All posts by Procurious HQ

Fast Fashion, The Supply Chain and The True Cost

Fast fashion helps sate deeply held desires among young consumers in the industrialised world for luxury fashion, even if it embodies unsustainability.

Fast Fashion

Trends run their course at high speed, with today’s latest styles swiftly trumping yesterday’s, which have already been consigned to the waste bin. Fast fashion has allowed for the constant supply of fashion trends, captured straight from the catwalk, at a cheap price.

What is ‘The True Cost’ of Fast Fashion?

The True Cost movie is a 2015 documentary that focuses on fast fashion and the supply chain. The documentary discusses several aspects of the garment industry from production – exploring the life of low wage workers in developing countries – to its after-effects of river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death.

The True Cost is a collage of interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners, and fair trade companies and organisations, promoting sustainable clothing production.

Lucy Siegle is an author, journalist and Executive Producer of The True Cost. Her research into the fashion supply chain lifted the lid on the pollution and blind exploitation, inspiring her book To Die For. The deeper she dived into the fashion supply chain, the bigger the story became.

In an interview for The True Cost, Siegle comments that the most surprising thing she discovered was how quickly a sustainable system can be undone and destroyed forever. She had discovered that most western buyers were using completely nonsensical calculations when they placed orders in first tier factories.

This meant that factories could not possibly complete the enormous orders that had been placed, and would turn to outsourcing. This was where sweatshop labour became the reality.

“I realised there were a number of flashpoints in the supply chain that were adding up to extreme exploitation and possible catastrophe and that this was a standard business model.”

Garment manufacturing is estimated to be a $3 trillion industry. Yet factory workers are subjected to poor working conditions, low salaries and minimal to no rights. The True Cost documents the events of the 2013 Savar Building, or Rana Plaza, disaster, when an eight-story commercial building collapsed, killing over 1,000 people.

The event sparked the investigation into fast fashion on a global scale.

The Supply Chain and Fast Fashion

There is pressure on the supply chain to manufacture garments quickly and inexpensively, allowing the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at a lower price.

fast fashion and the supply chain

Fast fashion very quickly became disposable fashion, due to the relatively low costs needed to deliver designer products to the mass market. The consequences of the trend became noticeable through increased pollution from manufacturing of the clothes and the decay of synthetic fabric, poor workmanship, and the emphasis on brief trends rather than classic pieces.

Recently, Australian surfwear brands have been urged to publish a list of every factory used in their supply chain. This follows an investigation that revealed some garments being made for the Rip Curl brand had been manufactured in North Korea, where factory workers endured slave-like conditions.

Rip Curl claimed to have no knowledge of their garments being produced in North Korea, as the clothes were shipped to retail outlets and sold with a “made in China” logo on them.

Rip Curl blamed one of its subcontractors for the practice, stating this was a case of a supplier diverting part of their production order to an unauthorised subcontractor and country. This was done without their knowledge or consent, and in clear breach of supplier terms and policies.

Rip Curl and North Korea

After the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Australian firms’ garment-sourcing policies came under intense scrutiny. More than 90 per cent of garments sold in Australia are estimated to be sourced from Asia, while a huge proportionate of Asian garment workers are women who are paid minimal or poverty wages.

The event promoted a number of global brands to speak openly about their CSR efforts. Lucy Siegle comments that Public Relations efforts around company CSR efforts are getting more sophisticated. However, in many case, the business models stay the same. This is a concern when the business model is based on furious expansion, and companies are investing in pilot schemes in new low-wage fashion production hubs.

The fast-changing and glamorous image of the fashion industry presented to consumers is the very aspect which poses significant challenges for supply chain professionals. Companies are increasingly opting for a similar supply chain network, allowing them to easily and quickly replenish and rotate stock, and align with local market trends.

Sourcing location is one of the biggest challenges posed in the fashion industry. Sourcing from further afield can bring lower costs, but results in visibility and traceability challenges. Sourcing close to key markets guarantees a fast response, but has much higher costs and capacity constraints.

