There is now a playable warehouse and logistics simulator…

The game (available on PC via Steam) sees you progress through various timed-based scenarios to move goods around a supermarket, warehouse and production facility.

But this isn’t just any old logistics simulator, oh no. The official website makes a big deal of the Jungheinrich affiliation – that’s an actual Jungheinrich forklift truck you’re controlling.  The company is based in Hamburg, Germany and one of the leading international companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors.

The game offers would-be forklift operators a variety of quests, different game modes, and realistic physics. A handful of comments from YouTubers come from those within the forklift industry itself –  complete with lighthearted observations… The simulator is presumably designed to train-up new operators right?

Stay up-to-date with Procurious




Faculty CPO of the Year mentors CIPS Young Procurement Professional of the Year

What do you get when you put two award-winning women of procurement together?

Billie Gormon, Bree Pitcher, Visna Lampasi

Inspired by the Women in Procurement panel at the 2013 CIPS Australasia Annual Conference – four women blazed a trail for a new breed of mentoring program. Just under a year later the Australasian pilot of the global Women in Procurement has become a reality – the program has been designed to connect future procurement leaders (both female & male) with female role models they don’t necessarily have access to in their sector or region. There is also hope that it will address some of the disparity found in the percentages of women in procurement roles, into the future.

Those  four motivated women were Linda Eames (Head of Group Procurement, NRMA), Sommer Baxter (Director Procurement, PwC), Carrie McCafferty (Category Manager, Westpac), and Sarah Collins (CPO, Roads and Maritime Services).

With this fresh in mind, enter Billie Gorman (Manager Procurement Excellence at Thiess), who connected the 2014 Young Procurement Professional of the Year with another award-winner – Visna Lampasi (The Faculty’s CPO of the Year).

Bree Pitcher won the CIPS Young Procurement & Supply Chain Professional Award at the recent 2014 CIPS Procurement Awards in Sydney – she will be mentored by Visna Lampasi over the next twelve months.

Procurious talked to both women following Billie’s introduction, quizzing them on their wins, the future, and importance of the mentorship program.

Procurious asks: Let’s talk the power of networks – why do you invest time in growing your network?

Visna answers: Skilful networking, which these days is far more than shaking hands and introducing yourself, is a powerful marketing approach which can accelerate the access to opportunities as well as sustain success.  From a business perspective, it provides me with the ability to identify and tap procurement talent for future hiring, as well as bringing ideas and people together that would have not otherwise crossed paths.

If fact, it was Billie Gorman (Procurement Excellence Manager at Thiess) from my network who had introduced me to Bree Pitcher at the recent CIPS Procurement Professional Awards dinner in Sydney, Australia and suggested the potential mentoring opportunity.

Procurious: What impresses you about young people starting out careers in Procurement?

Visna: These days, young people have far more resources available and they are utilising them. They are also establishing and leveraging their networks, actively seeking out Mentors (more than one in many cases) and often have a career path already mapped out for themselves which they regularly review and adjust.  When I first started in procurement, there were not many courses available in Australia.  Fortunately, the companies that I had worked for were multi-nationals which gave me access to programs offshore.

Procurious: Why mentor? What are the benefits to you? 

Visna: Mentoring gives me the ability to share my knowledge and experience, which hopefully are useful insights to assist someone with navigating the organisational landscape.   It also gives me the opportunity to give back to the procurement profession, as well as the satisfaction that I am helping someone to achieve their professional goals.

Procurious: Do you have any top tips for others wanting to position themselves as a great mentor?

Visna: Outside of being qualified on the relevant subject matter and interested in the development of others, a mentor needs to display the highest of ethical standards, be a good listener and be able to steer, guide and inspire the mentee rather than direct and control.

The American author William Arthur Ward said it best – “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.

Procurious: How has mentoring changed since you first started your career?  

Visna: Mentoring is utilised more nowadays than in the past.  Many organisations and professional bodies offer formal mentoring programs which are well structured.  For example, it would not be unusual for the two individual’s to enter into a Mentoring Agreement, along with having documented Mentoring Action Plans which are reviewed periodically throughout the relationship to ensure that they are on track.

Procurious: Did you have any mentors on your way up?  Do you still now? 

