All posts by Procurious HQ

One of Australia’s top procurement job goes to…

Today marks a big day.

Procurious member, and reigning Asia-Pacific CPO of the Year, Visna Lampasi has been announced as Head of Group Procurement at Australia’s largest retailer, Woolworths Limited.

Visna Lampasi Woolworths

In what was no doubt a hotly contested role, Visna will lead the procurement of all goods not for resale across the Woolworths Limited brands including Woolworth Supermarkets and Petrol, Liquor Group, Big W, Masters Home Improvement, ALH Hotel Group, Woolworths Money, Everyday Rewards and Ezibuy.

For those unfamiliar with Woolworths Limited, the group of companies has approximately 200,000 staff Australia-wide with an annual revenue of $60 billion – one of Australia’s leading groups.

If anyone is up for the task of delivering commercial value in such a high profile role, Visna is having taken out the title of The Faculty’s CPO of the Year 2014 earlier this year.

Visna’s career background spans across a number of procurement roles, most recently operating as infrastructure company Leighton Contractors’ Chief Procurement Officer where she established an award winning social procurement program.

Procurement veteran and Procurious founder Tania Seary welcomed the announcement: “I haven’t had the opportunity to work closely with the Woolworths Procurement team, but I understand they have been through various transformations.

“Within the Australian procurement landscape, the team would be regarded as a mature procurement function,” said Seary.

“Having gotten to know Visna over the years, I know she’s a very talented and tenacious procurement professional who will undoubtedly identify a multitude of sources of untapped value within the organisation.”

Industry peer and Rio Tinto’s General Manager of Global Process Architecture, Cindy Dunham echoed Seary’s sentiments:

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Visna on a number of procurement professional bodies and know that she’ll bring a great depth of knowledge and experience to the Woolworths Group.

“Visna’s large network is complemented by her industry leadership, influencing skills and dedication. I look forward to her continued commitment to raising the profile of procurement in Australia.”

The Faculty’s CPO of the Year judging panel chairman Dr. Karen Morley also congratulated Visna on the new role.

“Visna’s track record of achieving commercial outcomes, leading cultural change, and balancing social outcomes in tough project management environments sets her up well for further success.”

From the team here at Procurious we’d like to congratulate Visna!

For those wanting to know how she does it, stay tuned for some exclusive procurement advice from the woman of the hour coming soon.

Risk of business disruption has increased by a fifth – which countries are affected?

A new report reports that a fifth of the world’s countries are at risk from business disruption… this and more in our weekly news blast:

Supply chains at risk from civil unrest and war

Risk of business disruption has increased in a fifth of countries

  • The risk of business disruption due to civil unrest has increased in a fifth of countries over the past quarter, according to a report.
  • The ranking of 197 countries, which assesses the likelihood of strikes, protests and ethnic and sectarian conflict impacting business operations, includes 11 states that are considered to be “extreme risk”. These include Syria at number one, followed by the Central African Republic, Pakistan and Sudan.
  • Maplecroft’s Civil Unrest Index shows risk has increased most in Hong Kong over the past three months, due to the pro-democracy demonstrations. This was followed by Liberia where there has been mounting unrest as a result of the Ebola virus outbreak.
  • Maplecroft said firms operating in and sourcing from these countries “faced severe disruptions”. Factories in Vietnam were forced to suspend production during anti-Chinese protests in May 2014, and anti-government protests in Thailand, culminated in a coup and “shut down much of the country’s commercial centre”, halving projected GDP growth to 2.5 per cent.

Read more at Supply Management

World Bank to launch procurement app

  • The World Bank plans to release a mobile application that will give users access to comprehensive procurement data from 2004 to 2014.

  • The new app, which is being rolled out amid an ongoing controversial procurement reform process within the institution, aims to provide more transparency and accessibility to donors and recipients. Once downloaded, the app will be fully functional offline, allowing those in the most remote places full access, according to Joao Veiga Malta, practice manager at the bank’s Governance Global Practice. “What we wanted to do was to be able to provide you the procurement information that the bank had with an easy reach [so] that you did not necessarily need a masters in statistics in order to be able to do an analysis.”