Lucy Siegle and Big Ideas Summit 2016

Lucy Siegle - True Cost

Lucy Siegle is a key note speaker at the Big Ideas Summit 2016 powered by Procurious. She will be sharing her thoughts and experiences on the ethical supply chain and the true cost of doing business in the fashion industry and a number of other industries.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Why Future CPOs Need to Walk the Talk

Procurement is changing and its leaders need to change to in order to succeed. Lucy Harding tells Procurious why it’s behaviours, more than technical skills, that will define future CPOs.

Lucy Harding - future CPOs

Lucy Harding, Partner at global executive search firm, Odgers Berndtson, is considered to be the UK’s leading CPO headhunter. She believes that for future CPOs, behaviours and business acumen will carry more weight in recruitment than technical skills.

Lucy’s involvement in Big Ideas is consistent with her view that future CPOs and leaders need to have the following key attributes:

  • The ability to create a function that brings insight and innovation to an organisation
  • Use of the best technology tools and trends to enable your team to be effective.
  • Ability to access and excite emerging supply partners
  • Ability to attract and retain the best talent – tuning in to the millennials motivations and creating roles that offer challenge and development

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, Lucy will be taking part in a panel discussion, which will discuss attracting the top talent to procurement, and what skills will be required by future CPOs and other procurement leaders.

The thing I’m most looking forward to about the Big Ideas Summit is meeting new people that have interesting ideas on how to move the profession forward. It’s exciting to see the breadth of speakers and contributors that will be able to discuss emerging and future trends that the function needs to get to grips with.

What are the key differences between the skills required for executive level procurement, and the mid-level roles?

The difference between the skills needed at the mid-level and those required at an executive level are behavioural, rather than technical. This is the same for any functional leader (HR/Finance/IT) as they become the head of their function. Technical competence is a given. At senior levels, after a number of years in a function, everyone should be technically competent.

At the margin, the difference is leadership, broader business acumen, financial numeracy, and breadth of experience gained across a range of industries and geographies. To land the top role, an organisation will be looking at you not only with that role in mind, but what can you do next.

What would you say are, or will be, the key attributes of procurement leaders in the next 5 years?

  • The ability to create a function that brings insight and innovation to an organisation
  • Use of the best technology tools and trends to enable your team to be effective.
  • Ability to access and excite emerging supply partners
  • Ability to attract and retain the best talent – tuning in to the millennials motivations and creating roles that offer challenge and development
  • The ability to structure your organisation that gives you the best access to global talent
  • Someone who doesn’t talk procurement language to the business
  • A combination of procurement and business skills
  • Experience of living and working in emerging markets

Do you see any patterns or common issues when it comes to your executive searches?

Clients are increasingly keen to recruit “business leaders first, functional excellence second”. International experience, with a breadth of industry sector experience is also in high demand. Above all, the ability to engage with the business, and do what you say you are going to do, is critical.

This is becoming increasingly evident, since many of the searches I undertake have elevated the positioning of the role, and therefore visibility to the Board is heightened.

Procurious focuses a lot on the individual brand and social media presence of all procurement professionals. How important is this for recruitment in the profession?

Social Media is an increasingly important tool for recruitment. At the junior and middle management levels it’s often used for candidate identification so a well presented profile is vital to get “found”.

At the senior levels where Odgers Berndtson operates,  whilst candidates may be found via sources such as LinkedIn, social media is a useful tool for candidates to use to research those they are going to meet during their interview process. As a senior leader looking to hire, it’s important that you use social media as an attraction tool about you as an individual leader that top talent would want to work with.

A word of caution also. All search firms and employers themselves will conduct online media checks on potential candidates, therefore it’s important to ensure that all information on line about you is suitable and professional.

Lucy Harding talk about these topics in more detail during one of our panel discussions at the Big Ideas Summit on April 21st.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Showcasing Your Big Ideas – Tackling Maverick Spend

Ahead of the Big Ideas Summit 2016 on April 21st, we’re on the hunt for your Big Ideas. Stuart Brocklehurst discusses how procurement can elevate its role by tackling maverick spend.

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, which takes place on 21st April,  we will be asking our speakers and attendees to record their ‘Big Ideas’ live on camera for the whole of our Procurious community to see.

