If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise… Yes we’re mindful that Halloween is creeping ever nearer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a scary treat!
Our homepage has enjoyed something of an epic refresh – we hope you like it!
This is the first thing you’ll see when you visit Procurious.com – to all of our members, you’ll be able to log in as usual. To those newcomers among you, it’s still super simple to register and get involved. Just follow the appropriate buttons.
Look beyond the pretty exterior and you’ll discover an interesting personality too.
We’ve helpfully broken down the site into its respective sections – a sort of interactive tour if you will…
The aim of the new homepage is to tell prospective members (and media) exactly what we’re about, as well as promoting the benefits that Procurious provides to the profession.
What are you still reading this for? Take the new homepage for a spin, head back to Procurious.com (you may have to sign out first) and tell us what you think.
We’ve created the perfect primer so it would be rude not to share it with your wider team and colleagues. If they’re not onboard yet, why not share Procurious.com with them too?
The British are coming! Controversial acceptance speeches, staunch warnings, and more – feature in our weekly news blast.
Business calls for measures to boost supply chain
Weaknesses in the UK’s supply chain are holding back industrial investment, according to British business. Industry is calling on the government to help boost competitiveness with measures to incentivise innovation, improve financing and resolve a crippling skills gap.
Close to 80 per cent of companies say improving the quality of Britain’s supply chain will be crucial to future growth, according to a study published on Monday by the Confederation of British Industry and consultants AT Kearney.
Industry’s call is made more urgent after the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane last week warned that productivity remained 15 per cent below pre-crisis levels despite unprecedented declines in wages.
Yet in a blow to the CBI’s findings, some global manufacturers said Britain’s relatively high costs would remain the biggest deterrent to investment. “It’s far more expensive . . . here,” said Neeraj Kanwar, managing director of India’s Apollo tyres. “The UK as far as manufacturing is concerned is not lucrative at all.”
Top transport, logistics, supply chain operators in Malta honoured
Noel Ellul, an expert in transport and logistics in Malta with a career spanning over 40 years, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement of the Year’ honour at the first TransLog Awards to be held.
Key transport, logistics and supply chain stakeholders operating in Malta were recognised with awards in 12 different categories at the TransLog Awards presentation ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel.
Organised by Support and Supply Management Group (SSM) and marketing communications agency BPC International, and supported by HSBC Bank Malta, the TransLog Awards attracted nominations from both Maltese and regional businesses operating in Malta.
Osborne poaches Balfour Beatty supply chain manager for director role
Mr Robeson joins Osborne from Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, where he worked in supply chain management until September 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also worked for Wates Construction and Berkeley Homes.
Osborne said Mr Robeson would bring experience and expertise in supply chain relationship development, procurement best practice and added value realisation.
Osborne Construction managing director Andy Steele said: “I am delighted to welcome John to the Osborne Construction Leadership Team. John will help us improve on stakeholder engagement and further us to increase our operational excellence agenda.”
Stirling Prize winner Steve Tompkins has criticised the UK’s procurement system for freezing out young practices.
The Haworth Tompkins director contrasted the “increasingly bureaucratic” British system unfavourably with that found overseas where greater weight is often placed on talent and ideas.
He said his own practice had struggled to break into new typologies because PQQs in this country so often demand prior experience. “The whole procurement structure in this country is increasingly bureaucratic,” he told BD after scooping the Stirling Prize on Thursday night for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. “The number of hurdles you have to pass through to get a commission is daunting and the amount of design work you have to do is daunting, demoralising and very wasteful.
He continued: “It’s increasingly hard for young practices to get in at all. I wish that was a debate we could have with the procurement process.”
Germany wants cleaner, kinder textiles supply chain
Gerd Müller, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), launched a new Textiles Alliance in Berlin late last week. Its goal is to help move the international textile supply chain toward better labor and environmental practices.
Müller’s ministry wants to see improvements at every link in the supply chain – from the cotton fields through the textile dyeing and clothing production process to distribution and retail.
Among other aims, the Textiles Alliance seeks decent wages, an end to forced labor and child labor, respect for safety standards, and a stop to the use of certain particularly environmentally toxic chemicals in the textiles supply chain.
