Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Disney & Procurement

Purchasing professionals who focus on the end product will be considered part of the creative process and therefore be more effective, a senior film industry executive told the Institute for Supply Management conference in California yesterday.

Steven Miller, senior vice-president of strategic sourcing and procurement at the Walt Disney Company, was making a presentation on strategic sourcing for the entertainment supply chain.

“Creative folks need to not view you as a different part of Disney or a different part of the team – you’re part of their team – singularly focused on their success and showing as much passion for their creativity as they show.

“Alice in Wonderland was a gift to us: a phenomenally big movie, the cast was great and the box office sales far exceeded what we expected and that will translate to DVD sales. That’s what it’s about – the creative content more than cost savings or sourcing initiatives.”

Miller gave an overview of Disney’s multiple supply chains. These support a set of five business areas including theme parks, movies, television and consumer products, with commodity categories spanning everything from costumes to call centres.

Strategic sourcing was introduced in 1999, a move Miller admits was “maybe 15 years behind some industries”. The sourcing department was expected to save $300 million (£195 million) a year within five years. By 2008 it achieved $1 billion (£650 million) cumulative annual savings.

Approximately 300 people work in purchasing and the company has about 70,000 “high-level active suppliers”, with the top 200 accounting for about 23 per cent of spend.

The future for Disney – and therefore the focus of the sourcing teams – is more investment in theme parks (it is hoping to build a Shanghai resort), fit-outs of its stores and film franchises. Meanwhile, purchasing is also working on increasing sustainable procurement and anti-piracy innovations

Monday, 19 April 2010

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Fantastic insight into social media...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

National Trust to Create Vacancies

The National Trust is recruiting 11 regional buyers as part of a broader move to put procurement at the forefront of its ‘going local’ strategy. 

The charity protects and makes public more than 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new purchasing posts reflect its goals for the next decade, which include getting closer to local communities and suppliers and putting properties and natural environments “back at the centre of community life to encourage a sense of belonging, local pride and identity”. 

So far the Trust has shifted power from the centre to the properties, such as historic sites and stately homes, including control of budget. It will now advocate local procurement and recruitment policies to connect its properties more closely to local communities.

Regional procurement managers will be appointed to cover Yorkshire, the North East, North West, South West, South, and South East of England, East Anglia, the West and East Midlands. They also cover Northern Ireland and Wales.

Responsibilities will include developing effective relationships with stakeholders in the region, developing strong, sustainable working relationships with suppliers and putting in place sustainable contracts and, where appropriate, supporting local producers and supply chains. 

The National Trust could not provide any more detail but the advertisement states: “We’re moving from direct buying and looking for real leaders to empower others to reach their potential.

“In short, by identifying efficiencies in line with our sustainability ethos and local agenda, you’ll be helping ensure we can put more into protecting our dramatic coastline, beautiful countryside and historic buildings and make sure they remain accessible to all.”

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Manufacturing registers strong and encouraging growth

The UK manufacturing industry remained buoyant last month, reaching its highest level of expansion in almost 16 years.

According to the latest CIPS/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index – where a figure above 50 represents growth – total activity in the sector registered 57.2 in March. This was up from the previous month’s figure of 56.5.

Output for March rose for the 10th month in a row, with the index coming in at 61.9 – a stronger performance than February’s figure of 59.8. The rate of increase reached its highest since July 1994 and was the second fastest in the survey’s 18-year history.

New orders increased for the ninth consecutive month, expanding at only a slightly slower pace than in January, when growth was at a six-year high. Employment levels fell in March as a result of cost-cutting initiatives, redundancies and workforce restructuring.

CIPS chief executive David Noble said the drop in employment was mainly confined to larger firms and signalled attempts to cut operating costs rather than “dampened demand”.

Commenting on the overall results, he said: “To see such a fast-paced recovery in the manufacturing sector is hugely encouraging. Strong growth in the intermediate goods sector should filter through to consumer and investment goods producers in the coming months, boding well for the sustainability of the upturn.”

Further coverage of PMI reports is available here.