Category Archives: Procurious News

In pursuit of best practice

This is a guest blog post from George Vrakas – if you want to contribute to the Procurious blog please drop us a line – here.

“At its simplest, best practice means we are doing our job better than others. …that might translate to closing deals faster, achieving consistently good negotiated results, establishing terms and change processes that support high-performance relationships or realizing results that regularly exceed expectations. So we want to be better, faster, contributing greater value, making fewer mistakes” Notes on “What do we mean by best practice” by IACCM

George Vrakas

As already elaborated here, an essential aspect for becoming successful in the future, is creativity.

The term, creativity, most probably conjures up images of successful entrepreneurs that have a vision and the courage to pursue their dreams.

Outstanding entrepreneurship is a well-defined quality behind every successful organisation.

Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson are followed and their ideas celebrated in the public domain.

However, it would most likely be better for an organisation to not only try and maintain its competitive edge on the ideas of one or even a handful of forward thinking individuals, but also find ways to tamper into the creativity and ideas of every one of its employees.

Hence, organisations should also look into the promotion and support of intrapreneurship.

Read on if you want to find out more about this idea, as well as, get to learn about one way to harvest the concept of intrapreneurship as a means to pursue best practice within your own organisation.

Intrapreneurship

Jeroen de Jong and Sander Wennekers explored the concept here. According to them:

“Intrapreneurship refers to employee initiatives in organizations to undertake something new, without being asked to do so.”

There are a few companies that actively promote intrapreneurial behaviour e.g. Google allows its employees to spend up to 20% of their time to pursue projects of their choice. 3M and Intel appear to have programs towards similar promotions (see here).

However, intrapreneurship is not only about the pursuit of new products and revenue streams.

Intrapreneurship contains an element of innovation. Innovation refers to the production and implementation of useful ideas, including the adaptation of products or processes from outside an organization. As Antoncic and Hisrich highlights (see here)

“Intrapreneurship is about “emergent behavioural intentions and behaviours that are related to departures from the customary ways of doing business in existing organizations”

In other terms intrapreneurship is about the pursuit of best practice.

In parallel, it is also important to note that the support of the practice of intrapreneurship also helps maintain engaged teams that always challenge themselves and evolve the organisational practices, processes and results (read more about team engagement here and here).

Ideas Charter (a simple and practical way to pursue best practice)

As part of an effort to promote employee engagement and intrapreneurial behaviours, I developed the Ideas Charter.

This is a simple process which ensures that all new ideas are captured, evaluated, and then through a process that promotes and supports undertaking innovative projects, implemented.

The Ideas Charter process works like this.

i) A champion is assigned to capture all ideas that can enhance processes or contribute to efficiency and effectiveness in a simple spreadsheet called the Ideas Charter (see template here). This is done on a non-judgmental way to the perceived value of the ideas i.e. following Edward De Bono’s six hat definition – by wearing a green hat.

ii) The ideas are then evaluated and validated by a selected committee and approved or not approved for further development.

iii) If an idea is approved, then that idea is made available as a potential candidate for a future side project to be done by a team member or a team.

iv) Every two months the team is asked to select a side project to work on. Each team member is encouraged to pick one of the ideas in the Ideas Charter and work on it. A due date is allocated.

v) At the end of the allocated period each member presents his/her side project along with a benefits analysis.

vi) The side project outcome is placed into production. This outcome could be a change in process, a development of a business case i.e. it could be anything that promotes efficiency or effectiveness.

vii) After 3 side projects are completed and presented, the team is given the opportunity to vote for the best one. The winner is celebrated.

In pursuit of best practice by George VrakasThis is a simple but effective way to work towards best practice in small teams.

From personal experience this concept has the power to engage the team and also to elevate the level of efficiency and effectiveness as delivered by its outputs.

Finally, it works towards Yves Morieux’s vision elaborated in his presentation about “How to develop a winning organisation”. Yves elaborated that:

“The real battle is not against competitors. The real battle is against ourselves. Against our bureaucracy, against our complicatedness” – Yves Morieux (see here)

What systems do you have in place to promote and support the pursuit of best practice?

Short Biography

George is highly reputed in the fields of Services Procurement and Logistics with over 19 years experience. Based in Melbourne, Australia, George is a member of CIPSA, IACCM and is also serving as a Board Member of CILTA Victoria. George is passionate about Procurement, Team Development and Innovation, themes he has researched extensively. George is the author of the www.george-vrakas.com blog, a contributor to Procurement related publications such as TheSource e-news and has presented on Globalization, Procurement and Continuous Improvement at various venues and Universities in Victoria.

Start spreading the news… (as long as it is on Procurious)

This week’s Procurious blog update will focus on a number of valuable additions that our developers have been tinkering with behind the scenes.

