The Collaboration Wheel – Your Tool for Successful Collaborations

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In a time of rapid change the ability to innovate and change quickly and effectively, again and again, is perhaps the only enduring competitive advantage. Those firms that can innovate and change constantly will thrive. Those that do not or cannot be left behind. This demands that companies seek outside their own ecosystem for ideas and execution in timely speed. Companies need to collaborate.How could a structured approach look like in the entire lifecycle of the relationship? 

We have developed the Collaboration Wheel, a tool which can help you create successful collaborations.

1. DEFINING THE NEED AND CREATING AWARENESS
As a company you need to be able to explain why you are looking for inspiration outside your own ecoinnovation system and most importantly how should it benefit your company? It is important that the open approach is anchored in your company´s strategy. It is also important that your leaders have a collaborative mindset. Check out this blogpost on Collaborative Leadership skills. Keywords:

  • Alignment with your company´s strategic objectives
  • Objective with your company´s Collaboration or Open Innovation Manifesto
  • Collaborative Leadership approach

2. GUIDING GOVERNANCE
The governance structure behind your approach is your backbone. The question is what type of collaboration culture you would like your employees to work by. What are their current skills and how much trust are they capable of and willing to put into the relationship? From an idea is generated to the idea is implemented – what are the roles and responsibilitues in that proces – and what happens in the relation if it does not get implemented. Keywords:

  • Creating a collaborative culture
  • Assessing people collaborative skills
  • Assessing the company´s collaboration maturity
  • Trustometer – Ecosystem trust
  • Stakeholder management
  • Decision making process
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Intellectual property Management

3. COLLABORATION PLATFORM (PEOPLE WITH PEOPLE)
Now that your backbone is in place and anchored in the strategy it is time to engage the people that are part of the process. What sort of tools and processes are you going to utilize for knowledge exploration, retention and exploitation? Keywords:

  • Knowledge exploration
  • Knowledge retention
  • Knowledge exploitation

4. CUSTOMER COLLABORATIVE ACTIVITIES
How is that your partners should be involved in your ecosystem, what sort of information are you going to share with them and how will you assist them? Keywords:

  • Ecosystem involvement
  • Customer communication
  • Customer assistance

5. GET MOVING
You have the system in place. Now it is time to seek out the ecosystem partners, assess their willingness and validate their capabilities. Keywords:

  • Seek ideas and ecosystem partners
  • Assess willingness
  • Validate ecosystem partner capabilities
  • Engage, collaborate and build trust

6. STAY ON TOP OF THINGS
It takes trust to manage a relationship. Do you have the knowledge about what triggers trust and how to use it effectively in your relationship?
If the relationship is not benefitting the company and the strategic direction it is time to say goodbye. How is the process and what triggers it? Keywords:

  • Manage relationship and maintain trust
  • Exit strategy, triggers and process

The world needs new solutions & more effective collaboration to solve some of the biggest challenges. That is why we inspire companies to move to more open forms of strategic innovation. We are doing that by mobilizing capabilities and resources for mutual benefits and by putting more focus on trust in the relationship. Get inspired on the Collaboration Growers platform.

Why embark on the Responsible Procurement journey?

You should embark on the Responsible Procurement journey – but why? Where should your focus be? In this info graphic I have tried to highlight the numbers behind. These numbers are excellent to build on when developing the business case. You do have a business case right? If not you can always seek inspiration on “how to” in my e-book: “Building a strategic approach to Responsible Procurement” which you can download right here.

Responsible Procurement Excellence (1)

15 questions you can ask your suppliers to reduce packaging

RP_key_questionsResponsible Procurement is about being actionable. It is about going beyond compliance. What can procurement do to make it more actionable? Procurement can work with approaches such as the Life Cycle Efficiency approach.

I have written a blogpost on Lifecycle Efficiency in procurement which you can read here.

As part of a Life Cycle Efficiency approach you are working with the waste types.

Download and read the e-book on the 7 waste types in procurement right  here.

One of the ways in which procurement can become more actionable is by placing some focus on the packaging waste and materials.

Use the below questions as a framework for discussions with the supplier.

REDUCING LOSSES IN PROCUCTION

  1. Has the shape of the packaging been designed to minimize wastage in production?
  2. Does the customer/consumer allow more products to be packed in a single container?