But we also believe that every single procurement and supply chain professional has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. You have been submitting your Big Ideas to us, and so far, we think they have been great!

Stuart Brocklehurst, Chief Executive at Applegate Marketplace

According to a survey by KPMG, on average 40 per cent of organisational spend happens without any input from procurement. At a time where procurement needs to be delivering value to the business, tackling maverick spend in the organisation is a good place to start.

Stuart’s Big Idea is exactly that. He believes that for procurement to be valued for its strategic role, it needs to demonstrate its impact on the whole organisation.

Stuart goes on to say that this can only happen through giving access to user-friendly solutions, and demonstrate the benefits of doing this across the organisation.

How to Submit Your Big Idea

We don’t mind if you film your submission on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. However, to help you out we’ve compiled a list of some of our recommended methods for reaching out.

Once you’ve completed your film, you can reach us by email (Procurious@Procurious.com); on Twitter (@procurious_) or via Google Drive or Dropbox (using Procurious@Procurious.com).

You can find all the information you need on recording and submitting your Big Idea here.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Who Are Procurement’s Most Influential Thinkers?

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 brings together some of procurement’s most influential thinkers to discuss the future of the profession.

Influential Thinkers

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 will take place in London on the 21st of April. Procurious have invited around 50 the most influential thinkers from the world of procurement, supply chain, media and technology to discuss the future of the profession.

Just in case you’ve missed all the announcements (where have you been?!), you can catch up on all the details you need here.

Our influential thinkers and thought leaders will be tackling a number of Big Ideas, including unthinkable events, social and sustainable procurement, technological megatrends, and many more, during a packed day full of interviews, debates and panel sessions. 

The good news for all of our Procurious members is that we’ll be capturing all of the day’s events on video. This means you’ll be able to watch all the discussions as they unfolded on the day, and make sure that you don’t miss a single minute.

Taking Part

The Big Ideas Summit is open to all Procurious members. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we want you to help shape the agenda. Register your attendance in our Procurious Big Ideas 2016 Group.

On Twitter? You can also submit your questions by tweeting us @procurious_ using the hashtag: #BigIdeas2016

For more information about the day head on over to our bespoke event site at www.bigideassummit.com.

Who are some of the 2016 Influential Thinkers?

Tom Derry – Institute for Supply Management

Tom DerryTom Derry is CEO of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in Arizona. Prior to this, he spent nine years as COO with the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a US$23 million professional association serving 17,000 corporate treasury and finance professionals.

Tom is chairman and president of ISM Services, the for-profit consulting arm of ISM, a member of the Dean’s Council for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and is a member of the board of directors of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Chris Sawchuk – The Hackett Group

Chris SawchukChris Sawchuk is Principal & Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. He has nearly 20 years of experience in supply management, working directly with Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies around the globe and in a variety of industries to improve all aspects of procurement, including process redesign, technology enablement, operations strategy planning, organisational change and strategic sourcing.

Gabe Perez – Coupa

Gabe PerezGabe Perez is Vice President of Strategy and Market Development at Coupa. He is responsible for emerging market development and analyst relations, and evangelising for Coupa across the globe. Prior to his five years at Coupa,  he worked at Ariba where he participated in many global rollouts of their software.

Lucy Siegle – The Observer

Lucy Siegle - True CostLucy Siegle is a journalist and broadcaster. In her written work she specialises in environmental and social justice issues and ethical consumerism, and is devoted to widening their appeal. She joined The Observer in 2000 and created the Observer Ethical Awards (OEAs), dubbed the Green Oscars. Now in their eighth year, Lucy chairs and presents the final awards.

Lucy was also Executive Producer on The True Cost, a film highlighting the major in sustainability and worker rights issues in the global fashion supply chain.

Peter Holbrook – Social Enterprise

Peter HolbrookPeter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise and a membership organisation supporting social enterprise advocacy and development within the UK and across the world. Under Peter’s leadership SEUK was a critical proposer, supporter and advocate of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, a private members bill which was entered onto statute in 2012.

Peter was recognised for services to social enterprise with a CBE in the 2015 New Year honours list.

