Are procurement leaders intellectually lazy when forming African strategies?

MorneMostert.jpgAfrica is deeply dichotomous. This reality confronts any procurement leader when addressing the question of African distinctiveness in the process of long-term strategic decision-making, says Dr Morne Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Procurement and the 4th Industrial Revolution

DanBartel.jpgHow can the procurement function adapt to the new reality of Industry 4.0? What can procurement leaders do to lead the change?

To explore possible answers to these questions, Dan Bartel, Group SVP, Head of Procurement & Logistics/Chief Procurement Officer, ABB, unpacks Industry 4.0 in the context of Klaus Schwab's 2016 book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which Schwab (World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman) identifies four significant effects of Industry 4.0 on businesses across industries.

6 things to consider before you purchase any procurement technology

DanQuinn.jpgThinking of investing in some of the latest procurement technology? If you have not consulted market trends, got a third opinion and done all of your research, you might want to pull on the reins, advises Dan Quinn, Senior Vice President of cloud-based spend management provider Jaggaer (Middle East and North America).

Leadership Profile: Mark Kuipers

MarkKuipers.PNGThis month SmartProcurement profiles Mark Kuipers, Chief Director: Capacity Building, National Treasury and Chairman of the SCM Council.

The SCM Council seeks to professionalise supply chain management (SCM) within South Africa - making it a discipline governed by national SCM norms, standards and principles. The Council engages with SCM stakeholders to unpack leading practices and strategies that can be used to qualify SCM practitioners in the country.

Currently an 'Interim SCM Council', it was launched as a collaborative effort between National Treasury's Chief Directorate: Capacity Building, within the Office of the Accountant-General (OAG), and the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO). A fully-fledged SCM Council will be established in terms of the Public Procurement Bill as soon as it is enacted.

When supplier-employee relationships cross the line

RudiKruger.jpgProcurement fraud can be committed by employees acting alone or in collusion with suppliers. Fraudulent activities between suppliers and employees create a host of challenges for the business if allowed to continue under the radar.

With this threat, the onus rests with organisations to create a culture where fraudulent activities are easily identified and dealt with.

In this month's SmartProcurement, Rudi Kruger, General Manager of Data Services, LexisNexis South Africa, explains some of the ways in which employees collude with vendors.

Rewards of digital supply chains obscure dangers

AbdulMahomed.jpgJust as digital supply chains bring rewards, they also bring dangers. Supply chain managers are always on the lookout for corruption, but in the digital age the clues are harder to spot, warns Dr Abdul Majid Mahomed, Head of Professional Body CIPS, SA.

Forget everything you know about strategic sourcing

KellyBarner.jpgAn early look at Ardent Partners' CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence report revealed that, for the first time this year, sourcing has fallen out of the top 10 strategies employed by leading Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs).

Kelly Barner, Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point, an online resource for procurement and purchasing professionals, discusses how we can rediscover strategic sourcing's potential for value-driven spend management.

The CPO agenda: the procurement team and CPO of the future - will you be ready?

Mediacy.jpgGiven the rapidly changing business environment facing all industries, the role of the procurement function and specifically the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) will need to adapt and change. Will you be ready for the future?

A panel at the Smart Procurement World Western Cape Conference grappled with this very question.

Having leaned on procurement to cut costs during the recession, said the panel, enlightened Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are now leveraging the office of the CPO more effectively to generate value that goes beyond just cost savings.

The panel agreed that it goes without saying that procurement should be a strategic function. Yet, procurement professionals continue to struggle to justify why they deserve a seat at the top.

Mediacy Mudekwa, Head of Content, Smart Procurement World, unpacks why some procurement functions fail the value test and thus fail to occupy a seat at the top.

PMI retreats, but Q2 averages higher than Q1

SA_manufacturing.jpgThe seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped back to just below the neutral 50-point mark in May. The index declined to 49.8 index points, down from 50.9 in April. Despite the fall, the average level of 50.4 points recorded during the first two months of Q2, 2018, is not only above the neutral 50-point mark, but also higher than the 49.2 index points registered in Q1, 2018. This bodes well for a recovery in the manufacturing sector, after manufacturing output contracted on a quarter-on-quarter basis in Q1, 2018.

Blockchain: what are the opportunities for Procurement?

Bertrand_Malteverne.jpgBy Bertrand Maltaverne, a Solutions Consultant who helps organisations digitally transform their procurement practices.

To be honest, I haven't totally figured out all of the details of the inner workings of the blockchain technology. And I do not think I will ever try to as some of it is very technical. I also do not believe that Procurement professionals should do it either. However, it is important to understand the implications of the blockchain technology. Because of the way the blockchain works, it has unique characteristics that represent a breakthrough with tremendous value for Procurement.

How do 9 CPOs improve relationships with their business partners?

Fabian_Ziegler.pngMatthias Gutzmann recently came across a quote from Fabian Ziegler, the CPO for Shell, at this year's World Procurement Congress in London who said, "Procurement is a relationship business." An article by Steve Kiefer, GM's purchasing chief, called "Relationships Matter" echoes this sentiment.

Fabian's quote is especially resonant because building business relationships - both internally and externally - is so critical to procurement's business success, today and in the future. Sure, other functions also require strong relationship-building skills, but as procurement's definition of value is evolving from "savings only" to "value beyond savings," these (soft) skills are paramount for procurement to deliver on this new promise.

Given the relevance of this topic, Gutzmann, the Vice President of Old Street Labs (the creators of Vizibl - a platform that links buyers and sellers to aid supplier management and collaboration) wanted to explore further and reached out to his fellow CPO friends to see how they improve relationships with their business partners.

Here is what they said:


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