What can basketball teach us about hiring decisions?

Would you a hire generalist over someone who specialises?

What can basketball teach us about the hiring process?

While flying last week, I listened to a HBR podcast that discussed Google’s approach to talent selection and management. One of the first topics of discussion was Google’s preference for hiring ‘generalists’ over ‘specialists’.

Google’s partiality for generalists stems from the fast changing nature of its business. The company sits at the forefront of innovation, both within its traditional realm of Internet search and but also with it’s seemingly outrageous side projects like its efforts to produce self driving cars.

The podcast suggests that Google tends to hire generalists because they believe these ‘learning animals’ are more flexible and bring an open mind to problem solving and this suits Google. I guess when you are doing something that’s never been done before past experience is a little less relevant.

The podcast also states that specialists tend to bring a certain bias to problem solving. This sentiment is perhaps summed up by this quote from Abraham Maslow (he of ‘ the hierarchy of needs’ fame):

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

The one thing I took away from this podcast was that while hiring generalists may work for Google, I’m not sure this logic applies across the board.

The age of the procurement specialist

In procurement for example, I believe there is a strong case for hiring specialists. As the procurement landscape continues to become more complex geographically, technologically and legally, I believe the role of sourcing specialists with niche skill sets will increase in prominence.

IT is a great example of a category that has got infinitely more complex to understand, let alone manage, over the last decade (ironically, thanks in part to the generalists at Google). Firms have become more reliant on their IT operations as a source of competitive advantage – therefore doesn’t it follow that someone with an intricate knowledge of this area becomes more valuable?

Clearly, the generalist vs. specialist argument is an oversimplification of a complex matter. Successful teams undoubtedly need a balance of both. But how can procurement teams ensure they get the balance right?

What’s basketball got to do with it?

Studies by Dr Long Wang of City University of Hong Kong have addressed the issue of balancing generalists and specialists both in the workplace and on the basketball court.

Wang suggests that we as managers (or basketball coaches) have a troubling tendency to compare generalists to specialists in isolation. This tendency, he argues, is counter productive.

Wang suggests we should be analysing both the worth of employees and basketball players in the context of a team. While a basketball all-rounder may out perform a specialist three point shooter in a one-on-one match up, this is not a fair indication of their effectiveness as part of a team. Moreover basketball, like business, is about achieving team results not individual accolades.

Have you got the guts to pick a three-point shooter?

Wang postulates that our bias towards generalists has a lot to do with our aversion to risk. Generalists are more defendable to managers than specialists are.

“If I was the general manager of a basketball team” Wang said, “it would be easy for me to justify hiring one great athlete after the next because you can [justify] their individual statistics really well,”

While comparing a three-point specialist to a more rounded basketball star may appear unfair at first glance, (three-point shooters tend to be less athletic, post fewer recordable stats and are generally less captivating) their impact on the team’s overall performance is huge. Ultimately it’s the team performance we are interested in anyway.

“Do you want five superior athletes, or one clunky, non jumping, great-shooting three-point shooter and four great athletes? In fact, the five great ones, on average, might each be better than this guy, but as a team you do better when you have a role player who can do something special.” Said Wang.

There is no hard and fast rule to follow when it comes to selecting generalists over specialists or vice versa. But, I think it’s important that we remember to evaluate candidates based on how they perform as part of a larger team and not just what they are capable of in isolation.

Chinese New Year – What you need to know

The world’s largest human migration is well underway as more than 3 billion trips are made by students, migrant workers and office employees journeying home to celebrate Chinese New Year.

What does Chinese New Year mean for supply chains?

Spanning a total of 15 days, Chinese New Year – also known as the Spring Festival – is the longest and most important national holiday in China.

Celebrations, however, extend far beyond Chinese borders with roughly one sixth of the world’s population set to welcome the Year of Goat.

Ten years ago, the Chinese New Year holiday had little impact outside of China. But today, the oversized influence of China on global manufacturing and financial markets means celebrations will create significant ripples for business and the world economy.

