All posts by Procurious HQ

Hal Good fills us in on procurement in the United States

Meet Harold (Hal) Good, one of our #firstmovers

Following on from our last infographic-filled blog post, this is the first entry in a new series that will profile selected members of the community. These are all members who we feel are truly embracing the site, and go to show just how “rich” and global Procurious is becoming.

Say hello to Harold (Hal) Good. Hal is a career procurement professional with over 30 years experience in venues including airport, convention center, city, county, emergency services, hospital, public safety, public works, state, utility and public-private partnerships.

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

Hal at All Military Academies Ball held at Union League Hotel PhilaHal: I think that procurement has developed a bit differently in the United States because procurement professionals had to choose among paths to receive credentials and professional recognition.

Private sector procurement professionals were most likely to be influenced by the credentialing systems and continuing education provided by National Association of Purchasing Managers, (NAPM), now ISM, which relied heavily on manufacturing and supply chain roots.  State and local government procurement professionals tended to be drawn into the educational programs sponsored by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, (NIGP), and its credentialing programs administered by the UPPCC.  

Contractors doing business with the US Federal Government, are committed to utilization of the FAR program which gave rise to the National Contract Association (NCMA) and its educational programs and credentials.  

This has spawned a difference in terminology and to some extent practices within the profession in the USA itself, as well as with the rest of the world.  That is probably due to the vast influence of CIPS in the international arena.

It should be noted that in the medical profession, procures are pretty much universally called the same thing.  In procurement however there is a wide variance in what is meant by something as elementary as tendering vs. bidding or tendering versus requesting proposals.  It is a situation ripe for someone to propose a universal standard that would be accepted by all. 

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

Hal: No, I don’t.  It depends on the definition of a “professional”.  In 2008, according to the Department of Labor, there were 68,000 “purchasing mangers” employed in the US.  The latest Bureau of Labor statistics estimated 504,600 “jobs” for Purchasing managers, buyers and purchasing agents.

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

Hal: I have always been an early adaptor! Example: I was head of the first city procurement department in the US to do online bidding.  I pride myself on being on the cutting edge of new technology and methodology.

Procurious: How did you find out about Procurious?

Hal: I found out about it from Stephen Ashcroft of Brian Farrington Ltd.

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

Hal: An opportunity to improve the procurement profession globally. Proactively do what it takes to make it more strategic and less function based, more emphasis on overall value and contribution to the organizational mission, less cost driven.  Also become an influential global driver for the standardization of terminology, methodology and position descriptions.

Procurious: And finally, are you going to invite your peers?

Hal: Yes!

Procurious would like to thank Hal for his time, and for answering our questions.

If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please drop Matt Farrington Smith a line – he’d love to hear from you! (Bribes may or may not be encouraged…)

Somebody just paid $1 million to say “Yo”… Is this the most pointless app ever?

Can a simple “Yo” change the way we communicate? This new Android/iOS app thinks it can…

YoApp

‘Yo’ describes itself as a “single-tap zero character communication tool” – yes, it sounds impressive when you put it like that – but peer behind its faceless purple façade and you might be left scratching your head.

What is a ‘Yo’?

Good question. When we delved into the Yo app, we initially questioned how it has managed to amass a whopping $1 million in funding (yep, you read that right). Its simplicity is clear from the start – its kaleidoscopic colour scheme reinforces this playful, carefree aesthetic. In-fact the hardest part is probably downloading and importing the unlucky recipients of your Yos (your contacts).

When you send a Yo, your contact is alerted via a push notification on their mobile, along with an audible ‘Yo’ greeting. The first few times it’s kind-of funny.

A Facebook ‘poke’ for a new generation?

While Facebook’s pokes could be easily ignored, Yo has the potential to get in your face. And as you might have guessed – this could get old, real fast.

Still, it must be doing something right. For an app that took 8 hours to create, it’s already home to 50000 users, who’ve collectively sent four million Yos (plus there’s that $1 million in funding in-case you’ve forgotten…) So as well as rising up-and-up the app charts, it’s forging ahead in the venture capital rankings too…

It’s easy of course to write it off as some trivial, throwaway app – but Yo does cause us to ponder the validity of push notifications and their potential usefulness both inside and outside of the workplace.

