Invoicing & Payment,
Spend Analysis & Benchmarking,
Supplier Relationship Management,
B2B Social Media: Online Supply Communities, Open Innovation, SM B2B Marketing, SM Customer Driven Support
Industry Groups: Construction, Defence & Aerospace, Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing & Automotive, Public Sector, Resources, Retail & CPG/FMCG, Utilities
Categories / Commodities: Business Travel, Capital Equipment, Construction & Building, Electronic & High Tech, Fuels & Lubricants, Managed Print Services, Marketing & Advertising, Metals & Minerals, Office Suppliers, Services Procurement, Supply Chain Management, Transport & Logistics
Procurement People: Careers, Leadership, People on the move, Talent Management
A recent article in The Economist, citing the work of Ryan Raffaelli at Harvard Business School, points to what it calls a “paradox” in the aftermath of disruptive innovation. Some old technologies, after being rendered obsolete by better and cheaper alternatives (indeed even after whole industries based on them have been decimated), manage to “re-emerge” to the point that they sustain healthy businesses. Think mechanical Swiss watches, now enjoying strong sales.(Read Full Article)
Every year, the Manpower Group, a human resources consultancy, conducts a worldwide “Talent Shortage Survey.” Last year, 35% of 38,000 employers reported difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent; in the U.S., 39% of employers did. But the idea of a “skills gap” as identified in this and other surveys has been widely criticized.(Read Full Article)
For the first time, Western stereotypes associating Africa with death, disease, poverty, and war are being replaced by the reality of demanding, brand-conscious consumers who happen to live in a challenging environment. For too long, “Africa” has been considered a homogenous mass rather than a multicultural continent of diverse citizens.(Read Full Article)
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re negotiating all the time. When you ask your boss for more resources, agree with a vendor on a price, deliver a performance evaluation, convince a business partner to join forces with your company, or even when you decide with your spouse where to go on your next vacation, you’re taking a potentially conflict-filled conversation and working toward a joint solution.(Read Full Article)
We all have a lot to learn from the new generation of companies that have come out of the Silicon Valley revolution. Many of these entrepreneurial lessons have been codified in books, the new bibles for innovation — not just for entrepreneurs but also for managers looking to create new and innovative innovation businesses inside existing corporations.(Read Full Article)
Consumers in the United States are used to buying products that are made in China. American multinational firms are accustomed to selling to Chinese customers within China. But what happens when China goes West? What are the implications for corporate America when Chinese firms begin doing business in the U.S. and other developed markets?(Read Full Article)
If you were asked to identify the most strategic and valued unit in your corporation, the procurement department would probably not come to mind. The term procurement itself has a very administrative connotation: It’s associated with buying ‘stuff’ for the lowest prices possible. Today’s corporations are directing more and more of their budgets toward a complex web of global specialist providers and suppliers to help deliver on their businesses’ core strategies.(Read Full Article)
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said something to a shareholder that you very rarely hear: take a hike. I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly.
At the company’s latest shareholder meeting, a think tank, NCPPR, pushed Apple to stop pursuing environmental initiatives like investing in renewable energy. Cook went on a tirade — or at least what passes for one from the very cool and collected CEO. He made it clear that he makes choices for reasons beyond just the profit motive.(Read Full Article)
It’s a common question thrown at me by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, or the more cynically minded corporate leaders.
That is, why bother trying to innovate if no matter what they do, large companies can no longer maintain a sustainable advantage and their life spans are just getting shorter and shorter? Isn’t it better to hasten Joseph Schumpeter’s process of creative destruction and move capital and employment from inefficient dinosaurs to more vibrant and agile upstarts?(Read Full Article)
Are managers particularly concerned about the impacts of climate change on their businesses? If we believe the results of a recent MIT Sloan and BCG survey, the answer is no. But it may not be that dire.
First the sobering survey results: Only 27% of respondents agreed strongly that climate change is a risk to their business — which is frightening when you think about what that says about companies’ level of readiness for the significant changes that are upon us already (extreme weather, disruptions to operations and supply chains, and the changing expectations of customers and employees). Additionally, only 11 ...(Read Full Article)
As more and more startups like Airbnb, Etsy and Kickstarter crowd into the space of the collaborative economy, big brands are starting to get in on the action, too. Staples sells products developed on Quirky; Avis has acquired Zipcar; Walgreens has partnered with TaskRabbit for delivery.(Read Full Article)
The immense promise of big data to reveal new opportunities and deliver practical business results has so far been focused on technologies and models, and less on the human challenges of staffing roles and processes to take advantage of big data’s promise. The technology may be abundant, but developing, recruiting and hiring the people to use it is becoming an acute challenge for Fortune 1000 companies.(Read Full Article)
Don’t yawn. This is a life-and-death issue for small businesses. Anyone who has worked in or around a supplier to a big consumer company—to a supermarket chain, for example—knows the value of information on shoppers’ preferences. If a supplier can use consumer data to shape its offerings and marketing strategies, it has a significantly better chance of survival than its data-deprived competitors.(Read Full Article)
China leads all emerging markets with 89 companies on the latest Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest. Yet it does not have a single representative on Interbrand’s list of the top 100 global brands. Also, while China’s outward-bound foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown from an annual average of below $3 billion before 2005 to more than $60 billion in 2010 and 2011, only one third of Chinese companies have seen international revenue meet expectations, according to Accenture.
