Category Archives: Procurious News

2016 Rewind – Best of eLearning – Disrupting the Status Quo

We’re counting down to the new year by looking back at some great eLearning content from 2016. Here, we learn how technology can help procurement disrupt the status quo.

“If you’re not disrupting, them you’re being disrupted.”

This was one of the key learning points we heard regarding procurement technology this year. And when it comes to technology, you always need to ask the experts. That’s exactly what we did in a webinar in early November.

We invited representatives from Oracle and Enrich to Procurious HQ to talk about the way procurement can leverage technology in key areas.

Status Quo No More

The current pace of change around the world is unprecedented. Procurement and the wider organisation are quickly recognising that maintaining the status quo will not suffice in staying ahead of the pack.

This is only a small sample of the webinar, but you can download the rest here.

While many organisations talk the talk about technology, few actually walk the walk. And for many, the status quo is still how they go about their business. But as times change, organisations are recognising that they need to as well.

During the course of the webinar, we heard:

  • Why the challenge for business is to be able to adapt and apply new solutions for innovation and competitive advantage;
  • Why many organisations are still grappling with getting data into a structured and accurate form that they can use for predictive analytics;
  • That people tend to underestimate the complexity of stitching together the myriad vendor solutions as they aim for a more B2C-type interface; and
  • That change management is vital in technology implementation, or people will revert to old habits.

So make sure that your technology implementations in 2017 go smoothly by learning the lessons of the past. If you want next year to be the one where your procurement team leaps forward, you’ll need to ensure your technology is working for you, not against you.

You can read more about how technology can help boost procurement on the Procurious Blog. You can also catch up with other thought leadership from our community on the eLearning Hub. And there’s a whole lot more there to keep you interested too! Happy viewing!

2016 Rewind – Only 24 Hours in a Day – Manage Your Time Wisely

Our second rewind article for 2016 might be one you can put to use early in January. We all could manage our day better, and here are some top tips for you.

Time. The one thing we could all do with more of, but relentlessly slips past. Are you spending your day wisely?

Tick, tock, tick, tock. The seconds tick past, even while you’re reading this article on using your day efficiently. Have you allowed for some personal development in your day? Or are there more important things you need to be doing?

There are 24 hours in a day, but it never seems to be enough for busy people. To achieve what we want to in a day, we have to become better at managing our time. It is possible to find more time in a day, or even in an hour, if you put in place some simple strategies.

Here are 7 tips for getting more done in your working day.

  1. Work to your full potential

Do you notice how you accomplish more in a few days before you’re due to head off on annual leave than what you do in the weeks prior?

This is because you’re driven to complete the tasks in time. You’re fully engaged and focused on the tasks at hand. Putting the same energy into your work every day will achieve a major boost to your productivity.

To do this, forget time-wasting activities like checking your emails and social media accounts constantly throughout the day. Turn off your phone, where possible. Scheduling large chunks of the day to the major tasks you have to complete and eliminating distractions will enable you to fully concentrate on the job at hand.

You’re more likely to finish the work in far less time than it usually takes.

  1. Complete your most important task first

Sounds simple but we can easily fall into the trap of putting off the most crucial task of the entire day. As more emails, phone messages and issues crop up, it becomes even more difficult to tackle that important task.

Instead, make it your top priority. Put it first and complete it. That way, you’ll accomplish an important task each and every day. You’ll never have an unproductive day again.

  1. Plan your work day

Keep a diary or to-do list, either on paper or in digital form such as an app, which allows you to map out your work day.

Prioritise your tasks for the day and schedule the time it will take you to complete them. Schedule in a time slot to get on top of your emails and messages and stick to it. Disconnect from emails and phone calls at all other times.

This way, you won’t be letting emails and phone calls cut into the time you’ve allocated for the work that you want to complete. Keep your to-do list up-to-date – cross off your tasks as you complete them and add new tasks as they arise. You’ll be able to see progress in your productivity and remain organised.

  1. Delegate

Delegating tasks is not a sign of weakness. The reality is that one person cannot achieve everything. Consider where you can use your employees’ capabilities and skills to your advantage. Delegate more and you’ll be able to focus your attention on other important goals.