The ‘world’s factory’ shuts down

The vast majority of Chinese factory workers live away from home, so the New Year – a period marked by culturally important ‘new year visits’ and reunion meals with kin, means that virtually all workers will down tools and embark on (often lengthy) journeys home to celebrate with family.

The complete shut down of ‘the world’s factory’ poses a headache for any business with supply chain operations in China (or any country with a large Chinese-speaking population for that matter), including: Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

And the chaos doesn’t end with manufacturing – pilots, freight workers, stevedores and truck drivers all head home and logistics grind to a standstill. Freight simply does not move for the week surrounding Chinese New Year.

In 2015, New Year celebrations officially begins on February 19th and end on February 25th, although workers are known to take up to two-weeks in advance, to make the long journey home.

Experts advise businesses should plan for no production or dispatches leaving China during the entire month of February, and for reduced output during the first half of March.  FedEx, UPS, and DHL post the expected delays on their websites, so business and consumers alike should utilize that information.

Beware of quality drops

Businesses are also advised to pay particular attention to their QA processes immediately after Chinese New Year, which is a prime time for Chinese workers to switch jobs.

As you’d expect, the impact of this spike in turnover is that inexperienced staff with little or no training often run post-New Year production, and staff shortages can hold-up production.

Global Shopping Spree

The news is not all bad for business: Chinese New Year is symbolically an auspicious time to buy and wear new clothes to signify the New Year. As Chinese prosperity continues to rise, this means big business for luxury brands. Last year, Chinese spending in Britain alone jumped 23 per cent over February as compared to 2012.

British retailers, including Harrods, Selfridges and Burberry, have also been quick to jump on the band wagon and are selling their own branded ‘hong-bao’ or red-envelopes traditionally given to Chinese children at this time of year.

How to join in the celebrations

If you can’t make it to The Bund for this year’s best celebrations, here are just some of the other places you can welcome in the New Year:

London – Join the celebrations on 22 February from 10am to 6pm in Trafalgar Square, which include a parade through the West End.

Melbourne – Chinese dragons, lions and street performers will fill Little Bourke Street on 22 February 10am – 10pm and a weekend of celebrations and heavenly hawker food will be available along Crown Riverfront.

New York – More than 6,000 people are expected to turn out for the Annual Lunar New Year Parade on 22 February which will wind its way through Chinatown.

Singapore – The celebrations go on all month long – just head to Chinatown!

San Francisco – Boasting the largest parade outside of China, catch all the action in Chinatown on Saturday, March 7, 2015 5:15pm-8pm

And so with that: “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to all our Procurious members celebrating in 2015!

Read more about the impact the Year of the Goat has on the world economy here.

How to use Filters to find exactly what you’re looking for

Using filters to get tailored search results

Use search filters to find what you're looking for

Nope we’re not talking water filters, Instagram filters, or the type of filters needed for your broadband – let us introduce you to the filters that will turbocharge your search experience on Procurious (and you thought filters were boring…!)

No matter where you are on the site,  the Procurious search bar is always within easy reach. You can use it to search for people, events, articles, discussion topics, or learning materials (videos).

Give it a go right now – fire something into the bar (‘CIPS’ for example) and see what it returns.

You’ll notice that the results page allows you to filter out your search results by type (all of which we touched on above). This proves invaluable when sorting those Procurious members with CIPS accreditation from CIPS-related articles (like our recent explainer on the CIPS Risk Index for instance).

More interested in growing your network and expanding your influence? If the search box isn’t returning the results you wanted, use the filters present on the ‘Build your network’ page to hone in on Procurious members that more closely align with your interests.

Build your network search filters

Here you can target your search and use filters to break down search results by country, industry, or category.

Whether you want to find people who work in Government, health care, mining (or any one of the 30+ other industries listed), want to list Procurious members by country, or by a particular category (commodities, logistics, utilities etc.) – you can use the filters as you see fit.

