Category Archives: Procurious News

Procurious eLearning: Upskill – Any Time, Any Where

eLearning is always better when it’s accompanied by a cheeky glass of wine. We have the tips you need to fit personal development into your busy life.

eLearning with wine

We live in a highly connected world, on the go 24/7 – whether it is spending time at work, having fun with family and friends, getting fit and healthy, or trying to fit in some much needed relaxation time. So the chances are high that personal development and doing training courses outside of work time is close to the bottom of your priority list.

It’s hard to find time to fit in training, but if you’re committed and want to, you can get your procurement training in the comfort of your own home. There are a huge number of eLearning courses, training modules, videos and podcasts that can be found online.

These resources are often created by established universities (think MIT, Harvard and Yale) and other subject matter experts, so you know that the quality is going to be high. And what’s more, the majority of them are free.

Online at any Time

The transition of training courses and professional development from classroom to online has followed much the same path as the way many of us now shop for clothes.

Online clothes shopping was virtually unheard of before the launch of Net-a-Porter in the year 2000. Before then, both men and women were far more likely to buy clothes that they had physically held and tried on in store. Net-a-Porter is now the world’s largest online luxury retailer, valued at over $2.5 billion.

CEO Alison Loehnis, who took over from founder Natalie Massinet in 2015, has been quoted as saying that women tend to order the majority of their clothes during the “wine o’clock” period, that time of day they have a bit of downtime away from work and family.

And there’s no reason why eLearning can’t fill that time of day too. Plus, online learning is much cheaper, and a video on supply chain management is less likely to cause feelings of buyer’s remorse the following morning!

Pick Your Resource

Once you’ve decided what course you want to do, it’s just a matter of finding the online resource for you. If you’re thinking about upping your procurement and supply chain knowledge, where better to look than Procurious.

Procurious has over 80 eLearning resources, including eLearning modules, podcasts and thought leadership videos, all of which are completely free for members.

Want to learn about procurement from the very start? Try the ‘Introduction to Procurement’ series, created using The Faculty’s acclaimed ‘Pathways to Procurement’ program. Check out this sample video on Social Procurement:

Get all the thought leadership and ideas from Procurious’ Big Ideas Summit 2015, from the major risks to the profession, to the future of procurement networking.

Whatever you are looking for, there is something for you. Procurious’ bite-sized training modules have been designed to be short enough to allow you to complete them during your lunch break, while our other resources are the perfect length to enjoy with a glass of wine in the evening. You know, instead of internet shopping…

Maverick Purchasing & KPIs – Your Big Discussions

There’s nothing like a good procurement discussion to get the blood flowing! Themes getting our community this month included Maverick Purchasing and KPIs.

Maverick Purchasing

On our agenda this time, we’re looking at the best ways of dealing with maverick purchasing, and what matters more to procurement’s stakeholders, speed of delivery vs. other product factors. And to top it off, no procurement discussion round-up would be complete without a look at that classic – KPIs.

What do you think is the best way to eradicate “maverick purchasing”?

Maverick purchasing is a topic that gets a lot of column inches, but that organisations have had difficulty stamping out completely. Maverick purchasing can be defined as “when an employee purchases goods, parts or materials for a project, going outside of the accepted buying channels of their organisation”.

The most popular answers focused on the two key issues that underline the ‘why’ of maverick purchasing – procurement’s relationship with the business, and the systems in place for purchasing and contract management.

Building relationships with business stakeholders, and knowing their requirements at the outset, could help to minimise maverick purchasing. As well as this, being able to show the value that procurement can bring to the table, and ensuring an understanding of procurement’s role, were also seen as critical.

It’s also important to remember the technological and systems argument. Within procurement, the likely cause of maverick spend was seen to be difficult to use systems. By making systems user-friendly, and putting the required approvals in place, it can help to minimise out of process practices.

It comes down to handling both people and technology, and not, as one answer said, using a taser. Although, for those of us who have seen this while working in procurement, a taser might actually seem to be the right option…!

To what extent would you agree with the following statement: the shorter the average time to procure, the happier the stakeholders?

Most procurement professionals will heard the question, “when will it arrive?” at some point. The focus in this question was whether or not speed was the most important factor for business stakeholders.