Visna: Fortunately for me, I did have a number of senior male mentors during my career who took me under their wing. This was particularly important to me, as the majority of my career had been spent in male dominated industries. Up until most recently, I also had a female Executive Coach assigned to me by my previous employer as part of their senior executive leadership program.  Whilst I am in between mentors at the moment, I still keep in contact with those that have helped me throughout the different stages of my career.

Bree Pitcher

Procurious asks: What does it mean to have CPO of the Year as your mentor?

Bree answers: I am very fortunate to have Visna as a mentor. It is clear that she has achieved so much in her career to date and I look forward to spending time with her and learning from her wealth of knowledge and experience. The opportunity will greatly assist me in developing further as a young professional which in turn will help me to progress my career and achieve my future goals.

Procurious: How did you get into Procurement?

Bree: I, like many others in the field, stumbled across the procurement profession. As a soon to be university graduate I by chance met a representative from the Queensland Government Procurement Office at a careers fair held on campus. As soon as I heard about what was involved I knew it was the career for me. I applied and was successful in obtaining a placement in the Queensland Government Procurement Professional Graduate Development program placed at Government Owned Corporation Tarong Energy now Stanwell Corporation.

7 Years on, I feel so very fortunate to be part of such an exciting profession. I enjoy the challenges of my role each and every day and thrive on the opportunity to make a measurable impact and difference in my organisation.

Procurious: As a millennial do you see a change in this new generation of procurement? 

Bree: It is truly exciting to see so many young, capable and passionate professionals involved in the procurement profession. From my own perspective, I am never afraid of a challenge, continuously question the norm and strive to think outside the box, all important and distinctive traits in which I see very often in many of my millennial peers. For this young and enthusiastic generation the profession really does present so many exciting challenges and opportunities to make a difference. The foundation and ever increasing profile for procurement which experienced CPO’s like Visna have worked so very hard to build and foster within business means the opportunities are plentiful and for me, procurement really is the “career of choice”.

Procurious: Networking and making contacts is a valuable career investment! To that end, how are you investing in your network?   

Bree: I cannot stress more the importance of building and fostering a professional network. I am very fortunate to be involved in professional associations such as the SCLAA and CIPS where I have had the opportunity to meet and liaise with likeminded and passionate individuals who are happy to share their knowledge, offer guidance and provide introductions to others in industry. In fact it is through my network that I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Visna.

For me the investment in my network is essential in my development as a professional, however it is equally as rewarding to give back and share my own knowledge and experience with my peers.

Procurious: How did the mentoring opportunity come about?

Bree: I was fortunate to be introduced to Visna at the 2014 CIPS Australasia Awards Dinner through the wonderful Billie Gorman, a procurement professional whom I connected with through my own professional network. Visna was delighted with the announcement that I was the winner of the CIPS Australasia Young Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year award for 2014. She kindly offered to mentor me and we have since begun to connect. 

Procurious: What do you hope to get out of the mentoring experience?

Bree: I look forward to working with Visna to help identify areas in which I need to build upon my current skillset and experience to enable me to further progress in my career. My ultimate goal is to one day become a successful CPO leading and inspiring others to make a difference and deliver valuable outcomes for business. I know Visna as the successful professional and CPO of the year that she is will be able to share her knowledge and guide me further with my own career path.

Procurious: And finally, can you provide any tips on finding a great mentor?

Bree: Finding a great mentor and someone who is the right fit for you is not always a short and simple task. There is great potential to meet your next mentor through your professional network connections. I would also encourage those interested in finding a mentor to become involved in professional associations. In particular a number of associations (including the SCLAA) now offer formal mentoring programs whereby mentors and mentees are paired and connected. The important thing to note with regards to mentoring is that you personally have to know what you want to achieve from the experience. Your mentor is there to guide you however you only get out what you put in to the opportunity.

Procurious thanks both Visna and Bree for their time.

If you are interested in registering for the Women in Procurement program you’ll need to complete the registration survey by clicking here.

Social media use in the logistics and supply chain industry

The use of social media is prevalent within Fortune 500, Inc. 500 companies, and small businesses.  Why are companies using social media? 

Social media use in the logistics and supply chain industries. Pixabay

Companies are using social media to grow their business and to bring value to both their company and their customers.  The McKinsey Global Institute conducted an in-depth analysis four industry sectors that represent almost 20 per cent of global industry sales.  The analysis suggests that social platforms can unlock $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value in those sectors alone.

