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, Transport & Logistics
Procurement People: Careers, Leadership, People on the move, Talent Management
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)
New research shows that employees want to work for companies that make sustainability a priority. Bain & Company recently surveyed about 750 employees across industries in Brazil, China, India, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. Roughly two-thirds of respondents said they care more about sustainability now than three years ago, with almost that many saying sustainable business is extremely important to them. Interest peaks among employees age 36 to 40 — a young group but not the youngest. Employees expect employers to step up and nurture this growing interest.(Read Full Article)
The current sub-contractor controveries surrounding BP's liability for the gulf explosion and Boeing's grounding of its 787 Dreamliner should not obscure an ultimate take-away for corporate leaders: companies must take operational responsibility for ensuring that products and services provided to them by third party suppliers are safe, effective and of high quality. In this era of complex supply chains and the hiring of expert sub-contractors, taking such responsibility is crucial for preventing events with the potential to adversely affect the corporation and its reputation.(Read Full Article)
How the company's North American division cut emissions by 80%. This is the exclusive, short story of how Diageo North America, with creativity and guts, both in operations and in the senior ranks, achieved the holy grail of carbon emissions reductions. They did it without using carbon offsets — and about 38 years earlier than they had to. Here's what scientists are telling us: the world must cut carbon emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 to (we hope) avoid the worst of climate change.(Read Full Article)
What are your customers telling their friends and colleagues about your business? Your prospective customers and buyers increasingly learn about you from their peers — including your current customers — while tending more and more to ignore traditional sales and marketing communications from corporate. Companies are now taking advantage of this new marketing reality, becoming more skilled at getting their customers to advocate for them, create peer influence in their markets, and make important contributions in areas like product development and services. You're denying the new marketing reality if you're not encouraging social capital.(Read Full Article)
When social entrepreneurs say that they want to "work themselves out of a job" they are not making a glib statement to sound cool. They are merely stating the obvious — they want to fundamentally solve the problem that their solution is designed to address. Commercial entrepreneurs are different. They're out to standardize a business model. That model might solve a social problem — but if it's profitable and doesn't fix the problem, that's okay, too.(Read Full Article)
We can't ask social enterprises to have a big impact if they can't get the resources they need to grow bigger. In Britain, for example, fewer than 10% of the tens of thousands of social enterprises generate more than £1 million in revenue. Why is that? One reason is that the scrappy, entrepreneurial approach that characterizes many of these organizations starts to break down as they pass that threshold.
In 1996, James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones popularized the term "lean thinking". It was their expression for what they'd observed studying Toyota's manufacturing operations: an absence of waste. Today, lean concepts have moved beyond the factory floor to become an organizing set of principles and practices applicable to all business operations and activities, including entrepreneurial start-ups. Here's seven targets for keeping your innovation efforts lean:(Read Full Article)
If there's been one topic that has entirely dominated the US post-election landscape, it's the fiscal cliff. Will taxes be raised? Which programs will be cut? Who will blink first in negotiations? For all the talk of the fiscal cliff, however, I believe the US is facing a much more serious problem, one that has simply not been talked about at all: corruption. But this isn't the overt, "bartering of government favors in return for private kickbacks" corruption. Instead, this type of corruption has actually been legalized. And it is strangling both US competitiveness, and the ability ...(Read Full Article)
Need expertise in a new market? Let local experts light your path. The holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere is often a time for talk of miracles and displays of lights. Richard Fahey's story involves both.
It takes place in Africa and involves solar technology, but the miracle of getting the lights to work contains a widely applicable leadership lesson: surprising solutions from using what I call "street strategy." Fahey is a successful corporate lawyer who had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia.(Read Full Article)
Last weekend I stopped by my local Staples office supply store to take advantage of a fantastic deal. They were offering 500-sheet reams of paper for $6.99, with a $5.99 rebate, leaving a net price of $1. Applying for my rebate could not have been easier: I simply inputted a series of numbers listed on my receipt on the Staples web site, and chose to have the money deposited in my PayPal account. This experience got me wondering: Why are rebates used, and more importantly, why aren't other retailers focused on rebates as vigorously as Staples seems ...(Read Full Article)
The region is using fresh thinking to solve local problems -- and world-class innovations may be the result. Consider mobile devices in Africa. Throughout the continent — and this is true throughout other emerging markets too — millions of people are glued to their cell phones. Since Africans were never tethered to landlines, innovation has been astounding. Kenya's M-Pesa, for example, allows customers to withdraw and deposit money via text message.(Read Full Article)
Successful companies shape their high-level strategies by relying not on complicated frameworks but on simple rules of thumb. Managers in these organizations translate corporate objectives into a few straightforward guidelines that help employees make on-the-spot decisions and adapt to constantly shifting environments, while keeping the big picture in mind.(Read Full Article)