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Articles in category: Leadership
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Bullying suppliers into slashing their prices, as alleged in this report last week, is the wrong way to control costs. While the report concerns a UK company in the retailing industry, the practice of bullying is in no way restricted to that industry or country. US automotive manufacturers were notorious in the past for their hardball tactics with suppliers, though today they see the value of collaboration. Some miners in North America were bringing heavy pressure on suppliers to slash prices last summer.(Read Full Article)
At the end of November, the local chapter of WEConnect – a global voluntary organisation of women-owned enterprises – held an event to celebrate their first full year of presence in SA, and the guests of honour where budding women business owners.(Read Full Article)
You can get far in life if you are efficient. To be efficient is to be well-organised and competent. Other words we use to describe efficiency are “methodical”, “systematic”, “structured”, “well planned”, “logical”, “coherent”, “orderly”, “businesslike” and “productive”. If you demonstrate these types of qualities you are likely to be in high demand in your workplace and you could be promoted to higher positions. You will be the “go-to person” to get things done.
ANGLO American plans to cut its global workforce by 60,000 people to 102,000 by 2017, with restructuring across its range of businesses and commodities as it seeks to drive up profits in a tough global market.
Anglo will know by the end of March next year whether it will list or sell its Rustenburg and Union platinum mines as it focuses on low-cost, high-margin, mechanised assets, removing about 20,000 employees from its books at a stroke.(Read Full Article)
A great deal of focus and writing on procurement has been on the relatively simple context of a large and powerful buying organisation, procuring an uncomplicated product or service from an acquiescent supplier. However, things are not as simple as that and real-life procurement is a far more complex issue.(Read Full Article)
A.T. Kearney's 2014 AEP Study finds that the best procurement organizations are at the top of their game. Meanwhile, the rest of the pack is treading water and wondering what's next for procurement.
On the one hand, the study found that the best large companies, defined as organizations with more than $15 billion in revenue, “have achieved breakthrough financial results from procurement.” That is consistent across industry verticals.(Read Full Article)
Want to know how to make stakeholder management a lot easier? Develop some stakeholder empathy.
Yes, I know what you’re saying to yourself: "There’s no place in business for something as mushy as empathy. And besides, it’s hard to identify with other functions with outlooks so different from mine." Well, maybe they’re not so different.
I thought of that recently when I stumbled across a research study from 2013. Its title is "The Mind of the Engineer," and it blows away some common misconceptions about the folks who design the products that bring revenue to companies ...(Read Full Article)
The who’s who of African procurement descended on the Premier Hotel OR Tambo on 30 October for the CIPS Pan African Procurement Awards 2014. The prestigious annual event is run by The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and in association with State Owned Enterprise Procurement Forum (SOEPF).(Read Full Article)
Take a moment to consider your own behaviour and what drives it: Do you sometimes behave at work in ways that you later regret, thinking ‘where did that come from’? Isn’t it more common to hear unsympathetic remarks about others than forgiving ones?(Read Full Article)
A procurement boss’ time is at a premium but by placing themselves at arms-length of day-to-day procurement negotiations they stand a chance to focus on more strategic issues, give their team a confidence boost and help work through any impasses.
It may sound like sacrilege to a weathered procurement professional but perhaps one of the most effective things you can do as a CPO during supplier negotiations is to remove yourself from the day-to-day process of it.
Throughout the course of business history, there have been events or market shifts that have either positively impacted concepts such as technology and innovation of processes / programs or caused financial upheaval and a devastated marketplace. Events that seemingly “come out of nowhere” and cause such havoc are known as “black swan events.
Is procurement due for a black swan event of its own that will alter the way Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) look at their processes, capabilities, and solutions?
By the very definition of these events, the simple answer is “No, they can’t be predicted, right?” No matter the ...(Read Full Article)
Without getting mired in the detail, the time has come for procurement to consider how its collective professional identity has formed and developed. And yet we are unquestionably a product of our professional past, we are also at times a ’prisoner’ of that heritage, managing everything but owning nothing.
To some extent the handcuffs on procurement relate to the notion of and deference to ’best’ practice. There can be no best practice. Best must be judged in context; it is relative to needs and circumstances. Another way of looking at it is to ask: what is right for this organisation?(Read Full Article)
The issue of realising a return on investment from services spend is one of the biggest challenges for procurement. What, then, can we learn from those who have made inroads here?