The general consensus from the community was that the shorter the time taken to supply against a requirement, the happier the stakeholder was going to be. However, it was also voiced that procurement needed to be involved much earlier in the process than it normally is, in order to supply goods and service in good time.

The idea that procurement needed to be involved with, or understand, the planning cycles was another piece of the puzzle that is often missing. Having all contracts in a single repository, and being involved in specification discussions before parts were agreed, were two of the solutions put forward to allow procurement to do this.

However, the traditional idea that procurement can only offer two of speed, cost and quality in most situations. The lack of leverage in sourcing activities means that one will be compromised, but stakeholders will still be expecting all three.

Being able to do all three is where procurement can weave “magic”, or otherwise, the function needs to get better at saying no and pushing back.

Procurement KPIs – What do you think are 3 key metrics (KPI’s) to evaluate procurement function?; KPIs other than cost saving?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or metrics for individuals and procurement departments are high on the agenda at this time of year. Ensuring that your team is measured, both internally and externally, against the right metrics is key to both good data and success.

When asked about the 3 key metrics to evaluate the procurement function, the community’s answers didn’t spring many surprises. However, in nearly a third of the answers, savings generated were rated as one of the top KPIs. Although other answers highlighted value as a metric, it appeared fewer times than total spend managed, and shows that even now, procurement is still widely viewed as a savings generating function.

It also shows that, despite the profession looking to move towards value generation metrics, many procurement teams are still measured on this.

Other key KPIs highlighted were:

  • Percentage of on time delivery
  • Total Spend
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Stock Turnover
  • Quality
  • Supplier Consolidation
  • Supply Chain Security & Risk
  • Customer of Choice
  • Procurement Engagement
  • Sustainability
  • Ethics

On the other side of the debate was the question of KPIs other than cost savings, particularly in relation to Capital Investments for Projects. Suggested approaches involved the use of a Balanced Scorecard, including cost, quality, delivery, inventory and sustainability amongst others, and with a focus on reduction of Total Cost of Ownership.

What was seen as important in the answers was communication with internal stakeholders to understand their needs, and let them understand what procurement can offer. Within the Capital Projects environment, the feeling was that this was more about generating value for internal stakeholders, rather than focusing solely on cost.

Do you agree with the answers? If you want to add anything, join in the Discussions on Procurious, where you can find a variety of other questions, or start your own.

Make 2016 Your Year for Personal Development

Are you someone who always needs to be learning something new? Or do you need to find the right personal development topic before your motivation kicks in?

Personal-Development

Whichever group you fall into, you should always be on the look out for new opportunities for personal development. Whether it’s a course on bike maintenance, learning how to do that bit of DIY that’s been sitting since last Christmas or expanding your knowledge in your professional field.

The good news is that Procurious has the answer for you (well for expanding your professional knowledge at least…), with over 80 free eLearning modules on a variety of topics in the procurement and supply chain space.

Getting Started

And where better to start than at the beginning? If you are just starting out in procurement, or are one of the many procurement and supply chain students at universities around the world, Procurious’ ‘Introduction to Procurement’ series is the one for you.

The series starts with “What is Procurement?“, running through the important foundations of procurement knowledge in stakeholder management, negotiation, specifications and much more.

And if you think you know it all already, why not take the chance to refresh your skills? Or, as many Procurious members have done in the past, share it with suppliers or stakeholders to clue them in about the function’s role.

Or, even better, share it with friends and family who, even after hundreds of explanations, still aren’t sure what it is you do for a living!

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are looking for opportunities for personal development and learning.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we highlight more of our great learning content!

Like this? Join Procurious for FREE and meet like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Celebrating 10,000 Members – Procurious Power Profiles – Part 2

We’re continuing our series of articles celebrating reaching the milestone of 10,000 members on Procurious. 

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In case you missed it, you can catch up with Part 1 of our Procurious Power Profiles here.

We want to recognise some members of our community who are using Procurious to its fullest and hope to inspire the community to all get involved with sharing their knowledge and experience working in procurement and supply chain around the world.

Nausheen Aullybux, Marketing and Communication Lead, Ecovadis

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Nausheen only recently joined Procurious, but has already become a highly active member of the community. Nausheen was attracted to Procurious by the opportunities to connect with procurement practitioners, keep a pulse on how decisions are made and see how sustainability is fitting in to global procurement functions.

