Talent News

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Succession Planning – Part 3

Thursday 18th January 2018

How can we invest in our existing talent? Investing in our existing talent often requires a cultural change - it can mean altering ingrained attitudes from long-standing members of senior staff. Keeping people in stalemate job situations because they have the monopoly of skills and knowledge to fulfil that role effectively is not acceptable. Having an individual who can fulfil a specific skill is an asset to a manager but keeping them in that role because the prospect of re-training someone to do something which no one else appears to be able to do or want to do - is not the answer. Give that individual a time frame i.e. three months to re-train the prospective candidate and write a standard SOP, upon completion they can be promoted or undergo training to begin a new job role or this can happen in parallel during the transitional period. A high flyer can be talent spotted for one-step progression and or a two / three-step progression move within a few months and should be internally promoted because they have proven their capabilities time and time again. Apprenticeships - age is but a number: A sensible way to do succession planning is utilising the Apprenticeship Levy, all UK employers who have a total employee pay bill above £3m a year will pay the Levy. This includes public and private sector, charities and educational providers such as academy groups and universities. The Levy rate was set at 0.5% of your pay bill in the November 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review. Your 'pay bill' is your total employee earnings subject to Class 1 secondary NICs. Employers get a £15,000 fixed annual allowance to offset against the Levy payment. Employers who operate multiple payrolls are able to claim one allowance for the Levy. An example: if you have a £3m pay bill, you have a Levy bill of £15,000 (at 0.5% of employer pay bill). The allowance is offset against this so your Levy payment is £0.00. An apprenticeship was traditionally associated with young people but this is no longer the case it is a journey - from being a novice in a role to becoming an expert. "Apprenticeships should be expansive, and focus on developing the whole person for a job, a career (and other careers), and for life. Going beyond that, an apprenticeship will instil a sense of curiosity, lifelong learning, discovery and improvement in all apprentices." (http://www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk/adult-apprenticeships/) For the apprentice, paid employment with a higher chance of securing a job at the end of the apprenticeship with qualifications and experience to enable them to fulfil procurement roles in: • assistant buyers • assistant contract officers • contracts analysts • stock/inventory controller/planner "I passionately believe that Apprenticeships are a real option for everyone post 16." Chris Starling, Head of Apprenticeships, Virgin Media.…

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Sucession Planning - Part 2

Wednesday 17th January 2018

The move to succession planning must be one bought in from the CEO and cascaded down at every level. Potential leaders should be identified from junior level up. You will not retain junior procurement professionals who are often initially motivated and energetic, if you constantly recruit externally and pay the new candidate twice as much as the junior team member. This is un loyal and disrespectful. If that procurement member is a valued member of the team, invest in them. Invest in their training and up skill them. Try a performance related pay contract with your existing junior procurement individual. incremental pay increases dependent on key milestones achieved. There is no stronger measure of performance than working with someone full time and knowing their on-the-job ability through accumulative performance and deliverance. Spend time working on their personal development plans (PDP's) where do they see themselves in 5 years and why? It's a sensible idea to move appraisals/performance related meetings from career progression discussions. Having this combined in one, once a year meeting just isn't sufficient. Take an active role in their progression, move your team forward and don't always be the one delivering bad news. Do a hard and soft skills matrix for each member - where do they sit? How do they compare? Which skills can they work on/train to improve and most importantly don't dangle the carrot - they'll get bored and leave. It's that simple. See below Susan Avery's point on lateral moves. "This is one of the best development activities, and also one of the most overlooked. Be sure to set people up for success when you do this (rather than the "sink or swim" approach that most companies take to training). Nobody will want to take a lateral career opportunity if they've seen it derail someone else's career." (http://www.mypurchasingcenter.com/purchasing/blogs/why-procurement-needs-succession-plan/)…

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Succession planning in your Procurement team - Part 1

Tuesday 16th January 2018

What is succession planning and why it is important? Succession is defined in the dictionary as; 'A number of people or things of a similar kind following one after the other.' When we hear the term succession we conjure images of royalty following in the footsteps of royals before them or at the very least family succession - in today's world of procurement this archaic description is not what we mean. Succession in procurement means planning which, if any person can fulfil another person's role if that person at best retires or more realistically leaves for pastures new. (Jobs for life are also a thing of the past, with many procurement professionals jumping ship every few years to progress or climb the career ladder). In a report published last year the UK Procurement Engagement Director from Hay's in conjunction with CIP's found 50% of employees planned to move jobs within the next 2 years with 71% wanting to progress to a more senior role within the next two years. (Dance 2017). Retaining and retraining are two areas that must be focused on extensively if we are to keep our procurement professionals content, motivated and engaged. Embedding a business culture into an individual equates to a number of key benefits to the business long-term. Productivity, commitment, a good reputation through the loyalty and subsequent promotion by these employees.…

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Top 5 tips to help you smash the upcoming CIPS exams!

