How to make Supply Chain more ethical?

How to make Supply Chain more ethical?

How to apply Agile methodology in the purchasing department

How to apply Agile methodology in the purchasing department

The current economic scenario requires faster responses from both companies and their employees. Aspects such as late deliveries of indirect material, for example, can generate a series of problems within the operations chain, impacting productivity and, consequently, financial return.

In order to try to respond to these demands, the Agile methodology becomes fundamental. In this text, we talk about the main concepts of agile mindset and give some tips on how to implement it in the purchasing sector.

What is the Agile mindset?

There are many cases that can exemplify the moment we live in: considering the field of technology, for example, extensive communication networks have been developed that allow instantaneous interaction between individuals in different parts of the world. Regarding the economy, we have seen supply chains become global, influencing and changing processes that involve a number of actors (suppliers, buyers, logistics companies, among others).

There are many experts and academics who seek to conceptualize what we live in the modern world. An example is the term VUCA, created by the US military to define scenarios and contexts of war, which has come to be used as a business strategy as well – long story short, VUCA is an acronym composed by the first letter of the words: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

More recently, in order to expand this concept, the term MUVUCA was also introduced, with the addition of two new elements: Meaningful (all actions are guided by a purpose as a result of the search for a meaning for life and the world) and Universal (concern about the global impact of what we do).

In order to find a way to follow up a reality in constant change, the agile methodology emerges: coming from the Information Technology sector, it seeks to reduce the rigidity of traditional organizations’ processes and procedures, encouraging smaller and faster deliveries, constant reviews and collaborative work. Read our Agile Supply Chain article to understand more about it.

What are the agile principles?

Even though it emerged in the IT area, the set of principles and processes that make up the agile methodology started to be used by different types of departments and organizations. In the purchasing area it is also incorporated as an alternative to the traditional model of acquisitions.

It is important to emphasize that the adoption of agile thinking is not an easy task, it requires organizational changes and the willingness of employees to change. The use of this methodology also depends a lot on the context, but there are some topics that can be applied in all situations:

1- Consumer / customer satisfaction is the main element: highest priority, with a focus on deliveries happening correctly and in a short time. This customer or consumer can be thought of in many contexts: in the case of purchasing indirect materials, for example, it refers to the company that needs a spare part to continue its production.

2- Change as an opportunity: this new way of dealing with challenges is extremely important, regardless of the context in which the change occurs, helping to increase the competitive advantages and the satisfaction of the clients served. The focus now is on solving a problem and not on the problem itself.

3- Speed ​​and value go together: in short periods of time, high value-added deliveries must be made, whether the value is tangible or intangible. These deliverables can be products or services resulting from a process or project, which must be regularly revisited with updates. Here, “value” can be understood as the customer’s view (or expectation) of benefits and sacrifices in relation to what is offered.

4- Collaboration overcoming conflict: members of a project must develop the team mentality, in order to guarantee the transparency of communication and the shared commitment to guarantee success.

5- Power to people: projects are built and led by people and teams engaged. That is, they must be given the tools and working conditions necessary to succeed and complete the assigned tasks. Soluparts already understands and applies this concept since its creation, reflecting it in our purpose: Empowering Buyers, a maxim that reinforces the company’s focus on customer satisfaction.

6- Interpersonal focus: face-to-face communication is the most efficient way to share information between teams. Working with emotional and cultural intelligence can be very relevant in this case.

7- Demonstrable values ​​and results must guide each project: deliveries that meet or exceed expectations in terms of precision and value (tangible and intangible) become useful references for future initiatives and projects.

8- Keeping activities stable and sustainable: while delivering value is a priority, processes must be developed and optimized from a sustainable perspective to ensure that everyone is involved in a stable manner, without surprises that hinder decision-making.

9- Continuous improvement ensures agility: processes must be increasingly efficient through regular changes.

10- Simplicity is an essential element: maximizing returns using the least possible resources.

11- Self-managed teams are more successful: better results come from agile teams that are able to organize themselves.

12- There is always room for improvement: reassessing processes and making necessary changes to bring more efficiency and effectiveness are always welcome.