Curated news service

Curated content and news-aggregation are all the rage these days… From companies spending millions to grass-root startups on a shoestring. Procurious.com falls into the latter, and we’re quite proud of our ‘News’ service. Go on, do take a look…

“Read all about it”

We want to make Procurious part of your daily online routine, so we’ve added a curated ‘News’ service [find it in the main navigation above]

Here you can digest the latest headlines from around the world, as well as specialized topics like business, technology, science, environment, and sports.

It updates every day to bring you the stories we think you’ll be looking for. No more scouring the Internet (or social media) for scrappy titbits or false leads, just stick with us and we’ll see you through.

Updates in discussion feed

Your social updates

Elsewhere on Procurious, we’ve given everything a bit of a tuck and polish. Spend enough time on your Community feed and you’ll be alerted whenever someone in your network makes an update.

Clever URLs

Post to the Community feed, in a discussion topic, or reply to a blog post, and (if it’s a web address) Procurious will automatically turn it into a clickable link. For instance, you don’t have to preface the URL with http:// or www just type ‘twitter.com’. A small addition we think you’ll agree, but a handy one.

Inline comments

Inline replies are go!

If you’ve been dipping in and out of our Discussions area, but wondered why you couldn’t leave inline comments – then we have good news! Inline replies are now active across all discussion topics.

What’s more, everyone in the discussion receives a notification if new replies are posted.

Edit your Procurious profile

Edit your profile in a jiffy

Sometimes you just want to make an edit on the fly – that’s why we’ve granted you the ability to quickly change your job title/position directly from your profile page. Just click the ‘edit’ button, tap away and hit ‘save’ to immediately apply the changes.

We’re social, are you?

And finally, don’t forget that we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn (you might have noticed the new social icons towards the bottom of your page). So come and follow us!

3 tips to make the most from social networks

Want to make more of an impact on the Procurious network? Here are a few pointers to help make a bigger splash across this online platform.

Complete your profile

Nobody likes to leave a job half-done… This also rings true on Procurious where profiles are sometimes being left incomplete.

How to complete your Procurious profileIf you didn’t get around to filling out all of your employment, education, or personal details when you registered on Procurious, you will notice that we prompt you for this information on subsequent log-ins.

We’re not trying to bug you, but as our members will attest, you will get more out of the network if you adopt a more open approach to sharing.

Entering your ‘location’ is important as it allows other members to locate professionals by vicinity.  Start typing your location and Procurious will suggest places based on your keystrokes.

Likewise, ‘industry’ and ‘category’ will also prove useful when it comes to finding other Procurious members in similar roles to you.

Network, network, network

How to grow your Procurious network
If you haven’t yet made many friends on Procurious then you’ll want to take advantage of our ‘Build your network’ feature.

It’s easy to grow your network from here, just click the green ‘+ Add to network’ button next to the members of your choosing.

You can even filter Procurious members by using the search filters, or by typing a name into the search box.

For a more detailed look at this invaluable feature – we suggest you read this blog entry.

You might have also noticed the ‘Get connected’ area that we’ve added to the site. This randomly highlights three other members (at a time) that we think you should connect with. Added all three? Just refresh the page or click ‘View more’.

See who you're connected with on Procurious

Soon you’ll be networking like a pro, and connecting with members from all over the Procurious network.

Share like your life depends on it

If knowledge is power then you should make sharing content on Procurious one of your priorities. This is a network for like-minded individuals, many of whom will take more that a passing interest in what you have to say.

You can post to Procurious in two ways: either write some words, add a URL, or share a photo using the status box. Alternatively just click the ‘share’ icon above a member’s post, Procurious blog entry, or event listing to share to the Community at large.

Share articles on Procurious

So share, and share lots (as you never know whose eye you might catch…)

Want to see what others are doing on Procurious?

Open your eyes – now it’s easier than ever to see what’s happening on your online business network.

We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes at Procurious HQ this week…

Choose between two network feeds

 

Your new timeline

Pay a visit to your ‘Community’ tab and you might notice something has changed… We now provide you with a choice of viewing modes; ‘Whole Network’ or ‘My Network’.

We’ve made the changes (in-part) to allow you to see the richness of the network, and remind you of the activity going on around you. So now you can see when your contacts ask and answer questions, or when they share and reply to a post.

If you want to keep an eye on everything happening on Procurious, the Whole Network view is for you. Unlike the My Network option, you will see every interaction in ‘almost’ real-time.

Both views also include useful notifications about the people your contacts are adding to their networks.

You can switch between the two at will, so see which view you prefer!

connect

Get connected

Along with the updates we announced in our previous blog post, it’s now easier than ever to make connections across the Procurious network. Remind yourself of these here.