Measuring the value of in-tangible services can be difficult, especially with, say, marketing services such as advertising in which you can often have very little to go on to derive the success achieved as a result of the campaign.
However, what is essential to start accomplishing control over this spend is firstly to gain transparency over how much your company is spending on professional services(Read Full Article)
The 2014 mid-term elections in the US have proven that sustainability is indeed a national issue, one that demands attention not just from business executives, including CPOs, but by political candidates and elected officials.(Read Full Article)
The New York Times reports that ads mentioning the elements of sustainability – energy conservation, efforts on climate change, and environmental-protection strategy – have surged to record levels in the election cycle, which concludes with voting across the country Tuesday, 4 November 2014.
There’s a growing consensus that companies need strong, independent boards full of qualified directors if they are to sidestep risks and seize opportunities in our complex and dynamic international economy. Being generally “impressive” is no longer enough—investors and corporate watchdogs expect a well-defined rationale for each appointment, an articulation of how the board member will provide meaningful oversight and counsel on critical issues.(Read Full Article)
When we start focusing on Procurement effectiveness things start to fall into place. Too many Procurement functions give overriding focus to the numbers, an understandable trait given that we operate in a numbers-driven commercial world. Even in organizations with leading purchasing practices, Procurement success still typically imbibes the amount of savings delivered. When we focus too much on the numbers we fail to leverage the power of our collective imagination and converged effort when channelled towards building sustainable capability.(Read Full Article)
Government’s plans for reining in the country’s public procurement would be outlined in the Public Procurement Review, which will be published next month.
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told Parliament on Wednesday that the document would “clearly” outline the reforms to be implemented within the next five years.
This emerged as the 2014 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) revealed that government’s modernisation of its procurement systems had gained traction with the pilot expected to start at selected provinces and large national departments within the next few months.
The design of a national price-referencing mechanism had also been completed ...(Read Full Article)
As uncomfortable as it may be, procurement needs to hear from unhappy suppliers. In fact, giving suppliers the opportunity to complain or otherwise rate the way they are treated is a vital part of effective supplier relationship management (SRM).
Procurement Leaders, citing news stories in other media, reported last week that suppliers to giant UK food retailer Tesco are unhappy with the company’s organization and certain business practices, branding the firm as leaderless and difficult to work with. It’s a stunning indictment, all the more so since it turns the table on the usual paradigm of buyers complaining ...
The modern procurement executive and Chief Procurement Officer often lists “improve visibility” on their corporate to-do list nearly everyday. For some organizations, this goal is often a pipe dream or something they “feel” they should be doing in the greater scheme of supply management. However, top-tier CPOs realize that improving visibility isn’t a simple goal on a list crowded with other objectives: it’s a formidable, real target that must be achieved in order for procurement to drive true value across the greater enterprise.(Read Full Article)
At the start of 2014, independent research showed that less than 50% of large UK businesses were regularly auditing their Tier 1 suppliers on whether they used slave labourers. That figure fell to 36% at Tier 2. Since then, we have seen multi-national buyers advance significantly their efforts to address slavery within their supply chains.(Read Full Article)
Leading company procurement organizations reap double the measurable cost reduction versus other companies, while also driving competitive advantage through supplier-driven innovation and risk management. While procurement organizations for leading companies have continued their upward trajectory, most companies only sustained the gains they made between 2008 and 2011.
These findings were reported in a study released today by A.T. Kearney titled “Procurement Powered Business Performance: Assessment of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) Study 2014.” This year’s AEP is the eighth edition in a series that started in 1992.
.(Read Full Article)
Innovation may require investment and progressive thinking but it gets the attention of the business and is a crucial step in maintaining a competitive procurement function.
Today the procurement function faces a longer list of tougher challenges than ever before. Long gone are the days when a CPO could get cost savings targets signed-off and then put his or her feet up.
Eliminating fraud from our food supply chains is imperative but it’s easier said than done. Modern supply chains have become increasingly intricate and larger supply chains inevitably have a greater exposure to risk.
In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites Charles Morrison from supply chain management solution provider NQC to look at tactics being used to tackle supplier fraud and with precise data.
There are changes afoot, and what’s most important is not necessarily just the ascent to board-level recognition as much as it is a growing understanding of what procurement does and where its potential lies.
I admit a certain level of cynicism whenever I read about the c-suite increasingly viewing procurement as a strategic function.