All posts by Procurious HQ

And the top 10 industrial supply chains are?

No more inky fingers! We’ve compiled the headlines so you don’t have to. Like what you see? Check out the freshly-pressed Procurious news service – you can find it here.

Factory (Jorge Franganillo)
Jorge Franganillo

Gartner announces top 10 industrial supply chains

  • After releasing the core top 25 list at its supply chain executive conference in May, Gartner has in the past few weeks also named its top 10 “industrial manufacturing” supply chains list.
  • Just three companies Gartner classifies as industrial manufacturers made the overall top 25 supply chain list this year, and all somewhat near the bottom of that list. Therefore it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that these take the top 3 positions in the new ranking…
  • Caterpillar comes in on pole position, while 3M and Cummins rank second and third respectively.

To view the top 10 in its entirety – pay a visit to SC Digest

Forrest Review is good news for Indigenous business 

  • Within the last few days, the Forrest Review has been presented to Australian Government. The 256-page report advocates for the Federal Government to purchase at least 4 per cent of its goods and services directly from Indigenous businesses.
  • The report recommends that this should be implemented over a four year period, with an annual increase of 1 per cent per year. Indigenous businesses could be contracted directly or through subcontractors.
  • The Forrest Review also pushes for tax-free status for Indigenous run businesses.
  • Another recommendation focuses on the establishment of a ‘Top 200 Employers’ policy. This recommendation states that the Federal Government should provide the top 200 companies in Australia, with a strong Indigenous employment record, with tailored contracts to increase the proportion of Indigenous employees within their workforce.

Source: Supply Nation
Read The Forrest Review in full – here

Supply chain and logistics vacancies climb 45 per cent

  • Jobs in UK supply chain & logistics are increasing sharply, according to new research from one of the UK’s leading professional specialist recruiters.
  • Q2 data from the Robert Walters UK Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, shows year-on-year openings for supply chain & logistics professionals rising by 45 per cent.
  • With this confidence building across the wider economy, projects that had been put on hold are being implemented, creating fresh demand for supply chain professionals.

Read more at Supply Chain Digital

ArrowStream employee shoots CEO

  • Tony DeFrances – the chief technology officer at supply technology firm ArrowStream, mortally wounded his company’s CEO after receiving a demotion.
  • The firm was in the process of downsizing and had demoted a number of people.
  • Steven LaVoie founded ArrowStream in 2000, and DeFrances had been with the firm “virtually since its inception,” according to the company’s website. ArrowStream was named one of Chicago’s best and brightest companies to work for by a business trade group earlier this year, an honour it had received every year since at least 2012.

Read more at Chicago Tribune

China bans Symantec and Kaspersky

Foreign security software off China’s govt procurement list

  • A Chinese government procurement agency has excluded Symantec and Kaspersky, two foreign security software developers, from a security software supplier list.
  • According to a report from Beijing Youth Daily, all the five antivirus softwares in the list are from China, including Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.

Read more at Ecns.cn and The Inquirer

Price is most important factor for consumers

  • 80 per cent of consumers believe it is important for companies and brands to behave ethically, however the most significant factors when shopping are price, value and quality.
  • The findings come from online sourcing and optimisation specialists Trade Extensions – and reveal UK and US consumers’ attitudes towards ethics and sustainability.
  • Despite consumers’ relatively low ranking of ethical and sustainability concerns, over 70 per cent say they are more likely or much more likely to buy from companies with strong and proven policies on sustainability and ethics.

Read more on Business Wire

And finally…

 Supply chain headache inspires £1m investment

  • A Norfolk glass manufacturing business frustrated with slow suppliers is chartering a fresh route to growth by investing £1m into a new production plant.
  • Alastair Clayton, managing director of Seaglaze Group, said: “When it became clear that the lack of a reliable supply chain was starting to jeopardise our production schedules we decided to take control of our own destiny.”
  • The new factory – based in a 5,000sq ft unit close to its headquarters – will produce toughened glass for the marine industry, creating six jobs.

Read more on EDP24

Here come the Millennials: Life as a junior category buyer

Today’s #firstmover is a true Millennial! Say hello to Jannine Wood – and go add her to your network while you’re at it. Read our article on Millennials – here.

Jannine Wood #firstmovers

Procurious asks: Procurement is a far cry from English Literature and Film Studies… When did you decide on procurement as a profession, and what attracted you to it?

