Talent News

Keep up to date with industry news, general articles and latest research!

Success continues for our students

Thursday 6th June 2019

Another successful exam period here at The Procurement Academy for our CIPS students. Nearly all of our students have achieved merits or distinctions, which is a huge credit to their hard work. The pass rate at our approved study centres was a fantastic 95%. A special congratulations is needed for our Diploma students at Sheffield who achieved not only a 100% pass rate like Nottingham but a 100% Distinction pass rate. This is down to the hard work of the students and our brilliant tutor, Reg Dyson. The 100% pass rate at Nottingham, is also down to the excellent efforts of the students but the knowledge passed on from our tutor Mike Donnelly certainly helped them on their way. Are you interested in studying for CIPS? We would love for you to join in on the success of our students and get on your way to achieving MCIPS status. Want to know more? Check out our CIPS page or Get in touch via the Contact form, calling on 0113 4333495 or emailing us at admin@theprocurementacademy.com.…

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Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?

Friday 3rd May 2019

Is it about time we stopped dancing around our handbags? The operations expert is charged with writing a specification for an operational activity that is to be carried out by an external provider. This will be provided to procurement. Procurement will interpret the specification as part of a tender or RFQ, and provide a set of standard contract terms. Following bid submission, the process of bid evaluation will take place. The bid evaluation will result in a contract award that forming a legally building contract between the organisation and the provider. The contract will be handed to the operations expert to manage both operationally and contractually and commercially. Does this sound familiar? Now, according to CIPS, a specification is the means of defining the requirement, communicating the requirement; supports standardisation and consistency; minimises risk and cost, and importantly provides a method of evaluating the quality or performance. Has anybody told the operations expert this? What about critical success factors that ensure delivery of the specification will be achieved through the life of the contract, particularly the obligations of both parties? Has anybody told the operations expert this? Surely there are clearly defined and agreed KPI's that drive performance, continuous improvement recognises excellent performance but may require compensation in the event of poor performance, compensation that would genuinely reflect the actual losses to either party for non-performance? Has the operations expert considered this? These measures are not just a nice to have either we use them by capturing data and review them, or we may as well not have them. The specification should inform how this will happen, and who is responsible. The operations expert may have to be aware of this. Research by IACCM (International Association for Contract & Commercial Management) suggests that 77% of contractual issues related to the scope of work or changes to the scope of work. Is it time for a more collaborative approach to specification creation?…

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Apprenticeships, where everyone is a winner.

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

The Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard in Commercial Procurement & Supply is proving a great success with hundred of Apprentices currently taking endpoint assessments, after starting the programme 12 months ago. So who are the winners? Participants Achieving CIPS Level 4 Diploma supported by applied / action learning in the workplace as well as the support of a qualified coach. Employers Here at The Procurement Academy, nearly half of our Level 4 Diploma candidates, have their tuition funded by the Levy. Is this the solution to the talent pool shortage in Procurement & Supply? It appears to be, as many employers are looking for a cost-effective process to develop their teams in an increasingly uncertain commercial environment. As part of the Level 6 Trailblazer Group, we are seeing demand increasing for higher-level apprenticeships leading to full MCIPS award. For entry-level candidates, the CIPS Advanced Certificate is being considered as part of a Level 3 procurement apprenticeship standard currently going through the final stages of development. This could lead to a development programme for entry-level to Chartered Status derived from apprenticeship standards. This is just what employers on our Trailblazer groups are looking for. For more information or assistance, just drop me an email: mandy@theprocurementacademy.com…

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Do you want to upskill your procurement function?

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Do you want to upskill your procurement function? In procurement and want to get yourself ready for the next role? Working outside procurement & supply and would like to progress you career in the procurement & supply chain field? • Materials Management • Finance • Stores & warehousing Want to know what 'good' procurement is in other organisations? Want a formal qualification leading to MCIPS? Applied 'best practice' learning in your work environment? Do you tick any of these boxes? If so, the Level 4 Standard in Commercial Procurement & Supply could be the perfect way to taking your next step in your career. The Standard describes the skills, knowledge and behaviours that an individual requires to be fully competent in an occupation. To complete the apprenticeship you will study for the CIPS exams with the end point assessment consisting of: A Project Report - The Project Report will be based on a workplace project which has a focus on two elements of the procurement cycle and has a word count of approximately 5000 words. This must be broad enough to enable application of all the knowledge, skills and behaviours you have learned. Presentation & Questioning - 10-minute presentation around your work role and responsibilities This will be followed by a 30-minute questioning session which will include a minimum of one question from each of the knowledge, skills and behaviours sections. For more information, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website with the link below. https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/commercial-procurement-and-supply-formerly-public-sector-commercial-professional/ or speak to us about how we help you onto the apprenticeship programme http://www.theprocurementacademy.com/qualifications/apprenticeships Call us on 0113 433 3495 or email us at admin@theprocurementacademy.com…

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Procurement apprenticeships? How does that work?