  1. Leave time for yourself

You’ll be far more effective in your work if you also schedule in time for yourself on a regular basis – whether it’s going out for coffee or lunch or ensuring that you get to an exercise class or another personal commitment.

Block out that personal time as if it were a business appointment. The productivity of your business depends on it.

  1. Have an accountability buddy

Someone you check in with who is able to ask the hard questions on whether you’re meeting your own targets can be hugely useful. This could be an executive coach or someone you work with, for example.

  1. Use a time tracking tool

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re swamped with work. Consider using a time tracking tool, which can ensure you know exactly how long you spend on a task.

Check out Toggl, for example. But don’t fall victim to irony in this respect and spend too much time marking how long you’re spending on things. It’s a guide, not a military operation.

2016 Rewind – Best of eLearning – Incubate Your Big Ideas

As part of our 2016 rewind, we’re taking a look at the top eLearning modules added this year. Our first looks at how to incubate your big ideas for success.

So you’ve got a big idea for your organisation. But how are you going to get support to help make it a reality? And how are you going to grow it into a successful project?

That was the thinking behind one of our most popular podcasts from September’s Career Boot Camp. Gabe Perez, Vice President – Strategy and Market Development at Coupa Software, discussed how to incubate an idea on the job, and ultimately grow it for success.

Incubate, Grow, Succeed

How can you incubate your big idea on the job? Gabe’s top tip was to forget about the size of the idea and focus on execution. Without execution, an idea is worth nothing.

Gabe expands on all of this during his podcast.

In order to get the best from your idea, you need support from senior people. And in order to get this support, you need to understand, and then convey, the value this idea will bring to the organisation. After all, it’s not worth incubating an idea unless value can be derived from it.

Gabe also argues that the problem with big ideas is that they are often difficult to execute. But if you can focus on the outcome, then you can drive support, and get people on board. Ultimately, this can help build your, and procurement’s credibility, and make it easier in the future to execute other big ideas.

You can read more from Gabe on the Procurious Blog. Also, if you missed Career Boot Camp, you can catch up with all the podcasts on the eLearning Hub. And there’s a whole lot more there to keep you interested too! Happy viewing!

2016 Rewind – Should We Stop Using the Term ‘Strategic’ in Procurement?

Our first rewind article comes courtesy of a great panel discussion at ISM2016. The debate is likely to rage on all next year too – should procurement stop referring to itself as strategic?

No other profession puts the word ‘strategic’ on their business cards. Why do we do so in procurement?

A high-powered panel at ISM2016 drove a spirited debate about the use of the term ‘strategic’ in the profession. Chaired by Joe Sandor (Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management, Michigan State University), the panel included:

  • Hans Melotte (ISM Board Chairman, Senior Vice-President and CPO, Johnson & Johnson);
  • R. David Nelson (procurement veteran and Chairman, Dave Nelson Group);
  • Jeff Smith (Global Sourcing Director – Indirect at DuPont); and
  • Beverly Gaskin (Executive Director Global Purchasing, General Motors).

Actions Not Words

Actions speak louder than words. That’s the message from Hans Melotte, who argued that it’s unhelpful for the profession to continually emphasise how ‘strategic’ we want to be.

Overuse of the term dilutes the concept, especially when having a conversation with sceptical stakeholders. “Procurement needs to be strategic”, says Melotte, “rather than just talk strategic.”

Being strategic comes down to having the right people in procurement, who can talk the language of the business, define their value contributions in a way that resonates with stakeholders, are forward thinking, proactive, and focused on the future.

Historical Overuse

When did procurement start to use (and overuse) this term?

R. David Nelson, who started out in an enormously different procurement landscape in 1957, has watched the profession grow from a back-office function to a highly-influential business partner.

As any modern professional knows, there are plenty of stakeholders who still remain unconvinced. It’s very possible that our constant repetition of the term was a somewhat ham-fisted attempt to convince these sceptics that we do indeed deserve a seat at the table.