Dapo Ajayi – AstraZeneca

Dapo AjayiDapo has enjoyed a long career with AstraZeneca, holding a variety of senior Operations and Commercial roles. In April 2014 Dapo assumed the role of AZ Chief Procurement Officer accountable for the company’s external spend and supplier base across the end to end value chain. She has a pharmacy degree and is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Martin Chilcott – 2degrees

Martin ChilcottMartin is the founder and CEO of 2degrees – the world’s leading collaboration platform and service. He helps business leaders in major global brands including Unilever, Asda Walmart, GSK and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to think differently about how to adopt the principles of sustainable business and use collaboration to transform the resilience, profitability and competitiveness of their operations and whole value chain.

Lucy Harding – Odgers Berndston

Lucy HardingLucy Harding is a Partner and Head of the Global Procurement & Supply Chain Practice at Odgers Berndtson based in London. Lucy has significant experience operating in the procurement and supply chain search environment following 10 years operating in a leading boutique firm. Lucy is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Supply Chain Faculty at Cranfield University.

Elizabeth Linder – Facebook EMEA

Elizabeth LinderElizabeth Linder is Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist and brand ambassador for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. As the founder and head of her division in EMEA, Elizabeth trains and advises politicians, government officials, civil society leaders, and diplomats on using Facebook to effectively communicate with citizens.

Tania Seary – Procurious

Tania SearyTania is the Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession – The Faculty, The Source and Procurious.

Four years ago, Tania founded The Source, a specialist recruitment firm for the procurement profession. In 2013 she moved to London and founded Procurious, the world’s first online community for procurement professionals to connect, share and learn. Since it’s launch in May 2014, Procurious has already attracted more than 12,500 members from 140+ countries worldwide.

These are just a selection of the influential thinkers from the world of procurement and supply chain who will be appearing at Big Ideas 2016.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Big Ideas Summit 2016 FAQs

Procurious want to arm you with all the information you need and want ahead of next week’s Big Ideas Summit. We’ve gathered together your Big Ideas FAQs and answered them here.

Big Ideas FAQs

What is it?

The Big Ideas Summit is a unique online event uniting procurement and supply chain professionals from around the globe to drive innovation and inspire change.   

When is it?

21st April 2016. But a lively conversation has already begun on Procurious!

Expect to see most of the action between 09.00 – 17.00 (GMT) as we share video insights, quotes, photos and summary articles direct from London.

If you can’t join the action live, not to worry.  The thought-provoking discussions and debate will continue long after, and we’ll be sharing video footage of all our Influencers Big Ideas throughout April and May on Procurious.

Where is it?

Although our Top Influencers will be meeting in central London, due to its digital nature Procurious members across the world can get involved from the comfort of their office, armchair or even from the beach!

And brand new in 2016, Procurious members can now also use our iOS App to follow the action. It’s already available in the Apple iTunes store and is free to download. 

How can I join in?

You’ll need to be a registered member of Procurious – join here for free if you haven’t already. Then simply access the Big Ideas Summit Group (which can be found here) to soak-up thoughtful opinions, participate in insightful discussion, connect with our Influencers and share your own Big Ideas with the Procurious community.

We’ll also be live tweeting throughout the day, so make sure you’re following @procurious_ to share and respond to our tweets. 

Do I have to be a member of Procurious?

Yes. Participation as a digital delegate at Big Ideas Summit is free and open to all members of Procurious.

By joining Procurious, you will not only have access to all the Big Ideas Summit content, but join a community of over 13,000 like minded procurement peers and gain access to all Procurious’ free resources, including being able to:

  • Upskill on the move with 80+ eLearning modules
  • Get your procurement questions answered by experts
  • Find out about relevant professional events around the globe
  • Become a digital delegate in the global think-tank, Big Ideas Summit 2016

Will Big Ideas be live-streamed?

Procurious boasts a global audience of 13,000+ procurement professionals, from more than 140 countries. If we were to cater to all of these time zones, it would be a tough job – so rather than live-streaming (and keeping you awake at awkward hours), we’ll share video with those who have registered.

We will be using Periscope to live stream short videos from the day, but these videos – and all the Big Ideas videos – will be made available to you in the days that follow.

