Thought Zone

Inspiration for Procurement Professionals

Thought Zone

thought-zone-backgroundWe believe in and are passionate about procurement and the supply chain. We think about it a lot. It’s what we do.

Because suppliers provide the majority of your company’s goods and services; their bottom line impact is significant and your organizations next breakthrough may come from your suppliers, not R&D to drive growth. 

Here we share some key thoughts to call you to action…

The Future of Procurement Scene 2: Shaping the Team

Balancing Procurement Bench Strength:In the previous post “Commanding the Stage” we discussed the players that are already shaping procurements future with whom the CPO must engage and command the stage.Here we discuss the CPO’s talent pool and the players they can select to ensure they have the strongest bench. In scene two, we introduce the critical actors available to the CPO when building their bench strength. Namely: Technicians, Managers Problem

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The Brave CPO: Optimising Cost for Value:

It’s About Cost Management Not Just Spend Management:What’s it about?CPO’s must link procurement strategies to value by developing a much deeper understanding of their organisations cost structure, and then develop a more strategic approach to managing cost to avoid damaging panic cost reduction programs in diifficult times.1. Introduction:Their organisations ability to compete over the long term is a key concern to CEO’s everywhere. Those organisations that have successfully steered their

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The Brave CPO: Mastering Collaboration

Collaborations strategic value proposition can unlock the door to innovation and sustainable growth, CEO’s and CPO’s must turn the key A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on how procurement can play a lead role in partner collaboration to secure a sustainable competitive advantage   What’s in it for you?Discover why developing a collaborative capability will support sustainable growth and higher margins, and why making Supply Management a Core Competency will

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The Brave CPO: Creating Procurement Entrepreneures

A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on how their procurement organisation can develop an entrepreneurial role and capabilities to capture innovation and support of growth.What’s in it for you?Competitive advantage and growth Reading time:10 minutes1. Introduction“You don’t make money when you sell you make it when you buy”This metaphor suggests that it is at the time of buying when you set yourself up for future profits and recognises that the

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The Brave CPO: Leading Business Growth

A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on how leading procurement practices can make a powerful contribution to their company’s plan for growth.   What’s in it for you?Discover why developing capability in supply management will provide powerful fuel for growth, and why making Supply Management a Core Competency will provide a real competitive edge and prevent your company being disadvantaged in supply markets. Reading time:15 minutes 1. Introduction:During the downturn, smart CEO’s

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Global Sourcing

A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on how global sourcing can contribute to  business objectives for sustainable competitive advantageWhat’s in it for you?Improved sourcing effectiveness and value from your supply base Reading time:15 minutes1. Introduction:Global sourcing has become an economic imperative for many organisations. Increased competition, globalisation, and the desire to enter developing markets overseas to drive growth  have driven a greatly increased level of international sourcing. However, simply

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The Brave CPO: Leading on Innovation

Innovation Centred Procurement:We explain how CPO’s can make the connection with the top line.What’s in it for you?Increased value from from procurement and your suppliers by capturing innovation.  Reading time:15 minutesPreface:Except for a small number of select organisations, the buy side of innovation remains greatly under-exploited which can damage the company’s innovation pipeline. For the CEO, it can mean lower growth and reduced business performance. For the CPO,  it means

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Procurement: Greening the Machine

A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on why procurement is a key capability in developing advantage via corporate social responsibilityWhat’s in it for you? Improved risk and reputation management in your supply chain  Reading time: 15 minutesPeer pressure, tougher legislation, a rise in global sourcing combined with increased consumer and stakeholder awareness and concern, has served to drive CSR increasingly centre stage on the corporate agenda. CSR is now

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Procurement Capability: People Matter Most

There is no shortage of procurement experts prepared to offer their unique recipe for successful procurement transformation. Experts will offer improved processes, better use of technology, the need for management support, yet many procurement functions find lasting success elusive. Why is this?Because it’s the people that matter most.1. Its about the people stupid!They forget transformation does not happen simply by providing the “tools”, it’s always the people that are the

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Category Management: 7 Steps to Establish Governance

Strong effective governance defining the way work gets done is critical to implementing Category Management in any organization.Without it turf wars will ensue and the implementation initiative will likely lose its way.So what is Category Management Governance?At its core any governance structure is about “decision rights”, but it is much more than that. Setting up governance needs , frameworks, plans, organization, and process to define the ‘rules’, direct work, have clear responsibilities, communicate, monitor, control and judge success:Ensures alignment of projects with organization’s strategic planProvides structure through which the project objectives of the organization are metProvides structured relationships between stakeholdersProvides means of monitoring project performanceLeading procurement organizations have recognized the commitment required to achieve these objectives goes beyond processes and education:Visible executive support including time, interest and supportive interventions.Clearly defined

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The New CPO’s F100D

The CPO’s chair has become a true corporate hot seat with an average tenure of a CPO of four years or less. The first 100 days (F100D) in this hot seat can set the tone for the months ahead, and the F100D of a new role can be stressful; How bad are things? What are the expectations of me? Will I fit the culture? Do I have what it takes to do the job? Can I win support to make the changes required?These are all natural questions and concerns which are only amplified by the changing role of procurement, the ways in which it supports the organization, and what it takes to lead this complex function.In this post I will attempt to answer for the first time the following questions:Why

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Strategic Outsourcing – Part 1

The ‘make or buy’ decision is still at the heart of business strategyA guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s on developing a formal outsourcing strategy to support their core business goals What’s in it for you? Discover how to take control of outsourcing by developing a systematic outsourcing methodology as a core sourcing management tool in your organization.Reading time: 10 minutesIntroduction:Businesses globally are under pressure like never before to meet strategic goals, reduce costs, provide efficiency improvements and even survive. In response many CEOs are committed to outsource as many of their non-strategic operations as possible over the next few years. Yet most companies do not have a formal process by which to do so. CPO’s should therefore ensure they have an outsourcing strategy for their organization or risk having

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The Corporation as a Negotiating Entity – Part 3

The last in a three part guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and purchasing leaders on developing a corporate level capability to negotiatePart #3: “Dealing with Backdoor Selling”What’s in it for you? Ensure your company is organized and equipped to maintain the upper hand in negotiation by controlling information to maintain power and maximise negotiating outcomes.Reading time: 10 minutesIntroduction:If your organizations procurement has not been radically overhauled during the last 10 years, then the chances are that a large portion of your supply base will have been exploiting you for years, and without the resolve and skills to tackle these suppliers they will be intent on continuing to exploit you.One of the ways this exploitation occurs is through “backdoor selling” which suppliers deploy to undermine procurements and the buying organizations leverage during

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