Thursday, 26 February 2015

Soft Skills are Hard

by Sarah Kingdom-Evans, Account Principal

I have read several articles over the past few days recognising that our 'Soft Skills' need to be taken seriously, with skills such as communication, initiative and interaction quoted. Such importance is attributed to these traits that the Development Economics Group has put an £88bn annual value on such qualities in the workforce. However, in our industry where there is a technological reliance, how do we recognise and develop the attitude and characteristics that will enable us to successfully develop our business, with an equal measure of academic qualifications?

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Carrot & The Stick: Part 2

By Thomas Paiva-Pennick

In part 1 I looked at the stick, in part 2 I’ll be focusing on the proverbial carrot.

The Japanese enjoy long and fruitful business relationships without contracts; instead agreements are based on trust and honour with all elements of performance discussed openly in order to achieve an agreement. That seems a long way from where we are in Europe currently and you could argue our cultural differences mean we will never see that form of contracting in the UK.

But there are steps we can take to building trust with our suppliers that don’t require a great leap of faith and agreeing mutual performance without a contract to rely on...

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

2015 is Easier to Navigate with Gartner

By Mickey North Rizza

As a 2015 present to businesses globally, Gartner has published their 2015 Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites. The ‘MQ’ as it is affectionately known, is perfectly timed for executives to find, short list, evaluate and select their Strategic Sourcing Application Suite Technology Provider in early 2015.

In my previous role as Supply Chain Research Director with Gartner, I came to appreciate the time, dedication and sheer hard work that goes into producing the MQ. Months of in-depth vendor interviews and product reviews coupled with endless customer references go into presenting an accurate map of industry leading vendors at that point in time.

The ‘magic’ of the MQ is that it evaluates technology players within a given market, in this case Strategic Sourcing Application Suite providers, by plotting the provider’s “ability to execute” against their “completeness of vision” in a 2x2 matrix positioning them in the leaders, visionaries, challengers or niche players quadrant.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Procurement services in austerity; an unnecessary luxury or the key to savings?

By Scott Farrance, eSourcing Consultant

The events in Greece over the weekend have reminded us just how fragile this economic recovery appears to be. Most people had probably forgotten Greece was bailed out to the tune of 240 Billion Euros, yes 240, a matter of years ago. This came with a lot of conditions and restrictions (unsurprisingly!) but their new PM Alexis Tsipras has made the bold statement that he will be re-negotiating that bail out, seemingly throwing the assistance back in the face of the EU nations, their Central Bank and the IMF. Ok...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Planet Self-Service or Planet of Amateurs?

By Pavel Ollitervo-Murphy, Principal Consultant

Are we a Planet of Self-Service or a Planet of Amateurs?

I have recently read a few articles online that have touched upon this question. We keep hearing this everywhere in the media; ticket offices closing, more airlines moving services online and automated terminal kiosks. Whilst is now common practice to book our hotels online, we still expect to meet a concierge at the reception desk when we arrive. Yet, even these bastions of service are beginning to embrace self-service check-ins and check-outs (even the hotel room door keys are making the move to our mobiles). Banking has been using web for decades now (first terminal based interfaces appeared in the 80’s).