Of course you can also combine search filters for very precise hits: want to find members in the defence industry, looking after IT in Afghanistan? Yep, you can do that.

Why not give it a go now, and see what you’ve missing out on?

Spend Under Management – What does that even mean?

When CEOs and CFOs look at procurement metrics, one figure stands out: savings.

Spend Under Management - What does that even mean?

However, when we as procurement people look internally and attempt to analyse the performance and effectiveness of our own function – ‘spend under management’ is normally the metric we turn to and I’m not convinced this is a smart move.

I’m not going to argue that a procurement team that actively manages a large part of its spend is not positioning itself for success, that logic is sound. But, I do feel the spend under management metric (in its current interpretation) is a little misleading.

We’ve all read the procurement research papers that tell us what ‘top performing procurement teams’ do in relation to talent, supplier management, technology etc. More often than not, the determinant for what constitutes a top performing procurement team is tied to the amount of spend that organisation has under management.

Generally speaking, the performance bands look something like this:

  • Top performers – 75-85 per cent of spend under management
  • Average performers – 55-65 per cent of spend under management
  • Poor performers – 35 per cent or less of spend under management

When is a rose not a rose?

The issue I have with this metric is its definition, or rather, its lack of definition.

Despite the fact that the term is used extensively across our profession, the CIPS glossary doesn’t actually contain a definition for spend under management. This may go someway to explaining the variation we see when this metric is reported.

When I broke down the term for myself, the first part (spend) made sense. It’s the second part of the definition (under management) that is open to debate, interpretation and conjecture. What does ‘under management’ actually mean?

To help explain the vagueness of this term, lets look at what could potentially constitute ‘spend under management’:

  • Spend that passes through a procurement system (source to pay)
  • Spend that is covered under a contract
  • Spend that falls under a sourcing plan
  • Spend that is strategically and actively reviewed
  • Spend that is actively reviewed and managed internally by procurement to ensure that employees are utilising the contracted rates, terms SLAs and benefits.

I’m going to show you how great I am

The lack of a formal definition for the term has led to a scenario where procurement teams themselves are determining how much spend they have under management.

Essentially, the metric we are using to define the effectiveness or maturity of a procurement team is being generated, through the interpretation of an ill-defined term, by the very procurement team being analysed.

I’m not here to throw stones at how procurement teams use the term, but until we as a function can come up with a less subjective definition of what constitutes spend under management. Don’t you think it seems redundant to hold this metric up as means to compare the maturity or performance of different procurement teams?

Nevertheless, I do believe that spend under management, regardless of how your organisation choses to define it, can be used as an effective tool to track procurement performance and progress within the four walls of your organisation. If, and only if, it is presented to senior management along with your procurement team’s definition of the term. Something along the lines of:

“This is how we define spend under management… As a procurement team we’ve increased the amount of spend we are managing. Last year we had 60 per cent of our spend under management. This year we have 75 per cent.”

What do you think? How does your firm define spend under management? Should we continue to use spend under management (in its current interpretation) to compare procurement teams? Is it even possible to come up with a standard industry-wide definition?

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Latest trends in the procurement outsourcing service provider landscape

Want to know the latest procurement growth and adoption trends in Europe? How about service provider positioning, and solution characteristics of Europe-focused contracts too? You can find all of that in the new report by Everest Group.

Everest Group Procurement Outsourcing report

The report, titled: “Procurement Outsourcing Service Provider Landscape for Europe with PEAKMatrix Assessment” deep-dives into the following:

  • Overview and adoption trends in the PO market in Europe
  • 2014 PO PEAK Matrix for Europe
  • Service provider delivery capability assessment
  • Solution characteristics of PO in Europe

Rajesh Ranjan, Partner and Head, Business Process Services Research, Everest Group, comments: “Europe is the second largest geography for Procurement Outsourcing, and service providers have had to ‘up their game’ in the wake of intense competition to grab new opportunities.

