All posts by Procurious HQ

Mergers and acquisitions in Transport sector set to supersede 2014 levels

Mergers and acquisitions within the Transport sector

In 2015, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Transport and Logistics sector will supersede the levels seen in 2014, according to KPMG’s latest Transport Tracker.

The first quarter of 2015 has already seen completed global transactions worth £6.7 billion, and further acquisitions valued at £6.7 billion have already been announced. In 2014 the increase in the volume of transactions resulted in £39.6 billion worth of deals.

The report found that purchase prices rose which meant that the average business valuation of transactions in the transport sector increased in 2014 to 11.9x of EBITDA, compared to 9.0x in 2013. This was due to the increase in strategic acquisitions and the increased appetite for takeovers of transport companies combined with low availability of suitable target companies that are for sale. The trend is set to continue in 2015.

Other key trends that the analysis has revealed as drivers for the continued increase and high level of M&A activity in 2015 include:

  • Consolidation, geographical expansion and vertical specialisation remain the predominant reasons for transactions in the sector, as evidenced by the bid by FedEx for TNT Express.  This is an example of a classic geographic play to strengthen FedEx’s European ground and air network. The relatively high multiple/premium to share price suggests that FedEx sees significant synergies in this deal.
  • The increase in private investment in transport infrastructure operators in the sector will remain a key driver of business transactions. Governments in both emerging and mature markets increasingly lack the financial flexibility to ensure sufficient investment in infrastructure. This increasingly comes from private investors, who are in turn in search of stable sources of income.
  • M&A activity has evolved in the context of the increasing digitization of the transport industry and the strong influence of the growing e-commerce business. To develop new business opportunities, many large logistics companies are increasingly targeting shares into specialized IT and e-commerce enterprises. Even the more traditional maritime industry has recognized the trend for targeted investment in IT companies. In the future, transactions of this model will increasingly characterise the M&A events in the transport sector.

UK head of transport at KPMG, James Stamp, said: “Total deal values of transport & logistics transactions in 2014 amounted to £39.6 billion and we expect this figure to be superseded in 2015. In addition to high-volume transactions for the purpose of inorganic growth (particularly by US companies as a result of the strength of the US dollar) we expect selective acquisitions of specialized IT and e-commerce companies will increasingly shape the M&A strategies of transport companies.”

4 technology trends we’ll tackle at Big Ideas 2015

4 technology trends for 2015

New innovations in technology have the potential to transform supply chain management, whether that be through streamlining inventory, improving accountability, or providing your existing operations with a shot in the arm… But it’s a tough job to constantly stay ahead of the curve – how are you supposed to know if the trend you’re picking is going to be a winner, and not just some flash-in-pan?

At the Procurious Big Ideas Summit on April 30, Oracle’s Tim Hughes (along with other industry experts) will explain the current state of play and give Procurious’ digital delegates an insight on what’s to come next.

Today we’re climbing into our driverless cars and talking all-things Tech. Here are four big tech trends that have the potential to drastically change the face of procurement forever.

  1. Big Data

We are a society of data producers and like it or not, our entire digital activity is being carefully monitored and recorded. In 2013 Facebook was recording in excess of 4.5 billion ‘likes’ everyday. That number has likely skyrocketed since. Interactions like this and billions of others across the globe are being captured, stored and utilised to build a more accurate picture of how we behave and interact with our environment. So far, so Orwellian. Big Brother is always watching.

But we shouldn’t fear this omnipresence… Big data has already been utilised successfully to track the spread of disease, predict election results and assist in emergency management situations. For procurement professionals big data can be harnessed to forecast market trends, understand supplier risk, identify new savings, create collaboration with suppliers and understand how environmental factors could impact supply.

  1. Apps

Despite early adopters integrating mobile technologies into their business processes over the last five years – the mobile business sector is only just starting to find it feet. Apps have surged to prominence in recent years with mobile web users spending a staggering 86 per cent of their browsing time in apps, opposed to only 14 per cent in traditional mobile web browsers. With the gap between these statistics widening year upon year, the age of the app is well and truly upon us.

We’ve become so accustomed to checking our phone in our personal lives; it should come as no surprise that more importance is being placed on the mobile in our working lives too.

As workplace apps reach new levels of capability and maturity we can expect to see procurement teams leveraging mobile devices to better streamline tried and tested (but sometimes archaic) processes. How about approving purchase orders for offsite staff on the fly? Utilising cameras for receipt and barcode scanning in warehouses? Generating real-time reports on the go, or utilising GPS positioning to understand precisely where is inventory is flowing? These suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg…

  1. The Sharing Economy

Thanks to companies like Airbnb, Uber, Hassle and Netflix we are seeing a fundamental shift in the way consumers pay for products. No longer do we ‘buy and own’ products – instead we’re borrowing and renting with a much higher frequency.

