In recent months, notable examples have emerged of the damage that can be caused when funders and public sector organisations enter into inappropriate funding structures. If you believe the critics of these partnerships between the public and private sector then it’s clear why: the private sector is seen to be driven by short-term profits, while the public sector seeks long-term social benefit.
These recent problems around funding partnerships, particularly in social housing, raise the question of how public organisations can attract the right funding partner for them and ensure the partnership has longevity. (more…)
It’s the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week. Unlike ‘real’ gardens, that are designed to improve over the years and last for tens of them, Chelsea gardens are designed to be perfect on day one and last for a week. I wondered what we as procurement practitioners could learn from these garden designers.
Garden designers: These guys are experts in their field and often chose a specialism so that they may develop their skills more deeply. They use all the tools of the trade, which are constantly being upgraded. They apply best practice, but rarely have the same outcome, choosing to learn from what went well – and didn’t – to continue to innovate and be more creative each year. (more…)
A recent article in the sports pages of a national paper gave me cause to think about the similarities between procurement and football.
The contrasting settlement terms of two prominent football club managers made me realise that in procurement, success is often quantified both in terms of what success looks like but also how it is rewarded. Failure, on the other hand, is often left to the contract administrator to deal with through remediation or severance terms. (more…)
This week I attended – and spoke at – Sainsbury’s fourth annual supplier conference and awards.
Alongside a host of speakers from the supermarket who addressed strategic suppliers on subjects from sustainability to logistics, online developments to customer insights, the opening presentation was given by a board director – this year, chief financial officer John Rogers.
As I said to the gathered group, strategic relationship management (SRM) doesn’t work without the support of those at the top. (more…)
My role with the London Olympics finally came to an end in March with a final report, a bit of a party and a few last words on a blog. Since the closure of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, I have had a bit more time to reflect on some of my other work.
For me, one of the big failures of London 2012 was to get to grips effectively with some of the ethical issues in the supply chain (despite some leading-edge work from LOCOG) and to address the question of ethical standards for sponsors. (more…)
I have put together 10 tips to help you on your next sourcing project in China. I have spent several years sourcing in China, including setting up and running representative offices for my employers in the UK. This is not a fully exhaustive list (I did have more than 30 tips, and a more detailed look at purchasing from the country will appear in an upcoming edition of SM) but they are the ones I thought most helpful to act as a checklist. (more…)
Outsourcing works when you embrace and understand the concept of a partnership approach with your chosen provider. Your partner must be seen as an integral extension of any retained function and treated in the same way as any other colleague. Only by understanding that success is a shared responsibility between you and the provider, not the sole responsibility of either party, will you be able to create a powerful platform for transformation. Outsourcing works when it is underpinned with a clear mandate and executive sponsorship from the business to effect change. Of course, if it was easy we would all be doing it. (more…)
Alex Martin is writing a series of blogs about studying part-time for an MBA. You can find his previous entries here.
My fellow students and I returned to a moderately sunny Geneva in April for an intense module in finance and management accounting. The regular five-hour drive from Mannheim in Germany was not too bad, and although I had left my winter tyres on the car in case it was still a little snowy in Switzerland, thankfully I was wrong.
Carried over from March was my assignment in macroeconomics and, as with all the previous modules, there was also a lot of preparation to be done for the next one. (more…)
We’re going back to basics with this post. I meet non-procurement specialists with procurement responsibilities that just need a ‘nudge’. SM readers should find this list helpful when advising their non-procurement’ colleagues. To set up and manage supplier (vendor or contractor) engagements is tough for some people who are outside procurement (which is why they need us) – especially because some suppliers are much better at bidding than they are at delivering the contract.
How do they get the core information they need to ensure a successful supplier engagement? Here’s a simple but incredibly effective checklist I recommend to our clients. These 10 simple questions will improve your colleagues’ approach to supplier engagements. Misaligned expectations are the number one cause of commercial disputes. (more…)
Chief procurement officers have long viewed business process outsourcing (BPO) as a way to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
BPO, however, can do so much more than that. Today, leaders in this space are increasingly looking at BPO as a way of adding value, enabling their procurement functions to play a more strategic role in the business. This involves using their BPO relationships to provide business insight, innovation, and solutions, not just cost cut. (more…)