The twelve principles shown above, are based on the Agile Manifesto, which is the basis of mentality and all agile methodologies around the world. These principles were designed and coined by the Agile Alliance, a global non-profit organization committed to supporting people who explore and apply agile values, principles and practices to make the development of solutions and projects more effective, humane and sustainable.

This alliance was created by a group of 17 developers who, at a meeting in Utah, USA, from February 11 to 13, 2001, developed the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Read more about the Manifesto and its principles on the alliance’s official website.

Agile thinking in the purchasing department

Unlike traditional models, most commonly focused on cost reduction, Agile thinking in purchasing seeks to generate value by supporting the organization’s objectives and business needs. Considering some crucial aspects of the procurement sector, it is possible to raise the main differences between the traditional and Agile forms of purchasing:

Deliveries:

Instead of fixed and extensive planning and documentation, with the Agile methodology, a more responsive, objective and iterative position is valued, attentive to the real needs of the moment. Thus, identifying priorities becomes very important for purchasing employees.

Contracts:

The focus should be on elaborate more collaborative terms and built stronger relationships with suppliers, having as a result the gaining of shared success (questioning the competitiveness and rigidity present in traditional format contracts). Learn more about the topic.

Supply chains:

They have to be iterative and responsive, in other words, suppliers can be changed after a round of work, as required by changing circumstances. On this topic, see the article we have specifically prepared on the application of agile methodology in the context of supply chains.

4 steps to make your purchasing department more agile, today

Below are some ways to make your purchasing process more agile:

1- Daily meetings at the beginning of the work day: lasting between 15 and 30 minutes, these meetings help to establish the day’s tasks, encouraging collaboration between team members to solve possible problems. In many companies, to encourage agility, it is proposed that participants remain standing;

2- Apply the notion of sprints, which would be small projects or project fragments, sequences of iterative work (with repetition of actions) in order to have a more compartmentalized notion of the whole, speeding up possible reevaluations and changes in the acquisition path;

3- Definition of priorities: in the face of frequent changes within the company, establishing priorities and regularly reviewing them helps to streamline the purchasing process;

4- of software that helps in Agile management: technology can help centralize data related to a purchase, in addition to facilitating communication and alignment between dispersed teams. There are a series of programs aimed at the application of Agile methodology in companies.

Conclusion

In this article, we show how Agile methodology can help a lot to optimize the projects and processes of purchasing departments. Even though the method was originated to meet the demands of software development, many business areas have adopted these guidelines, resulting in more effectiveness and efficiency. Responding quickly to market changes has become a competitive advantage.

The purchasing department has a lot to learn from Agile, but for that it is necessary to be sure that its organizational culture and professionals in the area are flexible and resilient. To help you optimize your purchasing department, we suggest the following readings:

Solving the 5 main problems of the purchasing department

4 ways to improve the management of indirect materials purchases

Strategic Sourcing: improving the purchasing process

The role of Strategic Force’s in Procurement 4.0

 

Another way to streamline the activities of your purchasing department is to count on a company specialized in the search for spare parts (MRO) from more than 15000 brands anywhere in the world, such as Soluparts.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your company!

 

beneficios-de-realizar-a-compra-de-materiais-indiretos-no-exterior

Benefits of purchasing indirect materials abroad

 

In a world characterized by the presence of numerous global supply chains, with products being marketed by partners in different countries, the import process gains strength, agility and practicality, becoming an advantageous decision for buyers interested in getting the best deals.

In the automotive sector, for example, a survey carried out by the Brazilian magazine Quatro Rodas reveals that importing parts can be 80% cheaper than buying from local suppliers.

As much as this practice is commonly adopted around the world, there is still a certain fear in the business sector regarding the procedures that involve importation. In many cases, buyers end up preferring to keep local partners, even if that means paying more for parts, rather than establishing agreements with international suppliers.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of purchasing indirect materials abroad, in addition to give you some relevant tips to increase the degree of success in this type of negotiation.

Why make international purchases?

There are a number of reasons why importing a replacement part or indirect material is interesting compared to buying locally, other than optimizing the procurement process and increasing the companies’ profit margin:

● Conditions are advantageous: factors related to the country where the purchase will be made (taxes, average wages and other expenses with the production of parts) must be considered in the import process.