These changes in the way we consume films, taxis and hotel rooms are being reflected in the corporate world as more firms look to leverage ‘pay-as-you-go’ ownership models. This is a structural change in purchasing habits that procurement managers will likely have to manage more frequently in the future. We’ve already seen an emergence in the IT procurement space with the prominence of cloud computing and software as services, the big question is – which spend categories can we turn our eye to next?

  1. Social Media

Clearly, this point is close to our heart at Procurious. Social media has well and truly embedded itself in our personal lives and its importance is starting to be realised in our professional lives as well.

In 2014 the number of Internet users worldwide stood at a colossal 2.4 billion. 2 billion of those were also frequent social media users.

On Twitter more than 500 million tweets are sent in a single 24-hour period, meanwhile two people sign-up to LinkedIn every second, and 50,000 job applications are submitted over the course of a day. Every one of these statistics is astonishing in isolation, but it’s not just the big boys that are dominating our social habits – specialist vertical networks such as Spiceworks (for IT pros), OilPro (for oil and gas professionals), and Procurious are starting to find their own followings.

In-fact many of the large ERP’s (SAP, Oracle, IBM Emptoris etc.) have already integrated social media technology into their standard offerings. The strategic importance of this technology is illustrated by SAP’s acquisition of Ariba and recently Fieldglass.

While you often think of social media as a place for just sharing compelling content, short and snappy anecdotes, and authentic stories, it’s actually much more than that… Procurement and supply chain professionals are already well accustomed to working globally, often in a virtual team environment with cross-cultural suppliers and stakeholders.  Social media actually makes this process easier by facilitating networking, strengthening the sense of personal brand, and providing the collaborative tools to facilitate more effective work. Along with ongoing advancements in Cloud technology, social media certainly has a very important role to play in the future days of procurement.

What’s your Big Idea? On 30 April, Procurious will host a world-first cost leadership think-tank at The Soho Hotel in London that will be amplified to our 4500 members across 100 countries through a mixture of videos, interviews, social media and feature-writing. Discover more at www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015

The Easter Supply Chain – Optimisation and Collaboration

Did you over-indulge at the weekend? Did all the kids’ Easter eggs make it to the Sunday morning Easter Egg Hunt? Whether your Easter delicacy of choice is the humble egg, sweets like jelly beans and marshmallows, or something more like a Spanish torrija, you may not realise the complicated supply chain that is required to help the Easter Bunny complete his deliveries.

easter-eggs-637110_1280

 

In the UK, Easter sales of chocolate make up 10% of the figures for the entire year. According to the National Confectioners’ Association in the USA, around 70% of the Easter sweets purchased are chocolate, which works out to a whopping $2.1 billion spend.

And it’s not just the confectionary market that will see an increase in sales over the Easter period. According to a survey by Evans Distribution Systems, $2.9 billion will be spent on clothing and fashion, while a combined $2.7 billion will be spent on flowers, greetings cards and decorations.

Delivering all this chocolate, sweets and other items to stores requires a mammoth effort from logistics organisations around the world. Shipping efficiency, customer location, order quantities and supply chain management all have to be reviewed in order to keep up with the demand.

In the USA, Hersheys opted to optimise their supply chain around the elements of customer geographical location and grouping stock-keeping units with product groups. It is estimated that by doing this, and using off-the-shelf software, the organisation has saved itself in excess of $15 million per year.

Just Born, a confectionary manufacturer who are responsible for America’s favourite non-chocolate treat, the Peep, changed their supply chain strategy in order to cope with the huge demand for their products at Easter.

The organisation now uses distribution centres and 3PL to break bulk orders for more efficient delivery to retailers. Just Born also shares these centres with other organisations, with this collaboration further reducing the costs associated with deliveries.

An increasing use of technology for inventory management and planning is making life easier for organisations too. Barcodes can be used to manage inventories more efficiently, while also allowing for real-time tracking of stock at both distribution centres and retail outlets.

Further advancements in technologies such as ERP and MRP systems will allow organisations to further increase efficiencies, while increased collaboration will benefit not only the whole industry, but also the consumer.

So just remember, the next time you crack open that chocolate egg, there’s more than a simple process required to get it from manufacturer to shelf (and that’s before the Easter Bunny gets involved!).

