According to research undertaken by today’s guest, Procurement Insights Founder Jon Hansen, 70% of an organization's digital transformation activity passes through the procurement and supply chain. But is procurement prepared to step outside the frameworks of our historical job descriptions to proactively enable our companies to create and execute their digitization strategies?
In today’s podcast, Jon and I discuss:
Why the unknowns of digitization are impacting executives across the company, not just in procurement.
The key obstacles to digital transformation.
What can procurement do to take a leading role in enabling enterprise digitization
No one wants conflict for its own sake, but it can actually be an important factor in personal or organizational growth and decision making. Rather than shying away from conflict, especially in a professional context, procurement professionals need to start embracing it as proof of diverse thought and opportunities to practice empathy.
That is the point of view espoused by Jason Cammorata, Vice President of Strategic Sourcing at MDC Partners, and one that he is quite passionate about. Is this podcast, Jason shares his advice about how procurement can approach “good” conflict – a dynamic that usually stems from multiple people with different ideas but equally good intentions.
The procurement team at MDC Partners faces a unique challenge. They are an “umbrella” company with 55 brands in marketing that provide services such as public relations, creative, digital, advertising and production. Their decentralized corporate model is largely brand driven, so Jason regularly has to sell the benefits of procurement internally. That conversation usually starts with introductions and explanations and quickly advances to discover what the brand needs and how procurement can support them.
In this podcast, Jason answers questions such as:
· What is more important: technical skills or personal skills?
· When should procurement be firm (but nice) about frameworks and processes, and when should we be flexible?
· Does procurement face a unique set of challenges today, or are we battling the same issues as all other functions?
· What does relationship-driven procurement look like, and what are the benefits of investing in that approach?
It seems that we live in a service-centric world these days, and that includes a growing number of procurement spend categories. Although we’ve made headway in IT, legal and marketing, there is one category of professional services spend that still gives most of us reason to pause: management consulting.
In this episode of the podcast, I ask Helene Laffitte, Founder and CEO of Consulting Quest, some of the questions I hear most frequently about managing consulting spend. For instance:
Ironically, when managing consulting spend, procurement’s best opportunity to add value may occur long before the list of participating providers is finalized and the RFP is sent out. According to Helene, the most critical activity when sourcing consulting is defining scope, objectives, milestones, deliverables and deadlines. These components will not only drive the qualification and selection process, they may determine whether or not the whole engagement is successful.
As Helene points out, procurement’s ability to listen and discern the difference between what the business is asking for and what they need is essential. And once that need is defined, we move to challenge #2: being “tight” on what is needed while being “flexible” about the approach.
Listen in for advice and insight on this complex services spend category from a proven consulting procurement expert.
The commonly-cited disconnect between procurement and finance all comes down to one central question: where did the money go? As hard as procurement works to negotiate and track different types of savings, they always seem to evaporate or be reallocated for other projects. In the best cases, this gets the enterprise more value for their dollar, but in the worst cases can lead to reduced credibility for procurement – especially with finance.
I’m joined today by Dana Small, Global Category Manager at BioMarin and author of the Ms. Category Management blog. It is rare to find a procurement professional with a background in finance, and rarer still to find a procurement practitioner so willing to share their insight and experiences that they start a blog. In Dana we find both, and that’s a real win for the procurement community.
While working in Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Dana realized that by the time an efficiency opportunity is identified by finance, it is usually too late to act upon it. So she decided to move ‘up’ in the process, and pursued a role in strategic sourcing.
At the encouragement of a colleague, she began sharing her experiences via a blog in early 2019. Doing so has not only bolstered her professional reputation, it has also changed how she reflects back on her “day job”.
In this podcast, Dana talks about the importance of reflection and perspective in all procurement work, whether it is tracking savings, working with suppliers or engaging with the community at large.