● Smaller costs: in many cases, the cost of each part is lower compared to the local market. When the buyer purchases a nationalized part (produced abroad and imported by a national supplier), the value includes the cost of production, its nationalization and the profit of those who sell.

● Product quality: if you choose an international purchase, you can acquire indirect materials produced from more advanced technologies and processes.

● Access to exclusive resources: some materials can only be found in some parts of the world, guaranteeing direct access to them.

9 ways to increase the benefits of importing

Here are some tips for conducting purchases in an international context:

1. Analyze your supply chain frequently

It is important to review your supply chain from time to time as a result of possible changes in the foreign market (such as the formation of alliances, the end of trade embargoes or the adoption of new practices by countries). In other words, it is important to discuss periodically new and favorable trade agreements that can reduce or eliminate taxes, interesting global trends in the production of a certain product and new bilateral agreements between nations.

Another point of attention is the lead time and the type of transport adopted. Depending on the piece, the most convenient is air freight, used 80% of the time by companies. In this case, the deadline for receiving the material can reach one week, which sometimes corresponds to the delivery of a piece purchased in the national market.

In cases when the part requires sea freight, which average delivery time is over a month, it’s important that you can count on a structured purchases plan. It is also worth remembering that when buying in large quantities the price of your freight decreases.

2. Understand in depth the origin and availability of parts in the domestic and foreign markets

Before defining which parts will be purchased abroad, it is important to make a careful assessment to identify and understand the availability of this material in the national and international markets.

An indirect material of smaller dimensions and high demand, for example, is probably constantly imported in large quantities by the national supplier, which makes its cost advantageous even in the domestic market. In such cases, the part may even have prompt delivery.

It’s also important to check the existence of similar parts, it’s possible some of them are available in the national market. For this, try to understand well the demand of the company’s maintenance area.

On the other hand, in the case of an obsolete part or a part used only in more specific situations, it may be worthwhile to import. Also note if the required part is produced only on demand or if it is always available on stock for purchase – if so, try to understand if your company has a warehouse near a particular manufacturer, this will lower the delivery costs.

3. Conduct risk assessments

In addition to having a team focused on risk management, it is suggested that your company’s logistics team assesses risks in a way that allows you to be informed about possible delays or other issues before their occurrence. This way, you can have alternative options to increase the security of your business operation.

When planning nationalization, ensure that your company is working with good agents (insurance companies, carriers, forwarders and freight agents recognized in the market) and keep in touch with everyone throughout the process.

4. Maintain relationships with local trade associations

Associations focused on this topic, whether in the country where the company is located or where you intend to make a purchase, provide important news and information on international trade and safety tips. They can even help you secure new business opportunities, broker new partnerships and increase your list of trusted suppliers and contacts.

5. Have good software for managing acquisitions

Working with different cultures, monetary systems, laws and languages can make payment control, compliance and deadlines very complex. Having a good information system to manage purchases, contracts and communication with partners and other audiences is crucial to prevent something from being overlooked. To know more about the subject, read our article on the best software for purchasing management.

6. Define work goals

Setting goals is crucial to achieving the expected success – a good way to start is to determine the cost savings that can be achieved by starting to buy more parts from the international market instead of the national one.

It is a highly complex activity, since it involves issues external to the company, escaping its control. However, even if the goal is not achieved, it is a good way to assess business practices and create strategies for future business negotiations with international partners.

Before setting your goals, it is important to try to understand the forecast of the demands for a certain period and consult the budget available to your department.

7. Consolidate shipping

Bulk orders help reduce costs related to payment, shipping and custom fees. When developing a good relationship with the supplier, it is possible, for example, to negotiate the import of more products at a reduced cost. In this sense, Soluparts offers the possibility of cargo consolidation.

It is also a good strategy to buy products at certain times of the year, eliminating the need to order them when demand is high, and preferring to place large orders over requesting smaller one-off shipments. On the subject, find out the Annual Contract, offered by Soluparts.

8. Research the local area to understand its concerns

Knowing the area well in order to map possible points of attention and mitigate them before closing deals with the international partner is essential to have a successful purchase – the task is time-consuming, however it’s extremely necessary. Therefore, the ideal is to have an international partner who already knows all the markets and operates in over 40 countries – like Soluparts.

