Generation Procurement: Paul Holland

Paul Holland

Like so many, Paul Holland didn’t have specific ambitions to work in procurement. But after his boss pulled him away from his usual duties to work on a procurement project, he found his niche.

“I had no idea how in-depth procurement was at first, and what value you can create for your organisation through the role. It gives you so much scope to explore other aspects of the business.”

The Melburnian works for transport provider Transurban, where he’s been stepping into bigger shoes every year or two since 2007.

He’s managing the current procurement transformation project within the corporate behemoth. The company has chosen the Ariba solution and is part-way through implementing a full end-to-end solution including sourcing, contract management, supplier performance management, spend analysis and requisition to pay functions. This will be complemented by a new procurement operations team, which Paul is also in the process of building.

“This is a huge undertaking for us and will bring major efficiencies and automation to the business. We’re also growing the role that procurement plays within the company, which is why we need to be smarter in the way we operate,” he says.

The implementation will take around 10 months and once complete, will mark his biggest professional achievement to date.

“In the past, we were rubber stamping the procurement process within the company, but now we’re making huge changes to that and the business is now realising the real value that a procurement team can deliver.

“I love the fact that the job changes every day and we can influence and change entire processes to make them more efficient at all levels within the business.”

Paul isn’t sure what his professional future might bring, but says as long as he’s still being challenged by new opportunities and enjoying his role, he’ll be happy.

He plays football on weekends and is a young father, which he names as his biggest achievement in life. He’s also working towards an Executive MBA, which he expects to complete by the end of the year.

 

Why are supply chain disruption and sustainability our hot topics of the week?

Marks and Spencer

Hello and welcome to your one-stop shop for everything Procurement news-related.

Find out which e-procurement organisation Selectica has acquired… UK darlings of fashion and homeware, Marks and Spencer (M&S) – talk about sustainability, and we learn which countries are most at risk from supply chain disruption.

So without further ado, lets see what’s been going on in the world…

Key Skills for Procurement
• Continuing the blog from the previous week, CPO Rising highlights skills that are required for procurement
• Business Consulting skills can help procurement professionals define scope, manage projects and capture requirements more effectively

Read more at CPO Rising

Iasta acquisition (USA)
• Contract management software provider Selectica has acquired e-procurement organisation Iasta in a deal worth US$7m
• Selectica plan to use the new acquisition to enhance their customer offering by integrating the contract management and e-procurement offerings for enterprises

Global Sustainability (UK)
• UK company Marks and Spencer plan to take their ‘Plan A’ sustainability scheme global
• Plan A 2020, will include new targets around worldwide sourcing principles around issues such as human rights and gender equality

Supply Chain Disruption (Global)
• The FM Global resilience index shows which countries are most susceptible to disruption in their supply chains
• Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan were named as the countries most susceptible to disruption
• Norway, Switzerland and Canada topped the list of nations most resistant to such disruption

Read more at Supply Management

Impact of Leadership (USA)
• Guest blog from Samir Patel (Director, GEP) on the Impact of Leadership on Procurement Organisations
• Emphasises the need for strong leadership in Procurement functions and alignment with the wider organisation when considering strategy
• Also gives some good recommendations beyond leadership for optimising the procurement organisation

Read more at the SIG Industry Blog 

Tips for Negotiation (USA)
• Some tips are offered for negotiating when you are in a weak position and how to make the best business case you can
• Tips include being fully prepared, asking questions and listening and keeping cool during the negotiation

Read more at Harvard Business Review

Procurement Focus (USA/UK)
• New study shows that procurement focus is shifting from just cost reduction to innovation and influence
• The Hackett Group study found that only half of the executives surveyed said that cost reduction was their key strategic focus for this year
• 69% of the organisations highlighted a focus on supplier innovation in the coming year

Read more at SDC Executive

How did you get into procurement? Tell us your story

Empty profile page
Make that little guy happy… fill-out your profile

Here at Procurious we believe procurement has an image problem. As a profession it’s been saddled with ‘uncool’ and outdated stereotypes – the time has now come for us to join forces and become more collectively valued.