Membership in the alliance is voluntary, however, and while the ministry reported that 29 textiles companies and associations had joined the Textiles Alliance in time for the launch, many key industry players and associations in Germany gave notice that they would not join.
Members of the British International Freight Association – who tend to be truck hirers delivering container and trailer imports from ports to distribution centres – have reported significantly increased waiting times for an available vehicle, much higher costs from haulage companies and surcharges from some shipping lines.
The implementation of the new HGV driver regulations – the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) – in September has already contributed to a lack of new drivers within the logistics and distribution sector, and the shortage of drivers has been compounded by the imports forecast, as well as the earlier-than-expected peak season.
BIFA director general, Robert Keen said: “New HGV drivers are urgently required in the UK logistics business to help alleviate the problems caused by the current shortage, which is leading to significant pressures on logistics costs.”
Rio’s CEO says it’s time “to meddle in the middle”
Rio Tinto’s CEO Sam Walsh put a spotlight on the value that can be delivered by both the C-level and procurement shifting their focus from the top and bottom-line to the “middle line”, when he spoke at the CIPS conference in Sydney last week.
He said most companies were not making the most of the possibilities of procurement. In fact, research showed that when it comes to procurement, 50% to 90% of companies recognise that they do not employ best practices. This is despite research also showing that companies who get their procurement operations to the standard of the best – can increase their profit margins by 15 per cent.
“Shift your perspective. Instead of spending your whole time obsessing only about the top line, and the bottom line, focus on the middle line as well.”
Even though turnover and profit are critically important, you don’t hear many people talking about the cost of sales or improvement in their working capital. Have you ever turned on Bloomberg in the morning and heard them say, “Today, Unilever’s cost of sales went up by 3.5%?”
“The middle line is frequently where you can make most difference, securing your competitive advantage, proving your value, showing your mettle,” said Sam.
In encouraging the procurement profession to seize the opportunity, he said “And if the middle’s in a muddle? Meddle! You won’t regret it! You might just make a tonne more money.”
In his speech “The golden age of procurement“ Sam shared some of his thoughts about the importance of procurement from the perspective of a global chief executive. In opening, he mused that there has never been a more exciting or important time to work in procurement. Sam cemented the fact that a lot has changed since he first started out, and went on to praise today’s women and men that are pushing forward, making businesses more innovative, productive, and creating the partnerships that will see us into the future.
One of the areas highlighted for “meddling in the middle” was to focus on innovation.
“You need to collaborate to compete,” said Sam.
Rio Tinto has a whole raft of strategic partnerships that are incredibly beneficial. Strategic partnerships with academic bodies, research institutes, as well as suppliers.
Working closely with key partners, Rio Tinto has established a great record in innovation. Its ‘Mine of the Future’ programme has been developed working with companies like Hitachi, Atlas Copco, Komatsu, Bridgestone, and General Electric. All of which are producing stunning results.
“You might have read about driverless cars in the papers. Rio Tinto already has 53 driverless trucks operating in the Pilbara. Collectively they’ve driven 3.9 million kilometres, and are all operated remotely using GPS,” Sam said.
Another area recommended for “meddling in the middle” was sustainability.
“So the saying goes, we are what we eat. In business, we are what we buy,” he said.
Rio Tinto spent around US$26 billion dollars last year. The decisions it make about where and how it invests this spend can have a huge impact. An important part of its approach is to source locally, and it applies this same approach in other markets as well. For example, at Rio Tinto’s new mining lease area in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal region, the company is investing time, money and skills as one of the major employers in the region to develop lasting community businesses that can supply the mine.
Sam reminds us however that all of this doesn’t come without effort; that it’s about getting the skills right too. He says that today’s procurement professionals require a much wider skills-set than was needed when he first started as a trainee buyer at General Motors Holden.
“Today’s procurement professionals need to work smarter, harder and faster. Procurement used to be predominantly focused on achieving security of supply. Today, we’re operating in a business environment that is far more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous than it was when I started out,” he said.
“We’re getting increasingly used to economic, political, and environmental shocks. As procurement professionals we need to be on top of these changes as and when they happen, we need to negotiate contracts that can withstand sudden and dramatic economic change.”
