Daily Archives: 18/09/2014

CFOs question performance and benefits delivered by procurement teams

In a combined initiative designed to bring common value management visibility and practices to the procurement profession, three organisations – The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, A.T.Kearney and the Institute for Supply Management – have issued the results of the inaugural ROSMA Performance Check Report.

The Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to a given organisation. Entitled ‘Building the Brand of Procurement and Supply’, the report finds that leading procurement teams are indeed delivering significant value to their organisations.

However, without a credible standard allowing companies to consistently track and score procurement activities, many CFOs are now beginning to question the performance of – and the benefits delivered by – their procurement teams.

In what is an independent survey of CFOs and financial function leaders, the extensive study highlights that only 10% of procurement functions have established recognition with their CFOs regarding how procurement contributes value to the host business and that the benefits are both real and measurable.

The report is distilled from more than 400 completed, qualified and accepted cumulative benchmarks along with over 170 submissions focused on 2013 results.

Contributors participated in the benchmarking through ROSMA Performance Check gateways located within the CIPS and ISM websites as well as via A.T.Kearney’s 2014 study entitled: ‘Assessment of Excellence in Procurement’.

A.T.Kearney also contracted independent research to address the CFO community’s view of procurement.

The ROSMA Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to host organisations

The ROSMA Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to host organisations

Joe Raudabaugh, A.T.Kearney partner and co-author of the ROSMA Performance Check Report, stated: “There are many opportunities to change the brand of procurement across the profession and within our enterprises, and to attract, develop and sustain best athlete-calibre talent. Adopting value management practices is necessary for the future.”

David Noble, Group CEO at CIPS, noted: “There’s no doubt that the profession has to be seen as supporting the strategic aims of the enterprise and to have relevance to its goals and successes. We must be able to demonstrate value in a quantitative way.”

Focus on the main study findings

The inaugural ROSMA Performance Check report findings were developed through the survey responses of hundreds of companies. ROSMA is a revolutionary performance measurement standard that’s helping companies around the world to understand and measure how procurement contributes financially to the business.

Key findings of the new study are as follows:

• Top-quartile performers are reporting hard financial results in excess of seven times their costs and investment base in procurement, providing a strong basis for reinvestment and recognition. These leading procurement functions generate nearly £1 million in financial benefits per procurement employee each year

• Middle-tier performers are accretive, typically generating four-to-five times the investment and cost of their supply management assets, including people and technology, but they have not improved their productivity since tracking began in 2011. Bottom quartile teams are dilutive with financial benefits that do not cover the cost of and investment in their organisations

• Most organisations don’t have the reporting and tracking capabilities to provide ongoing and accurate visibility of procurement’s value-creating activities. They simply do not have a grasp of – and therefore cannot manage – their resources to optimise them with the same level of precision as is typically the case in other functions

• As noted earlier, the independent research that was conducted with CFOs as part of the overall study showed that only 10% of procurement functions have captured the respect, understanding and mindset of their financial colleagues regarding the value they contribute. Almost 15% are ‘out of mind’ or ‘inconsequential players’ to the CFO community while 75% have mixed and yet-to-be developed ‘brands’.

Tom Derry, CEO at the Institute for Supply Management, said: “With ROSMA Performance Check, we now know what world class performance looks like. Our challenge as a profession is to make sure that we are not a drag on performance, but rather a driver.”

To read the full ROSMA Performance Check Report visit: http://www.cips.org/rosma

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NICE Systems partners with G4S subsidiary AMAG Technology to integrate NICE Situator with Symmetry access control system

NICE Systems has announced its partnership with AMAG Technology, a G4S subsidiary, for the integration of the NICE Situator Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution with AMAG Technology’s Symmetry access control system. The joint solution can be used by command and control centres worldwide to improve situational awareness and streamline incident management.

The integration enables bi-directional communication between Symmetry and Situator. This means Situator can receive real-time Symmetry access control alerts and display these events along with access records and images of permitted personnel.

Situator’s ability to pull in data from a wide range of security systems means that Symmetry access control information can also be correlated with information from other sensors for accurate alerting. Once an alert is received, Situator’s automated processes guide operators through response plans to improve management efficiency and minimise risk.

Several utilities companies and ports are already using the integrated solution for day-to-day security operations, allowing them to more easily identify access breaches and to improve collaboration between relevant parties.

Leading expertise in PSIM

Shae Taylor, Symmetry’s extended business solutions programme manager at AMAG Technology, explained: “We’re thrilled to certify NICE as a partner in our Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Programme. NICE’s leading expertise in PSIM and situation management complements our advanced access control technology, enabling end users to benefit from an intelligent and unified solution.”

