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Talent News

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

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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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: ( We have a structured feedback and monitoring system…

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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…

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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." ( 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…

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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…

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