Interestingly, none of the major organisations represented on the panel use the term any more. Hans Melotte explains: “At Johnson and Johnson we abandoned the use of this word, because you shouldn’t label yourself who you want to be – you should be who you are. The whole notion has passed its expiry date”.

Strategic is “Divisive Term”

The other problem with the term is that it’s divisive. By calling half the population “strategic”, you’re implying the other half of the function is non-strategic. This sends a negative signal throughout the organisation, and breeds resentment around job titles.

Beverley Gaskin agreed: “Strategic buying is like an oxymoron. If you’re doing anything in the buying field that isn’t strategic, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Even the term “purchasing strategy”, says Gaskin, is misleading. “There’s no such thing as a purchasing strategy. There’s a company strategy and you have to understand your role in getting that done.”

The same concept appliers to how we talk about strategic and non-strategic suppliers. Again, it’s our responsibility to move away from divisive language. After all, you’re never going to tell a supplier that they’re ‘non-strategic’.

Definitions are important. Melotte reasons that if you define ‘strategic’ as something that serves the strategy – a choice wisely made, based on facts and intelligence – does that mean ‘non-strategic’ is defined as the opposite of this? No CPO would want any resources who are not aligned with the company strategy or value mission.

This isn’t to say that the term ‘tactical’ is the opposite of strategic. Professor Joe Sandor provided a valuable reminder that the word ‘strategy’ comes from the military, and simply means planning. ‘Tactic’ means execution, and a plan must be executed. Tactics, therefore, are strategy in action.

Jeff Smith of DuPont summed up the sentiment of the panel: “It’s time the profession moved away from the term”, he said. “If you behave strategically, you’ll always be invited back”.

Procurious HQ Wishes You A Very Merry Christmas!

All the team at Procurious HQ would like to wish our members a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day is a day for celebration (and over-indulgence!). But before we get started on the turkey, we have a message for our community.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our community for their great support this year. From helping to grow the network, to creating some great discussions, and sharing some great stories, we think you’re all the best!

So from all of us, to all of you and your families, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

– Procurious HQ

Who Run the World? Women in Procurement!

The talent pipeline is bursting with superstar women at entry – mid level. Why then, is that same pipeline so overwhelmingly stocked with men at the leadership level? In the words of Beyonce – Who run the world? Girls!

Bravo! Celebrating and Connecting Women in Procurement – get involved here.

If you work for a large, multinational organisation, a quick scan of the office might have you convinced that gender disparity in the workplace is a thing of the past. But think again!

  • Almost four in ten businesses in G7 countries have no women in senior management positions

Now let’s take a look at the Procurement stats. According to research conducted by John Everett, EMEA Business Service Group Director at Dow Chemical and CIPS-Switzerland Branch Chairperson, in the majority of procurement associations, women account for 20-35 per cent of memberships and at procurement conferences, they represent just 30 per cent of attendees and 20 per cent of speakers.

Why is workplace diversity so important?

I’d forgive you at this point for thinking that the circumstances seem pretty bleak. But all is not lost!

The good news? The lack of diversity throughout our organisations affects everybody; men and women alike. It’s statistically proven that employees achieve more when they can be themselves and also that diverse organisations are more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts. 35 per cent more likely, to be exact.

  • Diverse and inclusive teams result in a decreased turnover within an organisations. When employees are happy and face no discrimination, they’re far more likely to stick around
  • Top talent won’t want to work for a company that has a  track record of gender inequality or employment discrimination. An organisation’s reputation with regards to diversity is super important to prospective employees
  • If employees within your organisation aren’t a true representation of your customer and stakeholder base, you can’t possibly act with everyone’s interests in mind
  • Everyone brings different skills and talents to the table. There is no question that you’re narrowing your business horizons if everyone at the top is the same gender, race, age and/or sexuality.

If we were to unleash all of the latent power of women out there, we could unlock almost £10 trillion of additional global economic output.

And so, it’s in everyone’s interests to help improve diversity and inclusion.

What is Bravo?

