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  • Procurement Outsourcing Must Evolve To Change Negative Perception

    Nov 11, 2013

    The following extract by Gurjit Degun has been taken from Supply Management.

    The procurement outsourcing industry needs to evolve if it is to change negative perceptions and meet customer demands.

     

    That’s according to Xchanging Procurement Services, which questioned 450 sourcing and procurement decision-makers across Europe.

     

    It found 23 per cent of companies currently outsource elements of their sourcing and procurement activity. Of those, 45 per cent said service providers are “unable to match their specific requirements”, and 68 per cent would prefer in-house initiatives to improve the function.

     

    Nick Ford, business development and market director at Xchanging, said this means many European businesses are missing out on “cost reduction, spend control and the streamlining of operations that are enjoyed by their American counterparts, and this can affect their competitiveness”.

     

    But satisfaction among companies which have outsourced is generally high, with 90 per cent saying they will increase or maintain their level of outsourcing activity.

     

    “The high level of satisfaction among those who are already using external providers suggests that the European market should be stronger,” said Ford.

     

    “However, when nearly half of all companies say that service providers are unable to match their requirements then it is definitely a call to action for the industry to ensure we are working with our clients in the pre-contract stage to assess their needs and offer them more bespoke solutions tailored to their business.“

     

    Of the respondents who said they do not outsource, 93 per cent are not considering it. A similar percentage said they would prefer opting for in-house initiatives to improve their sourcing and procurement capability.

     

    Half of those who do not outsource said they see loss of control as a barrier to outsourcing, and the other half believe that staffing issues would make outsourcing “economically inefficient”. 

    Other obstacles include a “dispersed organisational structure and multiple locations and systems”, which makes outsourcing too complex, and service providers unable to match their specific requirements. Almost half (47 per cent) of the respondents who do not outsource agreed with both points.

  • Fashion industry 'dehumanises' supply chain

    Nov 08, 2013

    The following extract has been taken from CIPS Supply Management.

    Procurement professionals in the garment industry need better engagement with factory workers if they are to be more sustainable.

     

    That’s according to the owner of an ethical menswear brand who has said that one of the main problems in ethical sourcing is “we dehumanise our supply chain”.

     

    Clare Lissaman, who is on the Ethical Fashion Forum board and co-founder and director of Arthur & Henry, was speaking at a debate held by Intelligence Squared on the ethics of throwaway fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

      

    She said: “For me, part of the issue we have in trying to source sustainably or ethically is that we dehumanise our supply chain like it’s just a list of number on a piece of paper. But actually a trading relationship and engagement with the people who make our clothes is key.

     

    “We know things about our factory. We know that people who have worked there for 20-odd years have started as helpers are now working as tailors. That’s a really good sign that it’s a good factory that treats its workers well.”

     

    Lissaman added that the company even sends Christmas cards to all the factory workers.

     

    “No customer has ever done that,” she said. “The factory workers say, ‘We’re just anonymous, you’re the only brand that has actually talked to us. It makes us really proud to be a tailor.’”

     

    Lissaman explained that when setting up Arthur & Henry she looked at all parts of the supply chain from where the cotton is grown through to where it is made, packaged and sold.

     

    “It gives us a very limited supply chain to use, but it means that impact on the environment is strictly controlled through standards,” she said.

     

    Jenny Holdcraft, policy director at Industriall Global Union, called for fixed prices so that buyers cannot drive prices down too much.

     

    “The whole idea is to take conditions out of competition so that every buyer has fixed costs,” she said. “The fixed costs are the wages, the health and safety, the hours of work. At the moment they are not fixed, they can be squeezed. That has got to stop.”

     

    She added: “The factory workers in Bangladesh will tell you that they earn half of what they used to earn five years ago making the same product because they are being pushed by the buyers.”

     

    However an audience member and former buyer added: “I think the buyers do have a huge responsibility but they are being pushed from above to get tighter margins.”

  • Logistics - Career in Dublin Port Company

    Nov 07, 2013

    Careers in Dublin Port Company

     

    A key element of the success of Dublin Port Company is the commitment and experience of the Company's workforce.   The contribution of Dublin Port Company's employees to the day-to-day running of the company continues to ensure that this organisation and natural resource plays a hugely positive role in the life of the city and the State's economy.

    Applications are invited for the following position

    Marine Operatives and Marine Operative Team Leaders

    Dublin Port Company’s Marine Function operates a Marine Operative Pool that is a multi-skilled and multi-functional team. The Marine Operatives, under the supervision of a Team-leader, operate with full flexibility and carry out marine related tasks.  Marine Operatives will be expected to carry out duties in all sections of the Marine Function for which they are qualified and /or trained. Appropriate training will be provided to facilitate staff to achieve qualifications as required.