Is there an App for Procurious?

Sure is! Because we know you want to stay connected on-the-go, we’ve just launched our first Procurious App.  It’s now available (free, of course!) on the Apple iTunes Store.

The Procurious App will make it easier than ever to access procurement news and eLearning, take part in discussions and invite your colleagues to get involved with The Big Ideas Summit.

I’m on the fence – why should I take part?

Here are five compelling reasons to join your fellow Procurians and stake your claim to the wealth of knowledge on offer:

  1. An Audience With 50 of the World’s Top Procurement Influencers
  2. Get Your Questions Answered By World-Class Experts
  3. Make Powerful New Contacts Around The Globe
  4. Share Your Own Big Idea and make your voice heard
  5. Access Exclusive Content & Learnings 

Who are the ‘Influencers’?

The term ‘influencers’ refers to the invited thought-leaders who will be sharing their Big Ideas with the room and you – the Procurious community.

Our experts span the worlds of procurement, technology, social media, journalism and academia. There will be CPOs from organisations including:  AstraZeneca, RBS, Crown Commercial Services, The World Bank..and many more.

Who are the sponsors and media partners?

The Big Ideas Summit is made possible by our partners IBM, ISM, The Hackett Group, and Coupa.

We’re also pleased to welcome Spend Matters UK as our official Media Partners.

I’ve got a Big Idea of my own…

Great to hear! You can Tweet us your Big Ideas @procurious_ remembering to use the hashtag #BigIdeas2016.

Leave your Big Idea on Facebook – you can find us at www.facebook.com/procurious

And of course you can tell the Procurious community all about it by joining the Big Ideas Group page and posting it to the community feed.

Who is behind Procurious?

You can read all about us in Our Story.

Where can I learn more?

We’ve created a special website to promote the Big Ideas event, visit it at right here.

Plus you might be interested in the following stories:

And many more on the Procurious blog.

How The ‘Brexit’ Could Change Public Procurement

Although the UK referendum isn’t until June, an increasing number of reports are now discussing the potential impact of the ‘Brexit’ on public procurement.

Brexit

On June the 23rd, UK voters will go to the polls in order to decide on the UK’s future as part of the EU. The referendum promises to polarise opinion, much like the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, but there is an increasing focus on what it will mean for public procurement in the UK, as well as supply chains crossing UK/European borders.

EU Procurement Directives, required to be taken into account for all public procurement activity within the community, are widely recognised, and even more widely discussed. While there are critics of the Directives, many believe that they are key to maintaining a fair and equitable process in sourcing activities.

Brexit Impact

Although the EU procurement directives receive a lot of bad press, they were set up with a specific purpose in mind – elimination of trade barriers resulting from discriminatory and preferential procurement practices. It was hoped that this would assist countries across the EU realise savings in public procurement, and create a level of transparency in activities.

Further changes have been made to the procurement directives in the past 12 months, aimed at simplifying and modernising the public procurement process. The directives also have their supporters, who argue that they help to maximise competition, achieve value for money, and enable social benefit and innovation in purchases.

There are also arguments made that, had the UK not joined the EU Common Market, now the European Union, it would have still ended up with public procurement regulations that would not have been vastly different to what exists now.

The impact of a UK exit, or ‘Brexit’, is still largely unknown, and can only be estimated in terms of costs to both the UK economy and UK businesses. However, from the point of view of procurement regulations, some parties are stating that it wouldn’t have an immediate impact on current UK procurement rules.

In fact, any changes to procurement law in the UK public sector would be low on the Government’s priority list. And if there were changes, the rules would end up being very similar (where they have been successful), or some industries, like agriculture, would have to maintain EU standards in order to continue doing business on the Continent.

Supply Chain and Procurement Costs

But what about costs to import goods and the wider supply chain impact in the event of the ‘Brexit’? Well, there still isn’t a consensus when it comes to this either. Some reports show a potential drop of 8 per cent in import costs, but that this could potentially be offset by rising labour costs, partly due to a loss of access to low cost, or cheaper, labour.

