All posts by Procurious HQ

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?

3 tips to make the most from social networks

Want to make more of an impact on the Procurious network? Here are a few pointers to help make a bigger splash across this online platform.

Complete your profile

Nobody likes to leave a job half-done… This also rings true on Procurious where profiles are sometimes being left incomplete.

How to complete your Procurious profileIf you didn’t get around to filling out all of your employment, education, or personal details when you registered on Procurious, you will notice that we prompt you for this information on subsequent log-ins.

We’re not trying to bug you, but as our members will attest, you will get more out of the network if you adopt a more open approach to sharing.

Entering your ‘location’ is important as it allows other members to locate professionals by vicinity.  Start typing your location and Procurious will suggest places based on your keystrokes.

Likewise, ‘industry’ and ‘category’ will also prove useful when it comes to finding other Procurious members in similar roles to you.

Network, network, network

How to grow your Procurious network
If you haven’t yet made many friends on Procurious then you’ll want to take advantage of our ‘Build your network’ feature.

It’s easy to grow your network from here, just click the green ‘+ Add to network’ button next to the members of your choosing.

You can even filter Procurious members by using the search filters, or by typing a name into the search box.

For a more detailed look at this invaluable feature – we suggest you read this blog entry.

You might have also noticed the ‘Get connected’ area that we’ve added to the site. This randomly highlights three other members (at a time) that we think you should connect with. Added all three? Just refresh the page or click ‘View more’.

See who you're connected with on Procurious

Soon you’ll be networking like a pro, and connecting with members from all over the Procurious network.

Share like your life depends on it

If knowledge is power then you should make sharing content on Procurious one of your priorities. This is a network for like-minded individuals, many of whom will take more that a passing interest in what you have to say.

You can post to Procurious in two ways: either write some words, add a URL, or share a photo using the status box. Alternatively just click the ‘share’ icon above a member’s post, Procurious blog entry, or event listing to share to the Community at large.

Share articles on Procurious

So share, and share lots (as you never know whose eye you might catch…)

The curse of Generation Y: Meet the Millennials

A great deal has been written about Millennials… A lot of it, not all that nice – so it’s with interest that we pored over the new infographic compiled from research Collegefeed conducted on a 5000-strong sample.

The results can be viewed below in full, but first some context for anyone not quite up to speed… You might already be familiar with the previous Generation X, well Millennials are members of the next wave – sometimes referred to as Generation Y. As for what makes up this demographic, the boundaries are loose at best – those born anywhere between the 1980s and 2000s have been included in commentary to date.

Collegefeed.com

Although 60 percent of those surveyed were female, the results show that the top 10 list was predominately made-up of male role-models (only 4 were women).

Alongside strong entrepreneurial-powerhouses such as Jobs, Gates, Musk, Zuckerberg, and Branson – there sits quite a selection of personalities from the world of showbiz and entertainment.

Other survey results included Pope Francis, Marissa Mayer, Jon Stewart, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Lawrence. Bey’s done a lot for female empowerment, and we love The Hunger Games trilogy as much as the next person, but are such inclusions casting our young Millennials in an unflattering light?

Collegefeed.com

30 percent of those surveyed stated they are worried that their employers believe they are lazy and/or entitled. This could tie into a later line of questioning that asked if Millennials felt they had a harder time of finding jobs (compared to earlier generations). The result? A resounding 70 percent answered ‘Yes’.

This is in direct contrast to recent job reports and statistics that have shown a decrease in the overall unemployment rate for new graduates.

Collegefeed.com

The last of the survey’s findings focused on the Millennial’s motivation factors for choosing a role. The majority put ‘Salary’ as their top priority.

These days you read more and more about companies shying away from promoting, hiring, or training talented Millennial candidates. If you look at the survey note that both ‘Stability’ and ‘advancement opportunities’ came towards the bottom – could this be another black mark against the Millennial’s perceived reputation?

Various factors come into play, says Tony Sorenson, CEO of Versique Search (versique.com) and Consulting and McKinley Consulting (mckinleyconsulting.com). Millennials typically transition jobs more frequently than employees from the previous generation, which can cause hiring managers to assume they’ll lose younger employees quicker, making it harder to justify investing time and money in them. “Unfortunately, this trend can translate into the organization missing out on valuable talent and Millennials feeling undervalued,” says Sorenson.