Jesse Pinkman - Breaking Bad. Copyright AMC
Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman was known for yelling “Yo!” a lot. We reckon he’s downloaded it already.

The importance of push notifications

Push notifications (sometimes known as push messaging) are nothing new – if you own a mobile phone then you’ll have no-doubt come across push services at some point. Push is linked to a publish/subscribe model – so if you’ve ever signed up to a news service (or channel), it’s highly likely you’ll have received the content through push messaging.

Could an app like Yo therefore be used to our advantage? Imagine this, what if we could send a Yo (or push alternative) to a buyer/purchaser/supplier to inform them of the following scenarios: Stock is low – need to re-order, alert to quality issue, goods have been delivered, goods have not been delivered, etc.

Of course there are other potential uses for good – we think it would work effectively in emergency situations, with Yos being sent to relevant parties to take action.

What do you make of Yo: Is it just another flash in the pan, or is there the potential for interesting use elsewhere?

Yo can be downloaded for free from both the Google Play and iOS store  – there appear to be two listings however, look for the one made by Life Before Us LLC.

Procurious is like the 2014 World Cup – so is your country represented?

Copyright: Flickr
Procurious truly has World Cup fever…

Here from our crow’s nest at Procurious HQ it’s clear to see that London has gone football crazy. Fever for the FIFA World Cup 2014 is infectious, sweeping the nation, leaving many a hangover in its wake. But it doesn’t just end there… It’s traversing oceans, hot-footing over deserts, grappling-up mountains and more.

We’d be foolish if we didn’t liken Procurious to this major global event… although wholly different in context, we are quietly spreading our membership far and wide, and making headlines for all the right reasons.

After a star-turn in Supply Management, we’re happy to report that Procurious has enjoyed a surge in sign-ups (that’s over 250 new members) – so thanks to all who’ve hopped onboard of late.

Read the Supply Management article

Procurious goes global – 83 countries in 36 days

Procurious-Insights-infographic-v02
Click on the infographic to view full size.

We tasked our design wizards to come up with something that perfectly charts Procurious’ global reach – and we think this infographic speaks volumes about our growth to-date.

Please feel free to share this across social media (whether that be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even here on Procurious).

That’s not all – over the next week we will be running profiles on selected members of the community to show just how “rich” and global Procurious is becoming.

Generation Procurement: Paul Holland

Paul Holland

Like so many, Paul Holland didn’t have specific ambitions to work in procurement. But after his boss pulled him away from his usual duties to work on a procurement project, he found his niche.

“I had no idea how in-depth procurement was at first, and what value you can create for your organisation through the role. It gives you so much scope to explore other aspects of the business.”

The Melburnian works for transport provider Transurban, where he’s been stepping into bigger shoes every year or two since 2007.

He’s managing the current procurement transformation project within the corporate behemoth. The company has chosen the Ariba solution and is part-way through implementing a full end-to-end solution including sourcing, contract management, supplier performance management, spend analysis and requisition to pay functions. This will be complemented by a new procurement operations team, which Paul is also in the process of building.

“This is a huge undertaking for us and will bring major efficiencies and automation to the business. We’re also growing the role that procurement plays within the company, which is why we need to be smarter in the way we operate,” he says.

The implementation will take around 10 months and once complete, will mark his biggest professional achievement to date.

“In the past, we were rubber stamping the procurement process within the company, but now we’re making huge changes to that and the business is now realising the real value that a procurement team can deliver.

“I love the fact that the job changes every day and we can influence and change entire processes to make them more efficient at all levels within the business.”

Paul isn’t sure what his professional future might bring, but says as long as he’s still being challenged by new opportunities and enjoying his role, he’ll be happy.

He plays football on weekends and is a young father, which he names as his biggest achievement in life. He’s also working towards an Executive MBA, which he expects to complete by the end of the year.

