Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals

Friday, 2 September 2011

Can the UAE stay no.1 in Middle East Supply Chain?

With a prime location on the global map, there’s little doubt that the UAE has successfully capitalised on its potential as a world-class logistics hub, with billions of dollars being invested in the fast-track development of warehousing facilities and transportation infrastructure. However, as the logistics potential of neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain continues to flourish, will there be a struggle ahead for the UAE to retain its lucrative position as a market leader? Perhaps not. According to recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, the first-mover advantages of emirates such as Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi would be difficult to replicate in the short-term. In fact, revenues from the UAE’s logistics market are expected to reach US$9.40 billion in 2014, an impressive jump from last year’s figure of $7.03 billion. “Being located in close proximity to the high-growth economies of India and China, the UAE imports around 60% of its products from these countries, mostly transiting through the UAE borders, thus, the country has a unique advantage over its Middle Eastern neighbours and has been able to establish itself as a centre for trans-continental trade.” Redimo Ltd are the number one source for global supply chain news and jobs.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

5 levers of Supply Chain

A recent survey indicates that flexible organisations focus on i) supply assurance and proactively managing capacity, especially of critical resources; ii) relentlessly engaging in supply chain planning with upstream and downstream partners, in a continuous improvement loop; iii) further integrating their supply chain and aligning their performance metrics with those partners, so all participants speak the same language; iv) better involving product development into supply chain management and breaking down silos; and lastly, v) striving for flexibility in all functions of the company, making it a part of the company’s DNA and easier for supply chain practitioners to implement it.
We prefer to call it operational flexibility because it goes beyond the supply chain and involves the entire supply and demand chain, from product launch to end-of-life management. Operational flexibility is the ability to rapidly adapt to changes in supply or customer demand by ramping up or down internal and partner operations. A company is flexible when it is able to keep customer lead times stable, despite demand spikes and supply disruptions without resorting to constant “firefighting.” Lastly, it does not mean recovery after “black swans”, or extraordinary one-time events, such as the 2011 Japanese earthquake – those are beyond the scope of steady-state operational flexibility and are best addressed by a sound business continuity and crisis readiness strategy.
True operational flexibility is a strategic objective, because it directly impacts customers and involves top-level planning; so it fits naturally on the executive agenda. It also reflects the fact that volatility has become the norm. Economic, business, political and even geological factors have led to unprecedented uncertainty both at the supply and demand ends of the supply chain. Flexibility is not just a source of competitive advantage anymore, but fundamental to staying in business, significantly impacting both the top and bottom line.
To find the best in fexible Supply Chain professionals go to

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Renewable Energy - The potential saviour?

I read an interesting story on earlier, apparently only 19% of UK manufacturers expect to lower their prices in the next quarter due to a healthy demand. Interestingly 31 per cent of manufacturers predicted production would rise over the next quarter with 52 per cent believing it will stay the same, and just 17 per cent predicting a fall.

All in all that's great news for the UK economy, Britian was once the great manufacturing empire and although low cost sourcing has made it cheaper to move production abroad I can't help feeling that as long as our manufacturing industry continues to grow we should ride out the rest of 2011 nicely.

On a different note the renewable energy industry seems to have slowed down in the recession with a couple of the big wind turbine manufacturers making redundancies in the past 2 years, speaking to a well placed insider last week I was pleased to hear that the UK could become the wind energy capital of the world. All we need now is significant investment from the government and we can put the great back in to Britain!

We do most of our business in the manufacturing industry across all sectors so please visit our website ( to find Supply Chain positions with a selection of great companies.


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

World Cup Footie Deal....

In a last minute deal ahead of the World Cup opening game on 11 June, the South African government has stockpiled a 30,000 ton spot market purchase from Russian oil firm Lukoil.

South Africa has also struck a deal with Eskom to guarantee uninterrupted supply of electricity to key World Cup installations.

The new stadia will not place any additional stress on the national power grid because generators are their primary power source, but Eskom is set to provide back up.

These measures come at the end of a long procurement initiative for the World Cup in South Africa. A transport upgrade costing R19 billion ($2.4 billion) has seen the construction of new roads and resurfacing of existing routes, along with the provision of 418 new trains and 970 buses, over and above the 1,100 buses and 800 midi-bus taxis already in operation.

State-of-the-art military information and communications technology has been procured to help manage security arrangements.

Once the World Cup is over the technology will be used in day-to-day crime fighting, authorities say. The system includes mobile command centres able to receive live video feed from manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as helicopters and fixed surveillance cameras.

The procurement effort has extended to the health service, with a major upgrade to the National Health Operations centre linking the nine provinces for real-time monitoring and co-ordination of the health plan roll out. Dispensing machines for basic medication purchases have been placed at the stadia and pharmacies will be open 24 hours.

