase during budget request season, and only make it when the budget is granted. This says that you can only make an impact with a potential customer twice a year, which will generally not be when you are doing your big annual marketing push where most of your potential customers are concerned. The only way to reach every potential customer is to be sure they remember you during budget request season and again when their budget request is finally approved and they get to issue RFPs. That's only going to happen if they are repeatedly exposed to your brand over a long period of time, which is only going to happen if you focus on long-term brand building and not short-term lead-generation. For a deeper dive into what works, and what doesn't, see the marketing posts I have indexed on the Sponsorship Information Page.

Finally, everything about Sourcing Innovation Sponsorships is open.

Writing Services

What are Sourcing Innovation's Public Label Offerings?Home

Simply put, Sourcing Innovation's flagship Illumination and Inspiration offerings.

Sourcing Innovation Illuminations. are Sourcing Innovation's flagship publication designed to educate, inform, and illuminate the market on important problems and solutions. Unlike the productions of many analyst firms, it goes beyond arbitrary metrics and dives into the real issues and challenges that a buyer has to understand before he or she will consider buying your solution. Also, at 7-12 pages, it's deep enough to convey meaning, but not so long that it isn't an easy read. Illuminations use a two-tiered sponsorship model where lead sponsors get 30 days of exclusivity for lead-generation efforts and associate sponsors get perpetual non-exclusive distribution rights for thought leadership, market awareness, and targeted lead generation campaigns (after 30 days). (More information is available on Lead Sponsorships and Associate Sponsorships.)

Inspirations are shorter, more focused white papers that will zero in on problems and solutions within each of the primary focus areas covered by Sourcing Innovation. At 3-7 pages, they make good quick-hit introductions to important topics and issues for the busy C-suite executive or on-the-fence prospect. Inspirations use a single tier sponsorship model where all sponsors get the results of a shared 90-day lead-generation effort which is followed by perpetual non-exclusive distribution rights for educational purposes. (More Information.)

Contact the doctor for more information.

What are Sourcing Innovation's Joint Label Offerings?Home

While Sourcing Innovation does not have any fixed joint-label offerings, it will consider working with a solution provider in the development of a joint-label white-paper that is educational in nature on a request-by-request basis. Note that Sourcing Innovation's policies of openness, impartiality, and fairness require Sourcing Innovation to be very conscientious with regards to the use of its logo, and this means it will not allow its logo to be used in any way that might imply that a certain product or solution is "the best" or "the only" way to sove a problem, when that's usually not the case. In other words, if your idea of a joint label white-paper is a thinly disguised piece of product advertising, don't ask. The answer will be no. However, if your idea is to illustrate a common problem and the type of solution that could be used to address it, and the marketing is left out, Sourcing Innovation will happily consider that request, especially if you are willing to contribute case studies, unbiased market research, or unique expertise that will result in a great piece.

Feel free to contact the doctor with any request you may have.

What are Sourcing Innovation's Private Label Offerings?Home

Sourcing Innovation doesn't have any packaged private label offerings, but will gladly consider helping you with any brochures, white-papers, webinar scripts, presentations, and similar materials that are being designed with an intent to educate. Unlike joint offerings, these can relate to your specific products and services since Sourcing Innovation will only be assisting you with educational aspects and clarity and since no reference to Sourcing Innovation, or any of its marks, will be included in (any reference to) the material.

Feel free to contact the doctor with any request you may have.

(Editorial) Content

Will you cover my story?Home

Generally speaking, SI doesn't do "stories", it's an educationally focussed blog that covers best practices, innovation, and solutions for the supply chain (with the occasional rant on the latest "dumb" trend that grinds the doctor's gears). If your "story" doesn't fit into one of these categories, chances are, no.

That means it's not interested in the fact that you just appointed a new CEO, signed 10 new clients, published a new "white-paper" that is nothing more than thinly disguised marketing hot-air, or won a (meaningless) "award" from a publication or analyst firm whose sole intent in giving out the award was to generate press (and advertising revenue from you) in an effort to make said publication look more important than it really is. It only cares how that new CEO is going to lead innovation, the processes that you used to help an existing client see a significant ROI, or the process or technology innovations that led you to publish a new white-paper. Unless you want to share the down-and-dirty details, SI has no interest in publishing your "story".

Do you want to speak to our VP/CXO about ______, as (will be) announced in our latest press release?Home

Not really. If you're paying attention, or read the answer above, the doctor doesn't care about press releases (see here) and already has a long list of people wanting to speak about _____. the doctor cares about talent, technology, and transition -- and writes mainly about technology and transition. So unless _____ will be discussed during a live product demo, or involves a significant case study of a new process or service that can be applied across a vertical or industry (and the doctor can speak to the studied organization), he's not interested.