Wednesday 10th January 2018

1) Organise your work space This seems a simple one but many times this is the most essential. Is there enough light? Are you warm enough? Too warm? Are all distractions out of sight? (TV, radio and mobile phone etc?) Your study space is important, make sure everyone knows you have an exam and you need time and space to revise in a suitable area. 2) Explain your answers to others Speaking out loud to friends, family, loved ones and even pets can help cermet the information firmly into your brain. If you can't explain it to them thoroughly then you know there are areas which you need to work on. 3) Take regular breaks Devise a revision schedule giving yourself plenty of breaks. It is much more effective to have shorter bursts of intensive learning rather than longer less concentrated periods of revision. You know your body clock and you know when your brain is at its most responsive. Whether you're an early bird or night owl, get it right and give your brain a rest, you deserve it. 4) Organise study groups One of the most helpful feelings, when you're stuck in revising, is knowing you're not alone. Especially if you you're the only one in the household or in your immediate circle who has exams, it can appear like everyone else is going out and having fun and you're stuck in revision hell. Invite other people into the revision hell with you and share the burden. You never know...you might make it a little bit fun. 5) Use flow charts and diagrams Important we note, first and foremost not to get bogged down with learning style, even if you are sure you learn in a particular way, whether that be audio/visual/lists etc. Trying new ways of learning can often harbour good results. Try colourful flow charts and diagrams, it's not for everyone but using visual aids have proven with many to be useful. If you condense your notes into an A4 flow chart or visual diagram, recalling this in an exam is much easier than remembering pages and pages of notes. Combining this with past paper practice will enable you to regurgitate all the relevant information using the flow chart or diagram as the initial prompt during the exam.…

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What will set the Procurement Academy aside from the rest when it comes to delivering Apprenceships?

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

We deliver excellent training by thoroughly understanding the challenges that face Procurement & Supply Chain leaders today. We are forward thinking; constantly updating our knowledge to keep you and your team ahead of the game in the Procurement profession. We regularly engage with CIPS holding our own talks and conferences on current Procurement & Supply Chain issues such as Modern day slavery. We believe that having a versatile structure by incorporating blended learning through adobe captivate by using iPad's allows the tech savvy apprentices to save time, effort and the environment (all notes from tutorials can be saved on the iPad.) All our tutors have a wealth of academic and on-the-job experience: (http://www.theprocurementacademy.com/our-tutors) We have a structured feedback and monitoring system where every individual student can give anonymous feedback and we will publish a lesson's learnt newsletter which will consolidate all the areas for improvement. We are dedicated to each apprentice ensuring they have a safe, rewarding but fun learning experience. The Procurement Academy: Paving the way for the next Procurement leaders.…

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The Skills Gap in Procurement

Tuesday 19th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

In today's world of procurement with its ever changing and fast paced nature some professionals are been left behind in an identified Skills Gap. The reasons for this skills gap are as follows: 1) Businesses are not aware there is a skill-gap and are not utilising the apprenticeship levy, educational/training budget effectively. This can be There are some key clues in determining if your organisation is failing to see a skills-gap. These are: • There is not an extensive history of training/qualification in the procurement team or even the business. • There is a victim-culture in the procurement team, (it's not my fault, it's the suppliers etc) • There continuous firefighting and seeing beyond the immediate tender and negotiation process doesn't happen. • Seen as primarily administrative by end users and other cross functional team players. 2) Current skill sets are less than adequate and "thirty years - on the job" experience does not compensate for the rise in technological advances, professionals must be able to use this technology to be skills parallel to their younger contemporaries. There is also a shift in the Procurement vison and this places greater emphasis on soft skills and an inherent ability to see beyond the immediate issues. There is a need for a dynamic, multi skilled and interpersonal procurement professional. 3) Professional qualification alone is the exact opposite issue, having the theory but no practice to support will not enable the young academic to be able to handle the procurement environment efficiently. We all have to start somewhere and if you are an apprentice or Graduate, it is important that you are not placed in a position beyond your capabilities until you are ready. This is not to be condescending or patronising, I am a gest believer in effort and hard work paying off and sometimes sink or swim really is the best way to learn but ensuring well-being and building confidence will result in a more loyal and well-rounded employee. How can we close the gap? It is important that as a business, a manager, an individual you can recognise a skill gap, sometimes it can be across a whole business. This is the first step in closing the gap. A problem identified is a problem rectified. Look at the business goals as a whole, do these align with the procurement function? Do they align with the procurement individuals? Look at your competitors, how and what are they doing differently? Are they investing in their procurement function? In their training? In their education? Create a meritocratic environment that supports highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals so it rewards their development and encourages it. This will retain the staff which you have invested time and money in. This investment in people will cascade into the business, their hard work and intellectual value will maintain competitive market placement, resulting in financial and reputational gain.…

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The importance of an Apprenticeship in Procurement and Supply Chain.