    Candidates should  ideally hold a valid certificate of competency as Officer of the Watch (OOW) issued in accordance with the requirements of STCW 78/95 (including 2010 Manila amended), be capable of demonstrating small boat handling skills and hold a valid driving license.

    Candidates should demonstrate a proven track record, with excellent work ethics, be enthusiastic and possess exceptionable interpersonal and communication skills and have the ability to prepare clear and concise reports.

    The Team-leader will supervise the effectiveness and efficiency of the team on duty, and will carry out all Marine Operative duties as part of that team as the need arises.

    Download Full details of the position and application process.

    To apply please send full personal, career and current remuneration details to:

    Head of Corporate Services,

    Dublin Port Company,

    Port Centre,

    Alexandra Road,

    Dublin 1.

    Closing date 20th November 2013.

  • PMP - No longer requires the Multi-Rater Assessment Evaluation!

    Nov 06, 2013

    Effective 1 November 2013, PMI will no longer require the Multi Rater Assessment evaluation as part of the application process for the Program Management Professional PgMP® credential. After careful consideration to improve the credential evaluation process, we are confident that we are able to assess the competence, education and skills of program management professionals with the comprehensive examination and panel review, which will still be required to earn the credential.

     

    The credential pricing will be reduced to reflect this change. On 1 November 2013 the new pricing will be:

     

    Exam Administration Type

    Pricing (USD)

    Pricing (Euro)

    Computer-based testing (CBT) member

    $800

    € 655

    Computer-based testing (CBT) nonmember

    $1,000

    € 815

     

     

     

    Paper-based testing (PBT) member

    $700

    € 570

    Paper-based testing (PBT) nonmember

    $900

    € 735

     

     

     

    Reexamination CBT member

    $600

    € 490

    Reexamination CBT nonmember

    $800

    € 655

    Reexamination PBT member

    $500

    € 410

    Reexamination PBT nonmember

    $700

    € 570

     

    Current PgMP candidates who are affected by this change will be notified this week. More details, including the revised PgMP Handbook, will be released in the coming weeks. Please refer to PgMP Certification page on PMI.org for the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.

     

    Thank you,

    PMI Certification Team

  • The Inaugural PMI® Networks Forum

    Nov 06, 2013

    We (your R.E.P. and RCP peers) wanted to share the positive feedback that keeps coming in from the inaugural PMI® Networks Forum held earlier this month in Marina Del Rey, California!

     

    “The PMI Networks Forum was a phenomenal experience.. A number of valuable contacts were made from across the globe to discuss possible opportunities for collaboration”.

    Dr. Syed Hasnain Rizvi, CIO & Director of Education, AAA University – R.E.P and RCP

     

    “I enjoyed meeting the people behind PMI.  There are some very dedicated people who are working to make PMI an even more valuable resource to its members.”

    Kim Tesch, Vice President, Program Manager, FIS Global [Fidelity National Information Services] – RCP

     

    The networking opportunity was invaluable. It gave me a chance to meet with other REPs/RCPs and discuss what challenges we are facing. As a result we were able to bounce ideas off of each other and I came away with ideas that I hadn’t considered. We were also able to look for opportunities to collaborate in areas/markets that would compliment each other’s business.”

    Kevin Murphy, Director of Global Operations, Cadence Management Corporation

     

    Register today for the 18 - 20 November Paris venue of the PMI® Networks Forum: (Available to all employees of PMI R.E.P.s and PMI RCP) 

    PMI® Networks Forum
    November 18 – 20, 2013
    Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel (special conference rate)
     Click Here to View Agenda and Register Today
    Registration Code: "CMI,C2013" (1st person to register with the code will receive the complimentary registration)

     

    PMI will also have representatives from European corporations and  trade and industry associations hosting educational sessions and panel presentations.

     

     Best of all, registration is free for the first employee and only EUR100 for each additional employee (including all meals and entertainment). Plus, you and your colleagues can earn PDUs toward maintaining your PMI certification.  

     

    Paris Preliminary Agenda

    Click here to view our Prelimentary Agenda to start planning your schedule for two days of learning and networking. No other event can bring you this value.

     

    We look forward to seeing you in Paris!

     

    Sincerely,

    Gregg Shaffer, MBA, MBI, Supervisor - Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) Program 
    Glenn Coughenour, Registered Consultant Program (RCP) Specialist

  • Sharpest rise in construction output for just over six years

    Nov 05, 2013

    The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the construction sector shows continuing growth.