Nausheen would recommend Procurious to other professionals for the endless, global networking opportunities, sharing of insights, opinions and resources, and hopes in the future to keep connecting with like-minded people and have more conversations about their experiences in merging sustainability and procurement functions – goals, challenges, how they were overcome, collaborations, innovations.

Tom Derry, CEO, Institute for Supply Management

Power Profiles - Tom DerryAs CEO for a global organisation like ISM, Tom knows what works for procurement and supply chain. For him, Procurious enables professionals to leverage the immediacy of a social network in an appropriate medium, while adding value through allowing members to build their knowledge base, as well as their professional brand.

Tom’s favourite area of the site is the Discussion board, where he feels there is strong, practical value in the communications. Members are able to leverage the experience of their peers to facilitate real results.

As ISM becomes more engaged with Procurious, Tom hopes that more of its own members will get involved. The ability to connect to each other, as well as other non-members already on Procurious, opens up great opportunities for potential collaboration.

Elaine Porteous, Senior Associate, Caliba Group

Power Profiles - Elaine PorteousTo begin with, Elaine wasn’t convinced that Procurious would work, but gave the site a chance, and has helped to grow the community in her native South Africa, as well as writing original content for the site too.

Elaine believes the strength of Procurious lies in it not having an allegiance to any organisation or group, allowing a wide range of opinions and discussions to thrive on the site. These discussions help to provide learning opportunities for the network on trends and burning issues, plus help and advice from a global community.

Building on this in the future, Elaine hopes to see more learning opportunities on the site, as well as the members collaborating across borders and cultures, to allow procurement professionals to learn from others with different experiences.

Chris Cliffe, Senior Procurement Category Manager, Circle Housing

Power Profiles - Chris CliffeChris first joined Procurious after seeing the team at an event in London during 2015, and was inspired by the message of the benefits of social media in procurement to register, and to use social media more.

For Chris, the biggest advantage of the site is that it enables procurement professionals to connect with like-minded peers, and share experience and best practice. Chris believes the best thing about Procurious is the learning section, which has the potential to foster a profession-wide team spirit, regardless of organisation or geography, through the sharing of best practice.

Helen Mackenzie, Head of Procurement, Scottish Local Government

Power Profiles - Helen MackenzieHelen has been one of Procurious’ biggest advocates since joining the site, helping to spread the word across the public sector in Scotland. Helen initially came to Procurious to find an online platform to engage with people who shared her passion for procurement.

Since joining the site, Helen says the best thing about Procurious is the sense of community, of people helping others, commenting on posts and sharing advice. Helen has had people share their templates and experience with her and has also been able put people in touch with each other, most recently someone looking for advice on mobile phone procurement.

Helen says that Procurious is “a brilliant thing to be part of and very inspiring.”

Eddie Gibson, Senior Manager, East of England Local Government Association (EELGA)

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Eddie works for the EELGA, a group working on behalf of the 52 local councils in the East of England to harness collective strength across the organisations, including in procurement. Eddie found Procurious through the videos and content from the Big Ideas Summit 2015, resources that he believes are the best thing about the site.

Eddie believes that the biggest advantage of being part of the Procurious community is that the network is more focussed than sites like LinkedIn, that new content is being posted every day, and because it’s dedicated to procurement, individuals know they’re sharing with and talking to like-minded professionals who they can expect to be helpful and supportive.

Celebrating 10,000 Members – Procurious Power Profiles – Part 1

All the team at Procurious HQ would like to thank each and every one of our members for helping us grow our network and reach the milestone of 10,000 members.

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We’re so excited about reaching the milestone as it represents a landmark number for us that we have reached less than two years after we launched the site. It’s fantastic to see our community grow and evolve, and to watch all our members grow their networks, build their own brands on social media, and use what Procurious has to offer in order to develop professionally.

As part of our celebrations for reaching this milestone, we’ll be using this article, as well as one other later in the week, to recognise some members of our community who are using Procurious to its fullest and should inspire you to do the same!