9. Define clear expectations

Having signed commercial agreements in writing with suppliers and partners reduces the possibility of problems and offers ways to assess the conditions established in the event of a conflict, ensuring security for both parties. On this point, see our article on the benefits of contract management in companies.

Conclusion

In this article, we discuss the benefits of purchasing indirect materials in the international market, helping to optimize the supply chain and reduce the company’s operating costs.

The value of your purchases will be lower if you choose to do this type of transaction from a supplier abroad. Sometimes, importing an item requires planning, but when you have a partner specialized in purchasing indirect materials in other countries, you can achieve a lead time very close to that practiced by national sellers.

Tip: The important lesson in this article is not to avoid making a great international deal because you do not fully understand the import logistics. Buying parts abroad can offer several benefits and greatly reduce purchasing department expenses. Soluparts logistics team and your company’s logistics will take care of the entire process, so the part arrives, at the right time, in your industry.

At Soluparts, we have highly reliable logistics agents that work with modern technologies (such as GPS tracking) to ensure the monitoring and inspection of cargo in order to avoid delivery problems or delays.

Usually, we use Incoterms EXW, however, we can adapt our logistics according to your needs, leaving you free to choose the Incoterm that is most convenient for you.

Contact a Soluparts specialist, today.

 

A Inteligência emocional, capacidade de gerenciar as emoções, vem sendo cada vez mais valorizada, gerando benefícios ao profissionais do setor de compras.

Emotional intelligence in procurement: why is it so important?

Emotional Intelligence (EI), also called Emotional Quotient (EQ), is a concept that emerged in the 1990s among psychologists, spreading rapidly to other sectors, including the organizational environment.

Read on and learn how this ability can generate benefits in many areas, including the purchasing sector!

Emotional Intelligence in the corporate environment

Emotional Quotient was first defined academically in an article published in 1990 by American psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer as “the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and those of others, using this information to guide thought and action.”

However, the psychologist and writer Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. at Harvard is considered the father of Emotional Intelligence for having popularized the subject by publishing a book on the subject (in 1995). And it was precisely this work, titled Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, that moved the corporate world by stating that IE plays a particularly important role in the work environment.

In order to verify if this statement is correct, a survey conducted with 2,662 American managers revealed that 71% of those interviewed value the Emotional Quotient more, when compared to IQ, in their employees. Of those, 75% said they were more likely to promote an employee with high EQ and 59% said they would not hire a candidate with high IQ and low EQ!

The study, conducted after the 2008 financial crisis, showed that in periods of economic uncertainty – such as the one we are currently experiencing because of COVID-19 – companies need people who can handle high levels of stress.

In this sense, it is natural to prefer professionals who can make better decisions to solve difficulties, keep calm under pressure and have greater empathy – typical characteristics of those with high EQ.

But, it is necessary to highlight: the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) will always be very important for professional development because it involves, eloquence or learning capacity – among other essential requirements in any function.

Emotionally intelligent professionals and teams

We can say that Emotional Intelligence is able to help in the evolution of any career, because emotionally intelligent professionals can have self-control and maintain their motivation, enhancing their performance. But what about teamwork: does IE influence the community?

According to the researchers Druskat e B. Wolff, this is a reality. Teams with a high Emotional Quotient build a solid foundation of trust, effectiveness and cooperation, which is reflected in overall performance. Not to mention that organizations with a culture of emotional intelligence reduce absenteeism levels, while those with engagement increase.

However, attention is needed to excess Emotional Intelligence, say teachers Nikos Bozionelos of the French EMLyon Business School and Sumona Mukhuty of Manchester Metropolitan. Investigating the performance of 309 managers, the analysis concluded that managers with too much QE can have difficulty making difficult decisions – such as letting go of a team member who is not meeting expectations.

In other words, the balance between the two quotients will make the professional more complete. And the same goes for team building: by mixing individuals with higher IQs with others with good EQs, the team will tend to be more efficient.

Emotional Intelligence in the Purchasing Sector

Digital transformation has been influencing the purchasing sector, and it is essential to act in a way that is compatible with this technological advance.