The multi-process PO market in Europe currently stands at US$610 million, which is nearly one-third of the global PO market, and showed 13 per cent Year over Year (YoY) growth in 2013. United Kingdom is the largest geography within Europe with a 50 per cent share. However, the service provider landscape is in stark contrast – various regional players have a more prominent standing and some of the global BPO players are yet to grab a sizeable share in Europe. In the wake of intense competition, service providers are enhancing their capabilities to grab new opportunities in Europe. This confluence of competing forces is shaping the market in various interesting ways.

A total of 16 PO service providers were analysed using the PEAK Matrix Assessment based on Performance (P), Experience (E), Ability (A) and Knowledge (K). These included: Capgemini, Genpact, GEP, Infosys, Optimum Procurement, Proxima, Wipro, and WNS to name but a few.

In the report  three PO service providers achieved the highest tier “Leader” recognition – they were: Xchanging, Accenture, and IBM. These “Leaders” were classified as having the largest PO market share and were positioned the strongest performers in their ability to deliver services successfully. Leaders outperform other players across nearly all the metrics assessed.

In addition to market success, the classification was also captured through four sub-dimensions: scale, scope, technology, and delivery footprint.

Read more: the report is available to purchase now from this link.

Rolls-Royce accused of ‘buying the business’

The Financial Times newspaper reports that a former executive of the Brazilian state owned oil company Petrobras has accused British engineering company Rolls-Royce of bribery. 

Rolls-Royce accused of bribery according to The Financial Times

The newspaper claims (with supporting court documents) that Rolls-Royce paid bribes in excess of $200,000 USD to the former Petrobras employee in order to secure lucrative engineering contracts for gas turbines used on the company’s oil rigs. The contract had an alleged value of more than $100m USD.

Rolls-Royce has released the following statement via email:

“We have not received details of the allegations made in recent press reports, nor have we been approached by the authorities in Brazil”.

The allegation levelled at Rolls-Royce falls under a larger inquiry into Petrobras. The company is currently engulfed in controversy pertaining to wide spread corruption throughout its procurement practices. It has been alleged that Petrobras has received billions of dollars in bribes from suppliers eager to secure contracts.

Rolls-Royce is also currently under investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. The investigation that began in 2013 centres on corruption and bribery claims present within the company’s operations in China and Indonesia. Such claims included the ‘gifting’ of 20 million dollars and a blue Rolls-Royce car to Tommy Suharto (son of Indonesia’s former president, General Suharto) – in a bid to persuade the national airline to use Rolls-Royce engines for its fleet.

Work-life balance & job satisfaction more important than salary to procurement workers

Work-life balance and job satisfaction trump salary as the most important aspects of working life – according to recruitment specialist REED.

Work-life balance is more important than salary according to Reed

Breakdown across the ages reveals changing priorities when it comes to work and play.

With research revealing that workers in procurement roles rate work-life balance and job satisfaction as more important than salary, recruitment specialist REED is urging employers to give consideration to their recruitment and retention strategies.

The poll of over 1,600 workers by YouGov, in association with the launch of the REED 2015 Salary Guides, questioned workers on their attitudes to work, career aspirations and regrets.

What really matters at work

Within the findings, REED identified key trends which indicate how UK workers’ priorities change over the course of their career – which could have a significant effect on the talent management strategies of many UK firms.

With 36 per cent of workers in procurement claiming that good job satisfaction is the single most important aspect of working life, followed by the need for good work-life balance (28 per cent), it’s no longer just about the salary package.

Results revealed – what matters most across the ages

18-24                     Salary and benefits (38%)

25-34                     Job satisfaction (31%)

35-45                     Work-life balance (31%)

45-54                     Salary and benefits (25%)

55+                         Job satisfaction and work-life balance (joint top – 32%)

Career carousel

The poll revealed that one in eight workers (13 per cent) in procurement are unsatisfied in their role, with one in five (20 per cent) planning to look for a new job over the next 12 months.