Jannine: To be honest, procurement is something that initially I just fell in to. I had been floating around different admin jobs since university and couldn’t quiet decide what I wanted to do. I started working at Valueworks nearly two and half years ago and this is where I gain an interest in procurement.  

It was during my time at Valueworks that I realised that procurement was something that interested me and I had finally found my niche. I think the main attraction for me, is creating and building relationships with suppliers and clients.

Procurious: Could you explain your role within PfH?

Jannine: I’m the category buyer for finance and commercial category and there are five frameworks within the category. These include, debt management, bill payment services, decorating vouchers, vehicle lease and vehicle purchase.

I’m predominately responsible for vehicle lease and purchase.

Procurious: Some would argue that procurement suffers from an image problem; do you feel that there needs to be more education around the profession?

Jannine: I would agree that there needs to be more education around the profession, I think a lot of people are unsure of what procurement entails and often leaves them confused. However once you explain to what is it, the process and what the outcome is, I think it can be really appealing.

Procurious on social procurement: Do you feel that websites like Procurious help connect the procurement community/What have you used it for so far?

Jannine: I think websites like Procurious and LinkedIn are great for the procurement community and help build relationships with others (outside your inner circle). I have actually used Procurious to help build existing and new relationships.

Procurious: As a young female procurement professional – do you feel like there’s added pressure on you, or certain expectations?

Jannine: At times I feel there is certain expectation, especially within the vehicle industry (I worked predominately as a buyer for vehicle lease/purchase), which can be a male dominated industry at times. However I mostly feel pressure from myself, as I want to excel in what I do.

Procurious: We’ve recently written a piece on the millennial workforce [aka Generation Y – those born between 1980 and 2000], and discovered that young people often wrestle with career advancement. Do you have a different view; is there a clear path at PfH?

Jannine: I found career advancement difficult in the beginning, coming out of university and not having much work experience, I found it difficult to progress for the first few years.

However over the past two years I have found it easier to progress in my career and there is definitely a clear progress path at PfH.

Procurious: Is there a particular aspect of your role that provides you with job satisfaction? And can you recall your proudest moment?

Jannine: Seeing my relationships grown and develop over time is something that gives me great satisfaction, especially with the suppliers. Another aspect that is rewarding is helping a member resolve an issue/problem.

I think my proudest moment so far has been helping one of members conduct a mini competition in a very short space of time and working with the suppliers to ensure that the bids were completed quickly yet efficiently. The member was very grateful that the process had been completed so quickly.

Procurious: What’s your best advice for young people thinking of following in your footsteps?

Jannine: My best advice would be to any kind of work experience to begin with, although I didn’t get in to procurement for a while, the skills that I developed during my time in my other roles really benefitted me once I did move in to procurement and gave me great confidence when starting out in the industry.

We’d like to thank Jannine for taking the time to talk to us – and if you’d like to get involved too, send us a message.

24 of the most mesmerising machines

Working in procurement you are closer than most to the thing that ultimately ends up rolling off the production line. But have you ever thought to yourself ‘how DID that come to be?’

Lucky for you then that the inquisitive minds over at How It’s Made, and those kings of the viral tap – Buzzfeed, have put together a little video that shows 24 examples of the world’s most awe-inspiring machinery.

We bet you can’t  identify what all 24 of them do…

Start spreading the news… (as long as it is on Procurious)

This week’s Procurious blog update will focus on a number of valuable additions that our developers have been tinkering with behind the scenes.

Curated news service

Curated content and news-aggregation are all the rage these days… From companies spending millions to grass-root startups on a shoestring. Procurious.com falls into the latter, and we’re quite proud of our ‘News’ service. Go on, do take a look…

“Read all about it”

We want to make Procurious part of your daily online routine, so we’ve added a curated ‘News’ service [find it in the main navigation above]

Here you can digest the latest headlines from around the world, as well as specialized topics like business, technology, science, environment, and sports.

It updates every day to bring you the stories we think you’ll be looking for. No more scouring the Internet (or social media) for scrappy titbits or false leads, just stick with us and we’ll see you through.

Updates in discussion feed

Your social updates

Elsewhere on Procurious, we’ve given everything a bit of a tuck and polish. Spend enough time on your Community feed and you’ll be alerted whenever someone in your network makes an update.

