Category Archives: Procurious News

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!

Getting the Most out of Procurious in 2016

A very Happy New Year from everyone at Procurious HQ.

2016

We hope you enjoyed the festive break, survived the family Christmas and dodgy TV scheduling, managed to relax and have come back to work ready to continue the good work we kicked off in 2015.

Procurious has gone from strength-to-strength over the past 12 months, with our community growing to a fantastic 9,750 members. But the work isn’t even half done yet – we want to continue growing and get even more procurement and supply chain professionals as possible on the site.

Get the Most out of Procurious

If you’re new to the site, or have resolved to squeeze as much from Procurious as you can in the coming year, then here are a few top tips for you:

1. Complete your Profile

If you haven’t already, make sure your profile is complete and up to date. Social media profiles with a picture get around 25 per cent more interaction than those without, so add a good picture.

Make sure you complete your location, industry and category, as well as your work experience, so you can get the most from the community by connecting with people you have common interests and work with.

2. Link Your Social Media Profiles

2016 is the year for procurement to push ahead with its efforts in social media. If you have a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account, link it with your profile.

Not sure where to get started with social media? Make starting this your aim for January! Procurious can help with that, and offer you and your organisation a tool to boost your brands.

3. Download the App

If you didn’t know already, Procurious is launching an app! Keep an eye out for announcements on when the app will go live, but it’s sure to be worth the wait. It’s only for iOS at the moment, but we’ll be looking to roll out a version for Android later in the year so no-one misses out.

It’ll be free to download and it means you can take Procurious with you wherever you go!

4. Find a Networking Event

January is a great time to start looking for events you can attend in the early part of the year. Check out the Procurious Events Calendar and see if there is something in your area – this is a great way to connect with fellow Procurians too.

Have we missed one? Let us know and we can add it in.

5. Start or Contribute to a Discussion

Procurious members started over 400 discussions last year, and provided an amazing 2000+ answers for these burning questions. We picked out the most popular Discussions of 2015 – you can read about them here.

If you have a burning question or want to share your thoughts, and you can’t find the question already, then take the opportunity to do this now!

6. Join a Group

Find a Group that is specifically for your category, location or job and connect. Can’t find one for you? Why not create one and invite people to join.

If you’re not sure which Groups are currently on Procurious, check out our article on getting the most out of them.

7. Top Up Your Skills

Check out the Learning hub for a huge selection of fascinating and insightful videos and podcasts. We have over 80 eLearning resources from a variety of well-known professionals, renowned thought leaders and forward thinking organisations – best of all, they are all free to download!

From an Introduction to Procurement, to the future of procurement and all the content from the Big Ideas Summit 2015, there is something for everyone.

If you think we’re missing something, let us know.

8. Write for Us!

Over the past 18 months, 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 you to have a shot!

Get involved with Procurious by sending us an idea for a guest blog article and you could be published on the site this year. Get all the information you need here.

That’s more than enough to keep you all busy for the first few weeks of this year! We are dedicated to developing Procurious for our members, so if you think there is something missing from the site, or something that could improve it, get in touch. We always love to hear from our members!

2015 Rewind – Best of the Blog: Being at the Table – A CPO’s Tale of Woe

Our final rewind comes courtesy of one of our guest writers and friends of Procurious, Giles Breault. The article, originally shared on LinkedIn discusses what procurement needs to do to take its seat at the table.

Being at the Table – A CPO’s tale of woe

 

Some days ago while having a business lunch the topic of “being at the table” arose. It was our client’s fervent hope that as a newly appointed CPO, (a move that presumably underlined the importance of procurement) he one day would sit as a peer at the EXCOM table contributing to the strategy, growth and performance of the business. Well, thinks I, what a wonderful place to consider the notion of being at the table, while being at a luncheon table myself. It got me to thinking of the roles and responsibilities of those at and around the table.

The Options

Of course there are those whose knowledge, experience, and position, earn them a right to 1) be at the table and direct the actions of others, but there are also others at work in this community. There are those who 2) serve the table and whose unique knowledge and skills answer the call for action from those seated. Then, there is 3) the chef whose specialised skills provide the provender for consideration, and lastly there is that which is 4) to be eaten (a role that I vaguely felt myself as having held a few times).

I further reflected on how many times I heard this same refrain from many CPOs whose pre-dominant career objective was to be recognised for contributing to the business at the highest level and ultimately report as a board level peer.  Moreover, I thought back on the many organisations I have come across where the “vital” role of procurement was often tucked way neatly in the CFO shop or Business Services shop where the chance of ever getting a seat at the executive table was remote at best.

Given the fact that procurement is now recognised as a key stakeholder in organisational performance, what is holding it back from somehow being fully accepted into the community of senior leaders? While no answer is fully sufficient in a short blog, a couple of themes have emerged over the years in our work with organisations going through their own procurement transformation.

While business knowledge and acumen are the principle differentiators between those around the EXCOM table and those not, there is something more fundamental that is separating the procurement leader from the full approbation of their business colleagues. To put it back in the frame of my table metaphor,

“You don’t belong seated if you still sound like a waiter”.

And that is the essential point.

The Prerequisites

Two major things must occur that help propel procurement organisations to the senior level of strategy. Firstly, procurement must lose the connection to purchase orders. I hear some of you shouting “Heresy!”, but what I mean is that the procurement leader has an extraordinary difficulty of representing him/herself as a strategic player when the next topic of conversation is; “What is your order placement efficiency?“ Every effort should be made not to own any portion of the operative procurement cycle.

Secondly and most importantly, is the fact that procurement organisations often make a vital error by creating a separate strategy for themselves that does not altogether align with the strategy of the business. What is more, is that the strategy is often unclear how it contributes to the business in a way that satisfies more than just the finance manager.

We often find that procurement leaders speak a different language from that of other senior business leaders. While they speak of category strategies, the business is interested in how real projects bring value to their organisations. While they speak of vendor management and control the business is seeking out how external innovations can help fuel business growth.

The Solution

We advocate two distinct approaches to these dilemmas.

Firstly, develop a strategy that links to the business and directly connects benefits generated to your internal clients. We call these the pillars of successful strategic procurement and the steps are broadly as follows:

  1. Create a procurement strategy directly linked to the company’s goals
  2. Embed the annual procurement cycle into the company business cycle
  3. Drive “Lighthouse” projects directly supporting internal business clients
  4. Pull value through by having the ability to directly influence team actions
  5. Ensure that reporting is visible to your customer and ideally conducted by an organisation other than procurement

Secondly, develop an improved process of understanding the needed innovations required by your ultimate customer and significantly improve the way innovations are sought, collected, evaluated and ultimately adopted from the supplier base. We call this call the Trading Relationship Management process, and Procurement has a natural home at the heart of it.

While there is no guarantee that armed with these dual capabilities, there will be instant recognition of procurement as a future EXCOM member. However what is certain, is that Procurement will begin to demonstrate that it is not just generating business wide savings but can show where and how that value is generated and most importantly how such benefits accrue directly to internal stakeholders. Likewise other business leaders will also recognise procurement’s role as the conduit to supplier enabled innovation. Taken together, these elevate the strategic language of the function.

I explored these ideas with my lunch guest who understood and recognised how important it was for his team to strategically transform, but like so many such discussions it had to be cut short due to pressing issues at the client’s facility (I think he had to go check how many requisitions had been placed that day).