  • The app, Veiga Malta explained, will show the distribution of awards by country and can be organized by civil works, goods, consulting services and nonconsulting services. Users can search by fiscal year, economic sector, donor country or recipient country, and will be able to see graphs, pie charts, ratios, trends and rankings.

Read more at Devex.com

New Spanish brand enters the hot fast fashion market

  • When most people think of European clothes, they immediately think of haute couture creations from Paris with astronomical price tags. If not that, there are the giant label’s prêt-à-porter incarnations which fetch similarly high prices. So the idea of clothes from sunny Spain with price tags on T-shirts at P299 can be a surprise.
  • Those T-shirts come from Sfera (pronounced es-fera), a fast fashion brand from the Spanish company Grupo El Corte Ingles. The company is the largest department store chain in Spain, and under its umbrella, it has travel agencies, convenience stores, and home and DIY stores.
  • Sfera opened its first Asian venture in SM Makati, right inside SM’s department store. “We believe that [the Philippines] is a very mature market, and [it] can give us feedback… [on] the behavior and the Asian taste of the customer,” said Guillermo Lopez Garcia, an international manager from Sfera, as he discussed why the brand decided to bring its fashions here. “We believe that if we can compete and succeed in the Philippines… we can succeed anywhere.”

Read more at Business World Online

Supply chains conservative about 4G handset development in China during 4Q14

  • Handset supply chain makers are continuing to see the effects of lagging 4G handset sales in China as vendors clear out reserves of 3G units.
  • Both vendors and retailers in China are still clearing reserves of 3G handsets as sales have been stagnating following decisions by major China-based telecom providers to end handset purchase subsidies.
  • The subsidies spurred a wave of handset purchasing throughout 2013 into 2014 and were expected to continue for 4G units. However, most telecom providers have limited or even stopped such moves and have yet to reissue new plans for helping to push 4G handsets in China.
  • Panel makers and touch panel makers have seen the brunt of the situation in 2014 and expect conservative orders to China during the fourth quarter of 2014 as a result.

Read more at Digitimes

Kaiser moves to remake its supply chain

  • Kaiser Permanente is trying to remake the hospital supply chain, Forbes reported.
  • The California-based integrated provider is using new software to try and make the ordering and use of supplies for its 38 hospitals, 9.5 million members, 17,000 physicians and 48,000 nurses more efficient and less costly, according to Forbes contributor Steve Banker.
  • That’s a change from Kaiser just five years ago, when nurses and other frontline healthcare workers were responsible for tracking down and ordering supplies, which were often siloed in multiple locations throughout the system. Recalled or expired supplies had to be discovered and returned in a virtually manual process. That form of supply chain management often meant that providers had time taken away from caring for patients.

Read more at Fierce Health Finance

Thyssen to manage Airbus Helicopters supply chain

  • German industrial group ThyssenKrupp  has agreed a deal with Airbus to manage the supply chain of metallic raw materials for Airbus Helicopters.
  • ThyssenKrupp said its Aerospace division would manage procurement, logistics, quality assurance and fine-tuning the management of blanks – unfinished metal that is stamped out of larger pieces of material – for Airbus Helicopters worldwide. It said the cooperation would take place for the “coming years”, without being more specific.
  • ThyssenKrupp Aerospace is part of the group’s Materials Services division, which distributes materials and provides technical services for the production and manufacturing sectors.

Read more at Reuters.com

Initiative to reduce fertilizer use for commodity grain crops launched in US

  • Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a new, collaborative initiative to eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major environmental concern in the United States. The effort will engage farmers and businesses throughout the supply chain to transform the way fertilizer-dependent grain crops are grown and sourced.
  • “If we’re going to meet food demands for a growing population, we’ve got to decouple production from pollution as soon as possible,” said David Festa, EDF vice president. “The most promising way to accomplish this essential task is by collaborating with decision makers at every point in the U.S. grain supply chain — from retailers and food companies to agribusiness and farmers.”
  • “Our long-term goal is to make the entire U.S. grain supply sustainable — good for farmers, good for the climate and good for our waterways,” said Suzy Friedman, director of EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative.