Clever URLs

Post to the Community feed, in a discussion topic, or reply to a blog post, and (if it’s a web address) Procurious will automatically turn it into a clickable link. For instance, you don’t have to preface the URL with http:// or www just type ‘twitter.com’. A small addition we think you’ll agree, but a handy one.

Inline comments

Inline replies are go!

If you’ve been dipping in and out of our Discussions area, but wondered why you couldn’t leave inline comments – then we have good news! Inline replies are now active across all discussion topics.

What’s more, everyone in the discussion receives a notification if new replies are posted.

Edit your Procurious profile

Edit your profile in a jiffy

Sometimes you just want to make an edit on the fly – that’s why we’ve granted you the ability to quickly change your job title/position directly from your profile page. Just click the ‘edit’ button, tap away and hit ‘save’ to immediately apply the changes.

We’re social, are you?

And finally, don’t forget that we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn (you might have noticed the new social icons towards the bottom of your page). So come and follow us!

Australian Egg Corporation left with egg on its face?

The yolk’s on them…

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC for short) has been trying to crack a hard-boiled mystery…

Cartel investigated in Australian egg probe

Talk of cartels is usually something we leave to the boys on Sons of Anarchy, but it looks like it’s reared its ugly head and triggered an egg pricing war down under.

Cartel arrangements come about when competing firms instigate anti-competitive measures – in this instance the aim was to reduce the supply of eggs to customers and businesses.

Examples of anti-competitive conduct include price fixing, rigging bids (from suppliers and buyers), sharing markets, and other such practices that seek to control the market and increase the profits of all involved.

Allegations were aimed at The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (along with two egg producers), that implied all were aware of such a scheme.

A presentation made to Australia’s top 25 egg producers in Feb 2012 included slides that pertained to disrupting the supply chain. Messages included:

“Dispose of eggs by either donating eggs to one or many charity groups or dumping/burying eggs.”

“Reduce the number of laying hens by culling birds (there is currently capacity with the major processors). Use of an independent auditor?”

And: “Increase demand? (AEC has invested $1 million above budget to assist ‘move’ volume).”

In related news, Qantas and Virgin Australia Holdings have also wandered into the ACCC’s sights over carbon tax. Read more on The Sydney Morning Herald

Brr! DHL enhances its cold chain logistics

It may be a glorious summer across Europe, but the latest news from DHL might send temperatures south… Enjoy that and stories about Amazon, NHS, Johnson Controls, Apple, plus more – below.

Johnson Controls makes new appointment

  • Johnson Controls has appointed Michael Bartschat as its first CPO to develop ‘world-class global procurement function’
  • Bartschat will report to Bruce McDonald, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
  • The company said Bartschat will “optimise cost and value” of purchased materials, products and services. There will also be a focus on supporting the company’s ongoing transformation to a “true multi-industrial through operational and manufacturing excellence across its business units”.

Read more on Supply Management


Amazon second quarter sales up

  • Amazon.com has announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2014. All-in sales are up 23 percent to $19.34 billion.
  • Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com said: “We continue working hard on making the Amazon customer experience better and better.
  • “We’ve recently introduced Sunday delivery coverage to 25 percent of the U.S. population, launched European cross-border Two-Day Delivery for Prime, and launched Kindle Unlimited, an eBook subscription service.”

Read more on Supply Chain Digital

State of NHS procurement in UK

A Guardian article on poor NHS procurement has sparked fierce criticism from an NHS procurement director. You can read arguments from both sides at this link.

  • Among the narrative we learn that the NHS procurement price comparison shows that some trusts pay over 135% more for certain products, such as white paper.
  • And despite some excellent initiatives, the procurement community as a whole has failed to produce a strategy to deliver the savings that are needed

DHL

DHL enhances its cold chain logistics

  • DHL Global Forwarding has enhanced its cold chain logistics offerings through the transport of shipments at frozen or cryogenic temperatures.
  • Designed for customers from the life sciences and healthcare industry with an increasing need for sophisticated cryogenic logistics solutions, this service is maintained by LifeConEx, DHL’s temperature management specialist, in collaboration with Cryoport, a provider of complete global frozen shipping services.
  • David Bang, CEO LifeConEx said: “It is specifically designed for customers who require that cryogenic temperature be reliably maintained during storage and transportation of their materials. It also relieves them from more precarious shipping methods such as dry ice or use of hazardous liquid nitrogen”

Read more on Supply Chain Digital

US brand scolded over deceptive labeling

  • The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the Made in the USA Brand, LLC, which provides a “Made in USA” certification seal to marketers, has agreed to drop its certification claims.