At Procurious, we want to make it easier for women to get into, stay in, and thrive within the procurement profession. That’s why we’re launching Bravo – a Procurious Group celebrating and promoting women working in Procurement.

“Procurement is a pathway to the CEO’s office. So I hope that increasing participation of women in procurement leadership roles, will ultimately lead to a brighter future for female business leaders.” explains Tania Seary,  Procurious’ founder.

“We want all of our members – women and men alike – to unite and tackle diversity barriers head-on, shining a spotlight on the career success factors that will allow women to thrive at all levels of the business.”

Women in Procurement at ProcureCon

Earlier this month at ProcureCon IT in Amsterdam,  the Procurious team attended  a ‘Women in Procurement’ breakfast –  a fantastic example of the power of women connecting and sharing their experiences.

Hosted by Claire Tapping, Head of IT Purchasing Rolls-Royce, the meeting brought together 20 inspiring women who shared their experiences, observations and reflections on what it’s like to be a woman striving for success in the procurement profession.

There was a general consensus among the group that diversity within procurement has noticeably improved in recent years. The attendees were particularly heartened to see so many females at an IT/Tech conference; an industry where women have been typically underrepresented.

But there’s still a long way to go. Several people commented on the importance in changing attitudes towards women in the workplace and, in particular, the demeaning vocabulary often used to describe them

Female managers are often described as “bitchy” or “bossy” or simply  condemned for having a strong personality. Men, on the other hand, might be deemed authoritative or passionate for expressing the same character traits.

Challenging these perceptions, and calling out discriminatory attitudes, will go a long way to ensuring women are respected at work and promoted into leadership positions.

Women CAN Have it All!

It was fascinating to listen to accounts from women of different ethnicities who are working across the globe. It quickly became clear that experiences vary dramatically, particularly when it comes to balancing work and family life.

In Switzerland, for example, working mothers are not readily accommodated. Childcare costs are exceptionally high and there is little government support. As one delegate commented, “Switzerland has the most highly educated housewives of any European country.”

By contrast, Iceland ranks top in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index, and has done for the past six years. Almost 80 per cent of Icelandic women work. They represent, thanks to quotas, almost 50 per cent of board members, versus 23.2 per cent in the UK. (We’ve packed our bags- who’s coming with us?!)

Many of the ProcureCon delegates could relate to the struggles of being a working mother. In many countries, it’s harder for men to work part time, or to receive paternity leave.

Women have been made to feel that they shouldn’t take on senior positions if they’re planning on starting a family. Conversely, in accepting a new senior role, some have felt as though they should put their family plans on hold.

Laws need to be adapted and organisations must work towards accommodating working parents; both men and women. Everyone should have the opportunity to choose how they take care of their families.

What’s to Come?

Short of us all moving to Iceland next year, the best we can do is work to make a change wherever we are and however we can. And there’s always strength in numbers.

Most of the women present at ProcureCon work for organisations where there is an organisation-wide women’s network, but nothing specific for procurement pros.

We want Bravo to help fill this gap, making it easier for us to communicate, share ideas, mentor and be energised to do more!

As part of Bravo, we’ll speaking with a number of high profile procurement leaders to hear their advice for any young women starting a career in procurement, and their tips on helping women get ahead.

Join the discussion on Procurious.

We Need You – To Vote Procurious in UK Blog Awards 2017

Here’s your chance to get the result you want in at least one vote this year. Vote Procurious in the UK Blog Awards 2017!

Vote for Procurious here!

It’s been a year of surprise results in global elections. For many, the votes just haven’t gone the way they had expected, planned, or, for many, hoped. But here’s your chance to make sure the final vote of the year has a happy ending!

Procurious has entered the UK Blog Awards 2017, and now we need your support to get to the judges shortlist. If you enjoy the content we publish on the site, then this is your chance to put your mark against our name.

You can vote for Procurious from today, for the next 2 weeks. It would mean a lot to us – so thanks in advance!

UK Blog Awards

The UK Blog Awards were first launched in 2014, aimed at recognising “recognise true viral style and creative excellence across a variety of 16 UK industries. The awards celebrate the very best of British Blogs, from both companies and individuals, across a range of topics.