 

Why are supply chain disruption and sustainability our hot topics of the week?

Marks and Spencer

Hello and welcome to your one-stop shop for everything Procurement news-related.

Find out which e-procurement organisation Selectica has acquired… UK darlings of fashion and homeware, Marks and Spencer (M&S) – talk about sustainability, and we learn which countries are most at risk from supply chain disruption.

So without further ado, lets see what’s been going on in the world…

Key Skills for Procurement
• Continuing the blog from the previous week, CPO Rising highlights skills that are required for procurement
• Business Consulting skills can help procurement professionals define scope, manage projects and capture requirements more effectively

Read more at CPO Rising

Iasta acquisition (USA)
• Contract management software provider Selectica has acquired e-procurement organisation Iasta in a deal worth US$7m
• Selectica plan to use the new acquisition to enhance their customer offering by integrating the contract management and e-procurement offerings for enterprises

Global Sustainability (UK)
• UK company Marks and Spencer plan to take their ‘Plan A’ sustainability scheme global
• Plan A 2020, will include new targets around worldwide sourcing principles around issues such as human rights and gender equality

Supply Chain Disruption (Global)
• The FM Global resilience index shows which countries are most susceptible to disruption in their supply chains
• Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Kyrgyzstan were named as the countries most susceptible to disruption
• Norway, Switzerland and Canada topped the list of nations most resistant to such disruption

Read more at Supply Management

Impact of Leadership (USA)
• Guest blog from Samir Patel (Director, GEP) on the Impact of Leadership on Procurement Organisations
• Emphasises the need for strong leadership in Procurement functions and alignment with the wider organisation when considering strategy
• Also gives some good recommendations beyond leadership for optimising the procurement organisation

Read more at the SIG Industry Blog 

Tips for Negotiation (USA)
• Some tips are offered for negotiating when you are in a weak position and how to make the best business case you can
• Tips include being fully prepared, asking questions and listening and keeping cool during the negotiation

Read more at Harvard Business Review

Procurement Focus (USA/UK)
• New study shows that procurement focus is shifting from just cost reduction to innovation and influence
• The Hackett Group study found that only half of the executives surveyed said that cost reduction was their key strategic focus for this year
• 69% of the organisations highlighted a focus on supplier innovation in the coming year

Read more at SDC Executive

How did you get into procurement? Tell us your story

Empty profile page
Make that little guy happy… fill-out your profile

Here at Procurious we believe procurement has an image problem. As a profession it’s been saddled with ‘uncool’ and outdated stereotypes – the time has now come for us to join forces and become more collectively valued.

This is where you come in… Your Procurious profile is the place to show-off your wares to the world, so why not flesh it out and tell your story!

Let other Procurious members know about your journey; was it a straightforward career path, or did you take some wild turns along the way?

Check out what some of our members have already revealed in the Generation Procurement blog series:

Tony Huang
Jason Ng
Georgina Portelli

Let us know if you would like to be profiled and featured on Procurious for all to see!

Fleshing out your ‘My Story’ page

Your ‘My Story’ page is where the magic happens.  Just click on your profile picture, and hit the ‘Edit profile’ button (or locate the drop-down menu). So no matter where you are on the site, you can update your profile with ease.

Edit profile

From here you are able to detail professional information such as your function, industry details, level of responsibility, and procurement system used.

You can also let other members view your education history (along with relevant qualifications), and work experience.

Just click inside a text box to add, remove or amend details as you see fit.

If you want to make yourself freely contactable to other Procurious members, why not also fill-out your contact details too? You can specify an email address, phone number, and Skype username.

Get the most out of Procurious

Here on the blog, we post helpful tips and guides on all-things Procurious every week. Here’s some you might have missed:

Add a picture to your profile
Control your notifications
How to use the ‘User list’

And finally… everybody loves an infographic

The Faculty spoke to more than 100 CPOs and Procurement Managers – here’s what they said:

Faculty infographic

Read more here

Come back next week to learn more. Cheers!

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.”