Category Archives: Supply Chain & Logistics

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What Does the Future Hold for Procurement?

 

By Rebecca Langdon

According to the highly publicised study by Osborne and Frey; The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization – out of 702 jobs most likely to be automated, purchasing was 111th. In recent years the procurement function has received renewed attention as the likes of Amazon have demonstrated the importance of the supply chain to organisational success. It is always interesting to consider disruptive forces which alter the shape of the profession. You will not be surprised to know that our top 3 are all technology based!

  • Artificial intelligence

When people talk about artificial intelligence, it often goes hand in hand with robotic imagery. However what we are really talking about is incredibly powerful computers which have the capability to ‘learn’. This is typically paired with ‘big data’, which has the capability to handle repetitive tasks quickly and without the need for human intervention. A potential target within the procurement space would be tasks in the accounts payable and accounts receivable space. For example the matching of invoices, and pushing through workflows.

  • The internet of things

The internet of things is already disrupting procurement. Digitized stock means that suppliers are able to monitor the levels of throughput. There is a positive side to this as let’s say for example you are the procurement manager of a retailer and you always want the shelves to be stocked at 80-100%. If the supplier has access to the stock levels you can set up an agreement for them to deliver without you having to be involved in tactical ordering.

  • Driverless logistics

I am sure you have read a lot about driverless cars, and they are set to become a frequently seen reality imminently. It will transform supply chains as drivers will no longer be required, and in the long term as the roads are full of driverless cars, it is set to reduce traffic on the roads. In fact, Dubai based port operator, DP World, is already using remote controlled quay cranes, security drones, and driverless trucks at its Jebel Ali terminal.

 In Summary

We should not fear change, and in fact technology is set to make procurement careers all the more exciting, by allowing humans to focus on the more strategic work and generate organisational value. It will be the more qualified candidates who are more resistant to technology making their jobs redundant. Therefore if you are in the profession, and you are not yet accredited, perhaps you should consider the CSCP.

 

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Be Inspired with the Top Project Management Trends for 2017

 

By Lyndsey Mclaughlin

Good project management is key within any business, as it ultimately determines whether projects will be delivered on time, stay within budget and reach a successful conclusion. When a project fails to deliver, it can be costly for a business. It can cost the business money and there is also the risk of losing out on key clients. Whether you are a project manager by title or you manage your own projects, it is important to keep up with project management trends, if you want to be as effective as possible. These are some of the project management trends for 2017.

Staff Investment

Great staff are your most important asset when it comes to project management and investing in staff is one of the trends for 2017. Without the right resources, it is unlikely that projects will perform as highly as they could, so investing in staff is worthwhile for the overall success of a project. Project managers should invest as much as possible on good, quality staff, who will exceed the expectations of their role.

Certification

There is a growing trend for project managers to become certified, as there is evidence to support the link between this and the performance of projects. It is thought that around 80% of projects which perform well, have a certified project manager leading the way. A PMP certification program can equip PM’s with the right knowledge and skills to ensure high performance with the project.

Project Management Software

In 2017, we will see an increase in the use of project management software to support projects. It is thought that project management software can help improve the success of projects and can help ensure high performance. The right software can help project managers to make the best use out of their resources and to create essential milestones to keep the project on track. Companies who invest in project management software in 2017, are likely to enjoy better results than those who fail to make this outlay.

 

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6 Steps to Improving Customer Service

 

By Joanne Jeffries

In today’s competitive environment, customer service has to be of the highest quality. The customer of a facilities manager is typically other functions within their own organization. For example a facilities manager who is responsible for catering within the office should consider all employees that eat in the restaurant or café as their customers.

Quality customer service needs to be the norm and these six steps provide a good framework to delivering excellent customer service.

Step 1: Actively listen

 

All too often, facility managers and companies pay lip service to what customers are actually telling them. This should be a subjective exercise – talking to customers, getting their ideas and feedback – as well as an objective exercise, collecting data and making judgments on hard facts.

Step 2: Open up feedback channels

 

From listening on social media to direct contact by and with customers, have as many ‘listening channels’ as you can. This not only helps to understand what your customers want, but what others are saying in the industry.

Step 3: Train your staff (and keep it up!)
Customer service constantly changes and so training from 10 or even two years ago is no longer relevant. Excellent customer service should be part and parcel of ongoing staff development and training. This means ensuring that all individuals who are customer facing are trained appropriately.