The ability to transition from procuring cosmetics to lighting products for a hardware retailer makes Natasha Ryan a diverse type of woman.
As the national buyer for the lighting category for Bunnings, her role allows her to source, create and deliver products that customers tell her they want.
“It’s a vibrant role that involves a deep understanding of the fashionable on-trend products within decorative interior lighting, as well as working with technical products.”
Natasha has been in her role since 2009. Previously, she was the national garden décor buyer for Bunnings.
“It’s a privilege to work for a great brand that’s deeply authentic and such a powerful category leader. Bunnings has an incredible strong relationship with Australian consumers that has been built upon trust. People understand and love our brand, and appreciate our low prices and wide product range.”
Natasha has also worked for John Danks, where she revitalised the outdoor furniture and lifestyle products. Prior to this she was hired by Cosmopak to revamp and relaunch redundant teen cosmetic brand KISS.
She has travelled extensively for Bunnings, either buying, sourcing or developing products with manufacturers anywhere from Europe to Asia.
The travel has been a real eye-opener. During her early trips to China, many of the factory owners she visited seem surprised to see a woman in her role.
“My early trips to China were mostly spent in a car travelling long hours to factories. The trips were always exhilarating, driving licenses for the masses were just becoming available as the Chinese became more affluent, traffic lights considered merely a suggestion and new roads being built so quickly that no-one really ever seemed to know which side of the road they should be driving on,” she says.
“I’m very lucky to have met and worked with incredibly talented manufacturers, who have taught me a lot about negotiations, relationships, buying and manufacturing.”
Natasha says that the best thing about working in procurement is bringing products to market and making a difference, adding that it’s all about market disruption.
“I’m passionate about creating products, delivering it to the shop floor and ultimately carving out great customer experiences.”
It’s been billed as the “job interview from hell”…
To our UK, US, and AUS readers, any mention of The Apprentice will unilaterally send shivers down your spine and cause a gleeful smile to creep across your face. For the rest of you, sit back and prepare to get schooled in the art of bad self-promotion…
Every year sixteen of the UK’s most promising businessmen and women (see also: misguided marketeers/shifty salespeople/glamour-model in disguise) compete in a gruelling twelve week process to be named Lord Sugar’s Apprentice. It’s a format borrowed from the hugely popular US Donald Trump iteration. The difference being, the victor gets to to win the top prize: a business investment of £250k, with Sugar retaining 50% of the company.
With the exception of a winning handful, Lord Sugar (along with his two politely patient aides) observe these candidates through weeks of ingenious tasks to test their sales and negotiation skills, marketing savviness, entrepreneurial drive, and procurement acumen.
Are you often surprised by your own brilliance?
We’ve gathered some of the finest utterances to fall out of their mouths in the series’ 10-year history for your enjoyment. As you can see, if you get someone to talk about himself or herself – it has the tendency to bring out the very worst in people… If you plan on going further in your professional career, take heed, don’t commit the mortal sin of repeating any of the following!
“Everything I touch turns to sold” – Stuart Baggs (2010)
“I can sell ice to the Eskimos” – Melissa Cohen (2010)
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the Moon” – Melody Hossaini (2011)
“I’m a ‘Great’ of my generation. I’m an innovator and leader in business. I take inspiration from Napoleon” – Zeeshaan Shah (2013)
“As a salesperson, I would rate myself as probably the best in Europe” – Jennifer Maguire (2008)
“I’m like a shark, right at the top of the food chain. I take what I want, when I want. I truly am the reflection of perfection” – Ricky Martin (2012)
“My first word wasn’t mummy, it was money” – Shibby Robati (2010)
“There are two types of people in the world: Winners and… I don’t know how to say the word, I can’t say it” – Ian Stringer (2008)
“I have the energy of a Duracell bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, and a brain like Einstein” – Luisa Zissman (2013)
Now we’ve armed you with inspiration, we want to hear the very worst examples you’ve encountered in your careers. Can you beat these?
Procurious member, and reigning Asia-Pacific CPO of the Year, Visna Lampasi has been announced as Head of Group Procurement at Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths Limited.