ELIMINATE PACKAGING

  1. Does the product need any packaging (e.g would a simple label suffice) – bearing min mind that eliminating packaging might reduce shelf life of some food produce?
  2. Can some layers of packaging be removed (e.g. remove inner bag from cardboard box)
  3. Could adhesives or tapes be replaced with interlocking tabs?
  4. Can separate labels be avoided by using direct printing or embossing?
  5. Can information be printed on the pack (e.g. inside the carton) rather than on a separate leaflet?

REDUCING VOID SPACE AND FILLERS

  1. Can void space be reduced (e.g. between carton board and plastic inner packaging)?
  2. Could the use of fillers and padding be reduced by designing a smaller container?
  3. Can air pressure be used to protect the product (as in a crisp packet)?

LIGHT WEIGHTING AND DOWNSIZING

  1. Can a blister pack be replaced by a smaller cardboard container with a product picture or a cut out window?
  2. Could the use of a scaled product photo replace a plastic film window or cut out window in a package?
  3. Is a double hollow-walled container specifically needed for strength/insulation
  4. Can plastic film be eliminated?
  5. Can adhesives with a low melting point be used?

Download and read the e-book on the 7 waste types in procurement right  here.

TestResponsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance, has a positive effect on the reputation, raises efficiency and generates revenue. Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

Contact Responsible Procurement Thought Leader Alis Sindbjerg Hemmingsen if you want to know more about how she can help your company excel in Responsible Procurement.

How to build a successful Responsible Procurement program

RP_Dollar_dot_greenIn my previous jobs at Danfoss, Lego and working with a University Hospital I have worked with procurement transformation.

In these jobs, program management was the backbone of the transformation process. A backbone which I think you should use as well in the delivery of your Responsible Procurement approach.

In this blogposts I will share my insights on how to build a successful Responsible Procurement program.  

WHAT IS PROGRAM MANAGEMENT?
Program management is about carrying out the coordinated organization, direction and implementation of a number of projects and transformation activities to achieve the planned outcomes and realize the benefits of strategic importance to the business. A responsible procurement approach typically has strategic importance to the business.

WHY USE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT?
Where there is major change there will be complexity and risk, many interdependencies to manage and conflicting prioritize to resolve. Experience shows, that organizations are likely to fail to deliver change successfully if:

  • There is a lack of management support and attention
  • There are unrealistic expectations of the organizational capacity and ability to change
  • There is insufficient focus on benefits and outcome of the approach
  • There is no real picture of the future capability
  • There is a poorly defined or poorly communicated vision
  • The organization has up until now failed to change it’s culture
  • There is insufficient engagement of stakeholders

How can you build your program – what elements should you consider?

I believe that there are 4 important aspects to a program:

Would you like us to help you develop your Responsible Procurement program? Contact us right away .

You can also download the e-book: Building a strategic approach to Responsible Procurement right here.

Responsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance management and builds on impact management.

Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

Make Visioning a Teamsport In Open Innovation

 

RP_barriers_involving_suppliersYou have decided that you would like to build a more open approach to your innovation efforts. This means that you are looking for ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your innovation processes. For instance through an active search for new technologies and ideas outside of the firm, but also through cooperation with suppliers and competitors.

The first step in establishing a solid approach is to create awareness and define the need you are looking for (Check out the Collaboration Growers Wheel). In this blog post, I would like to inspire you on how to create your own vision to help you define the need you are looking for and to help you create the awareness that is needed to secure your success.

WHAT IS OPEN INNOVATION?
The reason why it is called open innovation (or co-creation) is that it combines internal and external ideas as well as internal and external paths to market to advance the development of new technologies and other innovations. Open Innovation is not only about increasing the innovation efficiency but also about:

  • Increased speed and reduced time to profit
  • Obtaining an optimized innovation portfolio value and improved innovation profitability
  • Becoming customers of choice: By working collaboratively and sharing subsequent benefits, companies will attract more value from new and existing partners
  • By working more collaboratively product pipelines are enhanced using combined knowledge and intellectual property
  • Partnering in new ways can lead to disruptive new business models and keep your organization ahead of the competition

Why is Open Innovation necessary? First of all, the mobility and availability of highly educated people have increased over the years. As a result, large amounts of knowledge exist outside one’s own company. In addition to that, when employees change jobs, they take their knowledge with them, resulting in knowledge flows between companies. Second, the availability of venture capital has increased significantly recently, which makes it possible for good and promising ideas and technologies to be further developed outside the company.