While slightly more than one in ten workers (13 per cent) have stayed loyal to the same employer, twice as many (23 per cent) have moved workplaces more than seven times. When asked why they changed employer, procurement and supply chain workers reported better prospects or promotion (43 per cent), better salary (41 per cent) and boredom with their current role (28 per cent) as the top three motivators.

Gert Nzimiro, executive divisional director at Reed Procurement & Supply Chain, said: “In a candidate-led market such as this, employers need to think hard about how they attract and retain procurement staff. What this research shows is that although salary is very important, now we’re out of the recession it’s no longer just about pay – employers need to consider many other factors, such as flexible working and how they can offer the greatest job satisfaction. 

“Our research shows that in the last 12 months, 29 per cent of procurement and supply chain workers received some form of pay rise, and almost a quarter (24 per cent) received a bonus. However, with 22 per cent having received no benefits, the fact that 20 per cent are planning to look for a new role over the next 12 months, is hardly surprising. Employers need to start taking action and think wider than just the salary package.”

The Reed Procurement & Supply Chain 2015 Salary & Market Insight report can be obtained at www.reedglobal.com/salaryguide

State of Flux Technologies introduces SRM technology brand

Reinforcing their focus on supplier management software, State of Flux Technologies launches a new name and brand – Statess.

State of Flux Technologies launches its new name and brand – Statess!

Following a year of increased growth and investment on their supplier management platform, State of Flux Technologies celebrated the launch of its new name and brand Statess (pronounced State-ess) with clients, procurement leaders and industry experts last week.

Preserving the strong relationship and heritage, Statess will continue to work closely with the State of Flux team to deliver market leading supplier relationship management (SRM) solutions.

“Our global SRM research has shown that companies who invest in SRM technology deliver incremental post-contract benefits. Now is the perfect time for Statess to help companies deliver these benefits.” Alan Day, State of Flux Chairman and Founder

Led by CEO Lance Younger, Statess has seen an increase in the number of clients over the past year, including Centrica, IAG, Friends Life and Ladbrokes. They’ve grown the team and continued to innovate, adding great new functionality in supplier innovation management, performance management, risk management and sustainability/corporate social responsibility (CSR). Statess also has an expanded partner ecosystem, including 15 best-in-class providers, from spend analysis to sourcing, P2P, and sustainability/CSR.

“Being presented the Gartner Cool Vendor 2012 award recognised our pioneering supplier management platform, and since then with our clients and team we have continued to move forward solving supplier management challenges and empowering teams across the enterprise. We created the first supplier innovation module in 2013, and 2014 was another fantastic year with more product innovation and great customer experiences. Our new brand and strong partner ecosystem reinforce our passion and focus on supplier management software.” Lance Younger, Statess CEO

In 2014, supplier management continued to surge as a critical approach for companies to deliver differentiation and for procurement to co-create the agenda with the business. In 2015, ambition remains key, and leaders will be defined by execution – intelligently simple execution. Statess is on a mission to make SRM easy for all and they believe they can continue to do this for all their clients.

Check out the Statess website and social media channels to learn more.

Closed for business: US West Coast ports shutdown amid dispute

Supply chains across America are facing up to six months’ disruption after 29 ports on the US West Coast, including the two busiest ports in the country, were partially shutdown over the weekend.

US docks face 4-day shutdown

An on-going dispute between the Pacific Maritime Authority (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) over contracts and working conditions, has led to major delays in the loading and unloading of cargo.

The disruption reached its peak on Sunday morning, with approximately 34 container ships anchored along the Californian coast waiting for access to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Labour Dispute

The PMA and ILWU have been locked in contract negotiations since the end of June last year, when the previous contract ended.

Unfortunately, relations between the two parties have soured, with the PMA accusing the ILWU of a deliberate slow-down of work in recent months, something that the ILWU has attributed to changes in practices by the shipping companies. With neither side willing to back down, negotiations have stalled.

In response to the slow-down, the PMA took the decision to suspend port operations for six weekend and holiday days in February, stating that they were unwilling to pay the high overtime rates for weekends and holidays when productivity was so low.

