Professional Development

My #1 procurement career tip: be connected

IanColcroft_100.pngBy Ian Holcroft

As you move forward with your career, remember that it is not just about the number of connections that you have - it is about the quality of your connections. As the old adage goes: it is not about what you know, but who you know.

As the majority of us spend more time working from home in the 'new normal', being connected is more important than ever.

Women push to deliver more while juggling work and life amidst COVID-19

AkashniWeimers_100.pngBy Akashni Weimers

We have all encountered some degree of awareness, whether by experience or otherwise, of the challenges that women have faced in attaining positions of power and influence in key positions. At its core, many of these challenges are attributed to the ability of a woman to balance her work role and life.

COVID-19 poses a major threat to achieving/maintaining this balance. While working from home may have cut out the morning rush, or the frustrations of finding new nemeses within traffic jams on the daily, it has also replaced this 'extra' time with homework prep, online schooling and doing the laundry...all while ensuring that your toddler is not found swinging from a lampshade; and that breakfast is ready on time (phew!).

Renowned pan-Africanist and anti-corruption crusader PLO Lumumba to open landmark event

ASCA_125.pngRenowned Kenyan pan-Africanist, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba, has been confirmed as the opening keynote speaker at the upcoming Africa Supply Chain in Action (ASCA) event, Africa's biggest-ever virtual conference for supply chain and procurement professionals.

Companies' procurement skills woefully lacking

KateVitasek_100.jpgBy Kate Vitasek, Professor in Supply Chain Management, University of Tennessee

A report by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) outlines the critical skills gaps that face today's procurement professionals.

The good news is that companies have pushed procurement out of the back office and onto centre stage, accelerating the demand for skilled procurement talent. But the bad news is that today's procurement professionals lack the essential skills that they need to succeed. In addition, finding individuals with the right talent is getting harder and harder.

Africa's largest virtual conference for supply chain and procurement professionals coming in August

ASCA_125.pngSmartProcurement has joined forces with SAPICS to offer Africa's largest-ever online event for supply chain and procurement professionals.

Africa Supply Chain in Action takes place on 19 and 20 August 2020. It is expected to bring together more than 1 000 supply chain and procurement professionals.

The self-disruptive CPO: why we need a new kind of procurement leader

BernhardRaschke_100.jpegWhat kind of future-ready procurement leader is needed to survive a rapidly-changing business world? Only a few months ago, the stock market was looking strong and the ongoing trade war between China and the United States indicated future pressure on global supply chains. No one could have predicted that schools and universities would close, companies would tell their employees to work from home and people would be stockpiling toilet paper, of all things.

Supply chain management toolkit among the support measures launched by SAPICS

COVID-19_125.jpegTo support supply chain professionals and to ensure that they have the resources they need to maintain supply chains during the coronavirus crisis, supply chain management professional body SAPICS has launched a number of special support initiatives to aid the profession. This includes a supply chain management toolkit, helpline and collaboration platform.

'CPO' stands to become the Chief Purpose Officer through digital transformation

ChiefPurposeOfficer_300.jpgBy Dr Marcell Vollmer, Chief Digital Officer, SAP Ariba

How does a Chief Procurement Officer measure success?
In the past, executives responsible for sourcing, contracting, purchasing and payment gauged success chiefly on their ability to wring savings out of the value chain. Without question, reducing costs remains as crucial today as ever. But, with the advent of digital networks, Chief Procurement Officers find that they now have an exponentially greater opportunity to create value. By linking together buyers and suppliers in real time, digital networks allow procurement leaders to foster collaboration, spur innovation and drive much of the strategic value that fuels growth.

These activities, of course, can benefit the balance sheet. But there are others, equally important, that a spreadsheet cannot easily capture.

How procurement can change the world

ChangingTheWorld_150.jpegBy Rod Robinson, Founder and CEO, ConnXus

When I graduated from Wharton in 1995 and decided to pursue a career in management consulting at AT Kearney, I had grand visions of being assigned to an engagement helping one of our multinational clients grow revenue through a high-profile M&A transaction or other topline growth strategy. Instead, I was assigned to a global strategic sourcing engagement for one of the most recognisable corporate brands in the world. I didn't know what strategic sourcing was, but quickly learnt that it was an approach to supply chain management that enabled an organisation to leverage its consolidated purchasing power to optimise the value it received from suppliers. This is when I realised that procurement was an often overlooked area of hidden corporate value.

10 Best practices for procurement managers in 2020

LindaAshok_100.jpgBy Linda Ashok
A content, communications and branding professional

So many things are slated to change in 2020, the milestone year! But what matters most is your career; how is it going to prepare you as a procurement manager? Okay, let me clarify that there isn't any significant difference between a Purchasing or Procurement Manager. Of course, you know it because you are in the procurement arena already.

Typically, a procurement manager's job description entails the following:
• Partner with the category teams and leaders in developing and implementing strategies to drive significant value from the supplier base
• Conduct in-depth research on existing and emerging trends, identifying new technology/solutions, screening potential new suppliers, and performing complex analytical studies
• Manage relationships with key suppliers, developing negotiation strategies, and conducting negotiatio
• Lead critical process improvement projects and drive higher value for the operating companies.
• Consult internal functional areas such as marketing, R&D, operations, logistics, legal, and corporate functions

With such expectations in mind, an aspiring procurement manager must possess modern skillsets that organizations will seek in 2020. In this article, we cover both the elementary and advanced expectations from the role of a procurement manager.