Step 4: Not a one-off activity

Customer service should be a continuous coaching activity, with everyone constantly thriving to deliver his or her absolute best in customer service. No one is excluded, from senior management to front-of-house staff and beyond.


Step 5: ASK your customers what they think/want/need

It can be daunting asking for feedback, especially when you hear the opposite of what you want to hear! Staying in touch with customers, checking what they want and need is key to propelling mediocre customer service to an excellent standard.


Step 6: Measure your results

You may ask a question but you do you take note of the answer? Do you have an overview of what your customers are asking for? When you act on these suggestions, you should also monitor how well these changes are being accepted, as well as their impact on your service delivery.


In summary

Customer service is not something that should be left to chance. It should be an on-going training activity and one placed firmly at the forefront of the service that you offer. The role of a facilities manager often involves delivering services to employees, albeit this may be done indirectly via subcontractors. Regardless of the service delivery method, it is imperative that you ensure excellent customer service is delivered. Frameworks for success are discussed further in the FMP course.

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The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt: Is it For You?

By Kate Rawdon

 

Lean Six Sigma is a simple set of tools and methods for making any business as profitable and efficient as possible. By maximizing profits, and minimizing costs, a business can be completely transformed for the better through teaching employees the Lean Six Sigma principles.

How Lean Six Sigma works

The processes within any business are the key to its success or failure, because they all affect the bottom line. What Lean Six Sigma teaches are measurable and strategic ways to improve any process within a business that can be improved.

 

Through use of statistics, analysis and lasting change, Lean Six Sigma methods lead to measurable positive changes.

Who is it for?

The Black Belt is an advanced level of Lean Sigma Six training which is applicable to any employees in an organization who lead projects and manage teams.

 

Employees at these levels will work strategically to implement the principles of Lean Six Sigma across the areas of an organization for which they are responsible, and the principles will affect everything they do.

 

This kind of training is vital for strategic thinkers in a business, who are able to devote their time to making sure Lean Six Sigma methods are always at work within the organization, through their leadership and management.

Level 3: The Black Belt

This advanced program teaches the teachers - that is, the managers and agenda-setters within any business. It enables them to fully grasp all the tools and principles of Lean Sigma Six, to effectively analyze and permanently solve problems within their business, and to manage projects and teams to do the same.

 

A few examples of employees in an organization who can benefit from Black Belt training: Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Engineers, COOs, CFOs, Directors of Operations, Directors of Training, Quality Managers, Directors of Quality, Service Managers, Service Directors, Owners, Finance Managers, Project Managers, CIOs, IT Director or Managers, Scientists and Consultants, just to mention a few.

 

What you’ll learn

With this highly advanced course, you’ll learn everything you need to continually improve your business and to teach other employees to do the same.

 

For example, with the tried and tested DMAIC method you can measurably and significantly improve any process within a business - a vital skill for effective leaders.

 

Not only can you change the fortunes of your current business, but having this certification will also make you incredibly desirable in the job market, because of the universal way this skillset can be applied to any business. Enroll now to change your personal and professional fortunes.

 

Morgan International offers the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in partnership with BlueSkye Track and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Explore the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course outline in more details here.

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Earning Your CSCP Is The Way to Stand Out in a Fast-Growing Industry

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

The world’s growing population means that demand for (and delivery of) goods is on the rise, which in turn is creating a boom in the field of transport and logistics. On the one hand this means increasing opportunities for job seekers, but at the same time industry competition is creating a need for certified Supply Chain Management professionals who can bring recognized skills to the table. In fact, whether you’re already in the supply chain & logistics industry or looking to make a career move into it, certification is your passport to standing out from the crowd; it will not only prove you have the skills, but will also show you are committed to working in the industry, and willing to go that extra mile to prove your edge over your competitors.

So which certification to choose? Morgan International offers the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification, a globally accepted credential that since launching in 2006 has been earned by more than 10,000 professionals in 78 countries. Split into three easy-to-follow modules, the course covers a rich and comprehensive field of study that provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of supply chain management, APICS supply chain strategy, design, and compliance, and APICS implementation and operations. At the end an exam is taken and. if successful. your subsequent accreditation will send a clear message that you have mastery and specialized knowledge of supply chain and logistics.

While you would be right in thinking this puts you in a prime position for a job opening, it also enhances your potential for promotion and earning power. But you are not the only one who benefits from your APICS CSCP accreditation. CSCP certified professionals are particularly attractive to businesses because of their demonstrable skills that can make a valuable contribution to a company’s performance. These skills include the ability to strategically streamline operations, to effectively manage global supply chain activities with partners around the world, to instill consistency and foster collaboration through best practices, and to understand the valuable technologies that drive planning and management of successful operations.