Today you’ll also see a new ‘Get connected’ area towards the right of your view (note: not on the ‘Learning’ or ‘Blog’ pages). This is a place where we suggest other Procurious members we think you should add to your network. Should you wish to search for some more, you can either refresh your browser window, or click the additional link to ‘view more’.

See what else is happening

But we’re not done yet… Journey beyond Get Connected and you will find a showcase of all the other cool things that are happening on Procurious.

As you can see we’ve chosen to highlight a selection of new blog postings, training videos, discussion topics, and forthcoming events.

We hope you’ll agree that these are powerful and worthwhile changes to the network. As ever we value your feedback, so feel free to comment below or email us at [email protected]

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated, and hear about the new features winging their way to the network first.

If you could ask just ONE question…

What would it be?

The ‘Discussions’ area on Procurious is buzzing with inquisitive minds. So if you could ask just one question to your fellow members, what would it be?

Struggling? Here’s some inspiration:

Lisa Malone asks – ‘Which are the biggest Procurement teams in the UK and Europe?’

Alexandra Goffey wants to know – ‘Do you negotiate KPIs into contracts pre or post award?’

While Jack Slade poses – ‘What’s your favourite buying story?’

You can even consult the Procurious community for help with your studies – just like Alejandro Santos. Go and give him some love!

The Procurious Discussions page

Where can I find it?

Discussions is one of the tabs on the Procurious navigation bar. Alternatively, you can catch a preview of the latest posts from your ‘Community’ page – just scroll halfway down and it’ll be on the right.

Getting to know the Discussions page

The Discussions default view will list all questions by date asked. You can alter this by using the ‘Sort by’ drop-down menu.

Want to hone in on a certain topic? You can also specify which questions you see by selecting a topic in the ‘Show questions in…’ menu.

Asking a new question on Procurious.com

To pose a question, just start tapping away in this long box. Yes, that one right there.

Don’t worry about the ‘Add more details’ field, this is entirely optional. But you’ll be prompted to select a topic/subtopic for categorising purposes.

When done, just hit the green button to ‘Post’.

How to follow a discussion on Procurious

If you’re wanting to keep track of more than a few different questions, click the ‘Follow’ button found on the question’s page.

You can view your specially-curated collection by selecting the ‘Following’ tab on the main Discussions page.

That’s as hard as it gets… Very soon you’ll be firing off answers and coming up with thoughtful head scratchers like the best of them!

Sharing your discussion

Once you’ve submitted your question, you could always just sit back and wait for the Procurious community to reply… But why not share your discussion with your contacts, or even further afield on social media?

Share a discussion on Procurious

To share a Procurious discussion: click the ‘Share’ command, and select from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

How to build your Procurious network quickly and easily

Build your network on Procurious.com

Visit Procurious.com today and you might notice something new… We’ve introduced a number of big changes that will both help you build your network – and grow Procurious in the same breath.

One of the most popular asks has been invites by email – before, you were limited to just approaching those on LinkedIn (not ideal). We’re pleased to announce that you are now able to invite your colleagues and peers directly via email. Plus we’ve added the ability to sort and filter your LinkedIn contacts.

To get started, just click the big green ‘Build Your Network’ button – you can find this in the same place, across every page on the site.

Let’s run through the tools on offer:

Search LinkedIn on Procurious

Filter your LinkedIn contacts

‘Invite via LinkedIn’ works just as before – only this time you are able to search on the fly and filter people with just a couple of key presses.

Note: any contacts already a part of your Procurious network are easily identified by a green Procurious icon.

Below the search area you are able to customize a message to send to the contacts you wish to invite.

Invite contacts to Procurious by email

Invite via email

We expect this to be a popular addition to the site!

Click the ‘Invite by email’ button to begin writing a message to those contacts not on LinkedIn. Just enter your friend’s email address in the box specified (remembering to separate each one with a comma). Hit ‘Send invitations’ when done.

Filter your contacts

More powerful networking 

The Build Your Network page has also had a overhaul.

Now you are able to view the entire Procurious network, and filter members by country, industry, and category.

When you find a member you want to add to your network, click ‘Add to network’, then sit back and wait for them to accept.

Share a personal invite

If you don’t want to use any of the aforementioned invitation methods then why not send a personalized link to Procurious instead?

Just copy the link provided and share it via a method of your choosing (Twitter, Facebook, G+, personal email etc.)

One final thing…

We’ve tinkered around with member profiles – now when visiting a profile, the first thing you will see is the ‘My story’ page.  So we encourage you to fill this out and allow other members to learn a bit more about you.

Follow @Procurious_ on Twitter
Like Procurious on Facebook
Add us on Google+

Spend Matters hits the nail on the head

When it comes to procurement, Peter Smith is a man who knows what he’s talking about.