In addition, the area is subject to changes in the economy, in the supply chain and in company policies, requiring procurement professionals to remain flexible – the attachment to old processes, for example, could be very bad for the company and for the professional’s career.

Given these factors, or even during a complex negotiation, a good EQ level can be very useful. But is it possible to develop Emotional Intelligence? According to experts, yes!

Accompanied by psychologists, 132 people had the opportunity to develop their emotional skills and, at the end of a year, not only demonstrated (lasting) improvement in this type of intelligence, but also experienced greater physical and mental well-being, lower levels of stress and improvement in their social relationships.

Based on this experience, to achieve a higher degree of Emotional Intelligence, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Recognize your own emotions and how they influence your performance;
  • Accept the fact that you cannot control everything and avoid making hasty decisions based on intense emotions – learn more in an article that shows how to use emotion for better negotiation;
  • Find ways to relieve stress at work – it can be a hobby, watching a good movie, or a physical activity;
  • Listen actively to what others have to say;
  • Empathize and pay attention to how you respond to people;
  • Work on your motivation, emphasizing what you love about your work and maintaining a positive attitude.

Experts say that we are all emotionally intelligent, but each one needs a different time to work on their feelings and develop the Emotional Quotient which can undoubtedly be a great ally for the procurement professional.

Another way for the procurement area to obtain benefits in their routine is by hiring a company specialized in indirect materials to optimize the purchasing process and obtain the best results.

Get to know Soluparts and discover the advantages of having a specialist in the purchase of spare parts. Request a quotation without any commitment and try it out!

O gerenciamento de compras de materiais indiretos envolve desafios, mas superá-los é essencial para garantir bons resultados e evitar prejuízos à organização.

4 ways to improve the management of indirect materials purchases

The process of purchasing indirect materials, which allows the continued existence of business, is essential to the functioning of an organization and requires proper management to avoid losses – this is because the lack of these materials may mean interruptions in production and delays in projects.

In this article, we will address the challenges one must overcome for a good management of indirect material procurement.

Purchasing indirect materials: challenges

The NelsonHall study, titled Improving and redefining the role of indirect procurement, revealed that only 47% of purchasing executives surveyed showed a high level of satisfaction with the purchase of indirect materials at their companies – and this percentage dropped to 45% when the management capacity of the indirect procurement team was analyzed.

According to the survey, the main challenges that contribute to these numbers are:

1- Strong demand for cost reduction

Often viewed as an area of expense, the purchasing sector is constantly charged to reduce organizational spending, which must be achieved without representing a loss of productivity for the company.

2- Difficulty managing suppliers

This stage of the purchasing process is considered one of the most complex, involving continuous research, often complex negotiations and, as a consequence, consuming a great deal of time in the procurement routine.

3- Lack of expertise

It is very complex to develop an indirect material procurement team that specializes in purchasing such varied and infrequently requested products. And this lack of knowledge can generate problems such as mistaken purchase of materials or inadequate negotiation.

Improving indirect purchasing management

Although there are obstacles to overcome, as already pointed out in Procurement Department 4.0: challenges and trends, it is necessary to see them as motivation to improve the work and management of indirect material purchasing.

Below are some suggestions for improving the way indirect procurement is managed.

1- Be a partner of the other sectors of the company

It’s necessary to get closer to other sectors, gaining their trust by understanding their main needs: what they are trying to achieve, what challenges they face in their routine, and how do acquisitions influence and collaborate in this regard?

Investing time and effort to really listen and deliver what they need will lead to the realization that indirect material procurement is an essential operation for all sectors of the organization to achieve good results.

It is also essential to collaborate to train the procurement team, with training and other resources that provide tools to improve the performance of all employees.

2- Use appropriate technology to identify and consolidate expenditures

The use of a holistic technology tool to track, identify and categorize the expenses of indirect material purchases will give the procurement manager the ability to add the needs of all sectors into fewer orders and, as a consequence, obtain benefits such as volume discounts and more favorable contracts.

To identify the level of digital maturity and the technologies most commonly used in the purchasing sector, check out our articles: The purchasing sector in Industry 4.0 and 4 technologies that will change global trade.

3- Control the stock effectively

The demand for indirect materials may occur due to unforeseen circumstances. But it is usually derived from predictive maintenance planning and the service life of equipment and parts.

