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 Brave CPO: Deleveraging the Organisation’s Finances

Aligning CFO and CPO strategy to manage  organisational debt A guide for CEO’s, CFO’s and CPO’s to improve liquidity, credit ratings and borrowing capacity What’s in it for you? Strengthen balance sheet and finance fundamentals Reading time: 10 minutes 1. Introduction: As many industries still struggle to find indicators pointing towards sustainable economic recovery, they face uncertainty over future growth and how to manage the lengthy process of debt reduction,

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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,

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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

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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

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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 minutes 1. 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

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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:

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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 advantage What’s in it for you? Improved sourcing effectiveness and value from your supply base Reading time: 15 minutes 1. 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

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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 minutes Preface: 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

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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 responsibility What’s in it for you? Improved risk and reputation management in your supply chain  Reading time: 15 minutes Peer 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

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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 key factor in creating procurement success. In the Supply Management article ‘The Lifeblood of Procurement,’ the writer makes the point that “people that do the work, people – not computers, strategies, or ‘world-class’ tools and templates”. It is one of the reasons why many procurement transformation efforts fail, resulting in “yet another transformation” effort a few years

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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 plan Provides structure through which the project objectives of the organization are met Provides structured relationships between stakeholders Provides means of monitoring project performance Leading procurement organizations have recognized the commitment required to achieve these objectives goes beyond processes and education: Visible

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Strategic Outsourcing – Part 1

The ‘make or buy’ decision is still at the heart of business strategy A 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 minutes Introduction: 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

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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 negotiate Part #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 minutes Introduction: 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

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