Why the supply chain needs mental toughness

Olympic

Mental toughness will be a common topic at the Olympic Games this week.

Mental toughness is a personality trait which is emerging as the key to understanding how people respond to and perform under stress, pressure and challenge. Mental toughness explains up to 25% in the variation of an individual’s performance.  It is also a significant factor in individual and team well-being.

In our volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world of supply chain management, mental toughness is becoming a key requirement and competitive advantage to effectively handle the pressures of:

  • Customer demands, in Australia major retailers require up to 98.5% service
  • Supply chain complexity through outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions
  • Industry consolidation and dealing with multiple cultures and behaviours
  • Shortening life cycles as innovation is needed to make a point of difference
  • Growing product portfolio’s, with a growing almost unmanageable tail
  • Cross functional communication and issue resolution

Mentally tough individuals and teams look forward to challenges, stay confident and focused on their tasks and deal positively with setbacks to deliver on their commitments, whilst keeping their emotions in check. Mentally tough individuals bring their ‘A’ game to work every day and learn from their mistakes.

Mental toughness can now be measured on individual and team level. Professor Peter Clough developed the MTQ48, the world’s first valid and reliable psychometric questionnaire for mental toughness. Clough is chair in Applied Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University and a world-leading academic in applied psychology. The on-line 48 question survey is easy and take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Mental toughness in your supply chain team

Can mental toughness be developed in your supply chain team? You need four steps:

  1. Increase your understanding of the concept of mental toughness. Learn the definition, its history and its application
  2. Understand your mental toughness and your individual strengths and team improvement opportunities
  3. Understand tools and techniques to improve mental toughness and learn what the mentally tough do in real life situation
  4. Aspire to become more mentally tough, set goals to improve, use the tools and techniques, change your habits and hold yourself accountable, or use a coach to do so

Niels Van Hove

Niels Van Hove is a guest blogger for apicsAU and is founder of Truebridges. Niels has 18 years’ international supply chain experience and is an AQR accredited master trainer in Mental Toughness. He is presenting at apicsAU’s Regional Symposium “Navigating your supply chain into the future” in Melbourne on 19 October 2016. This is a unique opportunity for supply chain leaders to address seven key elements affecting their supply chains: strategy; standards; technology, leadership, workplace culture; HR legislation; and careers. Group discounts available and early bird discounts available until 30 September, 2016. Register now.

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10 ways to detect and prevent procurement fraud

BribesProcurement fraud is rising sharply and it may be affecting your entire organisation.  According to the 2015 Kroll Global Fraud Report, 75% of companies experienced a fraud incident in the past year. 81% of companies affected by fraud reported insider perpetrators.

Despite its impact on business, very few people know what it is.  In short, procurement fraud is:

“Inducing any course of action by deceit or other dishonest conduct, involving acts or omissions or the making of false statements, orally or in writing, with the object of obtaining money or other benefit from, or of evading a liability to, the organisation.”

Awareness of this issue is required right across the mid to senior level of the organisation, not exclusively within the procurement department. Which begs the question:

How well does your organisation manage fraud?

Here are ten ways to check your procurement fraud detection and prevention capabilities:

  1. Have you clearly identified procurement fraud indicators/red alerts?
  2. Are you aware of common corruption and fraudulent practices, such as schemes, bribes and kickbacks, false, inflated or duplicative invoices?
  3. Have you adopted techniques for fraud detection, prevention, and evaluation and move from reactive fraud investigation to proactive anticipation, detection, prevention and deterrence of fraud risk?
  4. How well do you deal with collusion among contractors and between contractors and employees,  such as collusive bidding (bid rigging), bid rotation, or bid suppression?
  5. What are your methodologies for detection of collusion?
  6. Are you well aware of fraudulent activities in tenders and contracts such as bid manipulation, unbalanced bidding, leaking of bid data, bid splitting and unjustified Sole Source Awards?
  7. Do you know how to manage a fraud investigation?
  8. Have you developed fraud and corruption control guidelines?
  9. Do you have a fraud prevention policy?
  10. Do you have a framework for a Procurement Code of Conduct?

If you would like to improve your organisation’s knowledge and capabilities in this area, consider a two day course like this one: “Procurement Fraud – “Identification, Detection and Prevention” held at our National office next month.

Dr Pieter Nagel is CEO at apicsAU – Australasia’s Premier Professional Supply Chain Community

With a working career spanning over 30 years in Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Dr Nagel commenced his career in his birth country, South Africa. He developed an international reputation as a leader in Supply Chain Strategy and facilitates courses in Procurement Fraud across Asia Pacific.