Therefore, inventory control requires technical information on the condition of the equipment, as well as statistics that can project the need for indirect material purchases in the future. This must always be based on historical data, the criticality level of the operation and the difficulty of acquiring the items.

For this, stock management software can be used or RFID tags, intelligent sensors, among other options that we have already addressed in an article about the benefits of an intelligent supply chain – worth reading for more details!

4. Suppliers: essential for good indirect materials purchasing management

A healthy relationship with suppliers is essential to improve the management of indirect material purchases, which requires constant communication and analysis that transcends prices and deadlines, such as verification of risks that the supplier company may offer or legal requirements and social and environmental responsibility – among other factors.

This monitoring allows a clearer vision of the current conditions and the place that suppliers occupy in the market to always guarantee the best possible business and also to identify points for continuous improvement.

Counting on specialists in the search for the best suppliers in the international market offers many benefits, such as optimization of the purchasing process and cost reduction. In addition, a company specialized in indirect material purchases also allows the manager to optimize his time, focusing on more strategic functions.

Soluparts, with offices in Germany, Brazil, United States, Hong Kong and Portugal, maintains contact with the world’s main suppliers. All you need to do is send us the specifications of the material (manufacturer and part number) and we will find the best conditions in the market, sending you a consolidated quotation to optimize your time.

Discover all the advantages that only a specialized team can offer your company. Request a quotation now!

Fizemos uma seleção com filmes que vão divertir e melhorar a performance do profissional de compras. Aproveite o tempo livre em casa para aprender e espairecer!

5 movies that every purchasing professional should watch

What could be better than watching a good movie? Watching the movie and, on top of that, improving our performance at work!

With that in mind we made a list of 5 unmissable movies for the shopping professional’s routine – and that can be seen in good company, making better use of your time at home.

Prepare your popcorn, have fun and expand your knowledge!

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

A classic movie with Henry Fonda as the lead character. It tells the story of a young Puerto Rican who goes on trial accused of killing his own father.  After the evidence is presented, twelve jurors meet to decide the sentence, which must be unanimous.

In the first round to reach the decision, eleven jurors – each based on their own convictions – decide on charging him as guilty. But the 12th, Mr. Davis (Fonda), is not convinced of the boy’s guilt and starts a process where he will try to get the other members of the jury to review their decision.

Reflections provoked by the film

Even though he is a minority, Mr. Davis persists in presenting his point of view to the other participants in the group.

Controlling his emotions even when harassed by other people participating in the “negotiation” and using arguments to guide his point of view, he does not try to impose his opinion. His tactic is to get other people to consider other options in addition to the idea originally conceived.

Another point that deserves to be highlighted is that the protagonist is open to consider other opinions, as long as they are accompanied by good arguments. In other words, he has no intention of making his own prevail, but defends it in a respectful and intelligent way.

To have more details of the negotiation techniques used by the character and, mainly, to know the verdict, check out the film – it is certainly an excellent tool for the purchasing professional to evaluate his way of negotiating and even improve it to get better results.

2. Up in the Air (2009)

It tells the story of an executive, lived by George Clooney, who travels around the United States with the task of firing employees of multinational companies.

Ryan Bingham, Clooney’s character name, loves his work. However, his professional routine is put on the spot when his company hires the young Natalie Keener (played by Anna Kendrick), who has developed a dismissal process through videoconference, without the need for expensive travel.

Reflections provoked by the film

The clash between traditional and new management is represented very well by the protagonist’s struggle to defend his way of working, in some aspects already outdated, from the changes provided by technological transformation.

As the procurement sector is often guided by more traditional work models, the procurement professional has the opportunity to reflect on the importance of remaining open to change, reaping the benefits that transformation provides.

The difficulty of teamwork and communication are also explored in the film, where both characters wish to impose their point of view. Only when one starts to try to see the situation from the other’s perspective, do they start to respect each other and learn from each other’s experience.

3. Bridge of Spies (2015)

Based on a true story, the film features Tom Hanks and English actor Mark Rylance (Oscar-winning supporting actor for this role).