Helen Rees, Procurement Manager, Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Power Profiles 1 - Helen ReesHelen was one of the first movers on Procurious and has helped to promote the community from the beginning. Helen says she is a great believer in the power of networking (and has a network of almost 4,500 herself on Procurious), which was the main reasons she signed up to Procurious in the first place, as well as what she sees as the biggest advantage of the site.

Helen is an avid reader of the Procurious blog and thoroughly enjoys reading about other people’s experiences. She feels it is an excellent form of personal development as you learn about things that you may not have encountered within your own working environment. To find out more about Helen’s experiences, you can read her article on what procurement is like in Wales.

Bertrand Maltaverne, Senior Business Consultant, POOL4TOOL/Alengis

Power Profiles 1 - Bertrand MaltaverneBertrand highlights wanting to keep up with the current issues and challenges in the procurement space as the reason he joined Procurious, and felt that Procurious was the place for this as the first open, online, global community dedicated to the profession.

The people who make up the community, and their willingness to contribute and share, are what Bertrand enjoys the most about Procurious, with the global nature of the network bringing a diversity of perspectives that gives access to opinions from practitioners from all over the world. And, as Bertrand says, if you’re not a member now, then soon you might be the only procurement professional who isn’t!

Georgia Brandi, Category Lead, Newcrest Mining

Power Profiles 1 - Georgia BrandiGeorgia was attracted to the concept of Procurious as the initial setup of the site called for input from procurement professionals, highlighting that the functionality and focus reflected expectations and requirements of the community. Georgia has helped to shape the site with her fellow professionals, and continues to reap benefits from being part of the community.

The relevance of the content, news and discussions are what keep bringing Georgia back to the site, as well as why she would recommend it to others. She says that there isn’t the same dilution of the message due to irrelevant content, and the dedication to procurement has actually enabled her to solve a work-related issue through an answer she received in the Discussion forum.

Just the sort of success story in knowledge sharing that Procurious was built for!

Justin Plokhooy, Director of Procurement, USAA

Power Profiles 1 - Justin PlokhooyJustin is one of the more recent members of the community, but has certainly gotten involved whole-heartedly, particularly in the Discussion forum, which he says provides an invaluable learning experience for both him and the community, due to the ability to interact with other Procurement professionals in real time on real world topics.

A community of like-minded professionals who he could leverage and share with was what attracted Justin to Procurious, and he says other professionals should get involved because having access to a true community of professionals, all facing the same problems as you, plays a big part in the value you can bring to your organisation and, ultimately, to your career.

Anna Spady, Marketing Manager, RFP365

Power Profiles 1 - Anna SpadyAnna is one of the many providers into the profession who have joined the Procurious community but are also giving back by sharing their experience from the supplier side of the table. Connecting with, and learning from, the procurement community and influencers, as well as accessing thought leadership and joining discussions were the key reasons Anna joined Procurious initially.

Anna says that the biggest advantage of the site is the knowledge shared through the articles and posts, as well as the helpfulness and eagerness of the community to get involved, answer questions and share their insights. In Anna’s words, the best thing about the site is knowing “that there is a one-stop-shop for procurement.”

Kevin Collon, International Procurement Consultant, APIBS

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Kevin has been an active member of the community for a while now, regularly contributing to discussions, as well as sharing content for the Procurious blog. Kevin enjoys the most that Procurious brings together people starting out in their career and experienced senior members all in one place.

Kevin finds Procurious to be a great place to share or discuss ideas with these like-minded professionals, in a thoughtful and respectful community, dedicated to Procurement. He also says he recommends Procurious to all procurement professionals if they haven’t already joined the site, as it’s a good place to pick up the latest news and trends and connect with others anytime and any place.

Make sure you check out our Power Profiles in the community and connect with these guys. Plus, stay tuned, as later in the week, we’ll be showcasing some more Procurious Power Profiles.

Procurious Big Ideas Panel Discussion #4 – What Are We Doing to Create Communities of Practice?

What is the procurement profession doing to create communities of practice?

Building on Tania Seary’s keynote speech and the idea of collaboration across the procurement profession, David Noble, Tania Seary, Diego Barilla and Sue Steele discuss what can be done to bring a dispersed community together.

From spend entrepreneurship to professional accreditation and certification, the final discussion panel at Big Ideas Summit 2015 threw up some interesting questions and answers and got the wider group thinking about how we can help to map our future.

Watch the full discussion here.

