Monday 30 June 2014

BravoConnect 2014: The Evolution of Procurement

By Matthew Gradidge

My last blog post on Jim Wetekamp’s session about technology in Procurement left us thinking about whether or not we’re keeping our Procurement processes up to date. A great question which led us nicely onto David Smith, who provided insight into the evolution of Procurement (predominantly with the UK public sector, but with the odd nod towards private sector).

We began with a history on the profession from IPS to CIPS with only a few in the room recognising this humble beginning 82 years ago. We then jumped to the 80s where the use of technology was very much limited to requisitions on carbon pads & paper based orders. David at this point posed the question; is procurement sexy? Much like the fashion of the 80s, I think the view in the room was that it is not. But it can be. We could and should be involved in all procurements, from battleships to biros. How is procuring a battleship not sexy?

Friday 27 June 2014

Capital to Coast 2014 – TeamBravo

By Aleiya Lonsdale, Paul Sarjeant, Matt Gradidge, Warwick Jackson and Maria Jones!

On the day of the summer solstice (the 22nd day of June), quite possibly the sunniest day of the year! 5 fearless adventurers set off on a journey. A journey that would break and then re-form these characters in a way they would never imagine. From bright-eyed enthusiastic cyclists, to a company of hummock hating, rise resenting, down despisers.

For those who are interested to see the exact route we took, I have configured a route based on elevation from our start point at the London eye DOWN to the lovely Brighton coast. If anyone you know ever says that they are going down to the coast then they are liars! I would like you all to take a look at this highly accurate map, as quite clearly the coast is in no way a downhill journey from London.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Could a More Collaborative Approach Have Saved English Football?

By Sarah-Kingdom Evans

...So a slightly controversial yet timely topic, especially given the Costa Rica result = England has officially finished last in group D. (Please note that I am Welsh, and given that we failed to qualify I am totally independent!)

The disappointing results from Brazil lead me to question if a more collaborative effort between Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, along with the English squad could have resulted in a stronger side?  If we had been Team GB, would the results have been better, would the resource pool have been richer and could the random Scottish Guy have cheered for GB instead of Uruguay?

Tuesday 24 June 2014

BravoConnect 2014: Technology in Procurement

By Matthew Gradidge

After Marc Woods kicked off our customer conference, Jim Wetekamp led the way on the technology side, with David Smith following on with the Evolution of Procurement.

Innovation is ever advancing and increasing, placing more and more demand on the procurement function. We, as a procurement function, therefore need to make sure we are communicating well enough with the organisation. Jim pointed out that we need to be more agile, analytical, strategic, technological, better at managing change, being change agents; lots for us to be thinking about!

So with this in mind, what can procurement organisations do to tackle this?

Thursday 19 June 2014

What the Heck is SRM?

“SRM”... the latest frontier in the procurement space, or is it just good procurement practice?

Amongst clients and colleagues, I get the invariable feeling that there’s widespread frustration around implementing supplier relationship management (SRM) / strategic supplier relationship management (SSRM) / supplier performance management (SPM) / vendor performance management (VPM) programmes – all of which are different by the way – however, the lack of practical understanding creates a massive grey area and nightmare for procurement executives trying to drive best-in-class procurement and supply management organisations.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

BravoConnect 2014: An Introduction

By Matthew Gradidge

Another year passes and so does yet another brilliant BravoConnect, bringing together procurement leaders from all walks of life, industries and countries, with two things in common; the first being connection to BravoSolution and the second being a desire to connect with other procurement professionals.

Day one of this two day conference and networking event (with additional dinner and all out party between the two days) opened with the event chair and BravoSolution UK & Ireland Managing Director Richard Hogg along with BravoSolution CEO Nader Sabbaghian. The event, in Richard’s words, was about connecting with clients and stakeholders to help us shape our offering to meet the needs of our client base. Nader introduced a few concepts that were built upon throughout the morning sessions. He likened procurement to the roots of a great tree, an interesting concept with procurement managing connections both inside and outside of organisations through the supply base. The efforts and connectivity is not always visible at the end result but has a huge influence on helping the organisation stay upright. I agree whole heartedly with this analogy. It adds a lot of weight to the growing importance of procurement.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Mum's the Word - Part 2

Those who have not yet had the chance to read part 1 of this series, I was asked by my mum to help her buy a car. With the specification and budget established we decided to visit the preferred car dealership having reviewed other substitute models and offers.

Within seconds of arrival we were approached by a salesman who invited us to his desk to discuss our requirements. Before we arrived I laid down some ground rules with my mum to try and give us as much ‘buying power’ as possible. Mum agreed, ‘its all with you’.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

100 Days of Efficiency

By Soraya Sackey 

The recent social media craze '100 days of happiness' challenged participants to capture an image every day for 100 days of something that made them smile - posing the question, ‘Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?' The aim of the challenge was to encourage people to train themselves to focus on the little things that lift their spirits every single day.

Monday 9 June 2014

Apps are Changing the World - Don't let your Commercial Team fall behind

By Henry Shepperd

Back in 2007 Steve Jobs walked on to a stage and proclaimed that Apple was going to reinvent the phone as we know it. As it turns out, it did much more than this. The mobile revolution that Apple began has fundamentally changed the way the majority us go about our day to day lives. Today, many of us use mobile apps to help us improve many aspects of our lives, but one area in particular I found most interesting was the use of mobile apps to improve one’s health and fitness.

Friday 6 June 2014

Mum's the Word - Part 1

My mum asked me if I could help her buy a new car the other day, to which I agreed. I would like to think this was down to the fact that my background is in procurement. In part, this was true. She admitted that it was the face to face negotiation with the dealer that she really wanted my help on. Although she bought her last car by herself and has been very pleased with the purchase, the actual exchange of information and possible deals left her feeling a little confused. It was fast paced with lots of options and figures changing on the basis of comments.

I am sure we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve struggled to articulate the information presented and then feel pressured to make decisions which, upon reflection, may not have been the best choice.

Monday 2 June 2014

Owning the Space - Working with Stakeholders

By Matt Gradidge

The other week, BravoSolution held their third event in the 2014 Real World Sourcing Series: Owning the Space – Working with Stakeholders, led by Guy Allen.

Now I'll be honest, the title made me sceptical. I was expecting some sort of motivational speech; however, I was more than pleasantly surprised. This session contained minimal motivational "go get em's" or "you are lions" style quotes but more of a dose of psychology, self diagnosis and truth telling.