This is where you come in… Your Procurious profile is the place to show-off your wares to the world, so why not flesh it out and tell your story!

Let other Procurious members know about your journey; was it a straightforward career path, or did you take some wild turns along the way?

Check out what some of our members have already revealed in the Generation Procurement blog series:

Tony Huang
Jason Ng
Georgina Portelli

Let us know if you would like to be profiled and featured on Procurious for all to see!

Fleshing out your ‘My Story’ page

Your ‘My Story’ page is where the magic happens.  Just click on your profile picture, and hit the ‘Edit profile’ button (or locate the drop-down menu). So no matter where you are on the site, you can update your profile with ease.

Edit profile

From here you are able to detail professional information such as your function, industry details, level of responsibility, and procurement system used.

You can also let other members view your education history (along with relevant qualifications), and work experience.

Just click inside a text box to add, remove or amend details as you see fit.

If you want to make yourself freely contactable to other Procurious members, why not also fill-out your contact details too? You can specify an email address, phone number, and Skype username.

Get the most out of Procurious

Here on the blog, we post helpful tips and guides on all-things Procurious every week. Here’s some you might have missed:

Add a picture to your profile
Control your notifications
How to use the ‘User list’

And finally… everybody loves an infographic

The Faculty spoke to more than 100 CPOs and Procurement Managers – here’s what they said:

Faculty infographic

Read more here

Come back next week to learn more. Cheers!

What’s been happening in the world of procurement?

Belgium's motorway at night

Here’s your weekly digest of all-things procurement from some of the best industry sources on the web. Aren’t we good to you?

The last week has seen stories on the issue of carbon reduction in Belgium, the ‘rebirth’ of the US Manufacturing industry, and questions asked over the obsession of cost when it comes to procurement marketing.

Eyes down for all the news:

Skills for Procurement (USA)
• Ardent Partners’ Procurement Staff Competency Matrix developed with CPOs has identified a number of competencies for procurement professionals
• Cite ‘Leveraging Technology to Drive Business Value’ as one of the high important competencies from a CPO point of view

Read more at CPO Rising

Brand Procurement (UK)
• CPO of Rexam, organisation based in London, says that individuals should develop their own procurement brand to get ahead
• Alex Jennings offers 5 tips for developing your brand including ‘learning on the job’, ‘engaging with the business’ and ‘surrounding yourself with good people’

Marketing Procurement – ProcureCon Marketing (UK)
• Debate at ProcureCon Marketing highlighted that too many people are still focused on cost when it comes to Procurement Marketing
• Speakers proposed a different view that the primary focus should be working with the right people
• Diageo CPO also told delegates that cooperation between procurement and marketing was essential due to the complexity of marketing procurement
• Kevin Parke, indirect procurement director for Coca Cola Enterprises, also stated that procurement needed to look at the relationship in terms of adding value, rather than cost and price

Carbon Reduction (Belgium)
• AB InBev have pledged to cut carbon emissions in its Logistics operations by 15% by the end of 2017
• This will also save the organisation up to $200m

Read more at Supply Management

U.S. Manufacturing (USA)
• Much of the political conversations in the USA have stated a ‘rebirth’ of the US Manufacturing industry
• However, both Forbes and the New York Times have argued that the ‘rebirth’ is more of a hoax than reality
• The reality is more that this is a balancing of the industry after years of work moving to China and low cost companies

Read more at Harvard Business Review

Business Highlights
• Supplier Standardisation in Procurement – best practices outlined
• Improving the outcome of Government IT Procurement – success factors can include engaging the market early and developing a cost/outcome focused program IT strategy
• New paper available from Spend Matters on getting the most out of your procurement analytics

Read more at Spend Matters 

Don’t sell yourself short – stand out from the crowd

Celebrities like Richard Branson & Lady Gaga have carved-out strong personal brands...
Celebrities like Richard Branson & Lady Gaga have carved-out strong personal brands…

Personal branding can make a huge impact on your ability to do your job in the procurement industry.