     

    Residential construction remains the strongest performing area of activity with civil engineering and commercial activity also recording robust growth. PMI posted at 59.4, up from 58.9.

     

    Commenting on the report,

    David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said:

     

    "The future is looking bright for the UK construction industry as it soars into the final quarter with its strongest performance in over six years, boosted by a strengthening surge in activity broadening out across all sectors. Housing remains the key driver of the ever-strengthening rebound in October, but with civil engineering and commercial works continuing to bolster their expansion. Particularly impressive is the commercial sector, which registered the fastest rate of growth since April 2012.

     

    "The on-going growth of new business levels, climbing confidence and positive market conditions has resulted in the steepest rise in staffing levels for six years. Caution on employment experienced in the first half of 2013 has now been replaced by rising expectations and a strong belief that growth can be sustained in the year to come.

     

    "With demand picking up, delivery times are lengthening but there is optimism this will lead to a more bullish approach from suppliers, who up until now have been cautious on stock levels. They now have the platform to level out the continuing squeeze on stock availability and operating capacity."

    Extract taken from CIPS News.
  • EU marine project advances global progress on renewable energy

    Nov 05, 2013

    A multi-million Euro project has advanced global progress on capturing tidal and wave energy thus bringing the EU closer to its target of generating 20% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

     

    Co-ordinated by University College Cork, Ireland, the EUR 11 million initiative with the help of EUR 9 million in EU funding – MARINET - provides marine energy development companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and researchers with free, fully funded access to marine energy experts and the world’s leading wave, tidal and offshore-wind test facilities.

     

    EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: ‘MARINET is a model of success and demonstrates what the EU can achieve in terms of collaboration and sharing knowledge transnationally. Whilst marine energy is a hugely desirable electricity source, it is very costly to develop and test these renewable energy technologies. By providing fully funded access to the world-class test facilities that exist throughout the EU, the MARINET initiative is clearly accelerating the development and commercial deployment of marine renewable energy technologies.’

     

    Estimates suggest that 0.1 percent of ocean generated energy could be capable of supplying the entire world’s energy requirements five times over. But currently it only provides a minimal amount. To develop this vast potential MARINET focused on sharing resources and global knowledge. The team have already prevented expensive mistakes and unnecessary duplication by independent researchers operating throughout the EU, saving researchers millions of Euros.

     

    The project’s EUR 11 million budget is being used to directly fund access to international marine testing and research facilities, including travel costs and to promote networking, testing standardisation and research. The cost of access to world-class test facilities can range from EUR 1 000 to over EUR 30 000 per week depending on the scale and complexity of the facility.

     

    Professor Tony Lewis, UCC and lead partner of MARINET explains: ‘MARINET is unique in its approach to research and development. This is the first time that an initiative of this scale has brought together world-class test facilities with renowned marine energy experts and academics along with commercial operators to accelerate testing and consequently drive more positive results.’

     

    ‘By offering European-wide access to marine energy test facilities, the best facilities and expertise in the world are being shared, which saves several thousands and often hundreds of thousands of euro in the costs of development, it promotes standardisation and also ensures that marine renewable prototypes are tested in all sorts of marine conditions’, he added.

     

    The MARINET initiative has already supported over 350 marine energy developers and granted 412 weeks of testing at facilities located throughout Europe. More than 100 devices have been tested for their suitability for marine energy generation at over 30 test facilities in Europe.

     

    MARINET project partners and beneficiaries will disseminate their developments in a seminar due to take place in Rome from 5th to 6th November 2013.

    Extract taken from Environment & Energy Management.
  • HMV e-commerce website for Ireland to go live tomorrow

    Nov 05, 2013

    Retail brand HMV will launch its fully transactional e-commerce website in the Republic of Ireland at 3pm on 6 November. A similar site for Northern Ireland is also in the works.

     

    As well as saving the HMV brand, consortium Hilco also saved Ireland’s Xtra-vision retail brand as the recession continued to bite into the fortunes of the retail sector along with a shift by consumers online.

     

    Hmv.ie will be launched as a fully transactional website, with consumers able to purchase the same range available in all HMV stores. Products will be added on a daily basis, ensuring that the range featured on the site reflects the in-store offerings. Hmv.ie will also be fully transactional on smartphones.

    The launch of the new HMV website for Northern Ireland, hmvireland.co.uk, will follow shortly.

     

    In recent weeks, HMV launched a digital music store and free iOS and Android app that lets users browse, listen to, and download tracks through a blend of image search and sound search technology.