If you have any ideas about the technologies being used in procurement and supply chain, or any advancements that could make a difference in the profession, let us know and we’ll add it to the discussion at the Big Ideas Summit. Or why not tell us by joining our Procurious group, or Tweeting your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015.

Read on for the big procurement and supply chain headlines making the news this week.

Jamaican Government to spend $51m on eProcurement

  • The money will be spent on its electronic procurement system to strengthen its public procurement for purchasing and tendering agencies and suppliers.
  • The purchase will enable all of these activities to be automated and integrated in a single portal.
  • Just over $31 million will go towards the hosting server and electronic procurement system, scheduled to be in place by July.
  • Other amounts include $1.47 million to be set aside for training, $575,000 for a final project evaluation and a project audit costing of just over $1 million.

Read more at Supply Management

Advanced announces place on NHS SBS procurement framework

  • Healthcare software provider, Advanced Health & Care, has been named as an approved supplier on the NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) Healthcare Clinical Information Systems framework.
  • Advanced is one of 26 suppliers to have been chosen for the framework
  • The new framework, which has been divided into six lots, is valued at up to £1.25 billion.
  • It will operate for four years with a potential two-year extension and is free for any NHS organisation to access.
  • The aim is to offer providers a more cost effective means of procurement when tendering for healthcare systems.

Read more at Shared Services Link

Businessfriend – a new way for execs to do business

  • Businessfriend was one of the new technologies that had been launched at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
  • The app allows multiple networks and platforms to be pulled together into one place, decreasing the time taken to manage all of them
  • It has already been described as “Facebook meets LinkedIn, with a little of Office365 sprinkled in there…”
  • The programme boasts up to 2 gigabytes of free cloud storage, video chat, instant messaging, as well as adaptability to contract management systems that can be linked up into the functionality

Read on at Supply Chain Digital

Companies focusing on supply chain innovations in food and beverage industry

  • Organisations are looking to their supply chains in order to find success in food and beverage
  • Mondelez, Diageo and Nestle are just some of the big names looking at their practices to find new innovations
  • These include reduction of packaging, commitment to sustainability and reducing waste
  • It is hoped that more will follow suit when the savings from these activities become clear

Find out more at fooddive.com

Digital is easy: talking digital transformation

The importance of upping your digital game

Digital transformations are underway at most large businesses as they respond to customers’ adoption of smart devices, with organisations working hard to harness the efficiency gains arising from channelling as much as possible through websites and apps.

However, in its latest research, Coeus Consulting warns that its experience shows many such initiatives are failing through too much focus on creating a shiny new veneer of webpages and apps, with not enough thought going to the core of the business, its culture and back office systems.

The research identifies four key areas that need attention in order for any organisation to execute a successful digital transformation:

  1. Legacy IT systems: legacy IT systems and the interfaces into them require transforming, to ensure new technology is not held back by slow-moving central IT.
  2. Operational change: business transformation and process change.
  3. Culture: organisational-wide cultural change is needed to support the new ways of working (including ensuring the necessary behaviours, skills and approach)
  4. Execution: strong governance, as well as project and programme management, are needed to ensure the transformation stays focussed, on track and delivers the required benefits.

Ben Barry, Head of Strategy at Coeus Consulting and co-author of the report comments, “The pace of digital transformation is moving like never before. For companies to succeed we believe they must understand their existing landscape as well as the challenges from the complexity of new interfaces into their existing IT systems, the changes needed to business processes together with employee behavioural change.

“These all need to be addressed in order to execute a digital strategy successfully. However, we have seen these elements often get looked at late in the process, or after new technology is live, meaning little or no return on the investment.”

Matthew Headford, Head of Technology and Architecture at Coeus Consulting, also warns that “the back offices which support the shiny new digital platforms are often neglected and therefore put under strain.” 

However, Coeus says that there are nonetheless huge prizes for businesses who achieve digital success. Examples of these include:

  • Bookmaker Paddy Power has transformed itself from owning a host of local gambling organisations to becoming a successful international gambling platform.
  • Tesco surpassed the expectations of its customers by providing a new iPhone bar-code scanning app. It is a great example of a brand that stretched the use of technologies to provide greater utility to customers than even they might expect.
  • Aggregators such as comparethemarket.com and moneysupermarket.com have made shopping online for highly regulated services simple and effective (and highly profitable for these businesses in the process).

Procurious will be putting technology under the spotlight on 30 April at the Big Ideas Summit. Find out how you can get involved by joining our Procurious group, and Tweeting your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015

How do these 130 countries rank when it comes to supply chain disruption?