Chris Wooten; executive vice-president at the NICE Security Group

Chris Wooten; executive vice-president at the NICE Security Group

Chris Wooten, executive vice-president for the NICE Security Group, added: “Security operations are already benefiting from the enhanced situational awareness and streamlined incident management afforded by this integrated solution. The integration is available globally for any customer that wants to leverage Situator and Symmetry together. End users can have confidence in the rigorous testing and certification process that has taken place.”

NICE Systems’ security solutions help organisations capture, analyse and leverage big data to anticipate, manage and mitigate security and safety risks and improve operations. The NICE security, intelligence and cyber offerings provide valuable insights that enable enterprises and Government agencies to take the best action at the right time by correlating structured and unstructured data from multiple sensors and channels, detecting irregular patterns and recogniszing trends.

The company’s solutions have been deployed to help secure a broad range of organisations and events such as banks, utility companies, airports, seaports, city centres, transportation systems, sporting events and diplomatic meetings.

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Research reveals alarming levels of ignorance and complacency about fire safety

Fire safety is a massive issue in the UK with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day, but new research has shown that people are shockingly complacent about the subject.

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

Published to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week (which this year runs from 15-21 September), the research reveals that almost half of the public (47%) have never been informed about the fire safety procedures where they work.

If a fire alarm was to sound, 14% of people say they would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow’. One in ten people (11%) would go into the corridor and investigate, while one in 20 admit they would simply ignore it, assuming there must be a fault somewhere on the alarm system.

When respondents with formal responsibility for fire safety in their organisations were asked if they were fully aware of their legal obligations, almost half (46.5%) said they either didn’t know what these obligations are or admitted they were unclear.

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

A similar proportion (45%) say they really would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door – one of the most critical passive fire protection features in the buildings we use on a daily basis.

Opening our eyes to fire safety

John Fletcher – manager of the British Woodworking Federation’s BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme which, together with the UK’s Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), is behind the organisation of Fire Door Safety Week – stresses that we all need to open our eyes to fire safety.

“Dodgy fire doors are usually just one of many signs of fire safety negligence,” asserted Fletcher, “but actually they’re a relatively easy one to spot and do something about. We are calling on everyone to look again at the buildings in which they live and work and to report dodgy fire doors to the landlord, building manager or owner.”

Fletcher added: “The same principle applies to all commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises, including offices, restaurants, shops, hotels, care homes, public buildings, high rise flats and privately rented apartments. All of these buildings should have properly installed and maintained fire doors to help save lives and property.”

Damaged fire door in a hotel

Damaged fire door in a hotel

There are three easy steps to check a fire safety door:
*Make sure any door marked ‘Fire Door’ closes correctly around all parts of the frame and that it’s not blocked or wedged open
*The gap between the door and the frame should be no more than 3-4 mm
*There should be no damage on the door, its edges, hinges, handles and windows

If you’re in any doubt seek a proper inspection by a qualified fire door inspector.

Video: Fire Door Safety – What Happens When You Get It Wrong?

London Fire Brigade issues fire safety door warning

The London Fire Brigade is urging residents and landlords of purpose-built blocks or houses converted into flats not to replace vital fire doors at the entrance to the property with doors that do not meet the required safety standards.

The Brigade has also raised concerns about people removing the self-closing mechanism on their fire doors to prevent themselves from being accidentally locked out.

In the last three years in London three people have died and 36 people have been injured in fires where fire doors have been replaced, left open or incorrectly fitted.

Fire doors are a legal requirement for flats which open on to communal areas shared with other tenants. They ensure escape routes are protected if a fire breaks out and are designed to automatically close behind people in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of fire and smoke.

Steve Turek, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation, explained: “You wouldn’t remove seatbelts from your car, so why remove fire doors from your home or business premises? Fire doors are specially designed to automatically close behind you in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of the fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors and other flats in the block. It’s crucial that people don’t remove the self-closing mechanism on fire doors.”

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Innovative security fencing set for debut at 2014 Conservative Party Conference

The annual Conservative Party Conference runs at the ICC in Birmingham from Sunday 28 September through until Wednesday 1 October. Having supplied temporary high security fencing to the main political parties’ annual autumn conferences for a number of years now, Zaun has developed a special version of its multi-award winning Rapid Deployable System (RDS) to assist with security for this event which is expected to attract up to 14,000 delegates.

The new RDS Lite employs recycled plastic blocks for anchoring the fence line in favour of the massive concrete blocks that help to give its parent RDS system a PAS 68 rating. Zaun stacks ten 15 kg recycled plastic blocks in a 2×5 configuration into two purpose-built 15 kg brackets held together by four long tubular pins. This arrangement anchors each fence post.

The configuration means that blocks can be carried up and down stairways and even on to canal footpaths, which would have been impossible with the 750 kg concrete blocks that are placed into position by a forklift truck for RDS.