In what was no doubt a hotly contested role, Visna will lead the procurement of all goods not for resale across the Woolworths Limited brands including Woolworth Supermarkets and Petrol, Liquor Group, Big W, Masters Home Improvement, ALH Hotel Group, Woolworths Money, Everyday Rewards and Ezibuy.
For those unfamiliar with Woolworths Limited, the group of companies has approximately 200,000 staff Australia-wide with an annual revenue of $60 billion – one of Australia’s leading groups.
If anyone is up for the task of delivering commercial value in such a high profile role, Visna is having taken out the title of The Faculty’s CPO of the Year 2014 earlier this year.
Visna’s career background spans across a number of procurement roles, most recently operating as infrastructure company Leighton Contractors’ Chief Procurement Officer where she established an award winning social procurement program.
Procurement veteran and Procurious founder Tania Seary welcomed the announcement: “I haven’t had the opportunity to work closely with the Woolworths Procurement team, but I understand they have been through various transformations.
“Within the Australian procurement landscape, the team would be regarded as a mature procurement function,” said Seary.
“Having gotten to know Visna over the years, I know she’s a very talented and tenacious procurement professional who will undoubtedly identify a multitude of sources of untapped value within the organisation.”
Industry peer and Rio Tinto’s General Manager of Global Process Architecture, Cindy Dunham echoed Seary’s sentiments:
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Visna on a number of procurement professional bodies and know that she’ll bring a great depth of knowledge and experience to the Woolworths Group.
“Visna’s large network is complemented by her industry leadership, influencing skills and dedication. I look forward to her continued commitment to raising the profile of procurement in Australia.”
The Faculty’s CPO of the Year judging panel chairman Dr. Karen Morley also congratulated Visna on the new role.
“Visna’s track record of achieving commercial outcomes, leading cultural change, and balancing social outcomes in tough project management environments sets her up well for further success.”
From the team here at Procurious we’d like to congratulate Visna!
For those wanting to know how she does it, stay tuned for some exclusive procurement advice from the woman of the hour coming soon.
A new report reports that a fifth of the world’s countries are at risk from business disruption… this and more in our weekly news blast:
Risk of business disruption has increased in a fifth of countries
The risk of business disruption due to civil unrest has increased in a fifth of countries over the past quarter, according to a report.
The ranking of 197 countries, which assesses the likelihood of strikes, protests and ethnic and sectarian conflict impacting business operations, includes 11 states that are considered to be “extreme risk”. These include Syria at number one, followed by the Central African Republic, Pakistan and Sudan.
Maplecroft’s Civil Unrest Index shows risk has increased most in Hong Kong over the past three months, due to the pro-democracy demonstrations. This was followed by Liberia where there has been mounting unrest as a result of the Ebola virus outbreak.
Maplecroft said firms operating in and sourcing from these countries “faced severe disruptions”. Factories in Vietnam were forced to suspend production during anti-Chinese protests in May 2014, and anti-government protests in Thailand, culminated in a coup and “shut down much of the country’s commercial centre”, halving projected GDP growth to 2.5 per cent.
The World Bank plans to release a mobile application that will give users access to comprehensive procurement data from 2004 to 2014.
The new app, which is being rolled out amid an ongoing controversial procurement reform process within the institution, aims to provide more transparency and accessibility to donors and recipients. Once downloaded, the app will be fully functional offline, allowing those in the most remote places full access, according to Joao Veiga Malta, practice manager at the bank’s Governance Global Practice. “What we wanted to do was to be able to provide you the procurement information that the bank had with an easy reach [so] that you did not necessarily need a masters in statistics in order to be able to do an analysis.”
The app, Veiga Malta explained, will show the distribution of awards by country and can be organized by civil works, goods, consulting services and nonconsulting services. Users can search by fiscal year, economic sector, donor country or recipient country, and will be able to see graphs, pie charts, ratios, trends and rankings.
New Spanish brand enters the hot fast fashion market
When most people think of European clothes, they immediately think of haute couture creations from Paris with astronomical price tags. If not that, there are the giant label’s prêt-à-porter incarnations which fetch similarly high prices. So the idea of clothes from sunny Spain with price tags on T-shirts at P299 can be a surprise.