See all the keynotes and panel discussions from the Big Ideas Summit, plus Big Ideas from our 40+ Influencers.

Like this? Join Procurious for FREE and meet like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Procurious Big Ideas Panel Discussion #3 – Are Business Costs Too High or Too Low?

Are business costs too high? Or too low? And where does procurement sit in this matter?

The third discussion panel at the Big Ideas Summit 2015 took place in the innovative format of a ‘fishbowl’ discussion, where participants argue both sides of the lead question, but where the audience can also get involved.

The panel started with Chris Lynch, Theano Liakopoulou, Chris Sawchuk and David Noble, gradually interchanging the other thought leaders as the discussion progressed. In an often heated environment, a number of hot topics were raised and some great insights released.

Watch the full discussion here.

See all the keynotes and panel discussions from the Big Ideas Summit, plus Big Ideas from our 40+ Influencers.

Like this? Join Procurious for FREE and meet like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Procurious Big Ideas Panel Discussion #2 – Where Are Procurement’s Blind Spots?

What risks does procurement face in the coming years? And what are the profession’s major blind-spots?

This was the question for the second panel discussion at the Big Ideas Summit 2015. There was plenty of passion on display, and at some points the conversation got a little heated, but there were also some fantastic points raised.

With a panel containing Tim Hughes, Olinga Ta’eed, Chris Lynch, Giles Breault, Nic Walden, Jason Busch and Lance Younger, the discussion took in hot topics like social value, procurement transformation, procurement moving away from Finance and leveraging external innovation. This is one not to be missed.

Watch the full discussion here.

See all the keynotes and panel discussions from the Big Ideas Summit, plus Big Ideas from our 40+ Influencers.

Like this? Join Procurious for FREE and meet like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Procurious Big Ideas Panel Discussion #1 – What Does it Mean to Be An Authentic Leader?

What does it mean to be an authentic leader in procurement?

In the first of the panel discussions from the Big Ideas Summit 2015, Sigi Osagie, Sarah Trota, Helen Mackenzie and Andrew MacAskill discussed this question, and helped to provide a diverse view on the best answer.

From the power of public sector procurement and the figure of the leader clearing the path through the procurement jungle, to the brand of the profession and setting the belief, the discussion created some fascinating points.

Watch the full discussion here.

See all the keynotes and panel discussions from the Big Ideas Summit, plus Big Ideas from our 40+ Influencers.

Like this? Join Procurious for FREE and meet like-minded procurement professionals from across the world.

Vote for Procurious in the UK Blog Awards 2016

How often do you find yourself coming to the end of another smashing Procurious blog article and think, “Gosh, that was great! I wish there was a way for me to acknowledge just how great that was.”?

UKBA16 Vote Now

If this sounds like you (and we wish everyone did think this!), today is your lucky day! Throughout January, you can vote for Procurious in the UK Blog Awards 2016.

Blog Awards

If you haven’t come across the UK Blog Awards before, they were created to recognise ‘true viral style and creative excellence across a variety of 16 UK industries’, and celebrate the best of British blogs from both companies and individuals.

Now in its third year, the Awards offer individuals and companies the chance to promote their business and content, but also to network with other blogging professionals across a whole range of categories, including Digital & Technology; Education; 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 entered the Blog Awards for the first time last year and were delighted to be awarded ‘highly commended’ in the PR, Marketing, Media and Communications category. This represented a great achievement for us in what was our first full year of curating a blog.

However, this year we want to go one better and win! 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 25th of January at 9pm. It’s dead easy to vote too – just go to the Procurious profile on the UK Blog Awards website, and click ‘Vote Now’ at the top of the page. You can vote once per day for our entry (even from outside the UK), and 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!

What it means for Procurious

As we have said, the recognition last year from the UK Blog Awards was a big deal for us. Going on to the next stage and being shortlisted at a national level, and potentially being one of the judges’ picks will help to build awareness of Procurious both within the blogging community and across individuals and organisations.

As we build more awareness, and attract more people to the community, the networking opportunities for all our members grow, the richness of the discussions increase, and we can continue to provide high-quality, relevant content for all our members, plus all our followers on social media to read.

Details

If you want 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 or read the ‘Best of the Procurious Blog 2015’.

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