Taiwan has improved its commitment to managing natural hazards.

FM Global (one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers) published its Resilience Index on Tuesday.

The Resilience Index is claimed to be the first “data-driven tool and repository that ranks the business resilience of 130 countries and territories to supply chain disruption.”

The tool is intended to provide supply chain managers an understanding of the risks involved in operating a supply chain in countries they’re not familiar with.

In order to achieve a resilience score (100 being most resilient and 0 being least resilient) countries are analysed across 9 key drivers of supply chain risk. These drivers are further classified into three high level categories: Economic, Risk Quality and Supply Chain Factors.

Norway’s Up and Venezuela’s Down

This year saw Norway come out on top of the rankings and Venezuela pick-up the unfortunate 130th and final ranking. Ukraine and Kazakhstan saw the largest year-on-year falls (both dropping 31 places). The former related “directly to Russian military intervention there” according to a statement that accompanied the report. The index also highlighted the ongoing conflict in Arab region with Islamic State and the Ebola outbreak of late 2014 as areas of significant concern.

Taiwan Soars

The year’s biggest climber was Taiwan, the island nation climbed 52 spots and now sits 37th overall after improving its commitment to managing natural hazards.

“This rise shows an increased awareness of the natural hazards and fire risk exposures inherent to the country, the building of new facilities to a higher level of quality and greater acceptance of risk management measures that can better existing protect facilities,” said Bret Ahnell, executive vice president at FM Global.

Speaking on the importance and relevance of this index the vice president and manager of research of FM Global said, “All of us live in a global environment now. Our daily lives are dominated by the global economic landscape that’s become increasingly brittle. The Resilience Index has been put in place to help address this issue of global risk.”

Find out more about the Resilience Index here

Why we’re talking managing talent at Big Ideas 2015

4 ways of attracting new talent

On 30 April Procurious is gathering the Procurement world’s most influential minds for a discussion on the future of the function. The Big Ideas Summit will take place physically in London, but will be made available to attend digitally across the world through Procurious.com.

We’ve identified risk, technology and talent as three areas that will play a critical importance in the future development of function. In order to address these important areas and provide some background into the discussions and debates that will take place on the day of the summit, we have dedicated a series of blog posts on these topics. Keep your eyes peeled for our overview of technology and risk, but…

Today we are talking talent

In this piece we’ll be highlighting some of the high level trends that are impacting the way procurement teams manage talent. Be sure to stay tuned to Procurious as we’ll be deep diving into each of these topics over the coming weeks.

Hiring is up!

According to LinkedIn (which is quickly becoming the world’s largest recruitment organisation) firms will be looking to hiring more people in 2015, and will have a higher budget to do so. A survey run by the social network suggested that 63 per cent of recruiters will have a higher hiring volume in 2015 than in 2014, and that 46 per cent of recruiters will have a higher budget over the coming year (up from 28 per cent in 2013).

The rise of Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship is a term popularised by Howard Edward Haller in in the late 70’s. So, while the concept is not new, it’s certainly seen a revival in recent years.

The practice of intrapreneurship involves bringing an entrepreneur-like mind set and business practices to a larger, more established organisation. The rise in intrapreneurship has been attributed to increased competition in traditional markets from smaller more agile organisations. Larger organisations are realising that in order to remain competitive they need to innovate… Enter the Intrapreneurs.

The war for talent

Would it surprise you to learn that procurement is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world? Our increasing demand for talented professionals is outstripping supply. Procurement also competes for talent. We compete with other functions and other business. If you don’t have a sound talent acquisition and retention strategy you’ll be left behind.

As a consequence we have seen salary inflation and a lot of bad hires. It is a candidate-centric market.

One area that procurement teams may be missing a beat on is the art of attracting passive talent. LinkedIn suggests that while 75 per cent of potential candidates are passive in their job search (meaning that you have to go and find them) only 61 per cent of organisations have a strategy for attracting passive candidates.

Social Media

Discussion at the Big Ideas Summit will also focus around the critical and growing role that social media is playing in attracting and retaining top talent.

Social media can be utilised by firms to not only list job postings, but also to represent a business’s mission and value (which can be vital to attracting talent) and to evaluate the cultural fit of potential candidates.

The labour market is tightening, which means the need to engage, retain, and up skill your existing resources is growing.  The participatory and collaborative nature of social media is inherently suited to peer-to-peer learning which is both highly effective (learn real life lessons from subject matter experts), accessible (it can be accessed across multiple devices at a time convenient to the learner) and extremely cost effective (Procurious, for example, is currently offering the entire suite of online learning modules free to members for a limited time).