Fronetics Strategic Advisors conducted a survey of individuals within the logistics and supply chain industries.  The objective of the survey was to gain insight into the use of social media within these industries.  Specifically, to learn more about why companies within the logistics and supply chain industries are using social media, the benefits they have realized, and challenges they have encountered.

The supply chain and logistics industries are recent adopters

Social media use is relatively new for companies within the logistics and supply chain industries.  64 per cent of survey respondents reported that their company has used social media for between one and five years.  Thirty-six per cent of respondents reported that their company has used social media for less than one year.

Motivations for use

Why have companies begun to use social media?  The survey asked respondents to rate statements on why their company uses social media.  The following statements received the highest rankings (somewhat to very important:

  • Increasing the visibility of their company (95 per cent);
  • Improving brand image (90 per cent);
  • Establishing the company as a thought leader (86 per cent);
  • Attracting new leads and customers (82 per cent).

Benefits and challenges

The majority (68 per cent) of respondents reported that their companies are realizing benefits from social media.  The primary benefits reported were: increased engagement with customers (80 per cent); increased market intelligence (80 per cent); and increased business intelligence (73 per cent).

With respect to challenges, time constraints (48 per cent), budgetary constraints (43 per cent), and lack of strategy (33 per cent), were the primary challenges reported.

Most companies manage social media in-house

The majority (92%) of respondents reported that social media is managed in-house by either a marketing department, a staff member devoted full-time to social media, or a staff-member devoted part-time to social media.

Summary

Although companies within the logistics and supply chain industries have only recently begun to use social media, they are already realizing benefits and are identifying social media as a strategic tool.

In addition to customer engagement, the benefits identified by social media include increased market intelligence, and increased business intelligence.  In short – information.  When asked why their company uses social media, responses generally focused on brand and image.

With respect to social media strategy, the majority of companies manage it in-house. Interestingly, the top three challenges identified by companies include: time, money, and defining a strategy.

What is your company’s experience with social media?

For the full report see: Social media and the logistics and supply chain industries: Report on social media use, motivations, preference, benefits, and challenges.

Fronetics Strategic Advisors is a management consulting firm focused on strategy and inbound marketing for the logistics and supply chain industries.

Feminist t-shirts ‘sweatshop’ row

UK politicians Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have made headlines for the wrong reasons… this and more in our weekly news-blast of procurement’s biggest stories.

Feminist t-shirt labour row

Feminist t-shirts ‘sweatshop’ row

  • A women’s rights charity behind a t-shirt campaign now caught up in controversy over claims the products were made in “sweatshop” conditions has said it will order the clothes be withdrawn from sale if the reports are proven.
  • The T-shirts, proudly worn by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman proclaiming their feminist credentials, are made by women workers being paid just 62p an hour, the Mail on Sunday reported.
  • The paper said its investigation had found the t-shirts with the slogan “This is what a feminist looks like” were being produced on a factory on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius where the women machinists sleep 16 to a room.
  • Fashion retailer Whistles, which sells the garments for £45 each, described the allegations as “extremely serious” and said it would be mounting an urgent investigation.

Read more on MSN

Britain’s drone tech future relies on supply chain know-how

  • An interesting article has appeared in The Telegraph on the rise of drones and the economic benefit they could bring to the UK. It is penned by Michael Minall – Aerospace and Defence Director at Vendigital.

  • Developing a supply chain for drone production is such a significant challenge as the current aerospace sector is already competing for capable capacity in the supply chain. The task of making enough commercial aircraft to meet rising passenger numbers (20,000 over the next 20 years) means that many manufacturers are working at stretched capacity. To combat this, innovators of drone technology must move now to engage in supply chain mapping and open a dialogue with key suppliers regarding future business needs, communicating their requirements in terms of volumes, key capabilities and location.
  • Michael also touches on the potential skills gap, highlighting how unpopular engineering has become as a degree subject. So in order to source staff with the desired technical skills, firms should be prepared to take action at a grassroots level.

