Procurement training – reach the peak with a new approach from ALPS (sorry…)

Time for an unashamed plug... my friend and colleague in the Real World Sourcing Series, Guy Allen, is launching a new venture, along with Rob Lees. Guy and Rob were both CPOs in organisations such as Santander and Fujitsu (Guy) and Vodafone UK (Rob).

 ALPS (“Active Learning in Procurement and Supply”) is a new approach to procurement training and skills development – and it really is more than a bit different. It is a “business game” format, based on a computer based supply chain simulation, whereby participants in teams go through a realistic scenario and make decisions based on the sort of situations procurement people might really have to face.

Those decisions are captured, analysed via the simulation model , and then outcomes are provided by the programme. That leads to the next set of decisions for the participants... and so on.  A number of teams do this in parallel, so there is an element of competition , which is always good for provoking involvement!

Apart from sounding very engaging, it identifies strengths and weakness through real procurement situations and skills, allowing participants to learn as they go through the scenarios.  I’d suggest  it has the potential to be much more realistic than completing questionnaires or even interviews in terms of identifying needs, and better than classroom teaching in terms of embedding skills.  There’s no doubt that people learn better by doing than simply reading or listening. I’ve seen the simulation and it looks really good (I did think about getting involved myself with this venture, but frankly writing 7,000 words a week just takes up too much of my time)!

Guy and Rob area also hugely experienced and knowledgeable themselves and will bring their own skills to the events. The first two planned days, in London in March and May 2014, cover Strategic Sourcing and are aimed at category managers, both current and aspiring. Or CPOs might want to attend  with their teams? Or even non Procurement budget holders who want to spend better (a free “licence to spend” with every course perhaps?!)

Anyway, you can get more details on the ALPS website here, and there will be more and different simulation events to come.

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