Those T-shirts come from Sfera (pronounced es-fera), a fast fashion brand from the Spanish company Grupo El Corte Ingles. The company is the largest department store chain in Spain, and under its umbrella, it has travel agencies, convenience stores, and home and DIY stores.
Sfera opened its first Asian venture in SM Makati, right inside SM’s department store. “We believe that [the Philippines] is a very mature market, and [it] can give us feedback… [on] the behavior and the Asian taste of the customer,” said Guillermo Lopez Garcia, an international manager from Sfera, as he discussed why the brand decided to bring its fashions here. “We believe that if we can compete and succeed in the Philippines… we can succeed anywhere.”
Supply chains conservative about 4G handset development in China during 4Q14
Handset supply chain makers are continuing to see the effects of lagging 4G handset sales in China as vendors clear out reserves of 3G units.
Both vendors and retailers in China are still clearing reserves of 3G handsets as sales have been stagnating following decisions by major China-based telecom providers to end handset purchase subsidies.
The subsidies spurred a wave of handset purchasing throughout 2013 into 2014 and were expected to continue for 4G units. However, most telecom providers have limited or even stopped such moves and have yet to reissue new plans for helping to push 4G handsets in China.
Panel makers and touch panel makers have seen the brunt of the situation in 2014 and expect conservative orders to China during the fourth quarter of 2014 as a result.
Kaiser Permanente is trying to remake the hospital supply chain, Forbes reported.
The California-based integrated provider is using new software to try and make the ordering and use of supplies for its 38 hospitals, 9.5 million members, 17,000 physicians and 48,000 nurses more efficient and less costly, according to Forbes contributor Steve Banker.
That’s a change from Kaiser just five years ago, when nurses and other frontline healthcare workers were responsible for tracking down and ordering supplies, which were often siloed in multiple locations throughout the system. Recalled or expired supplies had to be discovered and returned in a virtually manual process. That form of supply chain management often meant that providers had time taken away from caring for patients.
German industrial group ThyssenKrupp has agreed a deal with Airbus to manage the supply chain of metallic raw materials for Airbus Helicopters.
ThyssenKrupp said its Aerospace division would manage procurement, logistics, quality assurance and fine-tuning the management of blanks – unfinished metal that is stamped out of larger pieces of material – for Airbus Helicopters worldwide. It said the cooperation would take place for the “coming years”, without being more specific.
ThyssenKrupp Aerospace is part of the group’s Materials Services division, which distributes materials and provides technical services for the production and manufacturing sectors.
Initiative to reduce fertilizer use for commodity grain crops launched in US
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a new, collaborative initiative to eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major environmental concern in the United States. The effort will engage farmers and businesses throughout the supply chain to transform the way fertilizer-dependent grain crops are grown and sourced.
“If we’re going to meet food demands for a growing population, we’ve got to decouple production from pollution as soon as possible,” said David Festa, EDF vice president. “The most promising way to accomplish this essential task is by collaborating with decision makers at every point in the U.S. grain supply chain — from retailers and food companies to agribusiness and farmers.”
“Our long-term goal is to make the entire U.S. grain supply sustainable — good for farmers, good for the climate and good for our waterways,” said Suzy Friedman, director of EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative.
Emily Hall hit a cross-road in her early 20s when a manager gave her something of an ultimatum.
After participating in the National Championships for five years in the junior ranks, the keen softballer approached her manager about taking a couple of weeks off to partake in a major tournament. She also indicated that she might need to leave work on time to attend training twice a week.
“He told me that I would have to make a choice – sport or career. I chose career, and have no regrets.”
Emily’s decision has seen her rise through the ranks at Australian corporate giants like Coles Supermarkets, technology giant IBM and Ford Motor Company, among others.
These days she’s leading a team at international toll road owner and operator Transurban in three key areas – sourcing, procurement operations and corporate services (facilities and corporate travel management).
She’ll spend this year embedding the relatively new procurement team into the business, overseeing the deployment of new technology solutions that will increase automation and improve work flows. She prides herself on always delivering results and leaving a legacy.