To many skeptical consumers in developed markets, Brand China still means lower quality. As has been the ...(Read Full Article)
In 1981, Peter Drucker delivered a lecture at New York University titled “Managing the Increasing Complexity of Large Organizations.” Drawing on lessons from the auto industry, banking and beyond, he offered provocative prescriptions for coping in a world in which “the real challenge is to decide what you are doing” in the face of tremendous “technological change or market change.”(Read Full Article)
Anyone following developments in the African IT space from afar can be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about the consumer, and that applications and services for business lag far behind. That’s understandable — the growth of the consumer mobile market in Africa has been spectacular.
I have held the view for a while, though, that it is mobile enterprise applications, especially when adopted widely by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), that will set off the real IT boom in Africa. Recent tours in several countries have only strengthened this conviction, and made clearer to me how the coming ...(Read Full Article)
To en·gage ( n-g j ): To pledge or promise, especially to marry; to draw into; to involve; to enter into conflict with
Corporate executives are exhorted daily by well-meaning public leaders that they should support their local entrepreneurs in order to be good corporate citizens and to bolster local economies. But engagement with entrepreneurs is not a question of conscience or moral imperative; it is a question of strategic self-interest.(Read Full Article)
A company noticed a strange anomaly: One of its manufacturing plants had a significantly lower scrap rate. That little finding and its consequences illustrate a point that managers often overlook in their search for innovation: Sometimes it’s better to think inside the box.
Companies spend a lot of time and effort trying to adapt ideas from other industries and other disciplines, but I would guess there’s at least one idea lurking within your own company that you could use to great advantage. That’s why I say think inside the box – the box being your organization. Of course ...(Read Full Article)
Whether you’re a digital start-up or an institutional entrepreneur, three simple heuristics offer an excellent way to determine whether a fledgling innovation initiative should be put out of its misery (and yours). Even if the innovation business case appears compelling and its numbers sound, should these three pathologies appear, don’t hesitate or delay: Kill your innovation effort ASAP.
1) No Pleasant Surprises
Almost all innovation efforts have the hiccoughs and bumps in the road. Design schedules invariably slip and that “quick-and-dirty” prototype ends up costing much more than expected. That’s normal. But listen closely for and pay ...(Read Full Article)
Penn State University's wellness program has become every human resources director's worst nightmare: national news. Partly this is because two of the school's professors — Matthew Woessner and Brian Curran — did a much better job organizing their colleagues in opposition to the wellness program than, for example, CVS employees did when they were subject to a similarly intrusive program. But also partly this was because Woessner and Curran struck a chord with millions of employees everywhere who have started posting similar stories of invasion of privacy, misinterpreted lab values, unnecessary test expenses, and even loss of low-cost insurance ...(Read Full Article)
Back in 1983, in a Harvard Business Review article, Peter Kralijc called for the procurement function to take on a larger and more strategic role in managing the supply chain. Thirty years on, sales people in most large companies are still being trained in ways to actually bypass procurement folks in their customer companies. This is not evidence of people taking the function seriously. What went wrong? To find out, we conducted a survey with close to 200 procurement executives, in Asia and in Europe. We found pretty conclusively that procurement managers are their own worst enemy, both with external ...(Read Full Article)
One of the most common complaints senior executives have about disruptive innovation is its seemingly snail-like pace. How is it, they wonder, that it takes us forever to pursue ideas that promise to create new markets when the world seems to be innovating at a dizzying pace? This frustration is compounded by the fact that the usual levers senior executives use to get things to go faster — creating tight deadlines, flooding the project with resources, checking in more frequently — don't seem to work, and in many cases cause teams working on disruptive ideas to actually go slower. Why is ...(Read Full Article)
After tsunamis, protests, wildfires, and riots — to name just a few recent major disruptions — few managers can be unaware of companies' vulnerability to the vagaries of politics and extreme weather. You'd think. Yet three quarters of the 195 large companies surveyed recently by APQC got hit by an unexpected major supply chain disruption in the last 24 months. We are talking here about an unforeseen event involving a physical asset owned by the enterprise or a third party. Major means an event that has the potential to severely interrupt a business' ability to deliver on its promises to customers ...(Read Full Article)
Factory jobs give millions of women what they can't get anywhere else: a salaried wage. With it, they can begin to exert control over their future. Factory work isn't just about making clothes; it's also about a potential path toward gender equality. Women outnumber men in factory jobs in the global supply chain. Are they risking their lives or improving their livelihoods?(Read Full Article)