Personal branding experts suggest that leveraging your online presence, considering who’s in your network and assessing your dress sense can all make an impact on your personal brand.

Kate O’Reilly is the principal of Sydney’s Optimiss Consulting, which advises corporate firms on gender equality, organisational change, business, communications, human capital, corporate governance and personal branding.

Your personal brand as what other people say about you, not what you say about yourself.

We’re all familiar with the personal brands of celebrities such as Richard Branson or Lady Gaga, but we need to learn that personal branding is essential for our success too, O’Reilly says.

“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. It’s about what people say when they’re endorsing you or putting you forward for a new role or a new project.”

A lot of people don’t realise that it takes a lot of time to think about personal branding, or that it is something you can construct yourself. “It’s not that it’s artificial. Best branding is authentic, but it’s calculated and planned.”

Developing and delivering a personal brand can be achieved by having an up-to-date CV and LinkedIn profile, being on message and consistent in what you say, considering your look and style, being nice to other people and making connections and delivering on a quality experience to everyone who deals with you.

“Consistency is key in your message, in your look in how you treat people. It’s about being professional in everything you do, getting back to people when you say you will, and delivering on time.

“Is your elevator pitch compelling and memorable? You need to consider why you stand out and what you stand for.”

O’Reilly says there’s nothing fake about manufacturing your personal brand.

“Rather, what you’re doing is deciding how you want to be remembered and having a really good consistent message in absolutely everything you do, and every contact everyone has with you. It’s like any good brand – they pick two or three things, and they repeat them over and over again.”

Consistency is key, she says.

CEO of Brisbane personal branding firm Jump the Q, Rachel Quilty says the number of professionals wanting to develop a specific strategic style has grown. Personal branding affords you more mobility within your industry, she says.

“Consider yourself a brand. Image management is vital in today’s business world. Improving your image and personal brand is an investment in building your personal profile, reputation and the results you will achieve.”

Are you a superhero hiding your real identity?

Profile page with no photo

We’re happy to report that there are over 500 members already signed-up to the site! *As of January 2017 we are 18000+ strong

Here at Procurious.com we believe that procurement has a new face. It’s younger, smarter, more ambitious, more global and more mobile than ever before. This is a place to share your knowledge, grow your network, learn from your peers and make meaningful connections. Surprisingly enough, one of the easiest ways to do this is by adding a picture to your profile.

Superheroes
Captain America, Ms. Marvel, and Batman are all excellent role-models but you’re not here to fight crime…

Who’s behind the mask?

As much as we’d like to count Batman, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Arrow, Flash, and Catwoman among our members, hiding your identity from the world (and the Procurious community) won’t have the same effect as it did in the comic books…

We all like to see who we are talking to, add a picture and let other members put a face to the name.

Add a picture

We’ve made it easy as pie to add a picture to your Procurious profile. Let’s take a peek behind the veil, show us your face!

Visit your profile page and click on ‘Edit Profile’ to add your photo.

How to add a photo

You don’t need to worry about uploading the wrong size, Procurious will allow you to crop your image before you save any changes.

Choose a header photo too

If you want to personalise your profile even more, why not make it really stand out by adding a header photo?

Again, the image will be cropped to just the right size (but landscape pictures work better here – think widescreen).

Further reading

And if you missed it, here’s our girl Chantelle Genovezos talking to George Vrakas about all-things Procurious.

Take a read here.

Until next time folks! Matt

Generation Procurement: Tony Huang

Tony Huang

He can influence how one of Australia’s most iconic companies spends more than a billion dollars every year. But it’s all just part of the job for Tony Huang, who’s in charge of strategic sourcing at telecommunications provider, Telstra.

Tony heads up this important function for the telecommunications and media giant, making him accountable for the sourcing strategy across all categories. He’s been with Telstra since 1999.

He’s a highly influential part of the senior team at Telstra, and a major player in many of the large and significant projects implemented by Telstra. Many of these have massive impacts on the way Australians interact every day.