Testing RDS Lite for stability under mob attack at Zaun's headquarters in Wolverhampton

Testing RDS Lite for stability under mob attack at Zaun’s headquarters in Wolverhampton

The innovation follows a direct request from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) to develop temporary crowd perimeter protection that can be carried by hand and deployed in places that forklift trucks cannot access and where structural restrictions on weight loading exist.

RDS is estimated to save up to 90% of police time. This is why the Home Office has thus far bought 5,500 metres of the solution – including access portals, turnstiles and gates – to add to the National Barrier Asset.

Mob testing in the West Midlands

RDS Lite was mob-tested last month at Zaun’s West Midlands headquarters. The test day was attended by CPNI representatives. The system will now be trialled on canal footpaths in Birmingham for the 2014 Conservative Party Conference.

Zaun will also supply two special CCTV bases for the conference – one with a narrow view camera and the other with a wide view model – to try and reduce still further the number of officers needed to police events of this nature.

Alastair Henman – Zaun’s founder and director – said: “RDS was already unique in providing hostile vehicle mitigation up to 30 mph in a rapidly-deployed temporary fencing solution with no below ground foundations. We integrated advanced electronics and top end CCTV as an add-on to existing security arrangements to help better cover specific strategic positions on the perimeter. This latest version of our celebrated RDS literally lifts temporary high security perimeter protection to new heights.”

Back in the autumn of 2012, Zaun installed its RDS for the first time at party political conferences, in turn garnering police accolades and capturing the Security Innovation Award for 2013.

A year later, Zaun incorporated the latest Video Content Analysis system using high performance PTZ cameras into RDS and pioneered the remote policing initiative when the Conservative Party Conference delegates arrived in Manchester.

The innovative RDS Lite recycled plastic blocks

The innovative RDS Lite recycled plastic blocks

Temporary, PAS 68 and permanent fencing solutions

With regional offices in France and Dubai, Zaun boasts an extensive range of temporary, PAS 68 and permanent fencing solutions as well as expertise in integrating CCTV and perimeter intrusion detection (PID) systems.

Zaun was founded in 1996 by directors Alastair Henman and Paul Painter and remains a privately-owned company, manufacturing in the UK at its state-of-the-art production facility in the West Midlands. The company manufactures to ISO 9001:2008 standards and is a member of the Sedex ethical supply chain initiative.

Importantly, Zaun is also a member of the Perimeter Security Suppliers’ Association, the Fencing Contractors’ Association and the Sports and Play Construction Association.

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National Audit Office issues update on UK Government’s National Cyber Security Programme

The National Audit Office has published an update on the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme for the Committee of Public Accounts.

The Programme’s objectives include tackling cyber crime and making the United Kingdom one of the most secure places in the world in which to do business.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report finds that the Government has made good progress in improving its understanding of the most sophisticated threats to national security. However, the level of understanding of threats to wider public services is varied.

While exports in UK cyber products and services have increased by 22% between 2012 and 2013, progress in encouraging trade and exports has been slow and, according to the NAO’s survey of stakeholders, this is the objective against which the Government currently has the poorest performance.

Some progress has been made in encouraging businesses and citizens to mitigate risks, particularly in enticing larger companies to take action. That said, the Government has had a limited impact in targeting SMEs and struggled to communicate guidance in a way that meets their needs.

The UK Government has made good progress in improving its understanding of the most sophisticated threats to national security

The UK Government has made good progress in improving its understanding of the most sophisticated threats to national security

The Programme’s financial management and governance mechanisms are strong, and the Government is on track to spend the Programme’s budget of £860 million by March 2016.

Overall, the NAO finds that Government continues to make good progress in implementing the Programme, which is helping to build capability, mitigate risk and change attitudes. Cyber threats, however, continue to evolve and Government must increase the pace of change in some areas to meet its objectives.

Valid concerns that must be addressed

Responding to the report, Hugh Boyes from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) commented: “While the Government’s investment in this area has increased the capability for the public sector, there is still much to be done to strengthen UK industry. The report highlights industry concerns about the confusing range of advice available and the lack of cyber security skills. These are valid concerns that need to be addressed.”

Boyes continued: “The current cyber security skills initiatives have been focused on providing the skills for individuals employed in cyber security roles. This is a short term solution which does not address the need to improve the security awareness and skills of everyone involved in the design, production and use of software-based systems. That requires significant investment in education and training at all levels in the UK to ensure that software is trustworthy and that those involved in its development and maintenance are applying software engineering Best Practice.”

In conclusion, Boyes explained: “The recent interest in cyber security and cars highlights how this is an issue that extends far beyond our desktop and tablet computers.”