In 1957, in the midst of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) is in charge of defending Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Rylance) in an American court and convinces the judge to leave him alive to serve as a bargaining chip, should any American be arrested in Soviet territory.

A few years later, the lawyer is invited to negotiate the exchange between the Russian spy and an American and  to top it off, try to free an American student, imprisoned in East Berlin.

Reflections provoked by the film

When the lawyer was invited to defend the spy from the enemy country, everyone believed he would make a symbolic defense. However, he prepared himself for the clash and was able to identify an argument strong enough to have a turn at the “negotiating table”.

Not only did he surprise the others involved, who were so confident in winning they didn’t prepare themselves to negotiate, but he also demonstrated his negotiating value to the point of being called to an even more important and complex negotiation (because of the conflicts involved) in the future.

The movie portairs the perfect negotiation planning class, including listening to other people in the team to outline the ideal strategy and to have a “plan B”, always aiming for the best possible result.

4. Invictus (2009)

Another film based on facts. It touches on the power of leadership to solve conflicts and unite a team.

After the end of Apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) needs to find ways to lead a South Africa that remains racially and economically divided.

To do this, he chooses the universal language of sports and joins forces with Rugby Captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) to unite all South Africans in favor of the national team at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Reflections provoked by the film

After successive governments in which the rights of the black population have been repressed, the great leader Mandela does not think about revenge. Even under pressure from some members of his team, he opts for the path of pacification.

Often it is necessary to coexist, within the team itself, with individuals who have different ideas and even different behaviors. A leader is not afraid to keep at his side people with opposing points of view, he takes the best from each one, always aiming at a greater and collective good.

The film reinforces the importance of loyalty and commitment, revealing that in order for you to create a good team, including professionals in the purchasing sector, good leadership is needed.

Another very interesting aspect is the presence of two types of leaders: the born leader (Mandela) and one who is being molded to face a complex situation – in this case, the rugby captain.

5. The Social Network (2010)

It reveals what happened behind-the-scenes of the creation of Facebook, in 2003, by computer genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), with the help of Brazilian Eduardo Saverin – making the American the world’s youngest billionaire.

The film also shows the personal and legal complications that occurred during the process that transformed the social network into one of the largest on the planet.

Reflections provoked by the film

The new media, which emerged with the digital transformation, has changed the way people interact, communicate and even work – working from home has proven to be a good option for many companies.

It’s a good way to understand the impact of powerful social networks today and how they can be used to benefit business – such as researching a supplier’s reputation and improving internal communication, for example.

So, did you like the suggested stories? Did you miss any movies you’ve watched and that have contributed to your training as a procurement professional? Send us your suggestion and we’ll expand our list!

Veja como tornar seu Home Office seguro e proveitoso em tempos de pandemia

Home office: tips for maintaining productivity and safety

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been issuing daily reports with recommendations to combat COVID-19.

Among the various advises, one of the most important is social isolation, even for those who are not part of the risk group. It is not just a matter of avoiding contagion, but of reducing the spread of the virus, enhanced in agglomerations or in environments with many people, such as factories and offices.

In this scenario, the home office appears as an excellent alternative for many companies and employees – including purchasing professionals – ensuring that, even from a distance, people remain engaged, producing and moving projects forward. On the other hand, employees, while remaining in isolation, reduce the chances of contracting and transmitting the virus – which, according to recent studies, has airborne transmission and can survive for up to 3 days on surfaces such as plastic or stainless steel.

In this blog post, we will bring you some tips to optimize your time while in home office. What is the best way to set priorities? How to divide attention between work, children and home chores? Keep reading to find out.

See how to make your Home Office safe and productive in times of pandemic

Remember: despite being in the comfort of your home, the home office should not affect your productivity.

It is necessary to maintain a routine – and more than that, a mindset – focused on work. After all, even in times of pandemic and isolation, the production cannot stop.

Most of the people who are working from home these days have been taken by surprise, with no time to plan this change of workplace. Therefore, it is even more important to know the tips we have prepared and which we list below.

There is a right time for everything!

Many may find it easy and comfortable to work remotely. But the home office requires unique discipline, as it becomes even more difficult to separate moments of relaxation, home chores and professional activities.

