May 2, 2013
While six-figure bonuses and bottles of Bollinger appear to hold the key to motivating those on the trading floors of investment banks and hedge funds, those in more modest areas of work require slightly lower key incentives.
A survey of 2,000 managers by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that injecting a bit of sunshine into their day doesn’t require such audacious gifts as a 1990 VV Francaise. (more…)
April 3, 2013
Two weeks ago it was Pot Noodles. Now, as The Sun reports today, Hornby model aeroplanes will once again be ‘made in Britain’. The great re-shoring of manufacturing has begun.
OK, that might be jumping the gun a bit. There’s still quite a lot going on in India and China. And businesses in Eastern Europe and Taiwan still have plenty of UK customers. But it is very interesting to see a trickle of firms favouring the greater control, proximity and traceability that comes with going domestic, over the lower cost, but potentially riskier option of contracting suppliers in other continents. (more…)
March 26, 2013
The Pope is really doing his bit to show that despite becoming God’s representative on earth, he is still very much an everyman.
Yesterday, it was reported that a newsagent in Buenos Aires was stunned when Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio to his friends, rang to cancel his newspaper order (because he was taking up new quarters in the Vatican).
Unsurprisingly, newsagent Luis Del Regno thought it was a hoax, but the Pope insisted it was him: “Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio, I’m calling you from Rome,” he is reported to have said. (more…)
March 11, 2013
Last week, SM reported the comments of AstraZeneca CPO Ashley Readshaw, who suggested procurement suffers from a ‘victim mentality’ that is stopping the profession from attracting top talent.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether this is the case or not. But what I feel fully qualified to discuss, though, is the complete loss of sense and perspective that occurs when a victim mentality fully takes hold. (more…)
March 5, 2013
Over recent weeks the world has gone crazy for the Harlem Shake. The craze has seen many thousands of people upload their own version of themselves and their friends, colleagues or random strangers dancing along to DJ Baauer’s track, and it has received so much attention that you’d have to have been down a mine not to have noticed.
But, as the BBC reports, even miners (now ex-miners) have caught the bug. And while it looks like they’re having fun in the video, their expressions will have certainly soured since. In the eyes of the company their antics were a clear breach of health and safety, so up to 15 staff have had their employment terminated. (more…)
February 26, 2013
I learned two valuable things yesterday as I watched yesterday’s football match between West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur from the comfort of my sofa.
First of all, never turn down the opportunity of a ticket. Second – and more pertinent to procurement professionals – never underestimate just how valuable a single individual can be. (more…)
February 13, 2013
While the food market and its supply chain possess a number of unique aspects, it is also governed by many of the simple truths that apply to every industry and market, the biggest being the role of profit margins.
The price an item is sold at must be higher than the cost to produce it. (more…)
February 6, 2013
‘Gamification’ is quite the in-thing these days. Apps such as FourSquare have, for millions
of users, turned mundane everyday tasks, such as grabbing a coffee, into a literal game of life. Go to
the same coffee shop, bar or gym more times than anyone else and you can become ‘mayor’ of that establishment and receive rewards.
I’ve never actually tried FourSquare as the spoils just don’t provide me with sufficient incentive, but do see the appeal of the concept. That concept popped into my head once again on Monday as I was attending this week’s Business Travel Show. (more…)
January 29, 2013
A lack of success criteria in the modern office has provided enough shades of grey for mobster-like bosses to flourish through narcissistic, Machiavellian and even psychopathic behaviour, according to a book published next month.
In Office Politics, psychologist and broadcaster Oliver James, proposes three less-than-complimentary personality types that he has encountered among white collar workers in the office – the psychopath, the Machiavel and the narcissist. (more…)
January 23, 2013
In or out of the European Union? That is the question David Cameron has promised to give the people of the UK the chance to answer.
In a speech at Bloomberg HQ this morning, the Prime Minister said his party would put negotiating a better deal for Britain’s role in the EU, front and centre of its manifesto for 2015.
If successful in winning a majority, it would then launch a referendum, simply asking should Britain be in or out of the EU. By extension, the referendum would also be asking whether or not EU procurement rules would continue to impact on UK buyers. (more…)