Information on giving a demo can be found below and information on the types of articles that SI will publish can be found below.

Will you post my press release on your blog?Home

No. Sourcing Innovation does not post press releases. Don't ask. It will just result in the creation of a new auto-delete rule.

Will you publish my article?Home

Depends on the article. While Sourcing Innovation does publish guest posts from recognized thought leaders in the space on a regular basis, most of the unsolicited articles that SI receives are rejected. This is because SI has strict rules when it comes to guest posts. Specifically:

  • the post must be educational in nature and be written by someone with expertise in the subject matter (i.e. if you submit something written by a recent english or journalism graduate with no expertise in the subject matter, expect it to be rejected)
  • the post cannot market a specific product or service;
    while you can mention your company and your product, and even include a link at the bottom, that's the limit of what you can do from a marketing perspective -- the rest of the post must be vendor and solution agnostic and describe how a certain type of service or solution solves the problem being addressed, which must be clearly defined
  • it cannot mention results obtained from proprietary or patented processes and methodologies unless the processes and methodologies are defined and explained
  • it must be written at a level a college graduate can understand
  • it must follow commonly accepted rules of grammar and composition and should not be written in a journalistic style
  • unless you have permission for a shorter or longer piece, it should be between one and two pages in length
  • unless the article is fantastic and not likely to be noticed by SI's audience, and the Editor-in-Chief approves, it must be a first-run submission with 7-day exclusivity for Sourcing Innovation

In addition, if you are a recognized expert and an experienced writer who believes in education and innovation and is comfortable with SI's format, you could inquire about becoming a regular contributor.

If you want to write (a) guest post(s) for SI, you may contact the doctor before making a submission. If you have a specific idea, you can mention it. If not, you can just indicate the topics that interest you and you may be added to the list of invitees next time SI runs a special series on a selected topic.

Will you do a sponsored post on a particular topic?Home

No. SI does not do sponsored reviews or sponsored posts. Like lead generation, this would violate SIs openness and impartiality policies.

Can I submit a guest post?Home

Sure! Anyone can submit a guest post for consideration. Just be sure to follow the rules. If you're unsure about whether the subject matter would be appropriate, feel free to e-mail the doctor first and he'll let you know.

Can I become a regular contributor?Home

If you are a recognized expert and an experienced writer who believes in education and innovation and you are comfortable with SI's format, you could certainly inquire about becoming a regular contributor. However, I will want to see numerous examples of your work, and a few guest posts, before you get the coveted contributor status.

Do you purchase articles?Home

No. Furthermore, at this time, there are no plans to do so in the future.

Disclaimers

What associations does SI have?

All of the doctor's associations with vendors in the space can be found on the client disclosures page.

Its important to note that the doctor is one of only two bloggers in the space who made all of their associations with vendors in the space known since the beginning because this shows that SI does its best to practice what it preaches.

What are SI's policies?

Very simple, they're:

Note that the openness policy also extends to all communications related to the blog, resource site, and content that appears on the blog and resource site. If you send Sourcing Innovation a formal communication related to the blog, a specific blog post, the resource site, or any identified piece of content on the blog or resource site, you accept that this communication will fall under Sourcing Innovation's openness policy and that Sourcing Innovation retains the right to respond publicly on the blog or resource site and include your original communication in it's response.

Where does SI stand on privacy?

Sourcing Innovation takes your privacy very seriously. That's why you only need an e-mail address to sign up for the blog or Sourcing Innovation's mailing list and why Sourcing Innovation will not sell, or share, these lists with anyone -- not even with sponsors*4. (The only exception, as per the comment rules, is spammers who spam the Sourcing Innovation blog get their e-mail address added to the Spammers Wall of Shame.)

Sourcing Innovation's policy is to keep your private information confidential and that Sourcing Innovation will not sell you information.

In fact, as a general rule, Sourcing Innovation does not even collect subscriber lists for mass mailing purposes. At this point in time, Sourcing Innovation only collects information from readers*1 in the following circumstances, and only uses it for the indicated, targetted, purposes:

  1. Blog Subscriptions
    Information Collected: your e-mail address
    Purpose(s):
    • send you blog entries
  2. Mailing List Subscriptions
    Information Collected: your e-mail address and, optionally, your name
    Purpose(s):
    • send you Sourcing Innovation announcements, newsletters, and press releases
  3. Comments
    Information Collected: your e-mail address and, optionally, your name
    Purpose(s):
    • verify you are a human
    • communicate with your privately
    • send you SI announcements, newsletters, and press releases*2
  4. Illuminations / Single Sponsor White Papers
    Information Collected: information requested by the primary sponsor
    Purpose(s)*3:
    • provide the primary sponsor with download information (for that paper only)
    • notify you of future SI white-papers you might also be interested in
  5. Inspirations / General / Multi-Sponsor White Papers
    Information Collected: e-mail, name, basic employment information
    Purpose(s):
    • provide the sponsors with download information (for that paper only)
    • notify you of future SI white-papers you might also be interested in

In other words, your information is yours, we only want what we need to communicate with you in ways you agree to, and we won't sell what little information of yours that we have. We believe that the web is a free democracy and that you are entitled to your privacy.