Read more at OCJ.com

Rollin’ – this procurement professional keeps you on the road

Emily Hall hit a cross-road in her early 20s when a manager gave her something of an ultimatum.

Emily Hall

After participating in the National Championships for five years in the junior ranks, the keen softballer approached her manager about taking a couple of weeks off to partake in a major tournament. She also indicated that she might need to leave work on time to attend training twice a week.

“He told me that I would have to make a choice – sport or career. I chose career, and have no regrets.”

Emily’s decision has seen her rise through the ranks at Australian corporate giants like Coles Supermarkets, technology giant IBM and Ford Motor Company, among others.

These days she’s leading a team at international toll road owner and operator Transurban in three key areas – sourcing, procurement operations and corporate services (facilities and corporate travel management).

She’ll spend this year embedding the relatively new procurement team into the business, overseeing the deployment of new technology solutions that will increase automation and improve work flows. She prides herself on always delivering results and leaving a legacy.

“Like most, I fell into procurement. My first job was on a graduate program which involved rotations through the broader business. My second rotation was in purchasing, and I ended up in that role for two years. I did a small stint in sales and marketing before coming back to procurement, and have now been in the profession nearly two decades.”

Emily isn’t one to plan too far into the future, which has worked well for her to date.

“I want to continually position myself to learn, improve, deliver results for the organisation I work for, and grab the right opportunity when it comes my way.”

Emily’s sporting abilities haven’t faded completely. She still likes to have a hit of hockey or perhaps basketball on weekends, and doesn’t mind a bit of cycling. But she leaves the sporting tournaments to the next generation, reserving her leadership prowess for work hours.

UK public procurement organisations praised for insurance framework project

It’s a win for Procurious-favourites YPO (and partners)

A collaboration between the largest public procurement organisations in the UK to reduce duplication of effort and achieve savings has taken home the Best Public Procurement Project gong at the CIPS Supply Management Award 2014.

CIPS Supply Management Awards 2014

What was the idea?

The joint venture was headed by the Crown Commercial Service, and YPO, ESPO and NEPO. It provides the public sector with quick and easy access to a wide range of insurance services, including property, liability and motor cover. Since its launch in February 2013 it has already been used by over 260 customers from across the public sector, delivering savings of some £7.6m. It’s also worth noting that individual customers such as local authorities have saved over half a million pounds on their insurance costs.

Of the 29 suppliers on the agreement, a healthy percentage – over 25 per cent are SMEs. This goes some way to demonstrating how the Government’s commitment to improving public sector business opportunities for smaller businesses is working.

The CIPS judging panel said:

“The team demonstrated a creative approach to a category in which procurement can find difficulty gaining traction in.  There is evidence of not only real cash savings but a team that engaged widely with stakeholders and the wider market to deliver outstanding results”.

On the win Sally Collier, CEO of the Crown Commercial Service exclaimed: “I am absolutely thrilled. This is a tremendous accolade for our highly successful collaboration with YPO, ESPO and NEPO. It recognises our commitment to delivering savings for the taxpayer and improving efficiency by working closely with customers and constantly innovating to meet their needs.” 

Paul Smith, Procurement and Supply Chain Director of YPO offered: “The award is a fantastic recognition of the hard work and commitment of all collaborative partners. The aim was to deliver a single approach to insurance procurement across the public sector, streamlining processes and achieving efficiencies. I am delighted that this has been realised and many organisations are already reaping the financial benefits.”

Paul Smith and YPO previously featured in our ‘Is the UK more risk averse than the rest of Europe?’ article. Read it here.

Procurious is heading down under… come and meet us

Procurious is hitting the road (well sky…) throughout the month of November, and we want to see your faces!

Donuts down under

Lend us your ears, open your minds, and get ready to download key learnings that can help give you a competitive advantage in the procurement marketplace.