Industry demand for the cyber security skills needed to tackle cyber car crime and the other areas of our business and personal lives threatened by security issues is growing all the time. Only recently, a free online course was launched with support from the Government. The course is designed to inspire the next generation of cyber security professionals.

The MOOC – Massive Open Online Course – has been developed in conjunction with the Open University and support from the IET, and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world to gain Government backing. For more information visit: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/introduction-to-cyber-security

Cyber security measures must be part of the Government’s smart metering programme

As the Public Accounts Committee publishes its report on the Update on Preparations for Smart Metering, engineers are warning of the need for cyber security measures to be an integral part of the programme.

Dr Simon Harrison of the IET said: “The Public Accounts Committee report does not mention the issue of cyber security. The IET has consistently argued that end-to-end consideration of cyber security has to be a key feature of the smart metering system which will become a part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. It’s crucial that all possible steps are taken to ensure the smart meter system will stand up to the continuing cyber security threat.”

Harrison went on to state: “Smart meters and the smart grid are part of a Critical National Infrastructure which should be planned, designed and managed as a system. The most important role for smart meters is to enable the smart grid, which is needed to support increased renewable energy, electric vehicles and domestic heat pumps and to avoid having to dig up a lot of streets to install new electricity infrastructure.”

Continuing this theme, Harrison explained: “The smart metering programme is challenging in its own right, but it’s the first stage of the building of the smart grid that will be essential for cost-effective and secure low carbon electricity in the future. When considering the costs of the smart metering system, it’s essential that the features designed to enable a future smart grid are taken into account.”

The IET’s concerns centre on examples of systems engineering, a subject that Harrison suggests is currently under-valued in Government. “The IET believes that a professional systems architect function needs to be established and, indeed, will be essential if the UK is to achieve the transition to low carbon electricity both securely and on an affordable basis.”

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Security Products from Siemens expands intruder detection operation in Ireland

Security Products from Siemens has announced the completion of a process that has seen the successful transfer of its intruder detection business to Clonshaugh in Ireland. The move will strengthen the company’s existing presence in the country. With the organisation’s R&D, product management and customer service activities all now centrally located, this will facilitate an improved experience for both installers and end users of Siemens’ popular panels and detectors.

Previously, the detection side of the operation was located in Switzerland while the Irish operation handled the intruder panels. In order to facilitate greater cohesiveness and maximise the use of existing knowledge and skills, a dedicated migration programme was initiated in early 2014.

The Siemens organisation has a long association with Ireland stretching back to 1874, and it now employs in excess of 550 staff across its entire Irish operation. The construction of most of Ireland’s power plants – including the landmark Shannon hydroelectric scheme in 1929 and the provision of the country’s first computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scanners – are among Siemens’ major projects.

Security Products from Siemens has announced the completion of a process that has seen the successful transfer of its intruder detection business to Clonshaugh in Ireland

Security Products from Siemens has announced the completion of a process that has seen the successful transfer of its intruder detection business to Clonshaugh in Ireland

The decision to relocate the intruder detection portfolio is a measure of Security Products from Siemens’ ongoing confidence in the country’s facilities, home-grown talent and economic potential.

The move comes at a perfect time, as Security Products from Siemens is currently experiencing tremendous growth across the whole of Europe for its CE and EN-compliant intruder detection solutions.

Intruder alarms and motion detectors

Central to this success is Siemens’ pioneering SPC IP-enabled intruder alarm systems, as well as its passive infrared motion detector range that uses the company’s patented ‘Magic Mirror’ technology to offer the highest standards in detection sensitivity in an extremely compact design.

Both of these product sets have defined roadmaps and will benefit from innovative new variants being developed and added to their existing ranges, thus reinforcing their status in the security sector. In addition, all customers will now be able to trade using the Euro, helping to eliminate any financial complexities.

Siemens Security Products CEO Peter Hawksworth (left) with Phil Carroll, head of the intruder detection product line

Siemens Security Products CEO Peter Hawksworth (left) with Phil Carroll, head of the intruder detection product line

With the integration of all the various skills and activities now completed, Peter Hawksworth (CEO of Security Products from Siemens) is confident that the business is in a better position than ever to meet the demands of diverse markets across Europe.

Hawksworth commented: “The consolidation of our intruder detection operation will benefit all stakeholders and increase our effectiveness and efficiencies both internally and externally. It’s a move that makes perfect sense. We’re delighted to be in a position whereby we can experience all the business benefits that being located in Ireland will bring.”

Security Products from Siemens offers one of the world’s widest ranges of products for access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance. Clients of the Security Products business segment are distributors, system integrators and installers throughout Europe and around the world.

The business has its headquarters in Solna, Sweden with local sales and support operations located across all key markets.

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