Furthermore, because Sourcing Innovation takes your privacy so seriously, it will not give in to BI marketer requests to install 3rd party tools that track your movement, inspect your cookies, or collect enough data to personally identify you as an individual. Hopefully the recent AOL fiasco (see this TechCrunch article or watch the recent expose in the CNBC special "Inside the Mind of Google" in which the reporters managed to track down a woman using just the "anonymized" search queries from the data AOL released) is enough to convince you that you need to be very careful not only in terms of what data you enter on a web form, but what web site you visit in the first place.


*1 Note that Sourcing Innovation treats vendor representatives differently. Sourcing Innovation does maintain extensive vendor lists that it uses to communicate with vendors, who in turn communicate with Sourcing Innovation through these (and other) representatives, but it does not make these lists public or sell them.
*2 By commenting on the blog, you consent to be put on the Sourcing Innovation Mailing List.
*3 If the primary sponsor prefers to collect the information directly, Sourcing Innovation will redirect to the download link of the primary sponsor's site for the first 30 days. In this instance, Sourcing Innovation is not collecting any of your information (and if you want to be notified of future papers or receive SI announcements, you will have to sign up for a mailing list).
*4 The only way a sponsor can acquire a list is to sponsor an Illumination or Inspiration.

What are SI's comment rules?

All of SI's comment rules are summarized on the comment rules page. In summary, they are:

  1. No spam.
  2. No churlish or boorish comments.
  3. No personal attacks on an individual or vendor.
    (However, heated debate is allowed and encouraged.)
  4. No direct attacks.
    (Disagree all you like, but don't tell your opponent her ideas aren't worth a molding loaf of bread if you're not going to back it up!)
  5. No impersonations.
    (And definitely don't impersonate the doctor.)

Can I re-publish your material? What are your copyright rules?

Generally speaking, content, which is the copyright of Sourcing Innovation, may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of the doctor, the "Editor in Chief". Some exceptions apply, and you can find them on the page dedicated to SI's copyright rules.

Events

Can I advertise my event on your site?Home

If your event (conference, webinar, etc.) is open to all supply chain professionals, then, yes, Sourcing Innovation will allow you to advertise your event with a "logo" on the blog sidebar (below the fold, under "Contributors" in an "Events" box) or with a "banner" in a (weekly) upcoming events post. Full details are below. Note that by "open" I mean that any supply chain professional who wants to attend must be allowed to attend if they submit their registration (fee) before the deadline / registration limit is reached. So, if you're a vendor, you can't limit your event to customers and "potential" customers only and advertise your event on SI.

Sidebar

  • the maximum logo size is 174 * 108
  • animated logos are allowed, but no more than 3 states
  • advertising intervals are multiples of weeks or months

Upcoming Events Post

  • the maximim banner size is 234 x 60 pixels (industry standard for small banners)
  • animated logos are allowed, but no more than 3 states
  • you can pay per post, or buy a group of posts at a discount

Sidebar & Upcoming Events Post

You also have the option to buy both for the same timeframe at a discount.

  How do Sourcing Innovation's rates compare to industry standards?

They're quite cheap. The industry standard is anywhere from $20 to $100 per thousand impressions (CPM) on popular / niche sites. Considering that Sourcing Innovation, as of April 16, 2010, averaged 7,750 hits (which includes 3,050 direct article accesses) a day from over 1,550 visits, or 217,000 hits from over 43,350 visits in the last four weeks, you could be paying up to $21,700 for the same number of impressions that you will get on Sourcing Innovation for a fraction of the price! SI recognizes that

  1. Placement Matters
      (sponsors get the best real estate, events second best)
  2. Advertising budgets for many events are limited
      (and further strained by the down economy)
  3. Even small events can pack big value
      (and should be able to afford advertising)

As a result, just like it did with its tiered sponsorship packages, Sourcing Innovation has decided to offer bare-bones advertising packages that everyone can afford, even though the value is at least three times, if not thirteen times, what SI is charging. For current pricing, check out the Event Promotion Pricing Page.