Social media also offers candidates a unique opportunity to elevate their personal brand as well as the profession. As a platform it is the perfect tool to share knowledge, ask questions, engage in discussion and spread influence.

As we get closer to Big Ideas Summit 2015 we’ll explain how you can use social media to both attract new talent, and up your own networking game.

What’s your Big Idea? Discover more at www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015

Who are procurement‘s most influential thinkers?

 

Are these the most influential people in procurement?We’ve just announced the world‘s first digitally-led event for procurement and supply chain professionals. Missed it? You can get up to speed with all of the details here.

During this one-of-a-kind event we’ll be talking and exploring Big Ideas around three core topics – namely, risk, people and technology.

We’re bringing together some of the smartest Procurement thought leaders for a packed day full of interviews, debates and panel sessions.  Don’t worry, we’ll be capturing all of the day’s events on video so you’ll be able to see how all the discussions unfold.

You can submit your questions now, along with your own Big Ideas by becoming a Digital Delegate. Do so by joining this group, and Tweet your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015

Who will be attending Big Ideas Summit 2015?

Peter Smith – Spend Matters

Peter is Managing Editor of Spend Matters Europe, part of the world’s leading family of procurement websites. He has an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University, and worked for the Mars Group, where he first held procurement management positions, then was Procurement Director for Dun & Bradstreet Europe, the Department of Social Security, and the NatWest Group.

Chris Sawchuk – The Hackett Group

Mr. Sawchuk has nearly 20 years of experience in supply management, working directly with Fortune 500 and midsized companies around the globe and in a variety of industries to improve all aspects of procurement.

Mr. Sawchuk is a regular contributor to business publications, a frequent presenter at industry events and co-author of ePurchasingPlus. He has been recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine as one of its “Pros to Know.”

David Noble – CIPS

David Noble was appointed Group Chief Executive of The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply on 1 June 2009. Previously he was Group Supply Director at IMI plc, a FTSE 250 UK multinational company specialising in advanced engineering technology and responsible for c£1billion spend.

Although the majority of his career has been in manufacturing, he also has experience of the public sector, the distribution industry and large scale turnkey power station projects.

Sigi Osagie – Author

Sigi Osagie is a leading expert on effectiveness in Procurement & Supply Chain Management. He helps organisations and individuals achieve enhanced performance growth to accomplish their business and career goals. Sigi has extensive leadership experience across most Operations and Supply Chain areas, and previously held senior executive and board roles with several blue-chip multinationals and SMEs. He is the author of the highly-acclaimed book Procurement Mojo – Strengthening the Function and Raising Its Profile.

Giles Breault – The Beyond Group

Co-founder and Principal of The Beyond Group, a specialised advisory firm providing transformation guidance to commercial and procurement teams, developing learning conferences, and convening industry specific Think Tanks aimed at improving relationships between buyers and sellers.

Before founding The Beyond Group, Mr. Breault was a career productivity, supply chain, sourcing and procurement executive with strategic and operational experience in the pharmaceuticals, electronics, and aviation industries.

Tania Seary – The Faculty, The Source, Procurious

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

The Faculty is recognised as one of Australia’s leading advisors on procurement development. Established twelve years ago, The Faculty works with leading organisations to transform and elevate the role of procurement, build high performance procurement teams and create professional knowledge networks.

Tim Hughes – Oracle

Tim Hughes works for Oracle where he owns the Go to Market in the UK for the Cloud Accounting and Procurement solutions. 

He has a passion for Social Media and has a community of 100,000 followers on Twitter.  That enables him to work with customers to gain business outcomes and competitive advantage by using Social, Mobile, Big Data and Cloud across their Accounting and Procurement processes.

Jules Goddard

Dr. Jules Goddard is a distinguished academic and commercial innovator, and is the Big Ideas Summit facilitator for 2015.

He is the the Creator of Strategy, Innovation and Leadership Programmes for a wide variety of global companies, including Rolls-Royce, Roche, Rio Tinto, Vinci, Prudential, Microsoft, BG Group and Hewlett-Packard.

Chris Lynch – Rio Tinto

Chris has nearly 30 years experience in the mining and metals industry. He has been Director of Rio Tinto since 2011 (non-executive) and has served as chief financial officer since 2013.

He spent 20 years with Alcoa Inc. where he was vice-president and chief information officer based in Pittsburgh, and chief financial officer Alcoa Europe in Switzerland. Chris spent seven years at BHP Billiton, where he was chief financial officer and then executive director and group president – Carbon Steel Materials.