Procurious is going to Australia

Who’s going?

Procurious’ very own tech wunderkind Jack Slade – Product Manager, social media guru, and entrepreneur,  is coming along for the trip. Also joining Jack is Lisa Malone – who not only serves as our fabulous European General Manager, but can talk to you about developing your personal brand and tackling procurement’s outdated image problem.

Procurious will also be meeting with The Faculty Roundtable members in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney to discuss how social media is impacting procurement and the benefits of online collaboration.

You can Tweet along with us during the session using the hashtag #webringthedonuts

Social Media and Procurement – Leadership & Networking Procurement Breakfast 

Alternatively, why not do breakfast?

Come along to a networking breakfast to learn about opportunities for procurement to achieve its agenda using social media; networking with Roundtable members, FLiP Alumni and other procurement professionals.

We’ll be in Melbourne – Friday 14 November, 8am
Where: The Faculty, 502 Albert St

And also Sydney – Thursday 20 November, 8am
Where: Sydney CBD – TBC

To register to attend the Leadership & Networking Breakfast email Belinda Toohey [email protected]

Anything we’ve forgotten?

We expect each session to last between 45 – 60 minutes. That should allow us plenty of time to discuss:

  • Digital procurement and how everything is connected
  • Benefits of connecting and collaborating online for procurement; suppliers; to drive social value; personal branding and Employee of choice
  • What is Procurious? An Introduction and how to get the most out this network
  • Discussion: Smart  social media behaviors
  • Q&A

Availability of sessions will be subject to change.

So mark a date in your diary, gather your team and get Procurious in for a session,  remember #webringthedonuts!

Procurement: The new and improved model?!


Procurement Professionals on LinkedIn

The following article originally appeared on the Procurement Professionals LinkedIn Group.  Join and view other articles here.

In 2011 the Coalition Government launched their ‘new’ Government Construction Strategy with its aim to improve the industry whilst reducing whole life cost and carbon by 20 per cent by 2015.

Procurement: the new and improved model

A major part of the strategy focused on reforming public sector procurement, and in particular trialling a series of new procurement methods to drive these improvements and efficiencies by effecting behavioural and cultural change. The models intended to draw on established best practice and drive an ‘evolutionary, not revolutionary change’ across the public sector. They utilise a range of common principles which emphasise the need for collaborative working and early contractor involvement, where the supply chain responds to an outline client requirement and declared budget rather than a pre-determined design.

The three models are:

  • Cost Led Procurement – During the Cost Led Procurement process, a client sets out their output specification against a challenging cost ceiling based on their own knowledge and experience of costs . They then invite the supply chain to bring their own collaborative understanding to develop an innovative response to the brief. CLP is of particular use in a competitive framework environment where there is opportunity to continually improve on the unit costs of the programme working collaboratively with the supply chain.
  • Integrated Project Insurance – This is the most innovative and new approach. The Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) model offers clients the opportunity to create a holistic and integrated project team (an ‘Alliance Board’) to eliminate the “blame/claim” culture. The innovative “integrated project insurance” package limits the risk for the individual members of the team, fosters joint ownership of the project, and thereby reduces the likelihood of overrunning in terms of cost and time.
  • Two Stage Open Book – This model improves on an established approach often used in a framework environment. At the first stage a client invites prospective integrated teams to bid for a project based on their ability to deliver an outline brief and cost benchmark. The appointed team works alongside the client to build up a proposal after which the construction contract is awarded – this is the second stage.

In 2012 a trial programme for the new models was established which included projects from the Ministry of Justice and the Environment Agency, and more recently the procurement of the Education Funding Authority regional framework. However the trials have so far only focussed on CLP and Two Stage Open Book, as due to the innovative nature of IPI it has taken more effort to initiate a trial project.

Also in line with the development of the new models and in order to bring about further reform, the GCS reinforced the need to improve the public sector procurers skills. It has backed the creation of a Major Projects Leadership Academy run in partnership with the Saïd Oxford Business School and Deloitte, and ‘encouraged’ the dissemination of best practice across central and local government. Finally the GCS also provided an updated version of the Common Minimum Standards for procurement. Although the impact of these initiatives is more difficult to measure.