Will you promote my event?Home

Maybe, maybe not. If your event is supply chain related, you can submit it to the resource site (where you will find a submission link at the top of every page of event listings). If it's related to one of the central themes of SI, it might make a regular Recent Additions post. (But if you want it to stand out, you'll have to advertise it.)

Generally speaking, the doctor will only mention events that he plans to attend or events that he feels represent a unique offering among the hundreds of events that a supply chain professional has to choose from. (Thus, mentions are few and far between, but that's just the way it is.)

What about a media partnership?Home

If the doctor plans to attend your event, he will definitely consider promoting it but given that his time, like blog space, is limited and that initial attempts at media partnerships in the past did not work, as a rule, SI does not do media partnerships. If you really want your event promoted, consider event advertising.

Will you attend and cover my event?Home

Maybe. It depends on the event.

Vendor Conference

SI's vendor conference attendance and coverage policy is as follows. the doctor will consider attending any vendor event in the supply chain space in North America or Europe provided that:

  • the doctor feels that the vendor is a significant player in one of the core product or service areas covered by SI
    this significance can be in terms of size, customer base, or solution capability -- in other words, if you're big, if you have a number of customers who are considered best-in-class, or if your solution is innovative, you probably make the significant player cut
  • you cover all expenses
    which will be 0 if you hold your conference in beautiful and historic Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • you get your request in at least two weeks in advance, and preferably four weeks to six weeks

the doctor will consider events outside of North America and Europe, but given that these are not accessible with a normal business day of traveling, and that the doctor would likely lose (at least the better part of) an entire week to attend and cover your event, he can only do it if there is revenue associated with the event. In other words, it would have to be a paid speaking engagement or panel or directly precede or follow a paid consulting engagement.

For-Profit Non-Vendor Conference

SI will consider attending any conference put on by a for-profit organization in North America or Europe provided that:

  • the doctor feels the theme and content is relevant to SI's audience, timely, and first-class material
  • you cover all expenses
    which will be 0 if you hold your conference in beautiful and historic Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • you get your request in at least two weeks in advance, and preferably four weeks to six weeks

Generally speaking, the doctor cannot consider events outside of North America and Europe unless it is a paid speaking engagement or panel as he would lose (the better part of) an entire week attending and covering your event (as travel to what is a remote location for the doctor would take more than a normal business day). (The only other exception is if you luck out and the doctor has a consulting engagement preceding or following, but I wouldn't bet on it.)

Non-Profit Non-Vendor Conference

SI's policy on Non-Profit Non-Vendor Conferences put on by non-profit organizations or academic institutions are almost the same as those for For-Profit Non-Vendor Conferences. The only difference is if the doctor is nearby, he might take a short side-trip pro-bono if you provide a media pass (and feed him).

Webinar

There are so many webinars in peak season now that SI can barely track them all, let alone attend them. (On multiple occasions, there have been more than twenty relevant webinars in a week. See the Webinar Wackiness posts [I, II, III ...] in the blog archives, for example.) Thus, as a general rule, SI will only attend, participate in, and/or cover select webinars of clients and sponsors. The only exception is if the doctor finds the topic to be of particular interest, in which case he will register and/or ask to attend on his own. (And if you've listed your webinar on the resource site, he'll know of it.)

Seminar / Workshop / Training Class

Generally, no. The only exceptions are if it is what SI would consider to be core curriculum for SI's audience, on-line and of relatively short duration or if it is a seminar being giving by a renowned expert, in which case the conference attendance policies apply and you will have to cover all expenses. Furthermore, if the doctor can't review all of the materials in half a day, it's too much effort for a post. (You need to remember SI is not the doctor's full time job and, as it is, he'd make more money spending his time on consulting than he makes from the blog.)

Will you speak at my conference, roundtable, seminar, or event?Home

the doctor will consider speaking engagements at any event related to the subject matter of Sourcing Innovation provided that:

  • you ask the doctor at least a month in advance
  • you agree to cover all expenses
    which could be 0 if you hold your conference in beautiful and historic Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • you understand the engagement will be a paid speaking engagement unless you are a non-profit and all profits from your (audited) event are going to a charitable or sustainable cause, you are a client or blog sponsor and the speaker's fee is waived under an agreement, or the doctor owes you a favor

What about sitting on a panel?Home

the doctor will consider speaking engagements at any event related to the subject matter of Sourcing Innovation provided that:

  • you ask the doctor at least a month in advance
  • you agree to cover all expenses
    which could be 0 if you hold your conference in beautiful and historic Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • you understand that if any preparation is required on the part of the doctor, the engagement will be treated as a paid speaking engagement unless you are a non-profit and all profits from your (audited) event are going to a charitable or sustainable cause, you are a customer or blog sponsor and the speaker's fee is waived under an agreement, or the doctor owes you a favor

Requests

Can I link to your site?Home

Of course! That's the whole point of the web -- a system of interlinked hypertext documents designed to be open by Sir Berners-Lee. You only need to ask if you want to republish content in a way that might violate copyright law. (See Sourcing Innovation's copyright rules.)