Wednesday 13th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

We must reinforce to businesses the importance of apprenticeships, never mind apprenticeships in Procurement and Supply Chain, apprenticeships full stop. With today's University Fees skyrocketing, as demonstrated in the Guardian below "It's calculated the average student would leave university with a debt of more than £50,000 - rising to an average of £57,000 for the poorest, who borrow more for their living costs." (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jul/11/student-debt-graduates-tuition-fees) In conjunction to this the government has introduced the apprenticeship levy, a compulsory tax on employers to help fund the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of those available. Employers fall into one of two groups: levy payers and non-levy payers. Employers with a paybill of more than £3 million are required to pay the levy - whether they employ an apprentice or not. (https://www.aat.org.uk/apprenticeships/employers/apprenticeship-levy) Taking both of the above into consideration -apprenticeships for employers is a no-brainer, especially if they are paying into the levy anyway. An Apprenticeship in Procurement and Supply Chain - an ever-growing career option for graduates and A 'level' leavers alike is an excellent choice. Procurement hold the purse strings to the entire function of the business. Contracting and procurement is a highly measured activity, Buyers are tasked with bringing specific benefits in a timely matter. Ensuring your business has a trained, energetic professional with a certified CIPS qualification is a guaranteed method in paving the way to loyalty, future business security, skills retention. For the apprentice, paid employment, with a higher chance of securing a job at the end of the apprenticeship with expected jobs in Advanced apprentices may work as: • assistant buyers • assistant contract officers • contracts analysts • stock/inventory controller/planner And more importantly entering the world of work, debt free.…

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Improve the capabilites of your Procurement team.

Wednesday 6th December 2017
Mandy Chippindale

In today's transformational Procurement world, it isn't enough to be just a 'YES' person anymore. This will no longer impress stakeholders and if it does, you need to ask yourself; are you working for the right organisation? Are you questioning the status quo, considering risk mitigation/collaborative problem solving and looking beyond the confines of the tender process ' this is all part of the innovation movement within procurement. Certain rules must be adhered to and delegated authority must be respected but empowering your people is paramount in securing and cascading capability in procurement. Invest in your people, invest in your business - here are three ways to improve the capabilities of your Procurement team and a word of warning, it starts with YOU the manager. 1. Strategic thinking: This seems like an obvious one but it isn't always, strategy often comes from the top (usually the HO), they devise, the 'standard processes, procedures, global category management etc', of course this is still an essential requirement, all of the subsidiaries must align using best practice but cascading down the standard's and suggesting this is gospel and must be adhered to is problematic to say the least. We can't surmise the outcome of casual factors effecting the supply chain with all the experience and insight in the world. So we must have key strategic players across the board sitting all the subsidiaries, who have the power and ability to make crucial decisions when required. Differences in culture, environment, logistics and laws all play a part in determining differences with cross-cultural management, the most equipped professional to make a strategic decision within their natural habitat is the person who resides there. 2. Procurement Qualifications: Delivering training across many different organisations enables me to meet a wide variety of procurement professionals and I am delighted that their management is prepared to invest in them, whether this is skills training or professional qualifications. On the other hand, I do occasionally experience opposition to people development and this is a classic example of a negative learnt behaviour cascading down, statements such as "I've being in the business for thirty years, why do I need a qualification in what I do every day, I could teach the class." I don't mean to sound rude using this example, I understand it's the environment they inhabit and I also understand more often than not they are trying to save their organisation money by not paying for skills training and qualifications as they are seemingly expensive. However Procurement thirty years ago is vastly different to Procurement now; as a result of suppliers adding more value and with the outsourcing organisations spending more than ever on goods and services before with global sourcing increasing risk levels considerably... Procurement now, where technological advancement has meant the long standing procurement staff have often undergone on-the-job training, although there are some middle and higher management procurement professional who have managed to bypass even this. Transactional, procurement or 'firefighting' has continued to add cost, reduce value, increase risk and damage supplier relationships. Allowing and encouraging a growth mind-set and adding to this to Procurement theory will stimulate leadership decision making and wider strategy implementation across the board. 3. Adaptability and empowerment Is the most important attribute in establishing capability within your procurement team. It starts from the top-down, your team should be encouraged to embrace change and not resist it. This links into improving capability through the undertaking of skills training, or professional qualifications, and using this to help them in thinking strategically; the changing nature of the supply chain requires this. You need to be able to rely on your team to think and act fast on their own, using their experience and capability. Giving your team the confidence to think innovatively and present their ideas, understanding and having the confidence to know; this will be appreciated and respected by management will result in a flexible and trusted working environment.…