Olinga Ta’eed – Professor

Olinga is an entrepreneur, investor and social activist who has worked in over 50 countries, and is committed to global perspectives in blended solutions across public/private/third/community sectors.

In January 2013 Olinga founded and became Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and GovernanceSince the age of 40, Olinga has led a number of high profile social enterprises which led to his appointment as Impact Investment Advisor to Big Society Network,  the UK government strategic partner.

What’s your Big Idea? Discover more at www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your Big Idea using #BigIdeas2015

The digital delegate and rise of the virtual summit

Much has been said about the rise of the digital economy continues, with organisations such as Airbnb and Uber cited as major disruptors in their industries. In business eLearning and social media are changing the way we learn and network. Are conferences next in the digital revolution?

The rise of the digital conference

As organisations become more geographically dispersed and look to reduce costs associated with meetings and conferences, webinars and virtual meetings have become much more common. Websites like Go To Meeting and Any Meeting allow anyone in the world to set up a webinar and connect with others without having to leave their desk.

Upgrade your presentations

And it’s not just meetings either. Presentations can be given a new lease of life by having them in a virtual environment. Presenters don’t have to stand up in front of a room of strangers, polls and surveys can be done in real time to provide instant feedback and by linking a hashtag to the meeting, the conversation can continue on social media.

Are Conferences Next?

So we come back to our original questions – are conferences next in the digital revolution? The technologies exist to allow this to happen. Google+ Hangouts on Air is just one of them. The service allows individuals and organisations to schedule content for broadcasting and subsequently publish the videos on YouTube.

Add to this the ability to have interactive conversations in real time, control who sees what and add banner advertising, and this becomes a real opportunity for reaching a wider audience. And to top it all off, the service is free.

It makes sense for conferences to investigate how to leverage technologies like this to expand their audience. Conversations can start before the event, speakers can get all the questions in advance (saving the awkward silence as everyone lets others go first in the Q&A) and social media can track thoughts and opinions long after the event has finished.

And this is what Procurious intends to do in April this year.

Big Ideas Summit 2015

Procurious is throwing open the doors to the world’s first digitally led conference for the procurement profession – Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015. Planned as a unique think tank event, our Big Ideas Summit will draw on 40 of the world brightest minds from established thought-leaders, senior business leaders and commentators to discuss outside-of-the-box cost solutions.

The aim of Big Ideas is to inspire a new generation of business intrapreneurs to drive innovation and change in large organisations. Structured around three topics – RISK, PEOPLE and TECHNOLOGY – the event aims to change the world’s mind about cost and tease out solutions that will drive competitive advantage, agility in unstable markets and long-term value for organisations.

All the ideas and content will be amplified through Procurious. We’re welcoming more than 4,500 procurement professionals from across the globe to submit questions to speakers in advance as well as tune in, learn and participate in real time.

How you can take part

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world – we want you to help shape the agenda – register your attendance at our Procurious Big Ideas Summit Group.

You can also submit your questions on Twitter by tweeting us here: @procurious_ #BigIdeasSummit2015.

As a ‘digital delegate’ you’ll also be able to access a rich collection of supporting material including; articles, interviews and video content post 30 April.

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

Meanwhile, here’s what’s happening elsewhere in the world (we promise you it’s conference-free!)

Fast-fashion retailer Cotton On gears up for expansion

  • Cotton On Group has revealed plans to add 227 jobs in Australia and overseas this year as the Geelong-based value fashion retailer embarks on another expansion phase aimed at maintaining its five-year record of 20 per cent-plus sales growth.
  • Cotton On Group’s sales are forecast to rise 22.5 per cent in 2015 to $1.51 billion and the privately owned company is budgeting for 20 per cent-plus growth in 2016 by opening more than 100 stores and expanding e-commerce with new online sites, improved digital content and click and collect options.
  • COG, wholly-owned by Mr Austin and Ashley Hardwick, usually shuns publicity however have agreed to ‘lift the lid” and answer what they feel is unwarranted criticism of its supply chain and employment practices. It has a fully vertically integrated direct sourcing model and fast replenishment systems that rival those of global fast-fashion chains such as Inditex’s Zara, Sweden’s H&M and the Arcadia Group’s Top Shop.
  • Products are designed by a team of more than 60 designers and trend forecasters based at the global headquarters in North Geelong and at four hubs overseas. Products are manufactured by 170 suppliers at 330 factories, mainly in China and Bangladesh, and are sent two to eight weeks later, depending on the category, to seven distribution centres in Melbourne, Brisbane, South Africa, China, Singapore, California and New Zealand.