Can I subscribe to your blog?Home

Yes, the blog supports Atom 1.0, RSS 2.0, and e-mail feeds. You can subscribe to the blog on the subscriptions page. The top box allows you to subscribe to the blog and receive the daily posts in your e-mail. (And you can unsubscribe at any time via a link at the bottom of every e-mail.) The bottom boxes allow you to subscribe to the Sourcing Innovation Mailing List. Sourcing Innovation occasionally sends out newsletters and special announcements to those who have signed up. (And you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time via a link at the bottom of every e-mail.)

Where else can I find Sourcing Innovation? Are you on the social networks? Home

the doctor has no use for the pure social networks that do not have any useful business applications and that do not provide value to your professional career and, as a result, avoids social networks such as FaceBook (he's faceless) and MySpace (and spaceless). (And he especially dislikes Twitter.) However, since the business-oriented networks offer some value, he is on Linked-In and Plaxo, and you can join the Sourcing Innovation Linked-In and Plaxo groups. He's also on SlideShare and ki-Work and will join other networks if he sees that they bring real value to their members.

Are you on (Social) Network X? Can I connect with you?Home

As per the question above, the doctor can be found on:

While the doctor is all for the use of on-line tools that improve our professional lives, he loathes time-wasting social networks and intends on remaining faceless, spaceless, and twitter-free as long as those networks are nothing but time-sucking tar-pits. Please don't ask him to join time-wasting social networks of little or no business or educational value. (If, however, you stumble upon a new business network that might be useful to supply chain professionals, you should feel free to add it to the Resource Site Community Listing).

Will you write an article for me?Home

That depends. Are you a vendor, publication, or blog? What do you want the article on? How long does it have to be? And how much notice are you providing?

Vendors

Sourcing Innovation has a number of offerings that might interest you: sponsored Illuminations, which are 7-12 page educational white-papers that Sourcing Innovation advertises on the blog and resource site; sponsored Inspirations, which are shorter, more focussed, 3-7 page white-papers, joint-label white papers, and private label writing services. See the relevant section of the FAQ for more information.

Print Publications

the doctor will consider writing any article on request at standard rates if your request falls in one of my areas of expertise. If you are looking for a free submission, it has to be on a subject of interest to me, generally not more than 3 pages (unless you're a major publication and it's a feature article), and you must be giving me at least three weeks notice for me to be able to consider the request.

Blogs

SI is a big fan of new media with a purpose similar to Sourcing Innovation's. the doctor will entertain any request from a fellow blogger for a special contribution if time permits, and bloggers who return the favour or who have participated in Sourcing Innovation's cross-blog series and invited series get first consideration.

How about writing for my newsletter? We have X,000 subscribers on our list!Home

If you are a sponsor or client, then I will consider it if time permits.

If you are not a sponsor or client, No. Why?

Two reasons.

First of all, literally every vendor and their dog has a newsletter these days. Figure over 600 software and service providers in the space that I know of, and that's an awful lot of providers with an awful lot of newsletters. Since SI tries to strive for fairness in all of its policies, that could translate into way more requests than I could handle.

Secondly, even if you had 10,000 subscribers, that would still be a minimal traffic boost for SI. A newsletter is push. Yes your customer signs up for it, but think about how many newsletters you get now and how much time you have to read them. Like the big publication e-mail blast lists, you soon reach a point where only 10% get opened (20% in extreme cases). Then, less than 30% of people who open the newsletter will read a particular article. Maybe 50% of those will catch the author and his or her affiliation and then maybe 20% of those will actually visit the author's site. So, if we're generous, that's 20% of 50% of 30% of 10% of 10,000 or 30 potential hits for me. This blog generates hundreds of "new" hits a day from Google alone, and thousands on a good day, and I expect that each of those hits represents a potential new reader who has just as much chance of liking the site and sticking around as one of your readers, as it's random either way.

However, if you really do want to publish something from the doctor in your newsletter, you could take advantage of my Free Content for Fair Use offer. If you find something you like in the archives, ask permission, agree that you'll only use it for non-commercial purposes, and agree to publish it unedited (or edited with my express consent) with permalink URL, and chances are I'll let you run with it.

The only exception is if you want a paid public or joint label piece that falls on public label or joint label writing services. See those sections of the FAQ for more information.

I'm new to sourcing/procurement/supply chain and I noticed you have collected a great deal of solid information and resources. Where should I start?Home

the doctor recommends:

  • The blog archives, indexed by category.
  • The e-Sourcing Wiki.
  • PurchSearch, which searches a large number of relevant blogs that can direct you to more great resources.