As well as creating great networking opportunities in the Blogging community, the Awards offer individuals and companies the chance to promote their business and content. The Awards cover a number of topics, including:

  • Digital & Technology
  • Education
  • Green & Eco
  • Vlogger and Podcast
  • PR, Marketing, Media and Communications; and
  • Travel.

You can find out everything you need to know about the Awards, the categories, and previous winners here.

Your Vote Counts

Procurious have entered the Blog Awards for the past 2 years, and have been ‘highly commended’ in the PR, Marketing, Media and Communications category both years. This is great for us, given the age of the company, and the niche area we write about.

However, we are really keen to go one better and actually win this year! And this is where you come in. We need your votes – as many votes as possible – in order to be considered for the final category shortlists. The more votes we get, the better our chance of consideration.

Voting is now open and runs until the 19th of December at 9pm.

It’s really easy to vote too. Go to the Procurious profile on the UK Blog Awards website, and click ‘Vote Now’ at the top of the page. We appreciate any and all votes we get!

And, if you’re really keen, you can share this with your colleagues, peers and friends across social media and get them to cast their votes too!

Why Vote for Us?

Procurious aims to deliver procurement and supply chain news, views, interviews, and hot topics to the global profession. In the past year, we’ve covered everything from the Brexit, to how to improve your personal effectiveness at work, and myriad topics in between.

We don’t just talk about procurement (though it’s one of our favourite topics), we deliver fresh, original content daily to our audience to keep them up to date with everything they need to know.

The recognition gained from the UK Blog Awards in the past 2 years is a big deal for us. As we build more awareness of our site, we attract more people to the community, which benefits all our members. Networking opportunities grow, we get richer discussions, and more engagement in raising the profile of procurement.

Plus is means we can continue to provide high-quality, relevant content for all our members, and all our followers on social media.

Details

If you need to refresh your memory of some of our, and our contributors’, best and most popular articles from the past 12 months, head over to the blog to check them out. Alternatively, here’s a small selection of our most read articles this year:

Every vote you cast really does count. To vote, go to the UK Blog Awards website and visit the Procurious profile. Thanks!

So You Want to Be a Content Writer, Do You?

We’re always encouraging our community members to get involved. Here’s your chance to become one of our content writers.

content contribution

At Procurious HQ, we pride ourselves on the quality of content we produce. Over the past two and a half years, we have carefully crafted a selection of high-quality content for you to peruse, digest and enjoy.

And while we’ve had a lot of fun doing it, we think it’s high time for even more of you to get involved.

We’d like to offer you the opportunity to get your work published on Procurious. There are great storytellers in the community, with great stories to tell. And we want to hear them all!

Not only is it a great opportunity for you to dip your toes into the blogging water, but it’s also a great chance to raise your own profile.

I Don’t Know Where to Start…

If you’ve attended a social media workshop run by Procurious, you’ll have heard us say that procurement needs to do a better job of selling itself. We need to improve the brand of procurement by better communicating the interesting stories that we know are out there.

Every single procurement and supply chain professional has a story or experience that is unique to them. From the weirdest thing they have bought, to the worst negotiation experience you have had, your story can help others no matter the subject.

And even if you don’t think you have a story to tell, your experience in procurement is just as valuable. There’s a pretty high likelihood that your experience could help one of your peers sometime in the future.

My Specialist Subject is…

Ok, so you don’t think your a great storyteller. There’s nothing wrong with that! But how about a subject only you can talk about? If you had to go on Mastermind and answer procurement questions, what topic would they be on?

Over the past couple of years, our community members have talked about a range of subjects, including:

Or how about telling us what it’s like to work in procurement in your part of the world? In the past, we’ve had a range of countries and experiences, including, Wales, Brazil and the Ukraine.

fountain-pen-on-paper

Content to Spark an Idea

Still stuck for something to write about? Why not draw inspiration from the events Procurious has held in the past year?