The 5 key traits of a future-ready Finance Leader

AngelaMazzaTeufer_100.jpgBy Angela Mazza Teufer
Senior Vice President ERPM WE, ERPM North install base

Finance has always taken advantage of technology to improve productivity and collaboration. But with continuous innovation now driving our economy, the goalposts have moved. Today's organizations must adopt an agile finance operating model-- powered by emerging digital technologies and skillsets. The success of that model depends on 5 keys traits that the Finance Team must possess.

When Oracle and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) decided to follow up our look at the best finance organizations, we already knew that agile finance functions were taking advantage of cloud technologies to improve efficiency; centralize process management and subject matter expertise; make greater use of analytics to contribute insights; and deploy multi-disciplinary teams to partner with decision makers.

Talking to both agile finance pioneers and those in less-advanced organizations for the new report, Agile Finance Unleashed, we discovered even deeper links between successful business and digital finance transformation. And the conversations with CFOs successfully delivering operational excellence and strategic influence using digital intelligence led to five conclusions about what makes for effective, future-ready finance leaders.

This Halloween beware the scary, old-world CPO

TaniaSeary_100.jpgWith Halloween just past, it is time to consider whether your boss is scarier than your average ghoul or if your career is in the grip of a scary, old-world Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and thus doomed to wither...

Tania Seary, Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession - The Faculty, The Source and Procurious - takes a look.

Procurement perspectives: a procurement career pursuit is worth it

StephenBauld_100.jpgIrrespective of what you think about the way in which private- and public-sector procurement is conducted, the ultimate objective is the same. Creating 'value for money' is the most commonly used term among purchasing individuals.

Government procurement expert, Stephen Bauld, has spent half his career working with private-sector organisations and the other half working with various government agencies. He has come to realise that all procurement people strive to get the best deal that adheres to the policies and procedures of the organisation that they work for. In this month's SmartProcurement, Bauld takes a closer look at a career in procurement.

Behavioural procurement: a cognitive approach to people (soft) skills

DavidLoseby_100.jpgBy David Loseby

Behavioural procurement (BP) is a sub-field of behavioural economics and concerns itself with the application of behavioural science, social science, decision science and applied cognitive psychology to commercial activities.

For years the profession has talked about soft skills (I prefer to call them people skills) without a clear definition of what exactly soft skills are, and what should be applied and to what extent in a comprehensive and integrated way. The harsh reality is that the practice of applying soft skills is neither soft, simple nor easy and has often been neglected in terms of training and developing professionals both formally and informally.

Equally, it is clear that the four principal components in the context of supply chain and procurement activities, such as contract management, supply chain management and supplier relationship management, should embrace:
1. Process
2. Systems
3. Data
4. People

However, while 1, 2 and 3 can be delegated, the people component cannot.

6 strategies to rank as a procurement leader

LindaAshok_100.jpgIt is excellent if you have already gained a grip on procurement's changing landscape. If not, for many businesses, procurement remains quite intimidating. There are concerns about co-ordinating upstream and downstream processes. Risk management, supplier intelligence, advanced analytics and a drive towards innovation all suffer from disruptive digital transformation. "To keep up with the fast-changing supply chain landscape, a procurement leader has to have control over aspects that govern procurement", says Linda Ashok, a content, communications and branding professional.

10 things that I have learnt about mentoring Anzisha fellows

Louise1_125.jpgProcurement and supply chain professionals have such a broad range of skills and cross-functional business knowledge that it makes us all ideal mentors. Mentors share their professional knowledge/experiences and act as positive role models to mentees in need of some direction.

This is especially true when engaging with suppliers and mentoring young entrepreneurs partaking in enterprise supplier development (ESD) programmes. Small South African businesses are in desperate need of help...it will take some time and commitment, but the results are extremely rewarding.

Louise Paulsen, Consultant, Advisor, Director and Mentor in localisation and enterprise development shares what she has learnt while mentoring Anzisha Prize fellows remotely. The Anzisha Program is a partnership between the African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation; it seeks to increase the number of entrepreneurs generating jobs in Africa.

Adapt to survive and thrive

PrivesanNaidoo_100.jpgEssential skills for modern procurement teams

By Privesan Naidoo

Technological advances in the procurement industry will result in automating even the most complicated processes in the near future, which will save time and free up resources to unlock new opportunities. With these advances there will be less emphasis on hard skills, but there will be a shortage of soft skills, which will become more and more relevant. Procurement professionals will thus increasingly need to master soft skills to ensure a long-term career.

4 CPO futures

MatthiasGutzmann_100.jpgProcurement is under immense pressure to transform and reinvent itself. The role of the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and their teams in the future will look very different to how it looks today.

Matthias Gutzmann, Founder of Digital Procurement World, chatted to some procurement leaders and the conversations that ensued suggest that CPOs are at a turning point with four potential paths to follow: up, over, down or out.


 

 

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