A few years ago, Tony took up a role working for Telstra subsidiary CSL in Hong Kong, where he led the mobile device marketing team.

“This role came along through my professional networks, and the learnings I took away from the experience transformed me and the way I’ve operated ever since,” Tony says.

He was ready for a new challenge 18 months later, so returned to Australia, walking into Telstra’s senior strategic sourcing manager IT procurement role.

And yet despite the huge demands of his job, Tony puts a lot of energy into coaching and mentoring staff, which gives him the chance to share the skills he’s learned along the way.

“I enjoy making a difference and improving the experience of my staff’s time in Telstra. It’s a diverse organisation, and you’ve got the opportunity to work in many difference roles.”

While his skills would be a valuable asset for any Australian company, Tony expects he’ll stay loyal to Telstra, predicting he’ll still be there in a decade.

“Telstra is a diverse organisation that gives staff the opportunity to work in many difference roles. The company also gives you the opportunity to work on the latest and greatest in just about every category.”

Social procurement is gathering global momentum

People sitting around a table

Companies bold enough to step into social procurement are discovering that it’s helping solve business problems and also improving the bottom line.

A recent report on social procurement found that the movement is gathering momentum both in governments and private businesses around the world.

The report, Corporate Social Procurement in Australia, was conducted by Australia’s leading social enterprise development organisation, Social Traders and The Faculty, and found that 67 per cent of companies to respond currently undertake social procurement, or intend to do so in the near future.

It found that more than $905 million was directed to social procurement by 11 businesses. This figure is expected to rise quickly, with another 18 respondents committed to connecting social procurement initiatives by 2014. The research included a literature review and a survey of 21 Australian businesses with a market capitalisation of $221 billion.

Many companies tip their toes into social procurement with a pilot program, or undertake work within discrete business areas. Some go on to develop company policies to ensure social procurement becomes the norm.

A program’s success is usually measured by jobs created, volume and percentage of total money spent, and the value delivered to the organisation and the community.

Leighton Contractors chief procurement officer, Visna Lampasi is one of those in this space to facilitate a significant engagement project with indigenous businesses into the supply chain, increasing expenditure with indigenous suppliers to $3 million last year, with a $5 million target set for this year. This achievement has gone partway toward seeing her named CPO of the Year for 2014.

Craig Laslett, managing director of Leighton Contractors says the company believes it has a responsibility to contribute to the growth and advancement of Indigenous people and communities.

“Our organisation-wide focus on strong leadership and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Straight people and their communities starts from the top, with my personal commitment to enhancing the lives and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”

Leading Australian construction, mining and services contractors, Thiess Services moved into this space more than a decade ago when it invited a social enterprise specialising in land care management, Marriott Enviro Services, to provide workers for landscape operations to general maintenance, grass and garden maintenance and painting.

Since 2009, Thiess has spent around $1.3 million a year with Marriott, which employs a large number of people with a disability.

Cadbury

Australian FMCG brand Cadbury also made a strategic decision to shift to Fair Trade certified cocoa in 2010, at a cost of $45 million. Soon after this, Cadbury became the world’s largest buyer of certified cocoa, with sales increasing.

Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury said in an interview included in the report that: “The greatest power consumers have is of their buying dollar … if consumers feel that they want products more ethically produced, they should buy what they value.”

And yet, many corporates have little understanding of social procurement.

Matthew Bonwick of The Faculty Management Consultants says that the greatest challenge to the implementation of social procurement is where to start.

The key is to start small and work up to bigger things, he says.

“Many passionate advocates can be found on the ground floor of corporates, so identify existing leaders from within before scaling up,” he says.

Broad spectrum adoption from within a company is critical to corporate legitimacy in the medium run, he says.

“As markets develop and consumers become more educated, these strategies will become defining elements of competitor advantage. And key enablers will be passionate people and strategic senior managers who are willing to support the learning curve.”

Is procurement under attack on social media?