WHAT DOES A VISION STATEMENT INCLUDE? 
A carefully crafted vision statement is at the heart of every successful business. This statement clearly and concisely communicates your business’s overall goals and can serve as a tool for strategic decision-making across the company. A vision statement, no matter how big or small the company, should serve as a description of the company’s overarching aspirations. A vision is a picture of the future. A changed future. The vision is a vital focus and enabler for the buy-in and motivation for stakeholders. The vision statement should encapsulate the vision and help communicate the desired future “to be”. This means:

  • The vision should be written as a future state. It should not be compared with the strategy or the business case. It should describe the organization in the future.
  • It should be written so it can easily be understood by all stakeholders. It should also be easy to communicate. So keep it short and focused. Do also make sure that the vision describes how the future will be different than the present.
  • It should describe a compelling future. It should touch both the head and the heart. Make sure it is not emotional or factual.
  • It uses the current burning platform as a justification of the change explaining why the organization can not stay where it is.
  • A vision should motivate everyone involved and should be respectful about the change that needs to happen.
  • Key benefits are implicit.
  • The vision should be flexible.
  • The vision should provide sufficient context and direction to enable the development of the program content.

CO-CREATE THE VISION WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES
Today’s most successful leaders guide their organizations not through command and control, but through a shared purpose and vision. These leaders adopt and communicate a vision of the future that impels people beyond the boundaries and limits of the past. But if the future vision belongs only to top management, it will never be an effective motivator for the workforce. The power of a vision comes truly into play only when the employees themselves have had some part in its creation. So my best advice to you is, make sure you develop the vision together with your employees and make sure you communicate it not only to your stakeholders but also to your innovation partners.

The world needs new solutions & more effective collaboration to solve some of the biggest challenges. That is why we inspire companies to move to more open forms of strategic innovation. We are doing that by mobilizing capabilities and resources for mutual benefits and by putting more focus on trust in the relationship. Get inspired on the Collaboration Growers platform.

How to build the governance structure in a Responsible Procurement program

RP_Man_dot_blueIn my previous jobs at Danfoss, Lego and working with a University Hospital I have worked with procurement transformation. In these jobs, program management was the backbone of the transformation process.

A backbone which I think you should use as well in the delivery of your Responsible Procurement approach.

In this blogpost I will share my insights and knowledge on how to build a successful Responsible Procurement governance structure – as part of a Responsible Procurement program.  

WHAT IS PROGRAM MANAGEMENT?
Program management is about carrying out the coordinated organization, direction and implementation of a number of projects and transformation activities, to achieve the planned outcomes and realize the benefits of strategic importance to the business. A responsible procurement approach typically has strategic importance to the business.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
In every program, however competent the employees are and however effective the procedures, some things will go wrong. The unexpected will arise and major unplanned changes may be called for. Effective leadership of a program can only be achieved through informed decision making and a flexible management approach. How can you organize and structure the program so it meets these needs?

PROGRAM BOARD AND SPONSORS
Typically there will be a sponsor who has the overall responsibility of the investment decision. Depending on the size of the company this could either be the CEO, CPO or perhaps the CSR manager.

Besides having the responsibility for the investment, sponsors typically also define the direction of the business and ensure the ongoing overall alignment of the program with the overall strategic direction of the organization.

Typically the sponsor (or sponsor group) will delegate the responsibility to a program board. The program board will then delegate the responsibility to the program manager.

The program board typically consists of people from across the organization – depending again on the DNA and size of the company.

TASKS OF THE PROGRAM BOARD
It is the task of the program board to:

  • Ensure that the program delivers within the agreed boundaries (e.g cost, organizational impact, expected vs. actual outcomes/benefits)
  • Resolving strategic and directional issues – ensuring the progress of the program
  • Define the acceptable risk profile for the program and the projects which have been defined
  • Resolve operational issues – it could be a supplier who is not willing to accept the Responsible Procurement requirements set forward by the company

Would you like us to help you develop your Responsible Procurement program – and governance structure? Contact us right away .

You can also download the e-book: Building a strategic approach to Responsible Procurement right here.

Responsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance management and builds on impact management.

Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

How to develop the Responsible Procurement business case in 7 steps

RP_Gears_dot_blueIn an earlier post named Why build a Responsible Procurement business case I described why a Responsible Procurement business case is important for your success.

