My guest on the show today is Walt Charles, the Chief Procurement Officer at Biogen. Walt will be well known to a number of listeners – he is a long time CPO with such illustrious companies as Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Division, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, and now at Biogen.
As you will hear in the interview, Walt is very passionate about the potential power of procurement, but also believes that some of our more traditional approaches – such as the parent principle - may no longer be fit for purpose.
Walt has achieved significant results throughout his career by redesigning processes and investing in enabling tools and technology.
In our interview we talk about the “how”, with a specific focus today on tools and technology. But in the first part of the interview, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Walt’s background, and his philosophies as a leader.
Back in September 2016, Kelly Barner and I opened the mic for 40 revolutionaries to share their thoughts on the future of procurement as part of The Procurement Revolution event. One of the conversations that we enjoyed the most was with Jack Miles, the former CPO of CIBC, AIG, Computer Associates and the Secretary of State for the Florida Department of Management Services.
Our topic of conversation with Jack is just as relevant today as it was 18 months ago. We focused on the topic of mindset, and how a growth mindset is so important to be successful given the changing nature of procurement.
In today’s show, I am publishing the Q&A with Jack in its entirety.
I was delighted to welcome onto the show this week Jocelyn Stahl, the Director of Indirect Sourcing for The Hershey Company. The Hershey Company are on an ongoing transformation journey to build an Indirect Procurement organization that embodies the ideals of being a catalyst.
In our conversation, recorded live at ProcureCon, I ask Jocelyn to share the work that she and her team are doing to create a culture that respectfully challenges the status quo while maintaining a laser focus on the needs of the stakeholder – which can often come into conflict with one another! I also ask Jocelyn her perspective on Guided Buying as a strategy to not only as a tactic to manage tail spend but also as an opportunity to increase the stakeholder perception of working with procurement.
In the episode this week, I want to talk a little bit about the idea of stepping back and challenging things that we do every day, or the things that have become “generally accepted procurement thinking”. I won’t be seeking to suggest we are doing things wrong, or that things need to be fixed. No, my intent is to help us all, collectively, get our creative juices flowing! I kick things off by challenging three of our commonly held beliefs and strategies: supplier consolidation, high spend equals high importance, and that our stakeholders have seek to avoid, rather than collaborate, with procurement.