Read more on Sourcing Journal Online

Ryder selects LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru

  • Ryder has selected LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru as the primary application for supply chain design and vehicle route optimization throughout the company’s global enterprise.
  • Ryder specializes in fleet management, supply chain management and dedicated transportation services and had revenues in excess of $5 billion in 2013.

  • “We selected LLamasoft for its holistic approach to supply chain design,” said Tom Kroswek, senior director of supply chain excellence, Ryder Global Supply Chain Services. 

Read more on MarketWatch

Apple iPad

Apple ramping up supply chain for mysterious new release?

  • Apple is understood to be working on a slimmed-down iPad Mini Air, as well as a 12.9-inch model so says the company’s Far East manufacturing partners.
  • The new small-screen device will use the Air moniker, like the current flagship iPad, and is understood to be 30 per cent thinner than the 2013 iPad Mini. It will feature Apple’s new A8 processor, which is expected to debut in the iPhone 6.
  • As for the 12.9-inch tablet, United Daily News quoted David Hsieh – Vice President of market research firm DisplaySearch – as saying the device should hit shelves in 2015, motivated by increased competition in the segment from Samsung and other vendors.

Read more on Cable.co.uk

Digital supply chain (in)security

Dave Lewis, a contributor who writes for Forbes, has penned a thoughtful piece on the dangers (and effects) digital technology could have on supply chains the world over.

You can read Lewis’ piece in full here – but in it he cites a Gartner report that predicts “by 2017, IT supply chain integrity will be identified as a top three security-related concern by Global 2000 IT leaders” is actually a real concern in 2014.

Elsewhere Lewis warns companies: “Don’t forsake security in a effort to make a deadline. The cost could be higher in the long run.”

Useful websites and apps to improve your life

Best time-saving websites and apps to simplify your busy life.

Increase your productivity – spend less time on life admin and more on living your life to the fullest.

Best time-saving apps

About.me – sell yourself quickly and easily

What’s better than writing about yourself on Procurious? How about your own little corner of the Web (that can be put-together in under two minutes flat)…

The folks behind About.me know that a little bit of self-promotion can do you the world of good.  Just add photo, sprinkle some words, and connect the social networks of your choosing to your spangly new page.
Best time-saving apps

Trackthisforme – activity tracker that looks as good as you

For the body-conscious out there we’ve got a Procurious guide to health and fitness gadgets in the pipeline, but in the meantime put down that donut and check out trackthisforme.

This lightweight app ably keeps track of mood, weight, hours slept, pushups, and more. Data junkies will also appreciate the resulting tables and graphs that plot your activities.

It’s available for free on both iOS and Android platforms.
Best time-saving apps

Routehappy – flight comparison tool that thinks of everything

You’d be forgiven for thinking Routehappy is just another flight comparison website, but when its mantra reads “all flights are not created equal”, you’ll soon realise your mistake…

Routehappy not only serves as a flight checker, it also allows passengers to search for flights on nicer planes, roomier seats, in-seat power options and quality of entertainment on board. Each flight and airline is awarded a happiness factor so passengers can get a real sense of the experience.

Hipmunk is also worthy of a mention here.
Best time-saving apps

Things – task manager that keeps track of life so you don’t have to

If the very thought of a task manager app fills you with dread, we think you’ll appreciate Things fresh perspective on the mundane. What do you want to do Today? What are the tasks you want to get to Next? And what do you want to Schedule for a later day? Everything has its place.

When entering new to-dos you can quickly add all important information: enter the title, notes, and due date. You can also tag to-dos so you can find them more easily later.

It’s all very intuitive and the app is attractive to boot. Things stores your to-dos and keeps them updated across your Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch so you’ll never suffer from lack of organisation ever again.

Best time-saving apps

Circa – instant access to the latest news stories

News-curation services are seemingly on the up and up. Circa is available purely in app-form and been designed to make it easier to keep tabs on breaking news stories.

