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What’s been happening in the world of procurement?

Belgium's motorway at night

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

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

Eyes down for all the news:

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

Read more at CPO Rising

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

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

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

Read more at Supply Management

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

Read more at Harvard Business Review

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

Read more at Spend Matters 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consistency is key, she says.

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

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

Are you a superhero hiding your real identity?

Profile page with no photo

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

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

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

Who’s behind the mask?

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

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

Add a picture

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

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

How to add a photo

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

Choose a header photo too

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

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

Further reading

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

Take a read here.

Until next time folks! Matt

Generation Procurement: Tony Huang

Tony Huang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social procurement is gathering global momentum

People sitting around a table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cadbury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is procurement under attack on social media?

Social media when there's a procurement problem image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steven Lewis

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

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

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

It’s important to respond online, he says.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generation Procurement: Jason Ng

Jason Ng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Procurement: the deliberate career choice

Georgina Portelli

Procurement has long been one of those industries that people fall into. But that’s all changing, as people now make deliberate steps to forge a career in the profession.

The profile of procurement as a career choice has increased substantially over the years, which means that procurement professionals like Georgina Portelli don’t have to explain what she does for a job quite as much as when she started in the industry a little over a decade ago.

Closing the deal is my favourite part of the role.

Portelli started in procurement at Australian retail giant Myer and now works for Australian aged care provider, Regis.

Procurement is a good fit for her because she’s outcome focused and enjoys the influence her role has across the organisation, she says.

“Being a procurement professional is a very important part of who I am, and I take a significant amount of pride and satisfaction in what I do. I feel very fortunate that the skills I have learnt in my profession lend themselves to broader life skills. I feel that I can capitalise on my commercial acumen to negotiate my way through life. Closing the deal is my favourite part of the role.”

Georgia Brandi
Procurious member Georgia Brandi

Procurement was also the goal from the very beginning for Newcrest Mining supply specialist Georgia Brandi.
She made a deliberate decision to work in procurement after watching her mother rise through the ranks.

“While I made my own decision to enter procurement, my mother and her friends all seemed to work in procurement, so it was very familiar to me,” Brandi explains.

Chantelle Genovezos came into the profession as a graduate and is now a procurement specialist for The Faculty Management Consultants.

She describes working on a new venture from its development as a roller coaster ride.

“For every slow ascent you have a very fast descent and you can’t always know what’s coming next. Plus, you get to make a big impact and shape the way things go. It’s all a lot of fun,” she says.

Part of the attraction is no doubt the fact that the role of procurement within the business world has evolved into a leading function with a powerful reach across so many facets of a company.

Chantelle G
Procurious Partnerships Manager, Chantelle Genovezos

But as outlined in The Faculty’s research paper The X Factor – A Procurement Leadership Whitepaper, this is putting growing pressure on the talent pipeline and the ongoing need to attract qualified candidates into the profession.

Procurement professionals need broad skills, including the ability to demonstrate good business sense, financial management, a flair for communication and negotiation and an understanding of the global market place, the research paper found.

Marisa Menezes, managing director of The Source says procurement is one of the few professions that offer a whole business view and exposure.

“Working across all function areas gives a wonderful opportunity to meet and develop good working relationships with key influencers in the business. This is why people say that procurement is often a pathway to the CEO’s office,” Menezes says.

Which corner of the world HASN’T Procurious reached?

Every week we aim to bring you a selection of useful updates and tips for getting the most out of Procurious.

NASA

Procurious truly has worldwide appeal!

Our users come from far and wide. Our list of visiting countries reads like the leaderboard for Eurovision – with the obvious exception of Australia…

Our global reach takes in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Romania, and more!

Check out an event near you

Events listings on Procurious

Keeping with the worldwide theme, we’ve been adding to our growing ‘Events’ listings.

Clicking on a listing will provide you with an overview of the event, info on confirmed speakers, location details, and other Procurious members who’ve confirmed their attendance.

RSVP to an event on Procurious

From here you can RSVP, leave comments, and visit the official event website to book your place.

What’s more, if you RSVP via the Events page, your contacts will be able to see too. Who knows – they might even join you?

See who's going

We’re always on the lookout for upcoming events, so if we don’t have yours, drop us a line and let us know.

Control your notifications

Profile settings

If you feel like you’re receiving too many email notifications from us, here’s a simple tip to stem the flow of mail.

Head on over to your ‘Settings’ page.

Control your notifications

From here you can choose when Procurious sends you an email. Just un-tick/tick the options as desired – remembering to click ‘Save changes’ when done.

More Procurious tips

So if you missed last week’s update, there’s always time to catch-up. We covered the following:

  • Inviting people to your network
  • The new ‘User list’ feature
  • Adding a profile picture
  • Where to find training videos

Check it out here 

Feature requests?

We’ve opened up a discussion topic to capture your ideas! Let us know what else you’d like to see on Procurious.

Until next week! Matt

5 brilliant brand new apps for your mobile and tablet

A selection of interesting and useful apps for your everyday use.

Buoyed by Procurious member Georgia Brandi’s discussion topic on productivity tools, we’ve come up with a few ideas of our own. Every day numerous apps are released into app stores the world over, but how do you know which ones are really worth your while?

My Destination app

My Destination
iPhone and iPad (from free)

While My Destination isn’t the newest name on the block (owing to an already successful iPad iteration) – the iPhone version has just been released into the wild.

My Destination offers tips and insights from over 300 local experts around the globe. 100+ destination travel guides, an interactive map, and travel planner all number among its features. It will also save you from racking-up extortionate roaming charges because the premium version works offline too.  The developer tells us that an Android version is coming soon.

It’s like having your own personal travel guide in your pocket…

Word Lens

Word Lens
iOS and Android (from free)

You may have seen Word Lens in the news recently – owing to its makers, Quest Visual, being acquired by Google.

Word Lens comes to the aid of the tongue-tied traveller, knocking down language barriers with ease, and providing you with a greater understanding of the locale at large.

The app works by translating printing words using your device’s in-built camera. Plus with in-app purchases you translate anything from Russian to Portuguese.

You’ll soon be talking like a local!

Foursquare Swarm
Swarm
iOS and Android (free)

The arrival of Swarm follows Foursquare’s decision to unbundle its services into two separate apps.

Swarm bills itself as ‘the fastest way to keep up and meet up with your friends’ – it takes Foursquare’s location-aware kahunas and uses it to notify you if anyone is nearby. Perfect if you’re attending a conference in a strange city and want to find like-minded individuals. It’s also a doddle to share a status, and let everybody know what you’re up to.

It’s currently available on both iOS and Android devices, but Windows Phone users will have to wait a little while yet…

TechSmith Fuse
TechSmith Fuse
iOS (free)

If you’ve ever struggled to get photos or videos off your Apple device, then TechSmith Fuse might just be your saviour…

Gone are the days of clumsily emailing those holiday photos to yourself, Fuse utilizes QR barcodes to pair your PC/Mac with your favourite iThing. Thus enabling an easy import into apps like Snagit and Camtasia. All this is done via the wonders of WiFi, so your data allowance won’t take a hit – happy days!

The app requires iOS 7.0 to be running on your iPhone/iPad.

OmniFocus 2
OmniFocus 2
Mac ($39.99)

OmniFocus 2 understands the pressures of the astute business professional… We’ve all got stuff to do, and balancing a healthy work life with home and play often takes a laser-like focus.

This app has been specially designed for the Mac user, and turns all those yellow post-it notes into one seriously organised workflow. It’s got a whole heap of features that can break your tasks/goals down into manageable actions and projects.

At $39.99 it’s not cheap, but what price can you really put on productivity?