Friday 22nd February 2019

Many people still have a pre-existing idea of what an apprenticeship entails but in today's world, they are a completely reformed and exciting method of advancing one's career. No longer just for the 16-18-year-old school leavers but people of all ages looking to develop their skills and capability. This initiative has been produced to improve productivity in the UK by bridging skills gaps identified by British employers. This benefits employers and employees by developing their skills and their careers in Procurement and Supply. This is a new approach to a new syllabus which could land you a new career, how does that sound? For more information, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships website with the link below. https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/commercial-procurement-and-supply-formerly-public-sector-commercial-professional/ or speak to us about how we help you onto the apprenticeship programme http://www.theprocurementacademy.com/qualifications/apprenticeships Call us on 0113 433 3495 or email us at admin@theprocurementacademy.com…

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Where is your next procurement colleague coming from?

Wednesday 9th January 2019

According to the Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report fourth edition 2018, "skills shortages remain prevalent". With 56% of responders facing challenges in finding the right talent, 21% saw a top challenge being competition from other employers. A further insight is that 30% of respondents were looking to change jobs within the next 12 months. With the challenges and opportunities facing UK supply chains following whatever Brexit will be in the end, the last thing we need is unfilled vacancies in procurement and supply chain functions. So where are we looking for soft skills such as communication and relationship management that we advertise as part of a skill set requirement but quite often even with higher salaries and increasing recruitment costs just end up with more of what we have already got? I have a suggestion: we should have a look at the skills and attitudes within our own organisation in stores, manufacturing or sales; we should use the apprenticeship programs now available to obtain the technical skills and deliver a cost-effective and reliable solution. A Procurement Apprenticeship Standard at Level 4 encompassing the CIPS level 4 Diploma in Procurement & Supply is now available. Trailblazer groups are working on Level 3 and level 6 standards that should be available during 2019. If you would like to know more, then please drop me a line or call me for a chat. mandy@theprocurementacademy.com 0113 433 3495…

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Soft skills to deliver Supply Chain Value Architects

Tuesday 24th April 2018
Mandy Chippindale

I was recently inspired by the work of David Loseby FCIPS, who is leading the way in Behavioural Economics with his soon to be released book on the matter. In this modern Procurement age, the days of squeezing the suppliers out of their last penny to secure that must have ego-fuelled saving target feels somewhat alien to the needs of the business. Hard-faced buyers, who play tough are becoming less desirable in today's high risk, complex procurement and supply chain environment. According to research carried out by David Loseby FCIPS in conjunction with Supply Management. The two most sought-after qualities we demand from our Procurement Leaders are Emotional Intelligence and Influencer-Communicator. So how do we build, nurture and develop these qualities in our own team? In the old days having empathy with suppliers or stakeholders was somewhat career limiting for procurement professionals. So there is a journey of change, still to be had. As ever, it starts with Leadership. I was once given some valuable advice; which was, I should consider Bravery, Honesty & Integrity to be my personal value drivers. I did, and it has stood me in good stead but it has also got me into hot water with others who didn't share these values, none of which I regret by the way. So how could we link these to Emotional Intelligence in Procurement? According to Daniel Gorman, these skills are what we are looking for. • Self-awareness • Self-regulation • Motivation • Empathy • Social skills Andrea Reynolds considers the following specific to procurement • Emotional resilience • Interpersonal sensitivity • Influence • Intuitiveness • Conscientiousness & integrity I believe that once we build competencies in the above, communication and Influencing skills will be built in naturally as a direct result. Although it should be noted that a key point to both influencing and communication starts with listening, which is something that we are not terribly good at in procurement. From my experience, we have a greater bias towards our own agenda, rather than that of our stakeholders. These emotional intelligence skills can be discussed and explained in great detail in training sessions, but it takes a different kind of intervention to embed change as a new set of behaviours. This is done through group facilitation, scenario setting, coaching through leadership values, a moral compass and crystal clear - consistent vision. Sounds difficult? No it isn't, it just requires a total different mind set to personal development.…

