If you are struggling to get buy-in from stakeholders on your latest project or your project team needs help in ensuring the right decision is being made have you tried Edward De Bono’s ‘six thinking hats’ from his book of the same name?
This is a simple, systematic and effective way of getting buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure the right decision is being made. It eliminates the big egos, gets full participation and helps reduce bad and off-the-cuff decision-making. (more…)
Understanding the time required in a procurement activity is possibly the single most important driver in the whole procurement undertaking. Too many people believe that an arbitrary time can be allocated to the procurement process and are always surprised when the process overruns and has a myriad of issues to be resolved.
Recognising that the business has a need that drives the procurement activity, depending on whether the need is immediate or planned, will often drive the generosity in size of the procurement time window. The procurement function needs to respond in a timely manner but the old adage ‘act in haste, repent at leisure’ is very apt. (more…)
In the past few weeks, a number of retailers have come under fire for forcibly requesting incremental discounts on invoices in return for more prompt payment.
With UK businesses already facing tough times, practices like these not only exacerbate cash-flow issues for suppliers but also damage relationships and increase supply chain risk. (more…)
When the subject of procurement fraud comes up, the most obvious question is how difficult is it to spot?
But the chances are you have witnessed potential signs of procurement fraud in everyday working life, so look out for those potential ‘red flags’.
It should be noted a red flag is an indicator there may be issues or concern, but doesn’t necessarily mean there is fraud. (more…)
Here is a dilemma for you – would you accept a friend request on Facebook from your boss?
On one hand you are a professional and want to keep it that way. On the other, if you declined the request, would there be repercussions at work?
A survey by Fierce, Inc, in the US of over 800 Facebook users revealed most succumb and accept a request from a manager, despite feeling uncomfortable. (more…)
Supplier failures have a habit of catching their customers unprepared and making the wrong type of headlines. When I wrote in January that sustainability would be a theme for procurement in 2013, little did I imagine it would be the European meat trade that would be providing the headlines. The disturbing news stories of contaminated meat being found in products across Europe underlines the importance of a robust supplier quality programme that goes beyond your first tier suppliers. (more…)
Margaret Thatcher’s premiership arguably heralded the biggest changes in the public sector since the second world war. But with the benefit of a vantage point in the Cabinet Office and then the Treasury for eight of the 11 years of her government, my perception is that the initiatives and reforms were practical responses to issues that had to be tackled.
What Baroness Thatcher did was create the environment for innovation and initiative – doing what had hitherto been unthinkable. This was leadership. Only towards the end of her premiership – and probably largely afterwards, did people rationalise these initiatives into a philosophy called ‘Thatcherism’. (more…)
It’s surprising how many companies still struggle with contract compliance enforcement and performance tracking. Ineffective contract management costs businesses £100 billion per year in missed cost savings, according to the Aberdeen Group.
What’s the biggest roadblock? It’s complicated, hard work that requires buy-in from the entire procurement team. (more…)
Alex Martin is writing a series of blogs about studying part-time for an MBA. You can find his previous entries here.
Module three of my MBA was all about macroeconomics – global economic trends and international economics – a topic I have no background in whatsoever. But I had purchased a book that was recommended to familiarise myself. I managed to read some chapters out of those suggested as I was still working on my strategy paper from module two. (more…)
According to the 19th century proverb, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I am not sure that some big food and toiletry brands will agree, after research from Which? revealed that a fifth of its members have bought an own-label product by mistake because it looked similar to a big brand.
We’ve all been there, a mad dash around the supermarket and you pick up what you think is Head & Shoulders or Coco Pops – two of the products which have similar own-brand packaging – only to find when you get home it is the retailer’s ‘copycat’ product. (more…)