Despite all of this I still hear from contractors on a regular basis that clients are more concerned with lowest price tendering. Or are too reliant on their advisors producing a design before they procure a contractor and then expecting innovation and value engineering to further reduce their spend. So for me the big question now is – three years on, and (perhaps more importantly) less than twelve months to the next general election, have all of these reforms made any difference in the industry?

Based on the evidence provided in the trial projects the potential benefits of the new procurement models are demonstrable for all parties. However the trials have been restricted to a small number of high value central government projects. And whilst anecdotal evidence suggests that things are improving generally in construction, this is more than likely related to an upturn in the economy as a whole.

 

Could Uber’s business model tackle procurement’s next challenges?

In a week that saw the CIPS Conference juggernaut roll into town, and Tesco (still) reeling from overstated first-half profits [more on that here] – you might have missed the following nuggets of news:

The Uber business model could transform supply chain

Copy Uber’s model to tackle procurement’s next big challenges

  • According to CIPS economist John Glen, speaking at the CIPS Annual Conference in London last week, Uber is not actually in the business of taxis.
  • “Uber is in the business of looking out into the world where there is excess capacity and resources that are not being fully utilised and matching the resource with customers who want to use it,” Glen told delegates.
  • “How do you look at capacity that exists within your own business that is not being currently fully utilised, that you could rent out to someone else or use in imaginative ways?”
  • He continued: “We now have to start to be very clever about how we form alliances with our supply chain, how we understand what it is our customer wants, how we use technologies that are out there cleverly with assets and customers in different geographies, and that is going to be our world in the next 12 months and beyond.”

Read more at Supply Management

Rating agencies’ demands pose threat to commodity supply chain

  • Commodity-price spikes could become more common if credit rating agencies drive up the cost of capital for leading trading houses, forcing them to hold less inventory, a leading consultancy has warned.
  • In a new report on the commodity trading industry, co-authored by Graham Sharp, one of the founders of Trafigura, the consultancy says that by including debts associated with trading in its calculation, the agencies could drive up the cost of traders’ capital. As a result, these companies would have “significantly less incentive” to hold high volumes of inventory and resolve potential supply disruptions.

  • The big commodity traders are drawing greater attention from investors as they issue more bonds and financial instruments to help finance the acquisition of assets that range from coal mines to storage terminals and petrol retailers.

Read more at the FT.com

California launches high-speed train procurement

  • The Californian high speed rail programme envisages provision of a ‘one seat ride’ between Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2028 within a budget of $68bn.
  • Expressions of interest are to be submitted to the California High Speed Rail Authority by October 22 from potential suppliers of high speed trainsets for the planned 836 km network that would link the San Francisco Bay Area with the Los Angeles basin by 2028.
  • ‘We are going to have the first true high-speed rail system in America and industry leaders from around the world are eager to talk to us about why their trains should be running on our tracks’, commented CHSRA Chief Executive Jeff Morales. ‘This is a big moment for our programme.’

Read more at the Railway Gazette

H&M’s environmental sustainability coordinator on sustainable materials

  • The Guardian spoke to Erik Karlsson, H&M’s environmental sustainability coordinator, about the environmental credentials of the new line and the H&M partnership with Jeanologia.
  • He revealed: H&M has been working with more sustainable materials for many years now. Currently, we are the largest user of organic cotton. Our ambition now is to be able to close the loop on textiles, ie produce new fibres from old clothes. In this collection we have two products with recycled cotton from our garment collecting program.
  • To create Conscious denim, washes have been scored red, yellow or green (where green indicates the toughest criteria) for water consumption and energy consumption. To meet Conscious denim standards at H&M, garments must be made with organic, recycled or climate smart cellulose materials and the washing process should score ‘green’.