With conservative estimates placing the cost to the US economy at $2 billion per day, President Obama has sent Labour Secretary, Tom Perez, to get negotiations back on track and a deal in place.

Supply Chain Pressures

However, even if a deal is agreed soon, it could take anywhere between two and six months for port activities to return to normal levels. This would then lead to a far greater impact on supply chains already experiencing severe delays to deliveries of a wide range of goods, including agricultural produce, car parts and clothing.

Exports of fresh produce to Asia have been heavily impacted, with many US suppliers now looking to domestic markets for sales as other customers cancel orders. There are also concerns that many retailers will be unable to stock spring clothing lines, leading to lower incomes over March and April.

In the car industry, both Nissan and Toyota have been forced to airfreight parts for US manufacturing operations due to the disruptions. Honda has also confirmed a slow-down in US production due to shortages of parts normally shipped from Asia to the West Coast.

Lack of contingency

There are concerns that many of the companies affected don’t have the necessary contingency plans in place to mitigate the risks of the disruptions. It is felt that many were unprepared for the dispute to last as long as it has and that it has left companies exposed to the delays.

Although some companies like Nissan and Toyota have been able to take steps to mitigate the disruption by using other transportation methods, others have not been able to act in the same way, compounding the delays in the supply chain.

One high-profile victim of the dispute is McDonalds. As Procurious reported earlier this year, the disruption at the coastal ports lead to shortages in produce exports and rationing of fries in Japan. This was a contributing factor to the company’s first full-year loss in the region in 11 years.

For more on this story, follow these links:

http://www.supplychaindigital.com/supplychainmanagement/3831/What-happens-if-the-US-ports-keep-closing

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/02/14/asian-automakers-parts-cars-port-strike/23380041/

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2be1ed0a-b23a-11e4-80af-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Ru37cVTq

Read on for the other procurement and supply chain stories making the headlines.

Heathrow Airport procurement director offered exec committee place if he ‘reshaped’ function

  • Ian Ballentine, procurement director at Heathrow Airport, was offered a seat on the executive committee if he could “reshape” the function within a year of joining the firm.
  • Ballentine joined the firm in November 2012, and in late 2013 he joined the committee. He said: “I took the job here because the previous chief exec said: ‘I need someone to come on board and really reshape procurement for what I think it can become in an organisation, and if within a year you can demonstrate you can do that then I will give you a place on the board’.”
  • Ballentine started out in charge of procurement for the operations division of Heathrow, but following his success his role was widened to include the remaining IT and construction divisions in a new merged function. His work revolved around changing perceptions of procurement as being “bureaucratic”, “slowing things down and not adding value” to “really demonstrating the savings off the bottom line”.

Read more at Supply Management 

Food chain is an easy target for criminals, says safety chief Alan Reilly

  • Food fraud is still seen as an easy target for criminals and the authorities are not organised enough to tackle the criminals, the outgoing Food Safety Authority of Ireland(FSAI) chief executive Alan Reilly has said.

  • Prof Reilly said food companies must have a threat assessment procedure in place to identify where the food supply chain could be vulnerable to fraud.

  • “The longer that food chain, the more things that could go wrong and the more opportunities for criminals to get in and do things like food substitution and animal species substitution, to bulk out products, to dilute down high-value products like olive oil and so on,” he said.

  • “The food chain is still seen as an easy target for criminals. There is big money to be made in food fraud and at the present moment I don’t think we are organised enough to tackle some of the criminals out there. It does need co-operation across all the agencies of the State, gardaí, customers and the food regulators have to work together to tackle the problem.”

Read more at The Irish Times

BT’s ‘near-monopoly’ on rollout of rural broadband sparks concerns

  • Plans to put a publicly-funded £45.5million superfast broadband contract on to the open market were abandoned after BT refused to bid and left only two potential bidders, a leading member of the project team has revealed.
  • Commissioning group Connecting Devon and Somerset had said last year it would launch a tender process which would take coverage up to 95 per cent of all properties.
  • A previous £94 million contract with BT only promised that 90 per cent of businesses and residents across the two counties would see data transfer speeds increased by 2016.