In this post I want to share with you how you can develop the business case in 7 easy steps.

1. UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION
In my e-book, Understanding Responsible Procurement and creating value, I discuss the different drivers that you can choose to focus on (reputation, efficiency, revenue). Use these for inspiration on how to systematically identify the objectives that really matter to your business and to link them with a value target.

2. USE A QANTITATIVE MODEL
Additionally I also recommend, that you use a quantitative model to create your own financial case for investing in a Responsible Procurement approach. Also, that you define the financial targets for your approach, all of which are a great way of selling the potential benefits to the management team.

3. FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF YOUR COMPETITORS
In my opinion, it is essential to understand what others are doing, especially your competitors. I’m sure you can learn from them, so I would start by looking at their approach to Responsible Procurement and analyze the internal structure they have set up for managing their approach.

4. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Do you know how your customers work with Responsible Procurement? Or how they engage with their suppliers? Do you also know which metrics they use to evaluate the success of their approach and what their reporting practices are? As a minimum, you could examine their Code of Conducts to try and understand their approach to human rights, labor, and environmental and governance risks and challenges.

5. LISTEN TO OTHER IMPORTANT STAKEHOLDERS 
In CSR it is normal to work with stakeholders such as NGO´s in a strategic way. I think it is essential for the approach, and for the success, that procurement listens to the most important stakeholders. There are great cases out there where procurement has included NGO’s in developing the approach, which has resulted in great insights. So be brave and start by listening to them.

6. BUILD THE FACT-PACK
Find out what kind of information you need to gather, in order to develop your company’s strategic approach, e.g. spend data, current performance data, the workforce’s knowledge of responsibility, supplier knowledge and their willingness to undertake responsible principles in their business processes.

7. USE A GAP ANALYSIS
I recommend that you use a gap analysis to determine what you are doing today – and where you would like to move to. The gap- analysis model which I use is based on the Responsible Procurement Wheel. Learn more about the wheel and download right here.

Would you like us to help you develop your Responsible Procurement business case? Contact us right away – or start by downloading the e-book: Building a strategic approach to Responsible Procurement right here.

Responsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance management and builds on impact management.

Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

Why build a Responsible Procurement business case?

The Responsible Procurement WheelA recent study* shows that 23% think, that working with Responsible Procurement has reduced the company’s supply chain risk.

33% thinks, that Responsible Procurement has given more value to the products/services.

40% thinks that Responsible Procurement has added value to the supplier relationships.

What would you like to achieve with your approach to Responsible Procurement?

A Responsible procurement business case could help you answer that question.

WHY BUILD A BUSINESS CASE?
One of the main reasons to why you should work with a Responsible Procurement business case should be, that you systematically identify the objectives that really matter to your business and link them with a value target. You find out, what the benefits of implementing a Responsible Procurement approach is all about. You also estimate the value. At the same time you will identify the risks to achieving the benefits, costs of delivering them and the estimated timescales.

EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT IS KEY
It is also about expectation management. Your stakeholders, which could be your suppliers and buyers, know exactly what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. You are able to explain to them why and what you want to achieve – and what pressures are necessitating the changes.

GET MANAGEMENT SUPPORT AND ATTENTION
I often meet companies who haven’t had the chance to discuss what responsibility in procurement means to the company, what their commitment should be in the years ahead, and what benefits should be achieved in the long term. It’s essential to have these types of discussions at the highest level, in order to determine the right vision.

BOTTOM LINE IMPACT IS TYPICALLY KEY TO SUCCESS
It is also essential that the Responsible Procurement business case is based on, and aligned with, already existing strategies such as the company strategy, the CSR strategy and the procurement strategy. A well described business case is essential in terms of the change process and the success hereof. Especially if bottom line impact is essential.

A BUSINESS CASE SHOULD ANSWER THE FOLLOWING KEY QUESTIONS

  1. What should the long-term outcome be and how will it support the overall company, CSR and procurement strategy?
  2. What will motivate the company to invest in a Responsible Procurement approach?
  3. What will it take for the management team to commit to the process?
  4. How should the current business culture and values be reflected in the framework/concept and the changeprocess?
  5. When do you know that your approach is a success? What will you have achieved?

*A recent study from CBS (Copenhagen Business School) headed by Kim Sundtoft Hald, Associate Professor based on 338 danish companies.