Has any of this changed your outlook on the Millennial workforce, or are you a member of Generation Y and have a polarising opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: Collegefeed.com, Star Tribune

Is Britain on the verge of a supply chain crisis?

Here’s your weekly digest of supply chain news, procurement bulletins, and ethical issues. Eyes forward for another sweet-tasting instalment…

Britain on the verge of a ‘supply chain crisis’

We certainly hope not… But if these results are anything to go by, then businesses in the UK could be faced with a crisis of faith.

  • Nearly three-quarters of supply chain professionals surveyed by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply admitted that they had “zero visibility” on the earlier stages of their supply chains.
  • “Consumers and business leaders have entered into a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ pact,” said David Noble, the institute’s chief executive. They “are content to remain ignorant of the malpractice that could be operating throughout their supply chains,” he said.
  • It has been 18 months since supermarkets were found to be selling “beef” that included horse meat… Half of supply-chain professionals say the scandal has not led to risks being taken more seriously.

Read more at the Financial Times

Inside a plasma screen factory

Demand for display supply chain is strong

  • Morgan Stanley has recommended four Taiwan-listed stocks in the display supply chain in the third quarter due to increasing demand for ultra-HD televisions and inventory buildups for the iPhone 6.
  • With better utilization of capacity, favorable product mixes and enhanced operating efficiency, most display suppliers are forecast to improve their margins in the second quarter, Morgan Stanley said in a research note last week.

Read more at Taipei Times

Supply concerns cause ‘significant’ risk in nickel prices

  • Nickel prices have increased significantly over the past six months driven by fears over the future availability of the commodity.
  • The price of the metal rose as high as $19,429 per tonne in May – up from $15,653.81 per tonne in February – according to figures from the London Metal Exchange

Read more at Supply Management

Startup surges by stressing ethically-sourced clothes

  • With the surge of fast fashion companies such as H&M or Topshop in recent years, online retailer Cuyana’s message to women — buy fewer, better-quality items of clothing — is a breath of fresh air to some consumers.
  • “The market is flooded with all these cheaper options,” said co-founder Shilpa Shah. ”Our mentality now is if I love that dress maybe I should buy two because the first one is going to fall apart.”
  • Cuyana works directly with suppliers and shortens production time to three to four months. For each collection they source exclusively from suppliers that produce the materials and garments in-house, cutting out another step in the process. Simplifying the supply chain allows Cuyana to sell a leather bag for $250 that would normally retail at $500 to $750 through a luxury retailer like Bloomingdales, said co-founder Karla Gallardo.

Read more at Upstart Business Journals

Huawei go green

  • Huawei has announced plans to promote a greener supply chain as the company releases its 2013 Sustainability Report.
  • A pilot scheme currently underway among 24 suppliers will be extended to cover more suppliers gradually, by which time environmental performance will become a prerequisite for future commercial relationships.
  • “For Huawei, it is not enough to be commercially successful. We strongly feel that we must make social contributions in the 170 countries worldwide where we operate and be committed to minimizing our own carbon footprint as well as that of our customers and supply chain partners.”

Read more at Zawya

Chocolate stock image

Wellington chocolate maker achieves Fairtrade first

  • Wellington Chocolate Factory is the first New Zealand chocolate maker to sign up for the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programme for cocoa, which connects farmers with the growing number of businesses that want to buy their cocoa fairly and sustainably.
  • “It’s a great way to ensure the supply chain isn’t contaminated – and it actually helps us make better-tasting chocolate.” said Rochelle Harrison, co-founder of the Wellington Chocolate Factory.
  • Molly Harriss Olson, CEO, Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand: “This new programme offers a major opportunity for farmers to sell more of their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, and in the first three months of the programme, international sales of Fairtrade cocoa have grown by 20%, adding an estimated €1.8m in Fairtrade Premium to support farmers and their communities.”