In essence, the CSCP certification represents a win-win situation: you gain the credentials to help you stand out from the crowd, while businesses gain a skilled employee who can help them rise to new heights.

 

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4 Essential Lessons to Learn During a Project Management Crisis

By Lyndsey Mclaughlin

The role of a project manager is a challenging one and this means there is also the additional responsibility of being able to handle problems as they arise. An effective project manager should always have a contingency plan to enable them to cope with a crisis and to get the project back on track. If you are facing a project management crisis, fear not, there are ways to deal with it without jeopardizing the project.

Identify the Problem

The first step is to identify the crisis, as this will enable you to gain a better understanding of how to deal with it. Some typical problems may be that the project is running over budget or that it is unlikely to be delivered on time. It could be that the client has changed their expectations, which can often happen with projects. It is important not to panic when a crisis has been identified and instead, deal with it in a calm and productive way.

The Cause

As well as identifying the problem, you also need to gain an understanding of how the problem has arisen in the first place. When you have this knowledge, you will be better equipped to understand how to deal with it. For example, if your project is unlikely to be delivered on time, it may be down to a lack of essential resources. A member of your team may have left the project unexpectedly or they may not have fulfilled the expectations of their role. These problems can happen in any project and without warning, so it is important to know exactly why the crisis has arisen.

Communicate with Team

In order to be able to handle a project management crisis, it is important to communicate effectively with your team and anyone who may be associated with the project. Although you may be running the project, it doesn’t mean that you need to deal with problems yourself and if you don’t communicate with your team, they may not be aware of the issue until it’s too late.

Problem Solve

Together with your team, you can decide on what action to take to deal with the crisis. For instance, if you have lost an essential resource, you may be able to assign the additional tasks to other team members. If you are behind schedule, it may be that members of your team can work extra hours to get it back on track. There are always ways to deal with a crisis and as they say, two heads are better than one!

Learn more with our Project Management Professional Online Course.

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7 Tips to Negotiating a Smarter Service Level Agreement (SLA)

 

By Joanne Jeffries

Service Level Agreements (SLA) set out a contract of who is responsible for what and for facility managers, they are fundamental to ensure they will receive the service they expect. Getting the right SLA agreed can be hard work. Here are seven top tips for getting a better, smarter SLA:


Tip 1:  Get legal advice

 

You may think that bringing in lawyers or seeking legal advice will not only be expensive, but also be a hindrance to the process, slowing negotiations etc. Having a lawyer to review documents is a smart move, preventing problems that could be far more expensive to resolve at a later stage.


Tip 2: Start with a standard SLA

 

Is it such a bad idea to use a standardized SLA? Standardized SLAs are helpful, but you need to ensure that they also meet with your requirements and those of your business. Most people when presented with a standardized SLA may still want legal advice and input from other stakeholders within the business.

 

Tip 3:  Sticks and carrots

 

SLAs have for some time, been the ‘stick’ in a relationship. When the service provider has not met targets etc., there was a ‘punishment’. This is not the only approach with many modern SLAs providing ‘carrots’, with cause for redress when things don’t quite according to plan clearly set out.
Tip 4: Surpass performance

 

SLAs should clearly show what would happen if standards are not met but how about if these standards are surpassed? SLAs can be just as much about improving standards as it is about setting them. Some businesses are taking a more modern approach and incentivizing vendors that exceed targets.


Tip 5: Build in a pro-active approach

 

When things do go wrong, what can happen is a series of incriminating emails and phone calls, all looking to apportion blame. An SLA can emphasize good practice at all levels. Building in a clear escalation process upfront can save a lot of time later on.

Tip 6: Consider outsourcing as part of an SLA

 

Your company may not be able to deliver everything to the high standard expected. Rather than waiting for problems to arise, make it part of the SLA that you can outsource some parts of the service to a third party supplier if required.

 

Tip 7: Pay attention to the detail

 

The devil is in the detail and this is certainly true when it comes to SLAs. For a smart deal, pay close attention to the detail because it is these small clauses that can come back to haunt you.

Summary

Understanding and being able to implement effective SLAs is key to facilities management. How smart are your SLAs and contracts? If you are interested in learning more, please do take an opportunity to review the FMP accreditation.

 

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The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt: Is it For You?

