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:

Importance of logistics in supply chains: a micro perspective

TafaraSvosve.jpgToday companies face increasing levels of competitive pressure and challenges to maintain and improve profitability. There is also increasing pressure from customers and shareholders, necessitating that managers seek ways of reducing costs, while at the same time improving performance.

In a series of SmartProcurement articles, Tafara Svosve (Msc Supply Chain Management; CMILT) will focus on the role of logistics in supply chains. Our goal is to help our readers identify skills gaps they need to close to improve their logistics operations and, hopefully, improve the overall logistics performance index of their countries on a global scale.

Procurement and our KPIs

ShaunStoch.jpgMost of us working in procurement for a large organisation get new and updated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) every year. Shaun Stoch, Procurement Management at Maersk Line, often finds himself looking at his KPIs and asking the question: "where does this fit into the value chain and do my KPIs actually improve our product offering?

Digging a little deeper into the literature, Stoch found that the consensus seems to be that many organisations are still working with old procurement models and the real value of procurement is not visible to many executives - there remains a disconnect between procurement KPIs and organisational strategy.

However, he told SmartProcurement that this old mindset is slowly changing.

What can a procurement career provide to me?

LindaLin.jpgProcurement never came across to Linda Lin as a career. She had never even taken a single module relating to procurement at university, neither was it offered as a major/function during her business school education. Linda's heart lay with the world of marketing or strategy.

But that was until Linda joined Unilever as an assistant procurement manager. Three years later, Linda, now leading a market-based procurement role for Diageo in Southeast Asia, shares some learning and opportunities she would never have imagined...

5 pillars - a procurement blueprint for accelerating inclusive growth

Prof_MarcusAmbe.jpgSibongile_Shongwe.jpgThe ambition of creating a developmental state to transform the Apartheid economy has been hamstrung by an inability to implement transformation policies; it is a situation exacerbated by a lack of skills, competencies and capacity; and the patronage of corrupt procurement practices.

Prof. Marcus Ambe, from the University of South Africa's School of Public and Operations Management, in collaboration with Sibongile Shongwe, Director of MtileniMazi Enterprises, unpacks a procurement blueprint to accelerate inclusive growth and socio-economic development, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Part 3 - Does tertiary education kill the drive to start a small supplier?

CorneliaOlivier.jpgThe growth of small businesses in South Africa is severely affected by the institutional environment in which they operate. In this series of articles, Cornelia Olivier, Head of Sourcing: Corporate Services, Absa, looks at South Africa's institutional environment.

In the final part of the series, Olivier tells SmartProcurement how extending formal credit to household enterprises in South Africa supports a proportionate growth in the number of formally registered small businesses, but she is concerned that the country's education system may be cutting down our entrepreneurial ambitions...

How are you measuring your corporate travel ROI?

EuanMcNeil_HS.jpgTravel managers have traditionally been encouraged to keep their travel costs under control and to not use travel as a tool to achieve results.

These notions are being challenged by travel management companies, which believe that travel should be seen as an investment instead of purely a cost. After all, how can a business grow and achieve its goals without business travel?

In many company structures today, travel remains a fixed cost, lumped as a procurement department responsibility.

Digital transformation in procurement: how culture influences the successful implementation of a digital strategy

Jon_Hansen.jpgIn what Gartner has called the Postmodern ERP era, eProcurement technology and technology in general has become more accessible from both an availability and ease-of-use standpoint than it has been historically. However, does increased technological accessibility ensures success if cultural misalignment exists within an organisation?

Jon Hansen, Editor and lead writer for the Procurement Insights Blog, unpacks the digital revolution and corresponding cultural influences from procurement's point of view.

April PMI rises above Q1 average and exceeds 50-point mark

PMI_growth.jpgThe seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) erased the losses sustained in March and edged back above the neutral 50-point mark in April. The index rose by 4 points to reach 50.9 index points in April. This is relatively in line with the level recorded in February and above the average recorded during the first three months of the year.

The improvement in the headline PMI was driven by increases in four of the five key sub-components, with only the Supplier Deliveries Index dipping lower compared to March. However, with the exception of the New Sales Orders Index, which is firmly in positive terrain, the other four sub-components remained below the neutral 50-point mark, said the Bureau for Economic Research.

What is the true cost of unethical conduct?

XavierGreyling.jpg'Procurement irregularities' has taken 3rd place on Corruption Watch SA's Corruption Report 2017 (CRW2017). Coming in at 12% of the reported types of corruption, procurement irregularities trails bribery as the most common form of reported corruption (27% of cases).

However, CRW2017 does not define 'procurement irregularities', which caused Xavier Greyling (MCIPS) to question if procurement irregularities do in fact account for only 12% of the reported cases, and, faced with the possibility of a far higher figure - what role does procurement play in what is lost to corruption every day?


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