Open Europe, a think tank, predicted a worst case scenario of a 2.2 per cent fall in UK GDP, but a potential 1.6 per cent growth in GDP, by 2030. There are also concerns that any possible saving the UK might see in tariffs and not paying money into the EU, would be swallowed up by having to cover subsidies paid to certain industries by the EU.

For both UK and European businesses with supply chains operating across borders, there would be a loss in freedom of movement, both goods and services, and labour. Some goods could be subject to as much as 35 per cent export tariffs, while pan-European partnerships could be lost or cancelled.

While a ‘Brexit’ is by no means a certainty, both British and European companies should start preparing for it happening. Actions like monitoring alternatives suppliers, assessing logistics decisions, and work with existing suppliers to put deals in place, all help to reduce the risks that businesses are exposed to.

What are your (non-political!) thoughts on the ‘Brexit’? Is your business likely to be exposed to the impacts? Let us know in the comments below.

As ever, we’ve been scouring the ‘net this week for top headlines to enjoy with your morning tea or coffee…

Using Waste to Plug Power Gap

  • Using the energy from processing waste at anaerobic digestion plants in the UK could help to solve the country’s energy issues
  • However, there are warning that if the AD technologies aren’t promoted better, they could be lost before they even manage to prove benefits
  • Despite favourable tax breaks, environmental benefits and cost savings, the UK lags a long way behind European countries such as Germany in the number of AD plants it has
  • There are currently 434 plants in the UK, some of which support large retailers (Sainsbury) and manufacturers (Diageo) in their operations

Read more at Supply Management

Brazilian Retailer to Clean Up Supply Chain

  • Brazil’s largest grocery chain has pledged to stop selling beef reared on deforested land in the Amazon rainforest
  • Retailer, Pão de Açúcar, also promised to stop buying beef produced by workers living in slave-like conditions, or cattle produced on land grabbed from local communities
  • The new purchasing plan is set to be in place by the 30th of June, at which point the business will stop dealing with suppliers linked to deforestation and modern slavery
  • The firm operates 832 stores across Brazil and has pledged to help its suppliers improve their practices ahead of the June deadline.

Read more at Thomson Reuters

Love Your Waste to Save Money

  • New reports have shown that Scottish households waste the equivalent of 26 million beef burgers (2,900 tonnes of beef) each year in food wastage
  • Zero Waste Scotland has launched a campaign aimed at reducing this waste by using leftovers as part of other dishes, something that could save each household up to £460 per year
  • Confusion over dates on labels, caution about meat safety and worries over freezing and reheating can lead to good meat being thrown away even thought it is still fine to eat
  • In February, Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead pledged to cut food waste in Scotland by a third by 2025, to save businesses and households at least £500m

Read more at Supply Management

2016 Enviro Challenge Launched

  • Enviro Challenge’s challenge day for 2016 is set to take place next week in the Waikato, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Central Plateau regions of New Zealand
  • The day is aimed at inspiring schools to develop sustainability and leadership skills in high school students
  • Students are also asked to develop, or continue developing, a project for their school with measurable outcomes, and encouraged to think long term
  • Students will be working on initiatives that will have ongoing positive impacts on their schools and their communities, which this year include renewable energy and biodiversity

Read more at Sun Live

Big Ideas 2015 Flashback: Investing in People

We’re looking back at some of the most popular ideas from Big Ideas 2015. Dapo Ajayi talks about the benefits of investing in people’s capabilities.

Dapo Ajayi, Chief Procurement Officer at AstraZeneca, a delegate in 2015, and returning again as a panel speaker in 2016, discusses her idea that procurement organisations need to invest in the capabilities of its people.

According to Dapo, procurement has the expectation of delivering exceptional results, but without investing in people, then the profession cannot be successful, either now or in the future.

The starting point for this is creating a different mindset in the procurement profession. This will help people see they can be the leaders the profession needs. However, this needs to start with the current crop of leaders.

 

 

Dapo also believes that platforms such as Procurious help this investment, as it provides connections in procurement on a global scale. By opening the minds of procurement professionals to what is happening across the broader business environment, in other industries and sectors, there are huge opportunities for development.