Read more at The Guardian

Hermes on equality in the supply chain

  • Retail Week has published an article that highlights the success Hermes has had in bringing about equality across the business.
  • The writer – Carole Woodhead, is CEO of Hermes.
  • Women hold a third of the main board positions at Hermes UK. In addition, 25 per cent of all senior management positions are females, as are more than 60 per cent of our field team leaders. In terms of the supply chain sector, women are extremely well represented at Hermes and the company is above the industry norm.
  • We have also recently welcomed Clare Bottle to Hermes who has taken up the position of head of courier service. Clare brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the team, previously working as national logistics manager at Lafarge Tarmac. Clare is also vice-chair of Women in Logistics UK and a trustee of Transaid.

Read more at Retail Week

Coca-Cola green branding devalues the colour’s ethical heritage

  • The cola wars are back on again with the launches of Coke Life and Pepsi True but their use of green branding leaves a sour taste in the mouth, says Chris Arnold, creative director, Creative Orchestra and author of Ethical Marketing & The New Consumer.
  • It’s packaged in a green container which implies it’s some kind of natural, ethical, environmentally-friendly product. What’s more, Coke has spent over 100 years associating the brand with the colour red, so this seems a betrayal of the brand to suddenly go green.
  • With two brands, that aren’t exactly seen as ethical brands, their use of green just devalues the use of the colour green and it’s association with natural and environmental products. Coke claims the green is inspired by the green leaf of the Stevia plant. Seriously?

Read more at Marketing Magazine

Tesco scandal shines a light on the retailer-supplier relationship

All is not well at Tesco HQ… Amid tales of the supermarket’s accounting scandal, a colossal 4 billion pounds has been wiped from its stock market value. The trouble stemmed from an overstatement of its first-half profit – a full 250 million. Not a small drop in the ocean by anyone’s standards.

Tesco profits scandal

“The Financial Conduct Authority has notified Tesco that it has commenced a full investigation following the overstatement of expected profit for the half year which was described in our announcement of 22 September 2014 and which is currently the subject of an independent review by Deloitte. Tesco will continue to cooperate fully with the FCA and other relevant authorities considering this matter.”

It’s not simply a tale of accountants getting their sums wrong… the wounds of deceit bleed deep, and it’s the suppliers on the other end that will hurt the most.

According to this story on The Grocer, a supplier with close ties to Tesco has revealed that buyers are “desperate” and are artificially bringing forward huge payments in order to fill the “huge gaps” left.

Tesco scandal has suppliers divided

Luckily the suppliers have the ears of the government-appointed watchdog – namely Christine Tacon, an Adjudicator of the Groceries Code. The Adjudicator’s motivations focus on whether the supermarket has breached code that adversely affects suppliers. Such breaches can include payment delays or changes to supply agreements.

David Sables, CEO at Sentinel Management Consultants told The Grocer that he believed this was merely “an extension of what was always going on.”

Graham Ruddick, Retail Correspondent for The Telegraph, writes: “There is currently no code, regulator or set of rules controlling the relationship between suppliers and retailers in the UK. In addition, there is nowhere to turn for a supplier if it feels it is being bullied by a retailer. Many suppliers are too scared to speak out against a larger retailer for fear of being delisted or replaced by a rival, so they suffer in silence and agree to the unreasonable demands being placed on them.”

He further states that the Tesco scandal could spark a long overdue shake-up of the retailer-suppler relationship – noting that: “Last year this lack of regulation resulted in the horse meat crisis.”

If one good thing is to come out of this sorry debacle, maybe it should be this?

Cheese-in-a-can inventor turns to procurement

According to legend, when captors of Saddam Hussein searched his bunker, they discovered a high calcium cheese-in-a-can developed by Australian man Peter Force.

Peter Force

While not entirely a procurement project, it’s a story Peter recounts with pride and a wry smile because it shows how far and wide his rather unusual invention was sold around the world.

The product came about while Peter was working in research and development for Kraft, before he got his break in procurement at Parmalat.

Peter actively sought a procurement role with the FMCG behemoth after realising that career progression opportunities were severely lacking in the research and development field.