Read more at BRW.com

Supply chain threatened by ‘perfect storm’ as talent leaves industry

  • The global supply chain is heading for a perfect storm of rising demand, an ageing workforce, expanding skillset requirements, faculty shortages and an image problem, according to a white paper sponsored by DHL Global Forwarding.
  • Similar to the acute shortage of truck drivers blighting the US and Europe in particular, the gap between demand and availability of supply chain professionals is only going to get worse, states the report, with between 25 per cent and 33 per cent of the workforce “at or beyond retirement age”.
  • The white paper, entitled ‘Solving the Talent Crisis’, is based on research by Lisa Harrington, a senior research fellow at the Supply Chain Management Center, University of Maryland. It is specifically focused on the burgeoning automotive sector, where the problem is arguably more acute, but should be required reading for every supply chain executive.

Read more and download the white paper at The Loadstar

Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain sees ‘record’ sales

  • Sales from Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain grew by 11 per cent to a record £22.2bn in 2013, according to figures released by Scottish Enterprise. The sector recorded sales of about £7bn through international subsidiaries, up from £6.3bn in the previous year.

  • Direct exports from Scotland grew by 13 per cent over the same period, reaching a total of £4.2bn. Domestic sales for Scottish-based supply-chain firms were also up, from £9.9bn to £11bn.

  • North America continued to be the top region for international sales, followed by the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

  • Singapore, Qatar, the Netherlands, Iraq and the UAE all joined the top 10 country rankings for international sales during the year.

Read more at BBC.co.uk

Sports Direct responsible for fifth of all zero hour contracts in retail sector

  • Sports Direct is responsible for employing nearly one in every five workers in the retail and wholesale sector on a zero hours contract, official data suggests.
  • The revelation comes as a senior employment lawyer warned that the company, owned by the billionaire Mike Ashley, may have broken rules on consultation by giving staff at its USC fashion house only 15 minutes’ notice before they lost their jobs on 13 January.
  • The retailer’s chairman, Keith Hellawell, was grilled by MPs last week over the collapse of USC, which left 83 redundant.
  • He was also questioned about the company’s use of zero hours contracts. Sports Direct employs  nearly 15,000 on terms that guarantee no set hours each week. Mr Hellawell claimed that Sports Direct uses the contracts no more than any other retailer, but data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) appears to cast doubt on this.

Read more at Independent.co.uk

‘Made in UK’ electrics firm hits £5m mark

  • Tapping into the new found popularity of ‘Made in the UK’ is boosting the fortunes of an Aldridge electronic components specialist. One-LUX, which designs, assembles and supplies LED lighting control solutions, is on course to hit the £5m mark for the first time in its seven year-history after reshoring the manufacture of two new products.
  • “We’ve always designed our products in-house but previously offshored high volume lines to the Far East to ensure we remained competitive against our rivals,” explained Glynnis Murray, who founded the business in 2008. “However, in the last year we had noticed a desire from our customers to buy British made products and this, when combined with demand for shorter lead times, made us consider exploring manufacturing closer to home.”
  • She continued: “Working with the Business Growth Service’s Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), we mapped out our supply chain requirement and then got signposted to a number of firms who could meet our requirements. “We were pleasantly surprised at how competitive local suppliers were and, combined with the greater control we now have over lead times and quality, is going to be a major bonus as the demand for OMNI-LED and UNITY-LED will be significant.

Read more at Business Quarter

Join the world‘s first digitally-led event for procurement professionals

Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015

Announcing the Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015

We‘re throwing open the doors to the world’s first digitally-led conference for the procurement profession: The Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015.

Planned as a unique think tank event, our Big Ideas Summit will draw on 40 of the world brightest minds from established thought-leaders, senior business leaders and commentators to discuss outside-of-the-box cost solutions.

What’s the Big Idea behind it?

The aim of Big Ideas is to inspire a new generation of business intrapreneurs to drive innovation and change in large organisations. Structured around three topics – RISK, PEOPLE and TECHNOLOGY, the event aims to change the world’s mind about cost and tease out solutions which will drive competitive advantage, agility in unstable markets and long term value for organisations.

The face-to-face component of the event will take place in London on 30 April 2015, however, with ideas and content amplified through Procurious, we’re welcoming more than 4,500 procurement professionals from across the globe to submit questions to speakers in advance as well as tune in, learn and participate in real time.

Who will be speaking?