Can you help me get a job?

Sourcing Innovation does not offer HR or Placement Services. Nor does it offer any associated counselling services related to finding a job, nailing an interview, or determining the career path that's right for you. Nor can it maintain or give you a question list or answer list as every hiring manager has their own set of questions important to them, and depending on how informed they are, what they will count as a good answer will vary. To see how daunting an attempt to do this would be, simply look at the (future) skill wish lists being put forth by the societies and publications and the wide variety of trends that you have to be familiar with, which I've blogged about in Key Sourcing Trends Impacting Procurement, What Makes a Procurement Professional and The Purchasing Leader's Guide to a More Successful Team.

Furthermore, if you take the time to familiarize yourself with the deep content archive provided on Sourcing Innovation, you can find a large majority of the answers I have to give -- there for the taking. Between Sourcing Innovation and guest posts on other blogs, the doctor has authored over two thousand posts and approximately 1.5 Million words. In addition, I also authored the vast majority of the e-Sourcing Wiki (which served as the foundation of the e-Sourcing Handbook I co-authored and edited) and authored a number of articles, some of which are indexed in Guest Posts: The Year in Review and Guest Posts: The Year in Review II.

Finally, I've even authored a post on Nailing that Supply Management Interview.

Can you help me?Home

Well, that depends on what you need. the doctor, who's been a professor, professional trainer, enterprise software developer, enterprise software architect, researcher, modeller, project manager, R&D director, IT Consultant, supply chain consultant, and writer, among other things, has deep expertise where technology and supply chain meet and has the potential to help you in a number of ways. However, since each situation is unique, you will have to contact the doctor with your request for specifics if you can't find the information you're looking for in the current version of the FAQ.

You might find these posts to be of interest if you want to find out more about the doctor:

Resource Site

Can I submit my company?Home

If you're not already in the company listings and you supply a supply chain software or service solution, you are free to submit your company.

Can I submit my event?Home

If your supply chain (related) conference, roundtable, seminar, training class, webinar, or workshop is not already listed, then you are free to submit your conference, submit your roundtable, submit your seminar, submit your training class, submit your webinar, and to submit your workshop.

Can I submit my white paper to the white paper library? Home

The white-paper library is a library of vendor white-papers who have agreed to pay a fee for the inclusion of the resource on the resource site to defray the costs of site maintenance and bandwidth or, if registration is required for access, pay a fee per download / lead. If you are willing to agree to these terms, contact the doctor for getting your white paper included in the white-paper library.

Why does it say my URL is invalid?Home

Are you entering a valid, fully qualified, URL?
www.xxx.com is not a valid URL. As per RFC 1738, a valid URL is scheme ":" schemepart where scheme is "http:", "https", "ftp", "mailto", etc.. Thus, the submission pages will only accept "http://www.xxx.com/" or "https://www.xxx.com/".

Why should I submit my event on SI?Home

Because if you don't, it won't be in a regular upcoming events post on SI, and considering that, as of April 16, 2010, SI received an average of 7,750 hits from over 1,550 visits every day over the lat four weeks, that's a considerable amount of free publicity for something that takes less than 60 seconds of your time that you are sure not to get. (It's true that there are no guarantees that your event will make one of these posts, but it definitely won't if you don't submit it!)

Reviews

Will you review my product? Home

Sourcing Innovation will consider a review of any supply chain software platform that offers value to Sourcing Innovation's readership if timing permits provided that:

  • you accept that SI will not sign an NDA
  • you accept that SI will not embargo any information you put forward for more than a short amount of time (and not more than a week)
  • you understand that SI requires an actual (web) demo;
    a PowerPoint presentation does not count
  • you accept the 10-slide PowerPoint limit for "introductory framing" and follow this format:
    • 1 slide overview of your company (optional)
    • 1 slide overview of the solution space you address (optional)
    • 1-2 slides to frame the problem you're solving
    • 1-2 slides to frame the solution you're presenting
    • 1-2 slides to outline some of the unique capabilities, challenged assumptions, or a-ha realizations you will be addressing
    • 1-2 slides to address interesting points of note (optional)
  • your request comes with reasonable notice, which SI defines as no less than 3 days and no more than 3 weeks
  • you will not ask SI to deal with an external PR Representative who does not have full access to your calendar and who can not schedule the demo with reasonable certainty in the 3 day to 3 week timeframe

You might also want to review the following posts:

Why should I have you review my product? Home

What's the Benefit?