Hundreds of trained volunteers and professional health personnel will also be on standby on the major routes. Measures have been put in place to monitor ports of entry for health-related problems and vaccines have been procured to deal with disease outbreaks, including flu vaccines.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Procurement Reform

Procurement professionals need to be at the heart of public sector savings, while senior management should take procurement more seriously, according to a senior figure at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Following the formation of the UK coalition government, the CBI called for re-engineering of public services to help reduce the £163 billion public sector deficit, including reform of procurement.

Speaking to SM, Susan Anderson, director of public service at the CBI, said procurement professionals should “be centre stage” during this transformation.

She claimed that senior managers, in earlier efforts to save on public procurement, had failed to take full responsibility for driving through business change necessary to capture the benefits of initiatives such as shared services and joint buying.

“It’s about culture: a senior manager does not get Brownie points for seeing through procurement, and that goes to the ministerial level. They get recognition for new initiatives. The responsibility [for change in procurement] has to lie with the senior management team. Procurement professionals sometimes say ‘we do not get a look in’, although they sometimes get
the blame. We have got to take them seriously.”

Some shared service initiatives had failed because once they achieved critical mass, and had a full team in place, additional public bodies were put off joining because they realised they would not be able to transfer staff. “They get cold feet because they do not want to make 
staff redundant, but [avoiding redundancies] 
is a luxury we cannot afford,” Anderson said.

However, she said to be effective in reducing public spending, professional procurement skills should be retained where possible. “Although no areas of public spending should be sacrosanct, procurement people should be centre stage.”

The CBI also re-enforced the claim it made in October’s pre-budget submission that improving public sector purchasing and reducing duplication in the process could save the public purse £13.5 billion by 2015-16.

Spelling out its priorities for the government in the document Time for Action: Reforming Public Services and Balancing the Budget, the CBI said savings could be achieved by re-shaping public service provision, including using the private and third-sector to deliver efficiencies.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Nestle draws up responsible sourcing

Nestlé is introducing procurement guidelines to ensure its palm tree oil supply comes from sustainable sources.

The Swiss confectioner, which came under fire from environmental action group Greenpeace after a report claimed some of the oil it purchased was from unsustainable sources, has now teamed up with the Forest Trust to produce a set of responsible sourcing guidelines.

These guidelines, which were announced this week and will be enforced immediately, look at Nestlé’s procurement process and provide technical support to suppliers that do not meet the requirements. Guidelines include protecting high conservation value forest areas and peatlands, and ensuring farms and plantations used for sourcing palm oil comply with local laws and regulations.

In a statement Nestlé said: “By setting critical requirements for its procurement process and checking compliance with its supplier code, Nestlé wants to ensure that its products have no deforestation footprint.”

Nestlé recently dropped Indonesian firm Sinar Mas as a palm oil supplier after claims by Greenpeace that identified Sinar Mas as guilty of deforestation in its production of palm oil.

In a statement in March, Nestlé UK said it does not buy palm oil from the Sinar Mas Group for any of its products, including Kit Kat, but does purchase it from a company called Cargill and had sought assurances from them about their supply chain.

Nestlé aims to have 18 per cent of its palm oil purchases in 2010 coming from sustainable sources, working to reach 50 per cent by the end of 2011. The company has already committed to purchasing all of its palm oil from ethical sources by 2015.

Pat Venditti, head of Greenpeace’s forest campaign, said: “Nestlé’s move sends a clear message to Sinar Mas and to the rest of the palm oil and paper industries that rainforest destruction is not acceptable in the global marketplace. They need to clean up their act and move to implement a moratorium on rainforest destruction and full peatland protection.”

In a policy statement released by Sinar Mas earlier this year and at its AGM the company said it was committed to the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and to a halt to clearing in forests and peatlands.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Supply chain and carbon management......

Leading businesses will increasingly refuse to purchase from suppliers who fail to manage their carbon emissions, according to a survey.

The annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain Report, produced by management consultants AT Kearney, found that only 6 per cent of major organisations currently deselect suppliers for failing to manage carbon emissions. However, 56 per cent have committed to do so in the future.

The survey of CPD supply chain members, which include Dell, BAE Systems, Cadbury, Sony, IBM, Unilever and PepsiCo, found that 89 per cent had an established strategy to engage with suppliers on carbon-related issues.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent of these companies have an emissions or energy reduction plan in place.

But while a significant proportion of carbon emissions are typically found in the supply chain, only 20 per cent of these companies report figures for their own supply chain emissions.

Of the 710 suppliers who disclose carbon emissions to their customers through the CDP programme, 60 per cent have appointed a board member responsible for climate change. Fifty-six per cent have a carbon reduction plan in place and 38 per cent have committed to a clear target, according to the report.