See more Big Ideas from our 40 influencers from the Big Ideas Summit 2015 on Procurious.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Big Ideas Summit 2016, visit www.bigideassummit.com. You can also join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Showcasing Your Big Ideas – Addressing Supplier Compliance

Ahead of the Big Ideas Summit 2016 on April 21st, we’re on the hunt for your Big Ideas. Market Dojo discuss why they think 2016 will see an increased focus on supplier compliance.

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, which takes place on 21st April,  we will be asking our speakers and attendees to record their ‘Big Ideas’ live on camera for the whole of our Procurious community to see.

But we also believe that every single procurement and supply chain professional has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. You have been submitting your Big Ideas to us, and so far, we think they have been great!

Market Dojo, e-Sourcing Software Provider

Market Dojo believe that in 2016, organisations will be required to have an increased focus on supplier compliance, throughout their supply chains.

With new regulations and policies coming into force, particularly around Modern Slavery in the supply chain, organisations will need to get to grips with their supply chains, and understand how their supplier operate. This will not be limited to Tier 1 suppliers, but throughout the supply chain.

Companies will need to take steps to increase supplier compliance. This can be helped by having simpler, and more user-friendly, supplier engagement systems.

How to Submit Your Big Idea

We don’t mind if you film your submission on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. However, to help you out we’ve compiled a list of some of our recommended methods for reaching out.

Once you’ve completed your film, you can reach us by email (Procurious@Procurious.com); on Twitter (@procurious_) or via Google Drive or Dropbox (using Procurious@Procurious.com).

You can find all the information you need on recording and submitting your Big Idea here.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Big Ideas in Big Companies

Making significant changes in a business can be challenging and is often especially difficult in big companies where it’s hard to get your voice heard, and break through protocol and resistance at the top.

Big Ideas Big Companies

Here at Procurious, we’ve been asking for you to submit your Big Ideas ahead of our Big Ideas Summit 2016.

We firmly believe that every procurement professional has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. Your Big Idea, inspired by some of the amazing experiences and insights you have, could be the one to change the face of the procurement profession.

Red-Tape and Resistance

However, getting your ideas heard and implemented is often easier said than done. Change can be implemented more readily in smaller businesses or start-ups, where there are fewer employees and greater flexibility, and roles are more diverse or interchangeable.

In big companies there is more red-tape and resistance to change. It can be difficult to make your voice heard by the right people when there is a fixed hierarchy and more stakeholders to consider. If you want to be a game-changer in a big company, having communication skills and the confidence to assert your innovative ideas is key.

As for the people at the top of these organisations, it’s their task to ensure they are inspiring intrapreneurship and considering the potential for great ideas to come from anyone, and anywhere, whether it be a graduate or a supplier.

Communication

People at the top need new ideas and new perspectives, so the chances are they will appreciate an employee taking the initiative to pitch an original idea. If you are fortunate enough to have this opportunity, don’t be complacent. Prepare, rehearse and ask for feedback from colleagues and friends.

It is crucial to deliver a slick and compelling pitch, which captures the attention of those listening. How you sell your idea, and convey your passion for it, will make all the difference.

Your audience needs to know what is so great about your idea, how it stands out, and if it will be worthwhile. You should consider how this change can be implemented within your organisation, and how you can measure its success.

What problems does this idea solve for your business? If you can’t articulate these points in a concise and convincing way, your voice won’t be heard and your ideas will be discarded, no matter how fantastic they are.

Commitment to Your Big Idea

Excellent communication, despite its importance, might not be quite enough to seal the deal with your Big Idea. It often takes greater persistence than just one great pitch.

Big companies, and those at the top of those big companies, can be averse to change and reluctant to take risks particularly if the change proposed is a big one. Chris Lynch, CFO at Rio Tinto, believes that, in larger companies, “the bigger the idea, the greater the resistance.” A flawless business plan might not be enough to relieve any hesitancy your employers have.

Your confidence, passion and perseverance are key. If you give up at the first hurdle, your idea can’t have been worth fighting for, and colleagues or employers will doubt you ever had the courage of your convictions.