Well, what's he benefit to doing anything on a PR / Marketing Front? What's the benefit of talking to an analyst? What's the benefit of talking to a journalist? Are they going to write about you / promote you? Where? And even if they do talk about you in their offering's premiere publication, is anyone going to read it.

"They have 100,000 'subscribers' to the print pub." So? Are even 10,000 going to pick the magazine up? Or is it going to sit in their lobby? Are the 10,000 that might pick it up going to even flip to the page with your article? Read it?

"The analyst firm is the most prestigious in the space?" So? What if only their membership has access to the brief? Since most of us won't pay 495 to 995 for a 5 page 'report' that contains information we can probably get for free on your website and the blogs, that won't do you much good.

What's the benefit of talking to a leading blogger? Hard to say ... depends on the blog, the following, and their spin on your solution.

But I can tell you this:

(1) SI is pull, not push. People come here to read and find information. 1,000 pulls are generally MUCH better than 10,000 pushes.

(2) SI does extremely well in the search engines ... and the entire archives are always available. There are posts from year one that will still get hundreds of hits a month.

(3) While it is certain that a single post will not be noticed to the same extent as a lead sponsor's logo on every page of Sourcing Innovation, a well-written post could easily be seen by a few thousand eyeballs looking for innovative solutions and solution providers. I know of multiple instances where a single guest post on Sourcing Innovation generated almost a dozen contacts for the author (and his or her firm) in less than a week. And even though those contacts might not be looking to buy at the moment you post, that could be a dozen contacts you might not have made otherwise... and who might be looking for new solutions as we approach a new budget season.

(4) Generally all you have to do to get a post is give me a live demo (not a PowerPoint) that demonstrates your product meets its worthy goals and contains innovation.

(5) It's totally FREE. It only takes a couple of hours of your time to prepare the demo, deliver it, and answer any questions I might have as I am thinking about it and preparing a write-up.

(6) It won't make you look bad. The only way you'd come off with a bad review is if the product doesn't exist, doesn't work, or does something completely different than what you advertise. But since you're a legitimate solution vendor who wants to help the market and its (potential) customers, you have nothing to worry about.

(7) It won't expose your secrets. There are no secrets that can be gleaned from a demo. The only true "secrets" you have are your underlying algorithms, models, equations, etc. that are under the hood (and if your product is designed well, there should be no need to ever open the hood in a demo). Plus, if your competition is even halfway decent at competitive intelligence, I can guarantee hat they already know you better than you know yourself (and that they know more about you than I'll ever expose).

(8) It won't hurt your solution. No one at Sourcing Innovation is going to focus on finding and exposing your weak points because every system has weaknesses and such an endeavor would help no one. The point of a review is to understand the strengths and (relatively) unique capabilities of the system, how these strengths and capabilities can help potential customers, and expose that information from a trusted, unbiased, third party viewpoint that your potential customers already trust. (And if you want proof, go through the entire vendor post archives. Of the 75+ solutions that the doctor has reviewed, you won't find a single one that has been slammed on SI.)

(9) It's a great way to dispel FUD. Sourcing Innovation is built on policies of openness, fairness, and impartiality. The space trusts what SI has to say -- and you can too!

(10) Sourcing Innovation will own up to and correct any mistakes. If we get it wrong, all you have to do is demonstrate to us that we're wrong, and we'll correct the post. It's as simple as that.

(11) Sourcing Innovation will only recommend solutions it has seen. In other words, if you don't demo, you don't get recommended. Ever. Period.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In the worst case scenario, where only a few of the individuals who make the fifteen hundred to twenty five hundred daily visits to SI read it and none of them are interested, you still have an independent review you can point to on the resources section of your website that buys you credibility. And it stays there ... and maybe in three months time a potential customer on the edge reads it and decides to give you a shot.

Furthermore, any decision not to engage with SI is a foolish one that will only damage your company in the end. I won't recommend you, and the discerning buyers will question whether the emperor has any clothes when they see that all of your competitors have been open an honest about their solutions with Sourcing Innovation while you hide behind a wall.

It's your choice. Make the right one!

What are you waiting for?

Will you review my service offering? Home

Sourcing Innovation does not review service offerings directly, as it's hard to review a service you're not receiving. If, however, you have a great -- fresh -- supply chain success story at a major client who is willing to go public with the story, Sourcing Innovation will consider reviewing your success story providing that your are willing to share your full case study and schedule a joint conference call between SI, your company, and your customer. The rules for product reviews also apply.

Will you review my portal, web service, social network, or community? Home

Generally speaking, Sourcing Innovation does not review web sites, portals, and communities.

Will you review my online offering if I sponsor the review.Home

Definitely not. To maintain impartiality, Sourcing Innovation does not do sponsored reviews. (Everyone is subject to the same rules when it comes to reviews and blog posts, including blog sponsors.)

