Supply Chain Solutions

First Nation Culture as the Innovation Driver

Recently, I was invited by the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Maori Accountants Network) to be a speaker sharing “Thought Leadership from an ethnic perspective” at the National Maori Accountants Network Hui-A-Tau 2016 Conference (8-9 July 2016) held near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand. The Conference theme was “Future Maori Leadership”.

Firstly, I would like to pay respects to the ancestors, elders and whanau where the Conference was held. I would like to thank the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Maori Accountants Network) and the Whanau for the invitation and hospitality extended to me during my stay.  Also, I would like to thank the other panel members, Simon Jones (Moana Seafoods) for his insights about Moana Seafoods, and Selwyn Hayes (EY Tahi) for his engaging facilitation of the panel.

As a proud Torres Strait Islander to be invited to connect and share with our Maori brothers and sisters was immensely humbling, and spiritually empowering for me.

It was a great opportunity to share a brief snapshot of who are the Torres Strait Islander people and through the imagery in bala (brother) Patrick Mau’s version of “My Island home” share part of the Torres Strait. I encourage you to enjoy the song and view the video:

My presentation "First Nation Wisdom within a Procurement Context"  was inspired by my elders, culture and entrepreneurial spirit.

The underlying message I presented was Indigenous knowledge systems and values was the innovation drivers in business, career, leadership and procurement. I stressed that in a village context each person played a role in its existence through concepts like “good pasin” (paying respect), teamwork, strong warrior leadership, and living hand in hand with the land, water (for me solwata) and sky, we were able to sustain our Indigenous economic and social livelihood.

Indigenous knowledge systems and values is the innovation driver in business, career, leadership and procurement - Murray Saylor (Tagai Management Consultants)

I shared Tagai Management Consultants as a case study to demonstrate how we have moulded our traditional cultural values with traditional supply chain and procurement thinking, and the outcomes we have been able to achieve.

In the context of living in two worlds or more, First Nation business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals have a great responsibility to our families and communities in the continuing existence, and evolution of our cultures. Even more paramount is our symbiotic cultural existence allows all of us to be valued assets and leaders as we naturally view the world from a multifaceted perspective and ebb and flow with the environment around us. 

The key for employers, employees and entrepreneurs alike is to find the key to unlock the door that enlightens us to draw upon our cultural knowledge systems and apply it in a contemporary business context. I shared the journey is a personal one as culture and identity has differing connotations for each of us in our global village.

The following are some suggestions, and I am sure you have your own arsenal of tools and strategies:

  • Be true to your business and/or personal vision and goals;
  • Embrace your cultural identity in your leadership style and professional career;
  • Surround yourself with likeminded thought leaders, mentors, elders; and
  • Remain physically connected with what you consider your country or homelands.

I shared a quote from what you could say was an odd source, former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser who shared:

“Solutions will not be found while Indigenous people are treated as victims for whom someone else must find solutions.”

In closing, I shared that TMC business motto summarises what we endeavour to achieve and that we challenge the Conference whanau to strive for, and that is to "Maximise Opportunities to Make a Difference".

Tagai Management Consultants are driven to "Empowering Innovative Performance" with our clients and communities we have the honour of working with towards positive Social and/or Commercial outcomes. For a free initial consultation we can be contacted via mobile +61 0400 280 856 or email:

Written by Murray Saylor - Founder and Managing Director, Tagai Management Consultants


What is the Difference between Supply Chain and Procurement?

The terms Supply Chain and Procurement are the buzz words and strategies shared around the Private and Public sector but what do they mean? Understanding the terms, helps you better understand and leverage the different aspects of these important parts of your business.

What is Supply Chain? A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities involve the transformation of natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. Basically, everybody involved in getting your product in the hands of a customer.

What is Procurement? It is the act of acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source. It is favourable that the goods, services or works are appropriate and that they are procured at the best possible cost to meet the needs of the acquirer in terms of quality and quantity, time, and location. Some of the tasks involved in procurement include developing standards of quality, financing purchases, negotiating price, buying goods, inventory control and disposal of waste products like packaging.

To explain the difference between Supply Chain and Procurement let us use the "chair" analogy. Supply chain is seen as the entire chair and Procurement and its subsections like Sourcing are seen as the legs in support.

Tagai Management Consultants has the expertise and resources to work with your team to either develop, sustain, grow and/or improve your Supply Chain and/or Procurement Framework via Capability or Learning to your Department, business, organisation and community.

When you are ready contact Tagai Management Consultants and let us discuss appropriate strategies for you.

I will introduce in a later blog the subsections of Procurement: Sourcing and Global Sourcing.

Joint Ventures and Collaboration

One of the key challenges faced by various Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses include business survival, expansion, development of new products or trying to move into new markets, particularly overseas.  A joint venture arrangement is often offered as an option, but what does it mean to a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) owner?

A joint venture involves two or more businesses pooling their resources and expertise to achieve a particular goal. The risks and rewards of the enterprise are also shared.

Your business may have strong potential for growth and you may have innovative ideas and products. However, a joint venture could give you:

  • more resources,
  • greater capacity,
  • increased technical expertise, and
  • access to established markets and distribution channels.

Entering into a joint venture is a major decision and if not done correctly could be a financial disaster. Key considerations to be aware of include (but not limited to):

  • Business relationship - It is important there is a strong working relationship between all partners with clearly outlined roles and responsibilities.
  • Corporate structure - There are limits as to what type of entity a company can form, depending on the participants’ own ownership structures.
  • Governance - Each member’s ownership share must be specifically laid out in the agreement. In addition, the degree of control each partner exercises over the JV’s opera­tions. 
  • Capital issues - Beyond the initial capital contributions, the operating agree­ment should establish the process for ongoing cash con­tributions, which often are necessary on jobs of longer duration.

Tagai Management Consultants have the capability to facilitate businesses exploring entering a Joint Venture and/or partnering arrangement. On the other end of the Joint Venture cycle, Tagai Management Consultants can also work together with existing joint ventures that may require assistance to be guided back on track.



What is Supply Chain and Why is it Important to your Business?

The website Investopedia defines supply chain or Supply Chain Management (SCM) as:

"The network created amongst different companies producing, handling and/or distributing a specific product. Specifically, the supply chain encompasses the steps it takes to get a good or service from the supplier to the customer."

Basically, the world is one large supply chain. SCM touches major issues, including the rapid growth of multinational corporations and strategic partnerships; sustainability of a remote community; and security of supply to individual and business consumers, each of these issues dramatically affects corporate strategy and the bottom line. Because of these trends, SCM is the most critical business discipline in the world today.

Clearly, the importance of SCM has on business is significant and exponential. Two of the main ways SCM is important to your organisation include:

Boosts Customer Service: SCM impacts customer service by making sure the right product assortment and quantity are delivered in a timely fashion. Additionally, those products must be available in the location that customers expect. Customers should also receive quality after-sale customer support.

Improves Bottom Line: SCM has a tremendous impact on the bottom line. Many public and private enterprises value Supply Chain expertise because they decrease the use of large fixed assets such as plants, warehouses and transportation vehicles in the supply chain. Also, cash flow is increased because if delivery of the product can be expedited, profits will also be received quickly.

Effective SCM helps streamline everything from day-to-day product flows to unexpected natural disasters.  Whether you are remote community Council, new entrepreneur or multinational company let Tagai Management Consultants partner with you and your team to develop an appropriate Supply Chain Management model that aligns with your corporate strategy.