Circa editors distil news down into only the essential points so the user doesn’t feel as though they’re being bogged down with details. With Reuters’ social media editor on board too, it should go from strength to strength. Interested? It’s currently available for both iOS and Android

Want more news? Yahoo! has just released its own version – the News Digest app. Plus there’s similar offerings from Romanian-based MediaServista too, which is currently in demo mode.
Best time-saving apps

Xmarks – take your favourite websites with you

Xmarks does an impressive job of seamlessly backing up and syncing bookmarks for your favourite websites across all of your devices. You can also rely on it to remember your passwords and any open browser tabs too. Especially useful when you’ve found a good website at work but can’t remember it come home time.

Xmarks will keep a copy of everything you’ve synced for up to three months, but should you require longer a premium version is available.

Best time-saving apps

Handybook – like having your own housekeeper

It’s been described as the “Uber” of household services.  Handybook provides a web app enabling people to book cleaners, plumbers, handymen and other household service providers. Airbnb also offer their services to those hosts who opt for discounted cleaning after every booking.

At the time of writing Handybook has stretched its calloused, hardworking fingers to Canada, United States, and the UK.

In the UK? If you’re just after some good old-fashioned cleaning, we’ve heard great things about Hassle.com too. Go check them out and use ref841matt for a fiver off.

Best time-saving apps

Freckle – track the time you (and your team) spend doing things

“Your business runs on time. It’s the fuel your team uses to start, create, finish projects for yourselves and your clients. You’ve got to make sure every minute counts… and can be counted” – so says Freckle’s website, and it’s true.

Freckle takes care of this otherwise boring administrative task, giving you some time back to concentrate on more important business decisions.

It’s accessible via a web interface and offers a 30-day free trial for those wanting to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool. Prices then start at $39 per month for a small team.

That’s our lot for now, but if you want to add your suggestions just leave a comment below.

Anyone for cricket? No sticky wickets in this supply chain…

Bianca Amore

Bianca Amore’s career experience makes her the sort of all-rounder that any company CEO would snap up in an instant.

She’s worked her way through the ranks for a number of major corporate brands both in the UK and overseas.

A major standout for her was working with the head of sponsorship to negotiate a major sponsorship deal with the English and Wales Cricket Board for grassroots through to professional British Cricket.

“The best bit was heading to the cricket at Lords with my mates to watch the game and seeing where my hard work went. It was everywhere, the pitch advertising, overall branding, junior cricket representation and the like. It was a really enjoyable day.”

Bianca now calls Sydney home, where she works as a procurement consultant.

Her strong negotiation skills have sealed her destiny in procurement. She had initially studied to be a civil engineer, but soon realised a career in engineering wasn’t what she wanted in her future.

So, she changed directions, enrolling in a Bachelor of Business in internal business and marketing. It was a much better fit and she found herself gravitating toward firstly analyst roles, then project management, strategic sourcing, category management and now, end-to-end procurement. She went on to complete her CIPS qualification while working.

Working abroad has allowed Bianca to also travel. She loves soaking up new cultures and enjoying new cuisines along the way and counts Italy and France as her favourite destinations.

She names coaching a client towards a promotion as a proud moment for her.

“I’ve worked with so many great people around the world, and been fortunate enough to work in some fantastic organisations on high profile projects. I would like that to continue. Though, if I didn’t work in procurement, I’d probably own a designer shoe shop and lend my skills to not-for-profit organisations.”

“I love the variety of work that I do. I’ve sourced everything from telco networks to multi-million dollar media deals. True procurement allows you to learn and use a variety of skills. It gives you an opportunity to gain lots of skills across more areas of a business than most other careers.”

When asked how she approaches negotiations and what works well for her, she says: “Be prepared, stick to the facts, understand your leverage and keep your stakeholders informed.”

Are apples and potatoes the sustainable energy source of the future?

Could you power your supply chain with apples and oranges?

Outside Westfield shopping centre in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, Microsoft and Carphone Warehouse have unveiled one of the world’s biggest science experiments…

Behold an enormous 20ft wide and 8ft high installation featuring a phenomenal amount of fruit and vegetables, which, amazingly, is able to wirelessly charge a Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Microsoft and Carphone Warehouse teamed up with Caleb Charland, a science enthusiast and artist, to create the magnificent charging art piece. Inspired by the school science project, where an electrical current is generated using a potato, Caleb created ‘Back To Light’ his latest body of work.

Caleb has now applied this method to create the Lumia organic charger using 800 apples and potatoes.

Bet you wish you’d paid more attention in your science class now?