Read more at The Telegraph

CIPS Pan African Procurement Awards winners revealed 

  • The winners of the CIPS Pan African Procurement Awards 2014 were announced at a ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Awards in 10 categories were presented to organisations in the public and private sectors, and two postgraduate awards and nine certificates of recognition were also handed out at the celebration at the Premier Hotel OR Tambo.
  • The evening included a speech from Jimmy Manyi, president of the Progressive Professional Forum and former CEO of government communications and information systems for the Republic of South Africa.
  • Award highlights included: Most Procurement & Supply Orientated CPO/CEO of the Year: Garry Pita, Transnet, CIPS Young Procurement and Supply Chain Management Professional of the Year: Lindiwe Ntuli from NECSA, while Kamogelo Mampane was awarded the CIPS Fellowship.

Supply Management has published a list of the winners in full

Ben Ainslie Racing

Olympian partners with high-tech procurement company in bid to win America’s Cup

  • Ben Ainslie Racing the racing team set up by Olympian and America’s Cup winner Ben Ainslie has partnered with high-tech procurement company Matrix in a bid to win the America’s Cup with as green a boat (and surrounding infrastructure) as possible. Through buying components from within the UK, especially the Solent area close to their workshop in Portsmouth, reducing the impact on the environment and boosting the local economy.
  • The technology will enable BAR to support smaller businesses, taking advantage of the best of British tech and innovation; in contrast to other teams such as Oracle Team USA who wouldn’t tend to look for smaller suppliers, the BAR and Matrix partnership aims to support British businesses.
  • Matrix already enjoys long term relationships with around 78 local authorities and the wider public sector including the NHS, higher educational establishments, schools, police authorities and the not-for-profit sector through the procurement of temporary staffing.
  • The buying platform opens late November, with Matrix and BAR hosting  a supplier day open to all suppliers interested in working with BAR.

Read more at Ben Ainslie Racing

New security solution to protect against supply chain attacks in enterprise

  • Micron, Wave Systems, Lenovo, and PC Bios software vendor American Megatrends plan to develop enterprise-class security for enterprise class IT business systems.
  • The solutions to strengthen the BIOS specific feature called Core Root of Trust for Measurement (CRTM) to protect against current and emerging pre-boot threats within the supply chain. The companies intend for these solutions to form the basis of a new industry standard designed to ensure the integrity of the supply chain.
  • The comprehensive enterprise security suite will serve to protect memory content from its inception in manufacturing throughout a computing device’s life cycle.  It is hoped that a centrally managed security solution (working in conjunction with a client’s core root of trust for measurement) will provide client system integrity throughout the supply chain.

Read more at EE Herald

Paddy procurement halted as Punjab exhausts CCL

  • The paddy procurement in Punjab has been stopped midway as the state has exhausted its first installment of cash credit limit (CCL) of Rs. 8,000 crore received from the Centre, and the second installment of Rs. 10,000 crore has not arrived despite several frantic reminders by the state.
  • It is a crisis-like situation as the state government has not paid the farmers since ten days for the large quantity of paddy procured by Punjab. About 40 lakh tonne of paddy still remain in grain markets waiting to be procured by government agencies.
  • So far, payment has been made for 55 lakh tonne. Other farmers are awaiting payment while agencies have already obtained the grain from them.

Read more at Hindustan Times

Standardised procurement could save English fire services £18 million a year 

  • Fire and rescue services across England could save £18 million annually by standardising and streamlining the way they buy firefighting clothing and equipment, according to a joint report from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Chief Fire Officers Association.
  • A report commissioned by DCLG found fire services buying identical kit at vastly different prices, with variations of up to 200 per cent. It cited examples including a pair of protective trousers costing between £125 and £274, a fire helmet costing £105 to £131, and the price of a fire coat ranging £220 to £366.
  • Concluding that fire and rescue authorities could achieve savings of £18 million from a total spend of £127 million a year, the report suggested the savings could be even greater if applied to all purchases by all fire services, which spends an estimated £600 million each year on buying equipment and fire engines.

Read more at Supply Management

Talking point: popular discussions on Procurious

Over the last few months, there have been a number of topics and themes within our Discussion forum.

We don’t want this information to go to waste, so we have pulled together the key points from some of the most popular discussions that we have seen so far.

Most popular discussions on Procurious

What do you say when a supplier (existing or potential) asks you: “What budget do you have in mind?”

There were a number of different answers from the community, ranging from a response of “why do you want to know that?, where the buyer elicits more information from the supplier, before asking for a firm price quotation, to no suppliers would ask that because they know that they need to quote best price or the existing relationship is critical to both parties.