Will you review my book?Home

If your book is about supply chain, innovation, sustainability, green, analysis, modelling, optimization, or another topic regularly covered on this blog, and it is of interest to the doctor, SI will definitely consider reviewing your book provided that:

  • you ask first
    if your book arrives unexpected, expect it to end up as a nicely wrapped goodwill donation
  • you send a(n) (e)-copy promptly after acceptance
    if it takes too long to arrive, something could come up and push the review to the back burner
  • you insure that you can get the book to me at least a week in advance (and two is preferred) if you want the review by a certain date

Note that, unless a post states otherwise, a book review on the blog is generally on a book that the doctor has received a free (e-)copy of.

Unsolicited Offers

Would you like me to optimize your site for search engines?Home

No. First of all, as a CS PhD who was teaching internet technologies before you even knew what the internet was, and an IT professional who also happens to have years of enterprise software development under my belt, I'm quite capable of doing my own SEO.

Secondly, I'm already doing at least twice as good as any other blog or publication in the space against my corpus of common supply chain search terms.

Thirdly, if I did want help, I wouldn't hire some random yahoo barely out of diapers with no formal training who can't even construct proper sentences in a short e-mail. I'd hire a conscientious professional who I've worked with in the past and who I can trust to only use white-hat SEO techniques that won't get my site banned from the major search engines.

  But we do multilingual!

Good for you. I still don't care. Right now, SI only publishes in English. And while I include Google translate for 15 languages in the resources box, it's far from perfect and not something I really want to advertise at this time.

Furthermore, should SI go multi-lingual in the future, the techniques it's already using still apply. Therefore, I still won't be interested.

Would you like me to redesign your blog?Home

No. While it's true it could be flashier, SI isn't about flash. It's about substance. Furthermore, it's also about accessibility and availability. I don't want a site that only works in IE 7.0.5700.6 on Windows Vista Build 5536 on your HP Pavilion dv9000, and I don't want a site that's down more than it's up. That's why I use a hosted service. As the biggest domain name provider and one of the biggest hosting providers out there, GoDaddy's business depends on its web sites being accessible in all major browsers 99.999% of the time. If it goes down 5 minutes after I go to sleep, I know it will be up again in a matter of minutes because they will be flooded with inquiries by customers in a different time zone the minute their sites are unavailable for 60 seconds. I gladly accept some limitations in blog structure to not have to worry about up-time or cross-browser, cross-platform accessibility. Besides, I'm a big fan of the KISS principle, and the design, and maintenance on my part, is very KISS.

Would you like to see the great redesign I have for your resource site?Home

No. While I admit it could be better, the next time I decide to update the site, if I do decide to hire someone, I'm not going to hire just anyone to do it.

First of all, the site has to fulfill its purpose, work and successfully manage the large number of resources it currently manages. This requires a fairly sophisticated code-base under the hood, and it's not something that you can just throw together for a few thousand dollars, and if you tell me you can, I'll laugh in your face.

Secondly, if I do decide to spend money on a flashier look and feel, I'm going to hire someone I know can get the job done, not a poorly educated high-school kid with an Microsoft Access database who thinks he has all the answers (and that's what I'm judging most of you are giving the poor grammar and unprofessionalism of the e-mails that clog my spam filter).

Would you like to be listed in our directory? It's only 999.99!Home

You're kidding, right?

You're not? Then what are you tripped out on? Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters?

Only a complete idiot is going to pay to list in your directory when there are thousands of directories out there that she can list in for free. Furthermore, as cheaper, better, free alternatives present themselves, even the suckers you convince to sign up aren't going to renew. Thus, your directory is doomed to failure from the start unless (a) you offer a heck of a lot more than just listings, (b) you already have a widely established community, and (c) you have a tiered model with free and paid listings. And even then, it has to be good. Damn good. And even then, I'm not going to be interested since a lot more people will find SI from Google than from your directory.

Would you like to be an expert in our network? It's FREE for the first three months!Home

Ha, Ha, Ha! You're funny!

What planet are you from anyway, Eadrax? Why would I want to pay to be part of your lacklustre community? So I can talk to all three of your users?

But seriously, who's going to pay to be part of your community when there are dozens of business networks and communities that let members, including experts, join for free. Where do you think most of my audience is going to be? Not in your community, for starters.

Would you like our PR Agency to help you get better visibility? We have an introductory special for new clients.Home

How about you read my PR series and then tell me if you really want to be asking me that question:

Now, while there are PR professionals whom I like, respect, and get along with (and at least one who has brains and beauty that I'll slobber over), these individuals are a rarity. Generally speaking, the doctor is not very fond of external PR firms. Too many bad experiences over the years.


 


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