Working at home does not mean producing while lying on the couch watching a movie. So, first of all: reserve a room or space in the house to be your workstation. When it comes to producing, privacy and silence are essential, especially considering online meetings and video conferences.

Rest and relaxation are also an important part of the day. Optimize your time by dividing it between work tasks and rest periods.

A great way of doing that is to have a schedule well defined. In the period dedicated to work, eliminate everything that can cause distraction. Strictly follow the hours you set, without delays, the same way you do when you go to the office – if you don’t respect your own hours you won’t be able to produce well while in home office.

In this same note, in moments of relaxation, do not do anything for work. Turn off your computer and work chat so you can focus on your family and on yourself.

The challenge of caring for children

Nos momentos de relaxar, não produza nada. Desligue o computador e o chat de trabalho para poder focar em sua família e em você também.

Dealing with work commitments at home in times of Coronavirus also implies, in many cases, sharing attention and time with the little ones.

With children at home, more than ever, the home office becomes a multitasking marathon. And they don’t always understand the urgency of working in silence. Therefore, the first step is to explain to them the need for mom and dad to have privacy during their work time.

Show them the schedule with your working hours, the place where you will be developing your professional activities, set limits and, in a respectful and loving way, make sure they are met.

For example, they should know that when their parents are on a phone call or in the middle of a negotiation, loud noises and interruptions must be avoided. A practical way to do this is to tell them that whenever parents are wearing headphones, for example, more silence is needed.

During periods of isolation like the one we are going through, with interrupted classes, closed schools, and indications against agglomerations in public spaces, separate films, videos and series for the children to watch – always checking its Parental Advisory labels and if they show the values you want to pass on to your children. Again: talk to them, establishing what can and cannot be seen. By giving an explanation rather than simply prohibiting you will have more chances to see your rules being followed.

Internet access for games and chatting with friends can also be allowed, but, of course, if the rules you find convenient are respected. In addition, to ensure the well-being of the little ones, you should also educate them about cybersecurity – you will find some tips about that matter below.

As much as electronic devices are very effective when it comes to entertaining children, it is important to take a break and propose other distractions. Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Encourage reading – establish a family reading time, with games and story discussion;
  • Tell stories – they can be from books or even stories experienced by people you know;
  • Create a game night – games are good options to have fun together; 
  • Create new hobbies – use creativity to invent games, especially the ones that allow you to move (within the possibilities of your house space);
  • Include physical activity – it can be as simple as stretching!
  • Assign daily tasks – depending on the age of the child, he can already collaborate with small chores, including: putting dirty clothes in the basket; making the bed; drying and storing dishes, etc.

 

If the children realize that, outside of the time dedicated to work, parents find time to be with them and have fun, they will respect the “office hours” much more, facilitating the home office.

Attention to Information Security

At home, we do not always have all the technological resources we find in the company – even when remote access to office documents is easier, due to the Digital Revolution.

For this reason, we should be even more attentive to cybersecurity when working remotely. The first step, therefore, is to know your company’s security policies.

If there is no rulebook, reach out to your company’s Information Technology sector and ask for guidance on the security procedures that should be adopted while in home office and make sure you follow them correctly.

Each company adopts a specific digital security protocol, but there are some precautions that are valid for all employees who work outside the organizational environment. See the main ones:

 

  • During work, avoid opening personal items on the same computer;
  • Use strong passwords that are difficult to guess;
  • Whenever you leave your computer unattended, make sure you lock your computer screen to prevent someone from accidentally tampering with it;
  • Just use your home’s Wi-Fi signal and don’t pass the password on to people who aren’t completely trustworthy – don’t use public Wi-Fi, as they are more vulnerable to cybercriminals;
  • Be careful when accessing unknown websites and, especially, when granting your data for internet purchases – only do this when you are completely sure about the reliability of the website / company;
  • Any strange happenings during the performance of your tasks should be reported to your company’s IT department.

 

With proper discipline and organization, the home office can be very productive. For the purchasing department, specifically, one way to optimize the routine in these days of seclusion, is to have a company specialized in the supply of indirect materials, such as Soluparts, as a partner.

Find out more about Soluparts on our website and, take the opportunity to read other important content for the development of your work:

4 Technologies that will change global trade

Incoterms 2020