 

Lean Six Sigma is a simple set of tools and methods for making any business as profitable and efficient as possible. By maximizing profits, and minimizing costs, a business can be completely transformed for the better through teaching employees the Lean Six Sigma principles.

How Lean Six Sigma works

The processes within any business are the key to its success or failure, because they all affect the bottom line. What Lean Six Sigma teaches are measurable and strategic ways to improve any process within a business that can be improved.

Through use of statistics, analysis and lasting change, Lean Six Sigma methods lead to measurable positive changes.

Who is it for?

Through the more basic Yellow Belt training, all employees can learn the basics of Lean Six Sigma and can contribute to the success of the overall strategy for their organization.

But it takes a more in-depth and hands-on level of training for managers and team leaders who will be responsible for leading and implementing change.

The more responsibility the employee has within an organization, the more advanced Lean Six Sigma training they should have - this more advanced training is a must for all key mid and high level employees when it comes to an organization’s success.

Level 2: The Green Belt

The second level of Lean Six Sigma training is the Green Belt Program. All managers and high level staff should have this training, either as an end in itself or on their way to gaining their Black Belt certification.

Some of the people within your organization who can benefit from Green Belt training: Quality Managers, Production Managers, Operations Managers, Service Managers, Engineer, Finance Managers, Project Managers, Owners, Training Managers, Directors of Training, IT specialists, Health care practitioners, Consultants and Managers, just to mention a few.

What you’ll learn

The Green Belt training is very practical, because it prepares staff for an active role in identifying an organization’s problems and working towards permanent fixes.

Green Belt training shows staff how to collect data, lead on projects, guide teams and put Lean Six Sigma methods into practice for the benefit of their business.

It's incredibly valuable training to bring to any organization, and can also significantly improve your personal value in the job market. So enroll on our Green Belt program today, and watch your career prospects take off.

 

Morgan International offers the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in partnership with BlueSkye Track and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Explore the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course outline in more details here.

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So You Want a Career in Supply Chain?

 

By Rebecca Langdon

This particular career has many job titles, some doing the same job under different names, and of course, many different variations. To name a few; procurement manager, procurement analyst, supply chain manager, contract manager, sourcing manager, vendor manager, and the list goes on. The one thing they all have in common is that the day to day job involves the management of the supply chain, whether holistically or just one particular element. An individual who is interested in undertaking any one of those roles, and wants to keep their options open, would be encouraged to undertake the CSCP accreditation. The reason being that it covers a wide breadth of material compared to other courses, which equips the candidate with a broad skill set when they are looking for an exciting new role.

What will you learn?

The syllabus is broad, so there is always something to keep you interested. The core areas are:

  • Supply chain design
  • Developing the supply chain strategy and designing the supply chain
  • Supply chain planning and execution
  • Procuring and delivering goods and services
  • Managing supply chain relationships
  • Managing reverse logistics
  • Supply chain improvement and best practice
  • Standards, regulations, and sustainability
  • Managing risk
  • Improving the supply chain

In Summary

The CSCP programme is the most widely recognized educational program for operations and supply chain management professionals globally. It is easy to see why, and if you are interested in finding out more then please contact us at Morgan, or take a look at the website.

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When Project Management Meets Change Management

 

By Lyndsey Mclaughlin

Changes are inevitable within any organization and these need to be managed effectively to ensure they don’t adversely affect the business. Some typical types of changes are a merger with another business, rebranding or downsizing. Project management provides the structure to ensure this happens, while change management focuses on the people side of the change and how it will impact on individuals and departments. Change management and project management are most efficient when they work together for the good of the organization and it is important for project managers in particular to understand this. When project management meets change management and they work well together, there are many benefits.

Common Goal

In order for a project to be completed successfully, it is essential to have the support of staff and this is where change management and project management can work well together. If change management is implemented effectively, staff will be supportive of the change and thus, the project will be more likely to be successful. Everyone is working towards a common goal, which is essential for a project to be managed effectively.

Identify Risks

Any change can cause potential risks to a business and through combining change management and project management, these risks can be identified quickly and the overall impact of this on the business can be determined. Project managers can incorporate these risks into the management of the project and ensure the negative impact is minimalized.

Communication

Change management ensures employees know what to expect from the change and how it may impact them. For example, if the organization is merging with another company, change management would ensure that employees know how this will affect them and will be communicated with throughout the change. When the two work together, the project team will be aware of reactions to the change and will be able to integrate this information into managing it successfully.

Considering a career in Project Management? Why not explore our PMP course outline.