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Productivity in Procurement

Wednesday 29th November 2017
Mandy Chippindale

"Until we manage time, we manage nothing else" ~ Peter Drucker As we move into the technological era of procurement, the most innovative amongst us are looking for new ways to maximise productivity. Carrying out activities because it's "what we've always done" and "standard process" just won't cut it with our savvy time saving and efficient procurement contemporaries and demanding stakeholders. Below are just a few of the quick-wins for businesses looking to improve their productivity in procurement: Improve communication: It sounds a simple one but nine out of ten times when beginning skills training within organisations, I observe that the basics are not in place to ensure the communication routes are clear, concise and consistent. If all members of the team are singing from the same song sheet, it certainly makes the managing the procurement process easier. Finding time to communicate with your team is also critical; collaborative communication and problem-solving will ensure efficient communication channels between employees and management. Empowering employees with trust and respect and valuing opinions makes improving productivity more effective as this will breed ownership and accountability and better still innovation. Minimising the sourcing process: Whatever your sourcing process is, tailoring it based on the nature of the project and category spend can save precious time and money. The crucial point here is to find a happy medium between a one-stop purchase and a ninety-nine step sourcing process. Consider having a three-stage sourcing category system, categorised by nature of the commodity and or spend, add content to these standards, - Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) - educate your team and most importantly, roll it out! This will soon become second nature. Nobody wants to follow a long-drawn outsourcing process; this will save hours of frustration, tick boxing and crossing bureaucratic red tape - when all we really want to do is order is a pack of business cards. Cut down on your savings tracking systems: This is a tricky one as it's more often than not something close to every procurement professional's heart. How can I measure my performance in monetary terms, if I don't track savings? Well, it's true what they say, and that is money talks...utilise your finance department to make a single uniformed tracking system (we don't all have state of the art packaged systems if you do - great, you're light years ahead of the rest of us. One of the biggest time constraints in any Procurement department is the tracking of performance measurement, for individuals, and for categories and if you have 4 million spreadsheets or even one spreadsheet tracking this, you're more than likely duplicating work. Tracking realised savings v's pursuing saving opportunities or forecasted savings. Both departments have invested interest in this information. Work smart and share the load. Move with the technological times: My background in delivering CIPS training across public and private sectors and having thirty years' experience in construction and manufacturing has qualified me to make the statement. I know there is a huge variation in Procurement environments, some have leading systems and technologies while some have very basic, if any electronic systems in place. I would urge all procurement functions to bite the bullet and invest. Outsourcing has led to a fear amongst Procurement professionals that many of the lower-skilled procurement roles will become redundant, this isn't an irrational fear, this threat is very real. Through implementing electronic systems and up skilling procurement staff. Leading e-procurement technologies will help the entire business in productivity, they just need to be utilised consistently.…

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Do you manage contracts – Get the commercial edge – book onto this IACCM course now!

Friday 22nd September 2017

"Poor contract management costs companies 9% loss- bottom line." Tim Cummins There are many weaknesses identified within contract and commercial management in today's world of Procurement. These are: • Third party power imbalance • Lack of soft skills • Lack of cooperation due to supplier relationship breakdown • Influence of corporate governance. • Weakness in change management • Price disputes "10 years ago the formation of IACCM was a leap of faith. Sally Hughes 21.09.17 " Join Mandy Chippindale FCIPS Chartered on our 2 day course on the 4th/5th October 9:30am-4:30 am @ Nottingham Conference Centre. The 2 day course will cover: • Negotiation techniques and styles. • Contract implementation and management. • Ensuring contracts are implemented to be mutually satisfying. • Tried and tested category management tools. • Managing risk. • Leverage and bargaining powers. • Strategic/ transactional contracts and negotiations. • Strategic/practical negotiating. Book your place now: www.theprocurementacademy.com/qualifications/IACCM Or contact Mandy Chippindale mandy@theprocurementacademy.com for more information. Mandy Chippindale FCIPS Chartered, Director of The Procurement Academy. Mandy has worked as a Direct Associate for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply for five years delivering training to their blue chip client base, Mandy has worked in the States, Middle East and across Europe working on behalf of CIPS. She now owns her own organisations offering CIPS Study in Leeds, Doncaster and Nottingham as well as delivering skills training to a number of large organisations as an in-house academy. She is also an Accredited Trainer for IACCM, The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management. Mandy has held a number of Director level positions during her career in Procurement.…

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