Read more at Wellington.Scoop

Geoprise Technologies updates its GM-X system

  • Geoprise Technologies announced the general availability of GM-X Version 5, its robust supply chain Trading Execution System for manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
  • The new system targets the ever-growing need to transact business at top speed, reliability and efficiency beyond the traditional confines of offices, plants and warehouses.
  • The GM-X package has been successfully deployed by several European and American online retailers as the backbone to their front-end Web sites since 2008.

What does procurement mean to developing countries?

For our next instalment of the #firstmovers series, we’re travelling to Zimbabwe and catching-up with Happymore Mambondiani.

Happymore Mambondiani

Happymore has spent his past three years in the mining sector (exploration drilling) where he works as a Store Manager for Ox Drilling of Zimbabwe. He also holds a CIPS diploma.

Join Happymore as he tells us of an altogether different procurement journey…

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

I am from Zimbabwe (and being a developing country) it means procurement is still in its early stages  of being adopted as both a profession, and a function within organisations.

Procurious: What does this mean for procurement in developing countries? What are the main challenges it faces? 

Currently procurement is undertaken by unqualified personnel in the majority of organisations in the country be it in the public or private sector. In Zimbabwe (unlike other countries where procurement has grown as a profession), procurement has not yet developed into a function. Instead it has been lumped into a wing under the finance department – this is true except for all but the biggest firms like Tangaat Hullets (a sugar producing company) in the South East Low veld of Chiredzi/Triangel.

At a National level procurement is undertaken by the State Procurement Board which is under the Ministry of Finance. The State Procurement Board should be a ministry dedicated to the handling of government purchases of goods and services.

Does there need to be more education around the procurement profession?

There are initiatives by the government to enhance procurement as a profession through the availing of degrees at two of the states university i.e Bindura State University and Chinhoyi University of Technology. These initiatives will increase the number of procurement professionals in the country, as of now this figure stands slightly north of 15000.

Procurious: It’s heartening to learn there are professionals such as yourself who are fighting to speak-up for procurement. Is this why you joined Procurious? 

I joined so as to develop as a person and a professional in the Procurement arena. I also want to learn about the global language since we are now living in a global community where knowledge is shared through interaction, and Procurious is just that platform for me.

In a dynamic world where there is a drive towards globalization, being an early adopter keeps me afloat.

It is important that I develop both as a person and a professional, because it is this ability to change that helps define the future success of our organisations and ourselves.

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Getting connected for me, means knowledge sharing. It will provide me with the opportunity to interact with people who understand the Procurement language and landscape. There is also a likelihood I will discover other suppliers that weren’t on my radar before I joined Procurious.

I also relish the opportunity to learn and share knowledge, together we can hope to enhance the level of professionalism within Procurement practitioners in Zimbabwe (and the rest of of the world).

Procurious: What are you doing to spread the word?

I connected to Procurious using my LinkedIn account so this means I can invite my existing contacts, and share the experience with them too.

I can only invite 10 LinkedIn contacts per day, but I’ve got around this by using the email invitation. You should try it!

We thank Happymore for contributing and for his time. Go and say hello to him!

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed
Sergio Giordano
Paul Smith
Richard Allen

Why you want this man to buy you a car

Could this man make a living out of procurement?

Up until recently David Johns was just an ordinary Australian going about his life… But that changes when Johns decided to create the world’s slickest used car ad.

johns

The outcome was simple – Johns just wanted to get rid of his 1999 Holden Barina hatchback. A car which isn’t going to set the used car pages alight; sure it’s a capable-enough little runner, but its unassuming looks won’t make potential buyers go weak at the knees.

It also helps that Johns is a digital director of an Australian design agency, but who was he to know the Internet would warm to it like it did…

Such is the success of the viral hit (over 845k views and counting), Johns has agreed to donate the proceeds to a charity looking to fight cancer.

Of course, at the end of the day it’s all a bit of fun, but we can’t help think that through the video Johns has demonstrated some of the attributes of a procurement superstar. He seems to have made a pretty solid case for the car – that shows negotiations nous!

A solid professional also requires the ability to innovate – Johns video has confidently disrupted the typically-staid view of the used car market, while in the same breath inspiring others to follow his lead.

Discover more must-have attributes

But this isn’t the first time this approach has been used… Back in 2008 the American’s did it first! Here they are with their slick ad for a decidedly-dodgy 1988 Dodge Aries K Car.