Would you like us to help you develop your Responsible Procurement business case? Contact us right away – or start by downloading the e-book: Building a strategic approach to Responsible Procurement right here.

Responsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance management and builds on impact management.

Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

Product Stewardship: enabling retailers to find gold

RP_Cart_blueRetailers across the world do now recognize the fact, that managing the complete life cycle of the products they sell can help them.

It helps them identify opportunities to cut costs and innovate products, as well as identify potential business and supply risks. They call it product stewardship.

In this blogpost I will try and highlight how retailers (and others) can work with product stewardship.

GREAT BENEFITS OF PRODUCT SUSTAINABILITY
The consumer product supply chain is one of the most complex ones. It typically spans across countries and cultures. Also for a retailer, the greatest environmental, social and economic impacts and challenges lies in the supply chain.

Retailers can, if they intervene in their product supply chains, achieve business and environmental benefits such as stronger supplier relationships, lower transportation costs, greater transparency as well as mitigated risks and costs.

Already now retailers and suppliers have started improving business performance by developing training programs, initiating collaborative projects and by integrating a sustainable mind-set into the supply chain. Though retailers need to be more structured and actionable in order to find the “real gold” and convert it to the economic as well as the green bottom line.

A JOURNEY JUST STARTED
Retailers are at different stages on the road to managing the full lifecycle impacts. According to the 2013 Retail Sustainability report, 4 out of 5 retailers intend to engage in nearly all aspects of product supply chain sustainability within the next 5 years.

Efficiency in a product’s lifecycle must be a journey, that incorporates the “seed” of a contract, through to the “shoots” of product design, manufacture, transport, sale, and the “fruits” of product use, all the way to the “composting” at the end of a product’s life.

48% CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT
Only 48 % state that they incorporate environmental considerations when designing products. Design is the first stage in any products life.

Considerations like product size, ingredients or materials, function, energy usage specifications, packaging, recyclability etc. influence the future impacts associated with the manufacture, transport, use and disposal of the product.

Therefore, designing products with an eye to environmental efficiency, cost savings and product innovation is crucial.

In order to be able to do so retailers need to be internally aligned and partnerships with suppliers need to be in place.

LIFECYCLE ANALYSIS IS A KEY TOOL
Life Cycle Analysis is a key tool for assessing the lifecycle impacts of products.

A lifecycle analysis puts focus on the use of raw materials, manufacturing processes, transportation and typical use and disposal of products to calculate the impact of products across the full supply chain.

WE HELP RETAILERS
At Responsible Procurement Excellence we have also specialized in helping retailers:

  • We support establishing clear goals for a Product Stewardship/Lifecycle Efficiency approach
  • We help them understand the impact of decisions at each stage of the value chain by visualizing the “hot spots”
  • We develop future product design scenarios – by facilitating an innovative dialogue with the suppliers
  • If possible, we support the supplier in creating the plans to minimize the impact: Rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle
  • We help spread and sustain learning’s with key stakeholders: develop guidelines and policies based on projects and learning’s for the retailers other suppliers
  • We work with suppliers and buyers – raising capability and awareness through supplier seminars and best practice sharing.

400x400_alis-001Responsible Procurement Excellence has specialized in helping companies around the world develop and integrate an actionable approach to Responsible Procurement. An actionable approach goes beyond compliance, has a positive effect on the reputation, raises efficiency and generates revenue.

Stay connected, sign up for the newsletter.

Contact Responsible Procurement Thought Leader Alis Sindbjerg Hemmingsen if you want to know more about Life Cycle Efficiency.

How to ensure that the supplier selection process in procurement includes a CSR perspective

In Procurement you will see many different ways in which the supplier selection process is being conducted: Some companies have a formal selection process, others have one which is purely based on “the one who has the cheapest price”.

Since sustainability has become a burning issue to all in business, how can you ensure that CSR is considered in the supplier selection process?

In many procurement functions you will see sustainability being translated into a question of risk. Risk Management has become everybody’s business as capacity and demand soar and complexity dominates our thinking. Hence the process of selecting suppliers will carry more risk and more complexity. So the burning platform to create a process change should be there.

If I was to implement the change then I would start looking at the current supplier selection process (if any) and ask the following questions:

  1. First of all it is important to understand the drivers of the company’s responsible procurement approach: Which social, economic and environmental framework parameters are essential to the company, and which ones should be reflected, measured on and compared in the supplier selection process? [Read more…]
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