A number of key points were brought up in the answers. The response to the question being asked depended on:

  • The relationship with the supplier
  • What commodity is being purchased – a key commodity might have more of a discussion around a price that worked for both parties, than one that is a best price discussion
  • What quality is expected
  • When the question is being asked – is it during a negotiation, or as part of a tendering process

There was agreement in that most people wouldn’t reveal the budget, would give a figure that was a percentage of the total budget or wouldn’t answer the question, either at all or without more explanation from the supplier.

Links were given for further information reading on suppliers combating the response to this question:

Trying to improve how we do contract management at CnES. Where should I start?

There were a few answers to this question, but some that got a few of the members commenting about the quality.

Consensus was to design a framework both for the management of the contract but also the KPIs to be involved in the contract itself. The most highly rated response was Cristian Martin:

  • Agree how to categorize your contracts/suppliers so you maintain focus on the most important ones. (Krajic, ABC or both).
  • Agree the method of contract management and standardize it so that you can compare supplier performance (under performing contracts can be seen and understood across the business when the process is standardized. e.g. use only 10 KPIs on all contracts and all KPIs are marked 0-5 (a score of 30 means the contract is performing to specification, Higher recognizes excellence and lower means there are issues that need to be resolved.)
  • Standardize the reporting and ensure it is seen at senior level on a regular basis. (Provide a quarterly report along with your savings report and get the recognition for your hard work).
  • Provide the tools to contract managers for lower value/risk contracts to give contract managers practice and improve their skills in Contract Management so that when you work on contracts together, you can focus on the contract and not in their CPD.

Cristian went on to recommend that only 10 KPIs were used in his contracts. Not the same every time, but a maximum number of 10.

He also asked his suppliers as part of the tender process to suggest KPIs for the contract to establish a starting point for discussion.

How sustainable procurement can be best defined?

This is common question across the profession at the moment and one that there is no real defined answer for. The top definitions given were:

  • To ensure that all procurement includes a requirement to maximise the benefits to the Outer Hebrides and the wider world that may arise from the purchase.
  • Preserving and cultivating the human resource of relationships
  • A process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy

A key learning point given from the theoretical side of the debate was the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. This breaks Procurement activities into three distinct areas, all of which should be considered by buyers:

  1. Environmental Impact
  2. Economic Impact
  3. Social Impact

Sustainable Procurement is seen as a common buzzword, but not so common in practice, but there is evidence that it can provide value. Another point raised was why should there be a separate name for these activities – shouldn’t they just fall under the normal daily activities of procurement? What do you think?

To contribute to all of these discussions and more, head to https://www.procurious.com/discussions/

Procurious wants to hear from you: help us to help you!

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that community is at the very heart of Procurious – it’s in our blood.

Write for Procurious

We hope you’re enjoying the journey so far and benefiting from the online learning, discussions with other members, our worldwide event listing directory, and informative editorial. Yet we still want to do more, we’re not resting on our laurels.  We want to make Procurious full-to-bursting with more of the stuff you want to see, but in order to shape this we need to call on you – the members.

Maybe you’re organising an event, have the latest, greatest training video that the world NEEDS to see, or just have something interesting to say. Whatever the motivation, we want to hear from you!

Are we missing an event?

If you’re organising (or know of) a super-cool procurement or supply chain event that would be of value to fellow Procurious members, drop us a line to get it added to our listings.

If you can supply an overview, programme details, confirmed speakers, the intended audience, and fee (if applicable) – even better!

Take a look at this example listing to get more of an idea of what we’re looking for.

Remember Procurious is a truly global network, so we’ll advertise your event no-matter how far afield…

Learning with Procurious

We’re always looking to expand our learning resources. Whether you’ve created a helpful tutorial video, or have the perfect voice for podcasting – we want to check it out.

We offer free samplers of all of our videos, but some can attract a fee when unlocking the full version. Let us know your preference when you submit your URL for consideration.

Call for contributors

Fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith? Is there a frustrated writer inside of you clawing to get out?

We’re putting out a call for fresh new talent to contribute to our ever-growing pool of guest writers.

So if you can string a sentence together, understand the value of a good headline, and can resist the urge to prattle on – we want to hear from you. Need some inspiration? Head on over to the blog and see what we’re talking about today. Send us an email, or a message via Procurious to get involved.