The Managing Director and Editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe is among the profession’s top influencers so I was particularly delighted to read his review of Procurious.

The assessment was balanced and overall, very positive: “Procurious is a well put together, professional and attractive site, with some people behind it who clearly know the procurement world pretty well”.

In questioning whether the niche environment of Procurious will offer members value beyond that of broader networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Peter hits the nail on the head.

While social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter offer scale and reach, they tend to be noisy, overcrowded and the content often lacks relevance for procurement. If you were looking for genuine career guidance, LinkedIn can rarely offer the in-depth answers needed.

As Procurious continues to evolve (We are currently in a soft launch phase – the full site will be launched in September 2014), we believe the key differentiator from other broad networking platforms will be the ability to connect and learn directly from people operating in the same industry or managing the same categories.

The quality and level of Q&A activity in the ‘Discussions’ section of Procurious, as compared with many of the stagnant discussion groups on LinkedIn, seems to confirm our belief that people feel more inclined to seek advice and share in a highly specialized and credible environment.

While Procurious is by no means the first niche vertical network out there – Oil Pro, set up to cater to professionals in the Oil and Gas sector, has attracted over 50,000 users in just 7 months – it offers procurement the opportunity to take a real leadership position within the business: Demonstrating how social media can redefine the way modern professionals work, connect and collaborate.

Just this week, TechCrunch featured an article on the rise of social professional networks – read it here.  I’m extremely proud that Procurement, via Procurious, is at the leading edge of this trend.

Procurious just might be a game-changer for Procurement because despite the undisputed progress made internally, frustrating and dated misconceptions persist externally. It doesn’t help that as a community, procurement professionals are still largely disconnected.

By coming together on Procurious, we can support the next generation of procurement leaders and empower them to change the face of the profession from the inside out.

In little more than a month, we’ve registered 1000 members from 48 countries. So the signs are looking good but we’re not about to stop here. To achieve our goal of becoming the global hub for procurement, we need your support.

If you haven’t already done so, we’re asking you to logon or refer a colleague to www.procurious.com – there is no cost to become a member or access any of the online training. We’re hungry for your feedback as to the direction Procurious should take and what value we can provide to you as members.

By coming together and supporting your fellow peers, we will demonstrate the strength and reach of this incredible global community.

Tania

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How to develop your skills in just 5 minutes

Ahead of some fairly-sizeable changes to Procurious next week, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some of the smaller things that might have passed you by.

Learning resources

Have you seen what’s behind the ‘Learning’ menu?

There are two different types of learning material available on Procurious. Free and paid. You’ll be able to immediately differentiate between the two – as all paid videos will clearly display their price upfront.

However, all paid videos offer a short 30 second sampler (so you can see what you’re getting before you commit).

From the Learning homepage simply select a video of your choosing

Watch training videos on Procurious

Click the ‘Free enrol now’ button to add the selected video to your basket and unlock all the lessons associated with it.

Should you select a paid video instead, you’ll see a ‘Add this class to cart’ button.

If a video is made-up of multiple parts (or lessons), you’ll see the contents of the video in the handy ‘Lesson tree’ to the left of the player.

Discussions on ProcuriousDiscussions

Discussions can be accessed from the ‘Discussions’ button on the main navigation – you’ll also see the latest conversations appear to the right of your ‘Community’ feed too.

We’re working making the hottest topics even more discoverable around the site, but it’s encouraging to see that more and more of you are getting involved!

Twitter

Did you know that we’re also on Twitter?

You can find Procurious tweeting regularly, so head on over and follow @procurious_ for all the latest.

Procurious is like the 2014 World Cup – so is your country represented?

Copyright: Flickr
Procurious truly has World Cup fever…

Here from our crow’s nest at Procurious HQ it’s clear to see that London has gone football crazy. Fever for the FIFA World Cup 2014 is infectious, sweeping the nation, leaving many a hangover in its wake. But it doesn’t just end there… It’s traversing oceans, hot-footing over deserts, grappling-up mountains and more.

We’d be foolish if we didn’t liken Procurious to this major global event… although wholly different in context, we are quietly spreading our membership far and wide, and making headlines for all the right reasons.

After a star-turn in Supply Management, we’re happy to report that Procurious has enjoyed a surge in sign-ups (that’s over 250 new members) – so thanks to all who’ve hopped onboard of late.

Read the Supply Management article

Procurious goes global – 83 countries in 36 days

Procurious-Insights-infographic-v02
Click on the infographic to view full size.

We tasked our design wizards to come up with something that perfectly charts Procurious’ global reach – and we think this infographic speaks volumes about our growth to-date.

Please feel free to share this across social media (whether that be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even here on Procurious).

That’s not all – over the next week we will be running profiles on selected members of the community to show just how “rich” and global Procurious is becoming.