The same dynamism and ambition is also present in this Swedish used car ad for a Volvo (1.6m YouTube views).

What do you make of the video; do you think you could do better, and more importantly – would you hire him?

Want to see what others are doing on Procurious?

Open your eyes – now it’s easier than ever to see what’s happening on your online business network.

We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes at Procurious HQ this week…

Choose between two network feeds

 

Your new timeline

Pay a visit to your ‘Community’ tab and you might notice something has changed… We now provide you with a choice of viewing modes; ‘Whole Network’ or ‘My Network’.

We’ve made the changes (in-part) to allow you to see the richness of the network, and remind you of the activity going on around you. So now you can see when your contacts ask and answer questions, or when they share and reply to a post.

If you want to keep an eye on everything happening on Procurious, the Whole Network view is for you. Unlike the My Network option, you will see every interaction in ‘almost’ real-time.

Both views also include useful notifications about the people your contacts are adding to their networks.

You can switch between the two at will, so see which view you prefer!

connect

Get connected

Along with the updates we announced in our previous blog post, it’s now easier than ever to make connections across the Procurious network. Remind yourself of these here.

Today you’ll also see a new ‘Get connected’ area towards the right of your view (note: not on the ‘Learning’ or ‘Blog’ pages). This is a place where we suggest other Procurious members we think you should add to your network. Should you wish to search for some more, you can either refresh your browser window, or click the additional link to ‘view more’.

See what else is happening

But we’re not done yet… Journey beyond Get Connected and you will find a showcase of all the other cool things that are happening on Procurious.

As you can see we’ve chosen to highlight a selection of new blog postings, training videos, discussion topics, and forthcoming events.

We hope you’ll agree that these are powerful and worthwhile changes to the network. As ever we value your feedback, so feel free to comment below or email us at info@procurious.com

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated, and hear about the new features winging their way to the network first.

Winning leadership lessons from the World Cup

How to be a real contender, improve your game and win. 

Pixabay

A lot has been written about Brazil’s spectacular fall from grace, but less on Germany’s titanic struggle in the climatic last game. Now the dust has settled and people go back to their normal lives, what has the World Cup actually taught us?

Let’s hear from a few experts:

Avoid creating mavericks so says S. Venkatesh, executive director, KEC International, RPG Group.

“It is something we grapple within organizations all the time on how to encourage teams while encouraging star performers. I believe in encouraging star performers. Only star performers bring in exponential change.”

Develop the next generation – Anurag Shrivastava, chief executive, HRNext.

A leader inspires confidence in his people and motivates them towards achieving a common goal… It is important that an organization should continuously work on developing its next generation of leaders and technical experts.”

Shrivastava continues: “They may not be the best, but they have the necessary know-how in their domains. An organization should encourage and recognize the next level of performers as well. Globally and in India, firms such as General Electric Co., Google Inc., Hindustan Unilever Ltd and ITC Ltd keep working on developing their leadership pipeline and conduct programmes for further enhancement of employee skill sets.”

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a contributor on Forbes.com who specializes in the psychology of leadership writes:

“Whether in sports, politics or business, major achievements are always the result of team rather than individual efforts. And teams can never emerge without the vision, guidance, and management of a leader.

Good leaders may seem bigger than their teams, but only when they are attention-seeking narcissists. Although we tend to attribute collective team achievements to specific individuals, individual talent only shines in the right context. That is, you can be the most talented person in the world but on your own you will achieve nothing.”

In summing up, he comments: “Although we tend to regard talent and personality as two unrelated things, there is a close connection between them. Talent without personality is less likely to succeed than personality without talent. And the bigger the stakes, the more success depends on personality.”

Can you add any more to our scorecard? If so, leave your World Cup leadership lessons in the comments below. No fouls please!

Fast fashion not welcome at Berlin Fashion Week

Join us as we recount some of the biggest news stories making headlines across the world.

Berlin Fashion Week 2014

Fast fashion bumped-off Berlin catwalk

  • 2014 Berlin Fashion Week kicked off on July 8,  and sought to highlight the latest trends in the clothing industry.
  • This year, the main events are the Green Showroom and the Ethical Runway, where brands with a strong social and environmental production record will present their new collections.
  • The Fashion Week’s focus on ethical and “green” collections is a sign of the industry’s growing awareness about the social and environmental impacts of clothing production.