    However, a week later Apple removed the app from the App Store for allegedly violating its guidelines.

    Xtra-vision was saved from receivership in June after its receivers Ernst & Young completed the sale of the business and its assets to a number of firms backed by Hilco Capital Ireland for an undisclosed sum.

    In August, Hilco revealed plans to put the HMV brand on 26 Xtra-vision stores across Ireland.

    As part of its plan, Hilco reopened four standalone HMV stores, including those on Henry Street and in Liffey Valley shopping centre in Dublin, as well as the Crescent in Limerick

     

    Free home delivery

    Hmv.ie will offer a choice of delivery options; either to your door or to collect from any HMV or Xtravision store; all of which are open late seven days a week.

     

    The site will also offer guaranteed next-day delivery when using Express checkout, based on orders placed before 3pm that day.

     

    Consumers spending €50 or more in one transaction will be able to avail of free home delivery.

     

    In addition, consumers will be able to pre-order DVDs and games, ensuring release-day delivery once the express shipping option is selected.

     

    “The launch of hmv.ie, and the imminent arrival of hmvireland.co.ukmarks an important development for HMV in Ireland, as we are now able to offer consumers the choice of visiting one of our ‘bricks-and-mortar’ stores, or purchasing directly online,” said Larry Howard, chief executive of Hilco Capital Ireland.

     

    “It was particularly important for us to have hmv.ie go live in the run up to Christmas. This period is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for online retailing, and now hmv.ie customers will be able to purchase from our unrivalled range of music, films and games at their convenience.”

    Extract taken from Silicon Republic.
  • Be-Bound app guarantees you are always connected to the internet

    Nov 05, 2013

    At the Dublin Web Summit Silicon Republic caught up with Albert Szulman, CEO and founder of Be-Bound, a San Francisco, California, start-up that keeps a smartphone user always connected to the internet, anywhere in the world, even without a data connection via 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi.

     

    Instead Be-Bound uses the 2G network as the transport layer to exchange information between the web and the smartphone, using text messages (SMS). 

     

    The Be-Bound app was launched to the Google Play store as an Android app today in Dublin.

     

    Szulman explained that the key to the app’s ability to enable users to keep surfing despite a drop in 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi coverage and to hop onto 2G signals is its compression technology.

    See the video interview here.

  • Services sector activity provides ‘sparkling start to Q4'

    Nov 05, 2013

    The following article has been taken from Supply Management.

    Activity in the UK services sector expanded at the fastest pace for 16 years, as levels of incoming new business rose at the sharpest rate for 17 years.

     

    The Markit/CIPS UK Services Purchasing Managers’ Index reached 62.5 in October, a rise from 60.3 in September. This is against a baseline of 50, with anything higher representing growth. This represented the sharpest rise in activity since May 1997.

     

    Service sector activity has risen continuously throughout 2013 to date and generally at an accelerated rate. Incoming new work increased at the sharpest rate recorded in the survey history (since July 1996) leading to capacity pressures at UK service providers. Backlogs of work increased for the seventh successive month.

     

    The higher workloads also encouraged companies to add to their payroll numbers in October, and employment has now risen for 10 months in a row. More than half of respondents said they expected a rise in activity in 12 months’ time. Some added improved performance of the UK property market is also likely to bolster activity.

     

    Rising energy, fuel and utility bills drove up input cost inflation to the highest in eight months. Wages were also reported to be higher on average. Output charges rose last month for the fifth month running and at the strongest pace since May 2011.

     

    Chief economist at Markit Chris Williamson said: “The UK economic recovery moved up a gear again in October, with the PMIs indicating record growth of output and employment. The all-sector PMI hit an all-time high of 61.5 in October, up from 60.2 in September.

     

    “The buoyant survey data is likely to encourage the Bank of England to raise its forecasts for economic growth when it publishes its new projections in November. The Bank is also likely to bring forward its expectation of when unemployment will fall below 7 per cent, the threshold needed to be reached before the Bank will consider raising interest rates.”

     

    CIPS group CEO David Noble added: “In conjunction with manufacturing and construction, the services sector hit a record high in October in new business growth and the best rise in activity since May 1997, rounding off a sparkling start to Q4 for the UK economy. Confidence is high that this run of growth can be maintained throughout the final quarter, underpinned by the stable economic climate and improvements in the housing market.

     

    “Input costs, especially utility and energy prices, continued to increase in October, putting pressure on margins. The steady rate of growth has given service providers enough confidence to partly reflect these higher costs in their own prices. How this price front evolves in the coming months could become an increasingly watched area and play an important role in shaping future growth prospects.”