We’ve secured a high calibre of thought leaders and keynote speakers, including:

  • David Noble, Group CEO, CIPS
  • Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group
  • Professor Jules Goddard, London School of Business
  • Professor Olinga Ta’eed, Director Centre of Citizenship, Enterprise & Governance
  • Giles Breault, Founder and Director, The Beyond Group

How you can take 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 at our Procurious Big Ideas Summit Group.

On Twitter? You can also submit your questions by tweeting us @procurious_  #BigIdeas2015

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

Why take part?

As savvy social networkers you’ll already be of the mind that social media can be used to create a global stir. We want to amplify these Big Ideas throughout the global procurement community, connect with one another, start meaningful conversations, and ultimately drive change.

All keynote sessions will be captured on film and offered exclusively to registered attendees.  As a ‘digital delegate’ you’ll also be able to access a rich collection of supporting material including; articles, interviews and video content post 30 April.

Who’s sponsoring it?

For an event that explores the biggest trends impacting procurement we thought it only necessary to bring onboard similarly hot-ticket sponsors. The Big Ideas Summit 2015 is proud to be sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) and The Hackett Group.

Register your attendance today

Time Zones and Advanced Planning – What’s Procurement Like in Russia?

With the revelation that Russia’s dreaming of constructing a superhighway that will span the circumference of the globe – Procurement consultant Natalia Urazova and FMCG Procurement Specialist Vladislav Mandryka have got together with their fellow professionals to tell Procurious about procurement in Russia.

What's procurement like in Russia?

How do you think procurement differs in Russia, as opposed to elsewhere in the world?

Commercial procurement only came into being in Russia in 1991, with purchasing previously based on central planning activities. Procurement in Russia is now growing rapidly due to the increasing numbers of multinational corporations in the domestic market. Comparatively, it’s fair to say that procurement in Russia is at the same stage now as it was in the USA in 1999-2000.

Only around 10 per cent of all Russian companies have a defined procurement strategy, nearly all of which are large companies. Small and medium-sized companies tend to view procurement as a ‘passive administrator’ of production orders. As a result of this, these companies tend to lose 25-45 per cent of their spend value in procurement activities.

Leading Russian companies, those with active procurement strategies, are able to save billions of rubles annually through a number of initiatives like reconfiguration of procurement departments, P2P optimisation, category management, tenders and SRM programs.

These organisations have also understood that centralisation of procurement function provides benefits, so, in most cases, the procurement of key commodity categories with sufficient spend is centralised. However category management, Total Cost of Ownership and standardisation are not widely used concepts.

There’s a bit of a mix too when it comes to Supplier Relationship Management and supplier development. Some companies have made an effort to master lean thinking and create cross-organisational cross-functional teams to reduce losses in the value chain. However, there are many that still view supplier management as a method of aggressive negotiations, in order to achieve their own short-term aims.

Some organisations have a level of automation in their procurement activities, although this tends to be a ‘patchwork’ of ERP and MRP systems. Where systems have been implemented, there have been positive results. The same can be said for e-Procurement and e-Auctions for the most part, although in some cases, the focus on minimum prices has caused major mistakes. In one example, an organisation managed to lower the price of an auction item by 42 per cent, but left themselves with 15-years worth of stock!

Procurement is also complicated by the size of Russia and the extended time zones in the country. For example, if you have a regional office in Ust-Ilimsk (essentially in the centre of the country), it requires 2 flights and a 5-6 hour car journey to get there from Moscow. Equally, if you have an issue in a subsidiary in Khabarovsk (nearly the Eastern most city in the country) that requires an answer from a business unit in Voronezh (in the far West), at 9 a.m. you only have two hours for a solution, because there is a 7-hour time difference.

How did you get started in procurement?

In 1999, I was asked by my business to find a specialist to train the procurement department. There was a lack of such specialists in the market at the time, so I designed a small workshop myself. I have adored procurement since then – it’s the most interesting and best part of the business!

I’m now involved in the implementation of lean thinking in procurement activities across all my research and consulting projects.

What do you see in procurement’s future in your country and how can social media play a role?

Procurement professionals are increasingly becoming change leaders in organisations and have the ability to dramatically increase the efficiency of the entire value chain.

Social media isn’t used as much in procurement at the moment. But I hope that we can use it to get involved in conversations with procurement professionals from around the world and share information and experience about procurement best practice.

Why did you join Procurious?

I rarely use social media in my day-to-day procurement activities and to share procurement best practices and I saw Procurious as an opportunity to change that.

What are you hoping to get out of the network?

To get involved in conversations with other procurement professionals and share information and procurement best practice.

How are you going to get your peers involved?

By inviting them via my network, particularly those who shared their experiences in order to help me write this article!