Read more at Western Morning News

Church charity to research FTSE 100 supply chain slavery links 

  • A church-based charity is to lead research aimed at uncovering potential links between human trafficking and the supply chains of FTSE 100 companies.
  • The study by Us, with the help of Finance Against Trafficking, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), and Rathbone Greenbank Investments, is motivated by concerns the companies may inadvertently become involved in human trafficking through links with suppliers around the world.
  • Rachel Parry, global relations director for Us, said: “We want to see FTSE 100 companies better informed to help them ensure there is as little risk as possible that their supply chain is somehow touched by the traffickers’ trade.”

Read more at Supply Management 

Supermarkets should encourage small suppliers, not bully them

  • The news that the grocery industry watchdog is investigating Tesco over its alleged mistreatment of suppliers is unlikely to have shocked many. Supermarkets aren’t renowned for treating their suppliers well – particularly those small businesses that don’t have the muscle to put up a fight against unfair contracts and late payments. And as margins shrink in the groceries sector, the supply chain represents an obvious target. The insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor reckons as many as 100 food and drink manufacturers could go bust this year because of the supermarket price war.
  • The irony is that all the evidence suggests consumers are looking for more choice in their supermarket shopping – not ever more brands of washing powder or baked beans, but new products and new product categories. The supermarkets need more innovative smaller suppliers offering artisanal products, not fewer, yet their behaviour is driving firms out of business.
  • Research sponsored by the online grocer Ocado underlines the point. Its poll of shoppers, conducted by YouGov, found that 38 per cent actively seek out small label products when they’re in the supermarket and that 51 per cent rely on their supermarket to introduce them to new products. A third said they were more likely to shop in a supermarket they believe is supportive of smaller businesses.

Read more at The Independent

Kimberly-Clark names SVP global supply chain

  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation has appointed Sandra MacQuillan, 48, to the newly created position of SVP, Global Supply Chain. MacQuillan joins K-C from Mars Inc., where she served as Global Vice President, Supply Chain for Global Petcare. She will be joining K-C in the second quarter.
  • With her appointment, MacQuillan will have global responsibilities for procurement, transportation, continuous improvement, sustainability, and quality, safety and regulatory operations. Labor relations and workforce issues across product supply will also be coordinated at a global level. She will also lead the company’s Global Supply Chain Council, which will be comprised of supply chain leaders from across the globe, and will build the next generation of supply chain capability at the company. She will report to Thomas J. Falk, chairman and CEO, and become a member of K-C’s global senior leadership team.

Read more at Consumer Goods Technology

The CIPS Risk Index Explained

Following on from our review of the Purchasing Managers Index (or PMI) last week, Procurious continues its look into procurement performance indicators. This week we are focusing on the CIPS Risk Index. 

CIPS Risk Index

The CIPS Risk Index is a tool developed by CIPS and powered by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). It has been designed to give procurement and supply chain professionals a country-by-country understanding of the risks that exist within their supply chain.

The index is generated through a number of unique assessments that are undertaken by D&B’s economics team and provides an individual country-based score for 132 countries. CIPS suggests that these country-based scores can be aggregated to indicate overall supply chain risk.

For procurement professionals that want to understand the details behind the high level risks pointed out by risk index, CIPS provides monthly Country RiskLine reports and more detailed quarterly Country Insight reports. These reports provide a more in-depth look into the political, economic and social risks present in countries and how these impact purchasing activities.

When calculating the index, D&B takes into account the following categories:

  • Short-term economic outlook.
  • Long-term potential
  • Market potential
  • FX risk
  • Transfer risk
  • Business environment quality
  • Business continuity
  • Insecurity/civil disorder risk
  • Expropriation/nationalisation risk.

To find out more about the CIPS Risk Index click here.