Additionally, you can demonstrate your drive and commitment by doing your homework. Don’t get caught out by not being up to speed and seeming unprepared. Make sure you’ve done the background reading, made contingency plans and considered every eventuality. Again, your audience will be impressed by your motivation.

It can take years for an idea to come to fruition within big companies, and you might face a series of hurdles along the way. Don’t give up on yourself or your ideas. Keep dreaming big.

Inspiring Intrapreneurship

It is not solely the responsibility of the employee to push for change in large organisations. Senior decision makers and those at the top can help by being encouraging and harvesting intrapreneurship.

Even if one particular idea doesn’t tickle your fancy, the person pitching it is someone to be encouraged and supported as a future innovator and game changer.  These are the people on the inside who can think outside existing limits, the ones with the creative skills to reinvent companies and drive change.

As far as procurement goes, there is always room for the intrapreneurs who will become leaders, influencing entire organisations and developing breakthrough solutions for a variety of organisational issues.

A Big Idea Can Come from Anyone

It doesn’t matter if someone is experienced or inexperienced, a recent graduate or a long-term employee, they can still contribute a great idea to a large company. The best ideas could come from someone or somewhere you least expect.

As procurement professionals it is important to listen to our suppliers as much as our employees. No enterprise is an island, and collaborative change can be the most rewarding of all. Our partners on the outside can see what we on the inside can’t, which is why it’s important to heed the advice and suggestions suppliers make. It is a valuable approach to perceive suppliers not simply as an expenditure but as value-adding co-workers.

As the pace of change increases in business and procurement, and new trends and technologies are developed all the time, organisations cannot afford to be close minded when it comes to new ideas. You never know what you are going to hear if you open your door and create a culture of innovation in your company.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Calling for Your Questions at Big Ideas 2016

Procurious needs your questions to pose to our speakers at the Big Ideas Summit 2016 and put them to the test.

Your Questions

 

It’s not long to go until 2016’s Big Ideas Summit on 21st April but there’s still enough time to have your voice heard. Procurious are calling for your questions now.

The Big Ideas Summit is open to all of our Procurious members. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we want you to help shape the agenda. You can start by registering your attendance in our Procurious Big Ideas 2016 Group.

From new technologies in manufacturing and the true cost of supply chains, to how social media is enabling new conversations and why procurement needs to be more agile, we’ll be discussing it all with help from 50 of the world’s most influential procurement and supply chain leaders and thinkers.

But we need your input too!

Where Do I Come In?

We want the Procurious community to put our speakers to the test by asking them the toughest questions. In the Big Ideas Group, the conversation has already begun – participants are asking questions, vetting their big ideas, and reading exclusive, advance insights from the presenters.

Your contributions needn’t stop ahead of the event, either. On the day we would love your contributions to discussions on the event’s key themes and topics, and further questions based on what you’ve been hearing. We’ll be monitoring and updating the group and our twitter account throughout the day to see what’s being said.

Through this virtual, think-tank event, Procurious’ 13,000+ members will have the chance to interact with our speakers, senior executives, thought leaders and CPOs and with the wider Procurious community, gaining insights into the future of procurement.

Who Will Answer My Questions?

We’ve managed to secure a high calibre list of thought leaders and keynote speakers, including:

  • Dapo Ajayi, CPO, AstraZeneca
  • Christopher Browne, CPO, The World Bank
  • Elizabeth Linder, Politics & Government Specialist, Facebook
  • Gabe Perez, Vice President of Strategy & Market Development, Coupa
  • Tom Derry, CEO, The Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
  • Chris Sawchuk, Principle & Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group

You can find out more about our speakers here.

It’s not only those present at the Big Ideas Summit who will be engaging in debates and answering questions. The entire Procurious community will also be answering questions, and responding to your thoughts and ideas via the group or on twitter, providing ample opportunities to solve procurement problems and drive change.

How Can I Submit My Questions?

Submit your questions and start discussions via our Big Ideas Summit Group.

If you’d prefer to use Twitter you can tweet us your questions via @procurious_ using the hashtag: #BigIdeas2016

You can also stay up to date, and get involved in real time via LinkedIn or Facebook, also using the hashtag #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t forget to visit our bespoke site: www.bigideassummit.com ahead of the event.