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 brought together thought leaders and procurement executives from around the world. We had great discussions on:

Or how about our Career Boot Camp, held back in October. We asked some of the biggest influencers in procurement to share their tips on boosting your career.

Get inspired by:

Build Your Profile

Being published on Procurious is going to help to raise your own profile in the procurement space. We will share your article across social media, where we have a global audience of over 50,000 people.

What’s more, if your blog is one of the most popular during a week, then it may be added to our weekly ‘Best of the Blog’ eDM.

So now it’s your turn. Sharpen those pencils, put fresh ink in your pen and tune up your keyboard – and get writing!

If you want to contribute to the Procurious blog, send an e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected] and tell us what your idea is.

Big Ideas Summit 2016: Big Idea #9 – Help Inspire Millennials

Lucy Harding has called on procurement leaders to help inspire Millennials by inviting them to thought leadership events.

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, we challenged our thought leaders to share their Big Ideas for the future of procurement.

From ideas that have the potential to change the very nature of the procurement profession, to ones that got the assembled minds thinking about the profession’s impact outside of the organisation, the response we received was amazing.

Help Inspire Millennials

Lucy Harding, Partner and Global Head of Practice, Procurement and Supply Chain at Odgers Berndtson, challenged CPOs to open up access to events, such as the Big Ideas Summit, to the Millennials in their organisations.

Lucy argues that such events can inspire Millennials. By accessing thought leadership and innovative events, it can encourage them to sell key message to their generation in their organisations.

Catch up with all the delegates’ Big Ideas from the 2016 Summit at the Procurious Learning Hub.

Want to find out more about Big Ideas 2016? And maybe what we have planned for 2017? You can visit our dedicated website!

If you like this (and you haven’t done so already) join Procurious for free today. Get connected with over 16,000 like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Read All About It! Procurious Pioneering Conversations in the News

Wherever you look, procurement is in the news. And Procurious is helping to drive this by pioneering conversations in the media. So come, read all about it!

Here at Procurious, our goal is always to help our community advance. We do this by sharing effective strategies and fresh insights on the latest hot button news, trends, and events shaping the procurement and supply chain profession.

Of course, we do so daily on our platform. But we’re also working to really extend our value in the news media by sharing information that procurement needs on a day-to-day basis.

All this helps to grow awareness of not only the Procurious community, but also the procurement profession as a whole. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just talking procurement. We want people to know the procurement perspective on all the major events happening around the world now.

Here are just some of the topics our founder Tania Seary, and the Procurious team, have been commenting on recently.

Showing the Value of Your Profession

As the conversation around procurement grows online, and CPOs increasingly command a seat in the boardroom, it’s more important than ever for procurement professionals to be bold and share information that demonstrates the value that procurement brings to an organisation.

That could be something as simple as using positive words and imagery in discussions online. Or as complex as a CPO defining value metrics around a key business issue. These conversations can help draw a direct, positive link between what procurement are doing, and what the C-suite is concerned about.

Having the Courage to Drive Global Change

The procurement profession is being challenged to recalibrate its thinking and skills around new realities facing our world.

To add the most value to their organisations, leaders must be agile enough to handle unexpected global events like Brexit; master futuristic technology such as cognitive procurement; turn innovations like 3-D printing into business opportunities, and more.

Today’s procurement professionals must be willing to take new risks to tackle these challenges together. This can happen through social collaboration and online conversations with their teams and stakeholders. None of us can go it alone! By tapping into the broader procurement community, we can summon the courage we need to drive global change.

Winning the War for Talent

The supply chain has grown increasingly complex and global. With this comes more demand for workers who have greater technical skills to tackle these changes head on.

Procurement needs professionals who can specialise in one area, but also understand the broader businesses issues and can have conversations with stakeholders.

The true test for organisations is ultimately attracting those individuals, which comes down to having a responsive and engaging presence on social media.

Stay Tuned for More News!

As a profession, we need to stay dedicated to educating people outside of our community on what procurement is all about.

Stay tuned for additional “New and Noteworthy” blogs to hear more about some of the hot news topics and conversations we’re having, to help our profession and community thrive in this changing world.