Read more at Deutsche Welle

Child labor probe

  • Samsung has temporarily suspended its business relationship with one of its suppliers after finding evidence of suspected child labor violations at its facilities.
  • The move comes three days after US activist group China Labor Watch released a new report that detailed children working on assembly lines at Samsung supplier Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, China.
  • The group’s report alleged that several of the seasonal workers in the Dongguan plant were minors who work 11 hours a day, 7 days a week, without overtime pay.

Read more at Cnet

BMW’s Mexican move

  • BMW to build vehicle assembly plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico
  • The decision underscores Mexico’s increasing importance as a car manufacturing hub following the recent announcement of Daimler and Nissan establishing a joint venture at Aguascalientes.

Read more at Supply Chain Brain

Supply chain needs

  • Brazil’s federal government in the coming weeks should conclude a study of the wind power sector’s supply chain in order to identify bottlenecks and investment needs.

Read more at Recharge News

President Obama

More safeguards for suppliers

  • President Obama and the White House recently announced the “SupplierPay” initiative.
  • SupplierPay is the private sector equivalent of the Federal Government’s QuickPay initiative. Like QuickPay, SupplierPay seeks to lower the working capital cost of small business suppliers by having large businesses pay small suppliers quickly.
  • The initiative also encourages companies to enable financing solutions to help small suppliers access working capital at a lower cost.
  • Apple, AT&T, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Toyota were among the first twenty-six companies to adopt the SupplierPay pledge.
  • Additionally, the USHCC has applauded Johnson & Johnson for joining President Obama’s Supply Chain Initiative

Read more at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Shipping & logistics industry comes under attack

  • Weaponized malware was delivered into shipping and logistics enterprise environments.
  • It originated from a Chinese manufacturer responsible for selling proprietary hardware for terminal scanners used to inventory items being shipped or transported in and out many countries.
  • The threat has been dubbed “Zombie Zero”

Read more at Supply Chain 24/7

Small and medium enterprises news

  • The government of New South Wales in Australia has announced greater opportunities for SMEs to bid for public contracts.
  • Under a change which came into effect on 1 July, state agencies are now required to look for at least one quote from an SME for contracts worth up to AUS$1 million (£547,000). This will cover around $1 billion (£547 million) worth of deals.

Read more at Supply Management

Research and whitepapers

  • HFS Research has published its very first blueprint report on supply chain management BPO

Call on me? Procurious talks to Telstras Richard Allen

The next entry in our #firstmovers series features Telstra’s Chief Procurement Officer & Executive Director of Enterprise Services – Richard Allen.

He may have swapped beverages for telephones, but for Richard Allen the game has stayed the same.

Read more about Richard Allen here.

Richard Allen  (Telstra) on Procurious.com

Procurious asks: How do you think procurement differs in your country, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Richard: At Telstra I am lucky enough to be able to connect with procurement professionals from around the globe and I’m always struck by the common challenges facing a CPOs or Procurement teams. Often firms and teams are at different maturity levels but there are more similarities than differences.

Procurious: Do you know how many other procurement professionals are in your country? 

Richard: No but its growing. It’s becoming a profession of choice due to the commerciality of the roles and the cross business reach and impact.

Procurious: Are you usually an early adopter? (Perhaps you’ve been a “first mover” with something else…)

Richard: I am an early adopter –  technology and gadgets mainly. One of the great things about working for Telstra is the opportunity to look, feel, and touch the next generation of mobile devices.

Procurious: Why did you join the network?

Richard: I’m a believer in and supporter of the profession and Procurious enables connection to more people. It also facilitates more conversations about what procurement are thinking and working on.

How did you find out about Procurious?

Richard: I was part of the user/beta group

Procurious: What are you hoping to get out of the network?

Richard: Connection, ideas, inspiration.

Procurious: And finally… Are you going to invite your peers?

Richard: Yes – the strength of Procurious is in the depth and breadth of its user base. 

Meet our other #firstmovers:
Harold (Hal) Good
Farshad Bahmed
Sergio Giordano
Paul Smith