His Parmalat boss told him he needed to study business to get a break in procurement, which he did. He already had a Bachelor of Food Science and Technology, where he gained honours for inventing a fat-free cheese.

Then there’s the Advanced Diploma in Business Management and a Diploma in Project Management, a Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply and a Graduate Certificate of Writing, Editing and Publishing. Whew.

“I told the procurement manager at Parmalat I wanted to work for him. He took me seriously after he happened to catch me in a heated debate with someone in marketing, saying he could see I had the backbone for the job. When a job became available, I applied for it and was successful, so switched to the dark side.”

He recalls a trip to China for Parmalat to audit the quality of strawberries destined for the company’s Vaalia-branded yoghurt. “I told my mates I went to China to pick fruit, which was kind of true.”

The keen angler has also worked in rail, government, mining and energy industries. He now works for AGL in the merchant energy division, which is one of Australia’s leading renewable energy companies.

Procurement is a fine balance between getting what you want, and being nice, he explains.

“I like people, and sometimes they like me back. Either way, my aim is to get a better deal with a supplier, but I also know we’ll need to continue working together, so I don’t want to upset the relationship.

“Other times, I need to tell suppliers when their bid has been unsuccessful, but I always want to bid next time I go to market so I’m nice about it.”

Our takeaways from the CIPS 2014 Conference

Procurious headed to Kings Place to take in the sights, and hear from a wealth of insightful speakers at the biggest procurement event of the year – the 2014 CIPS Conference and Exhibition.

Having survived the global economic crisis, this year’s theme (unsurprisingly) focused on ‘standards, ethics and innovation’ within what CIPS calls ‘a new procurement future’. 

With Craig Lardner chairing proceedings, delegates were treated to a packed day full of talks, break-out sessions, and a distinguished guest from the world of broadcasting.

CIPS Conference 2014
Facebook.com, CIPS

Some of our highlights from the day included:

Dr John Glen’s opening session was an early highlight of the day. John is an economist for CIPS, and lectures at the Cranfield School of Management. If you’ve ever struggled to grasp economics, the good Dr offered a brilliantly accessible half hour. He also suggested that the next big challenge for supply chains would be to adopt the business model that’s made Uber into such a success story.

IKEA’s Environmental and Sustainable Development Manager – Charlie Browne, revealed how the business has reduced supplier count in a bid to maximize effectiveness. Sustainability is also in IKEA’s blood – with the retailer’s efforts dating back to 1990s.

Tesco’s Frances Goodwin offered her thoughts on the role of ethical trading in procurement. She left us with a surprising nugget around procuring a banana – in that the supply chain is (on average) 5 layers deep.

Rita Clifton – President of the Market Research Society and former Chair of Interbrand presented a light-hearted session on the power of branding. Rita distilled the ingredients that make a strong brand, and revealed some of the brands that she thinks have got it right. She also confirmed something we’ve been saying for a while: Procurement has an image problem. Do a Google Image search for procurement and see what we mean…

In what was possibly the biggest announcement of the day – Babs Omotowa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited was announced as the incoming CIPS President. Babs will take the mantle from Craig Lardner four weeks from now.

Our favourite break-out session was delivered courtesy of Clive Lewis – Founder and Managing Director of Illumine Training. Clive guided us through 5 different methods to help boost creativity, and approach problems differently.

Elsewhere, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) and Selex ES talked about building strong supplier relationships. The latter having previously been crowned the overall winner at CIPS Supply Management Awards 2014 for their work with Research Electro-Optics (REO).

To cap a busy day off, influential food writer (and occasional TV personality)  – Jay Rayner, provided a thought-provoking (and at times, hilarious) commentary on food supply chains. With insights like: full service supermarkets cannot compete with discounters – and in the end it’s the suppliers that suffer. We suspect he may have also snuck a few plugs for his book in there too…

Twitter also provided some key takeaways – here is what some of the other attendees were saying:

CIPS Conference 2014

CIPS Conference 2014

CIPS Conference 2014

CIPS Conference 2014

CIPS Conference 2014