Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Mobile Mind Mapping

September 4, 2017

Since the Laptop ban that Mr Trump introduced some months ago I took it upon myself to change the way I worked and use enabling technology to my advantage. When the ban was announced I wrote an article and published it on LinkedIn entitled “Light and Easy is the way to go” (Access the article – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/light-easy-way-go-graham-smith-phd)

Twelve years previously I wrote my first article for Digital Oman about mobility, you can read the original article here http://www.digitaloman.com/indexb130.html?issue=2&lang=en&id=20_1

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To tell you the truth there are some things that you just can’t do on a mobile device, but I think that I will leave that for another blog.

I have been and still am a mind mapper for a considerable amount of years, using mind mapping in business for project management, reports, presentations, my own book, planning, brainstorming, training, consulting etc etc, the list of uses for me seems endless. Now I am using mind mapping in Education for teaching, management and my own education process. You can find many of my maps on BiggerPlate and just recently as part of the BiggerPlate Business Club I was offered the opportunity to speak on the subject of Business Process Management using a mind map for the presentation

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So what has the mobile device got to do with Mind Mapping and Mr Trumps laptop ban. Well it’s really all about size! the ban was about only allowing certain sized devices into the cabins whilst your laptop had to go with your baggage (if you are crazy enough to put it in the hold of an aircraft, I used to load aircraft once upon a time so I have a good idea about their handling). The size of the screen is all import when you are trying to Mind Map. Previously I would only mind map on consulting assignments with an iPad Air, basically a 10 inch screen, but since the April ban I have downsized considerably to approximately 5 x 3 inch screen of the iPhone 6+. MindGenius was my preferred mind mapping tool but having downsized I have had to find software I can use on the iPhone which suits my purpose.

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iThoughts2go on iPhone 6+

So I have a list of six which are suitable for this device and have worked extremely well on consulting assignments. There is one in my arsenal which is not really a mind mapping tool, but you can use it for mind mapping, but it’s primary use for me is Flowcharts and BPMN diagramming.

So here is the list with links to websites

  1. i Thoughts 2 go 
  2. MindMeister
  3. MindMaple
  4. iMindMap
  5. Lucidchart
  6. Mindjet Maps

The example shown below is a flowchart for teaching Academic English Writing that was developed for a University Course on the subject. Lucidchart is a great online tool for both business and education.

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To summarise things are getting smaller and smaller, but capability is getting larger and larger. With these small portable devices and mapping software I can pretty much go anywhere and do my work or own education. People do say that these screens are to small, but so far I have not found it a disadvantage in what I am doing. For me it’s really about the software’s functionality and usability.

 

 

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Strategic Sourcing, what is it all about?

December 17, 2013

Strategic sourcing processes introduced in the mid-nineties have proven to be so robust that even today they remain broadly similar.

This quick overview is not an absolute step-by-step template, because each organisation is unique and each deployment, although broadly similar, will be unique. It is not designed as a one-size-fits-all approach as this will not align your sourcing strategies with what your organisation wants to achieve. One thing that has been learnt from multiple deployments is that successful organisations drive deployment of strategic sourcing in their own way. 

Definitions

stra·te·gic [struh-tee-jik] – adjective

1. Helping to achieve a plan, for example in business or politics;

2. Pertaining to, characterised by, or of the nature of strategy: strategic movements;

3. Of an action, as a military operation or a move in a game, forming an integral part of a stratagem: a strategic move in a game of chess.

sourc·ing [sawr-sing, sohr-] – noun

1. Buying of components of a product or service delivery from a supplier.

Strategic sourcing is an integral part of a wider business strategy to improve profitability and, in turn, shareholder value. It is directly linked and specific to the business, and illustrates opportunities within the supply base to either reduce cost or increase the value of products or services required by the business. Typically, it includes demand management and supplier management. However, increasingly it is becoming important to factor in total cost of ownership (TCO) and sustainability. 

Demand management

Understanding the specification and volume requirements from the business ensures that needs can be appropriately met and that resources are not being wasted. Demand management is not about reducing contract volumes. Rather, it is about ensuring that contract volumes are appropriate for meeting the needs and objectives of the organisation. A core process that will contribute to the strategic sourcing plan is the sales and operations planning process (S&OP).

The S&OP is an integrated business management process through which the business continually achieves alignment and synchronisation between all functions of the organisation. It generally includes:

• an updated sales plan;

• a production or delivery plan;

• inventory holdings;

• customer lead times and commitments;

• a new product development plan;

• a strategic initiative plan;

• a financial plan.

The strategic sourcing team would ultimately be involved in several of these areas, to contribute towards capacity planning and to understand how each feeds into the overall plan and influences demand profiles.

Supplier Management

Understanding the capability, costs and capacity within the supply base ensures that business requirements can be appropriately matched without incurring higher costs. Systematic improvements in supplier management not only improve cost of goods and services but can also improve relationships with suppliers. This can lead to supplier relationship management (SRM) – tools and processes that enable the proactive management of an ongoing business relationship to secure a competitive advantage for your organisation.

To deploy SRM, an organisation needs to decide on a segmentation approach that considers the internal needs of the business, spend, and also accounts for risk to the business. Broadly speaking there are four high-level categories of suppliers.

Transactional suppliers are where little or no relationship or performance management activity is undertaken. Either the suppliers are utilised infrequently or the supplier is of low value to the business. These suppliers can be easily switched for another if required.

Performance-managed suppliers focus on ensuring delivery of the contracted goods and services to the required cost and service levels, rather than on building a collaborative long-term relationship.

Relationship-managed suppliers have some strategic value, so elements of SRM needs to be applied here.

Strategic suppliers are typically either business critical suppliers, or high spend suppliers. Generally the most effort is expended on this category to drive a mutually beneficial collaborative relationship. This is an effective route to improving costs through the Value Add or Value Engineering (VA/VE) process. A close working relationship with strategic suppliers also leads to a greater understanding (and reduction) of the TCO of products or services. 

Total Cost of Ownership

Understanding TCO is becoming increasingly important to procurement. Legislation concerning the environment is affecting the way we do business either through EU directives such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations or through corporate social responsibility programmes that drive different behaviours from the business. It is important to factor in not just the acquisition costs but also the cost of doing business with the supply base and any return flows or on-cost from recycling. 

Sustainability

The fourth element of strategic sourcing also provides part of the rationale for driving it within the organisation. Being able to sustain the supply of goods and services while de-risking the supply chain as well as balance the total costs is ultimately the responsibility of procurement.

A coherent approach

Tying all activities together into a coherent plan will transform the business, as only the procurement team can do. Internal ‘silos’ are built as a company grows. Although each silo represents the company’s acquisition of knowledge and improves the ability to deliver value to the customer, they can also create inefficiencies in the business, leading to organisational inertia. This can slow the pace of change and reduce the capability for innovation. Creating a plan balanced across the four areas ensures you will engage with the business and supply base.

When creating a communications plan, consider each of the four areas and how they might affect the stakeholder. Simple, bite-sized statements work well for those in more senior levels of the organisation. However, greater detail will be needed for others, especially where they perceive they might have to change what they do. Build in the wider plan, so each stakeholder can see all issues and organisational levels have been considered.

Develop your plan and highlight the best solutions for each area of the business. Consider using a SWOT analysis (see below) to develop the ideal outcomes.