Social media when there's a procurement problem image

Social media can be an erratic and angry beast. One minute your company is being praised, and the next it’s under fire for a minor procurement program that’s somehow landed in serious hot water.

To stay out of trouble, make sure you are prepared for any social media crisis well before there’s any sign of trouble.

Start by working up to a worst case scenario by considering what could go wrong, recommends Sydney social media trainer Steven Lewis of Taleist.

Consider who is going to be called in from other duties to lend a hand if trouble hits, he says.

“The first step in handling a crisis is to be prepared for the eventuality in the first place. If you’re prepared, you’ll know who’s going to speak, what they need, and you’ll have your channels and processes in place and tested. Having thought about those things in advance frees you up to think strategically when dealing with the specifics of a crisis,” Lewis says.

Conduct a risk assessment on each of your processes so you know how they might be questioned or attacked, and by whom, Lewis advises.

“Create a tailored response to each process that allows you to give clear justification, preferably with supporting evidence. If, for instance, you’re accused of using a supplier who uses child labour, what policies, inspections or assurances from the supplier can you cite and what would your response be to an accusation?”

People expect their corporate citizens to have human qualities, so don’t be afraid to respond on with some emotion, he says.

Steven Lewis

If you don’t know something you’re being asked, say so.

“It’s not good for a clothing brand, for example, to say it’s never even considered there might be child labour in its overseas supply chain, but you might not have all the facts to hand immediately. But an empathetic response and a promise to investigate with a deadline will help.”

In this example, he suggests a response such as: ‘We care deeply about child labour too and we’d be horrified to find we’d supported it even directly.”

It’s important to respond online, he says.

“You need to be in the channels in which you’re being discussed. If you’re being attacked on Twitter, it’s not enough to put up a media release on your website. How will the people on Twitter know it’s there?”

Remember, a social media crisis seldom involves a rational exchange of views, he says.

“Essentially, you have to be prepared for the emotion of a crisis. If you plan to deal with the crisis only through the cold exchange of facts, you won’t put out the fire.”

Get your side of the story up quickly and in the relevant media, he says.

“You’ll likely have supporters and the more you can give them to share and get your side out, the better.”

However, be prepared to wear the criticism, he says.

“In social media as in politics, it’s often the cover-up that will get you. People don’t like having their comments deleted,” Lewis warns.

Generation Procurement: Jason Ng

Jason Ng

International Jiu Jitsu competitor Jason Ng loves nothing better than unwinding from a day at the office with a training session of the Brazilian style of martial arts.

“The sport has a huge strategic, strength and athletic component to it, which is similar to Judo. And strangely enough, the stresses I put on my body during training allow my mind to relax.”

The Melbourne man spent three years in banking and finance, but was so moved by the impacts of negative macro-economic factors on companies that he wanted to be part of the solution.

“I read some good news stories about some high performing procurement divisions turning around ailing businesses, and this made me want to be a part of those impacting on the bottom line.

“I really felt I could apply my financial, negotiation and relationship management skills to help companies spend more wisely, so transitioned into a newly created analyst role in healthcare a year ago.”

In that time, Jason has built savings dashboards and trackers, provided new ideas to sourcing strategies and built analytical tools for more efficient and meaningful data analysis.

He gets a thrill out of seeing savings he’s able to achieve for his company, which directly impact on hospitals as well as patient’s lives.

“I like being in a role that makes an impact on an organisation’s bottom line, although making a positive impact on people’s lives has been an awesome bonus. It really puts into perspective the great outcomes that can come from a good procurement team.”

Career progression is important to him, and he will be assessing opportunities to step up into a procurement specialist/manager role in the near future.

Jason was taught the values of hard work by his family, who run a Chinese restaurant in Perth. During university, he studied full-time as well as co-running the family business.

He has two Bachelor degrees, two Masters and a desire to complete an MBA in the near future.

“I think this mentality has become increasingly scarce, especially in my Gen Y peers. Working hard has been the single most important factor in developing the foundations for a good career path, and has enabled me to achieve my goals.”