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What came first the chicken or the pre-contract award phase? (Risk management and supply chain diligence)

Thursday 22nd February 2018

The colonel is working on it was the humorous response from KFC recently when asked when and how they would resolve the supply issue of chicken as the shortages continue. The issue stems from KFC switching its deliveries from Bidvest Logistics to DHL in a deal struck last year. KFC's problem? - They're huge and the press loves a multimillion monumental screw-up. A similar situation happened at Burger King six years ago, so why aren't we learning? Apparently, the issue is software malfunction and a shortage of staff. Doesn't this remind us of the Olympics when there was a dramatic shortage of security staff, as the customer of G4S wouldn't pay for training and development ahead of schedule, thus contributing to the problem? Our response as a procurement professional? We should have been in on it from the beginning, from conception to project sign off and review. Proactive professionally qualified procurement holds the secret to effective risk management and effective supply chain project execution, not to mention effective due diligence in supply chain transparency in terms of costs and standards. Two-thirds of KFC's 900 stores were closed on Tuesday and we can only begin to envisage the financial loss to KFC not to mention the knock to their own and DHL's reputation. So what about liabilities, we could hazard a guess that KFC put all risk liability in the hands of the supplier, who then put a cap on liability to the value of the contract, so the real damage will not be recovered. Disaster recovery seems completely ineffective as the situation continues to spiral out of control. Where is the Disaster Recovery Plan? Amazingly this level of supply chain failure isn't the first of its kind, it is commonplace in supply chains globally. Perhaps it is the time we quit the obsession with savings and focus on business imperatives including performance, risk management, and brand protection, It isn't all about price and cutting cost. KFC was actually warned about the switch from BIDVEST to DHL. Mick Rix, the GMB's national officer said: "I wrote to KFC. I alluded to Burger King trying to cut costs and ending up with poorer quality service and poorer distribution. They had shortages, too, but not on the scale we're seeing now at KFC. Within six months they [Burger King] were pleading with Bidvest Logistics to take it back." Who was listening? The Procurement Acad are market leaders in delivering skills courses and CIPS qualifications ensuring supply chain professionals know how to manage supply chains effectively. Call 0113 4333495 or email admin@theprocurementacademy.com today Follow us on twitter ProcurementAcad…

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Two-minute guide to Category Management and its benefits

Wednesday 21st February 2018

What is Category Management? In a nutshell Category Management is the consolidation of different agreements into a single streamline and efficient contract. The Category part is a grouping if items or services available from the same or a similar supplier base. The Management side is to own these areas and ensure the business can monopolise on the best available savings. The benefits to the business. • Expected savings of between 10-30% upon delivery. • Development capability across supply base, especially strategic suppliers. • Shift from a reactive function to a proactive function. • Improvements cross functionally in quality, cost savings, sales forecasts and service levels. • Excellent reputation from customers i.e. on-time delivery. • Reduces risk in the supply chain. • High payback ratio. The Procurement Academy offers a 2-day course in Category Management to bring any procurement professional up-to-speed. 
 Call 0113 4333495 or email admin@theprocurementacademy.com to find out more information.…

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It's time to start thinking about your training budget!

Tuesday 6th February 2018
Mandy Chippindale

If your businesses outflows are far outweighing it's inflows it is easy to opt for cutbacks...and unfortunately one of the first areas to suffer cutbacks is the training budget, this is a crucial mistake and here's why: 1. The right training program will have a plethora of benefits for a company: it increases employee engagement, retention, and productivity; it decreases the need for supervision, reduces absenteeism, improves customer service, and boosts sales. 2. Well-trained employees make less mistakes and, because they feel appreciated the training will increase their loyalty and personal performance. It will improve their own and others perceptions of them. 3. Minimising staff turnaround has to be one of the biggest benefits. If you only have a small training budget utilise this effectively. Who will benefit? You can re-train others? Use the existing skill set available to you. Get your team on-board by suggesting that they can train next year if they have missed out on this year's budget. Keep promises and maintain commitment. 4. Research the training available, this is an obvious one but not always one adhered to efficiently enough. Quality over quantity every time but we are trying to save the business money...we are 'Procurement' after all. 5. Proper training has a positive effect on employee and customer retention, sales and overall profitability. Typically 2 - 2.5% of the company's budget allocated to employee training is considered standard, if the business is seriously looking at cutbacks, it needs to look at other financial leakage areas, special freight to name one of the most obvious ones. Succession planning is the key here, training should really be non-negotiable when looking at the future of the business.…

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