“Like most, I fell into procurement. My first job was on a graduate program which involved rotations through the broader business. My second rotation was in purchasing, and I ended up in that role for two years. I did a small stint in sales and marketing before coming back to procurement, and have now been in the profession nearly two decades.”
Emily isn’t one to plan too far into the future, which has worked well for her to date.
“I want to continually position myself to learn, improve, deliver results for the organisation I work for, and grab the right opportunity when it comes my way.”
Emily’s sporting abilities haven’t faded completely. She still likes to have a hit of hockey or perhaps basketball on weekends, and doesn’t mind a bit of cycling. But she leaves the sporting tournaments to the next generation, reserving her leadership prowess for work hours.
It’s a win for Procurious-favourites YPO (and partners)
A collaboration between the largest public procurement organisations in the UK to reduce duplication of effort and achieve savings has taken home the Best Public Procurement Project gong at the CIPS Supply Management Award 2014.
What was the idea?
The joint venture was headed by the Crown Commercial Service, and YPO, ESPO and NEPO. It provides the public sector with quick and easy access to a wide range of insurance services, including property, liability and motor cover. Since its launch in February 2013 it has already been used by over 260 customers from across the public sector, delivering savings of some £7.6m. It’s also worth noting that individual customers such as local authorities have saved over half a million pounds on their insurance costs.
Of the 29 suppliers on the agreement, a healthy percentage – over 25 per cent are SMEs. This goes some way to demonstrating how the Government’s commitment to improving public sector business opportunities for smaller businesses is working.
The CIPS judging panel said:
“The team demonstrated a creative approach to a category in which procurement can find difficulty gaining traction in. There is evidence of not only real cash savings but a team that engaged widely with stakeholders and the wider market to deliver outstanding results”.
On the win Sally Collier, CEO of the Crown Commercial Service exclaimed: “I am absolutely thrilled. This is a tremendous accolade for our highly successful collaboration with YPO, ESPO and NEPO. It recognises our commitment to delivering savings for the taxpayer and improving efficiency by working closely with customers and constantly innovating to meet their needs.”
Paul Smith, Procurement and Supply Chain Director of YPO offered: “The award is a fantastic recognition of the hard work and commitment of all collaborative partners. The aim was to deliver a single approach to insurance procurement across the public sector, streamlining processes and achieving efficiencies. I am delighted that this has been realised and many organisations are already reaping the financial benefits.”
Paul Smith and YPO previously featured in our ‘Is the UK more risk averse than the rest of Europe?’ article. Read it here.
Procurious is hitting the road (well sky…) throughout the month of November, and we want to see your faces!
Donuts down under
Lend us your ears, open your minds, and get ready to download key learnings that can help give you a competitive advantage in the procurement marketplace.
Procurious’ very own tech wunderkind Jack Slade – Product Manager, social media guru, and entrepreneur, is coming along for the trip. Also joining Jack is Lisa Malone – who not only serves as our fabulous European General Manager, but can talk to you about developing your personal brand and tackling procurement’s outdated image problem.
Procurious will also be meeting with The Faculty Roundtable members in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney to discuss how social media is impacting procurement and the benefits of online collaboration.
You can Tweet along with us during the session using the hashtag #webringthedonuts
Social Media and Procurement – Leadership & Networking Procurement Breakfast
Alternatively, why not do breakfast?
Come along to a networking breakfast to learn about opportunities for procurement to achieve its agenda using social media; networking with Roundtable members, FLiP Alumni and other procurement professionals.
We’ll be in Melbourne – Friday 14 November, 8am
Where: The Faculty, 502 Albert St
And also Sydney – Thursday 20 November, 8am
Where: Sydney CBD – TBC
To register to attend the Leadership & Networking Breakfast email Belinda Toohey [email protected]
Anything we’ve forgotten?
We expect each session to last between 45 – 60 minutes. That should allow us plenty of time to discuss:
Digital procurement and how everything is connected
Benefits of connecting and collaborating online for procurement; suppliers; to drive social value; personal branding and Employee of choice
What is Procurious? An Introduction and how to get the most out this network
Discussion: Smart social media behaviors
Availability of sessions will be subject to change.
So mark a date in your diary, gather your team and get Procurious in for a session, remember #webringthedonuts!