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Art of Procurement

Learn from Procurement Experts. Host Philip Ideson talks with thought leaders who share the trends, strategies and tactics that you can lever to elevate the role of procurement - and your career.
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Art of Procurement
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Now displaying: September, 2019
Sep 30, 2019

“If you were to ask me what the ‘Art of Procurement’ is, I would say it is bringing together the right people and the right partners.”

In this week’s podcast, we get to listen in on a conversation about digital transformation on a global scale that was recorded at Ivalua NOW in Paris earlier this year.

Hakan Cakir is the Procurement Digitalization & Analytics Product Owner of Sourcing Solutions for Deutsche Telekom AG, one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications solutions with 178 million mobile customers, 28 million fixed lines and 20 million broadband users in 50 countries. DT is best known in the US for their T-Mobile brand.

The procurement steering team that Hakan works within has end-to-end responsibility for all group wide strategic procurement processes and systems including digitization and innovation roadmaps. Given the scope and scale of their project, they leveraged advocates across the company, a key decision that allowed them to harmonize their processes before implementing technology.

In this conversation, Hakan talks about:


Their future state vision for the source-to-contract process and how that informed technology decisions.


How his team emphasized usability and acceptance testing to improve the implementation process and maximize adoption rates.


Lessons learned from a broad global rollout that required change management training and communication.


How DT plans to move forward towards their primary goal of building a fully data-driven procurement function.


The role that emerging technologies such as chatbots may play in DT’s global procurement future in the future.

Sep 23, 2019

“How do I get from where I am today to where I would like to be?”


In the age of digital transformation, it goes without saying that change is on everyone’s mind. But despite all of the energy we are putting into thinking about change, we may or may not be seeing that change come to pass.


In this week’s podcast, host Philip Ideson speaks with Chris Sawchuck, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. They recently released a new research report titled “World-Class Procurement: Redefining Performance in a Digital Era”. 


In Chris’ experience, many procurement teams are looking for step-by-step guides for change that would be better led more organically, by a leader with a vision for proving procurements’ intrinsic value. One example is a question he is asked often: “How do we become a trusted advisor?” Rather than looking for details as to how, Chris instead characterizes the traits he sees most often in advisory procurement teams, not the least of which is balancing agility with consistency. 


In this conversation, Chris shares his advice about: 

● Emerging technologies and how they are being incorporated into the existing procurement technology landscape by world-class organizations. 

● Avoiding a focus on lengthy, 200-page policy manuals that no one is going to read or follow.

● What he sees happening in the teams that successfully lead change from within, including investments in automation, education and execution.

Sep 16, 2019

“We have to be able to talk in a language that the business understands, and they have to see the actual value of what [procurement is] bringing to the table over and over, above any type of savings, I think that's the key for me.”

In this week’s podcast, host Philip Ideson speaks with Mahmood Shah, Director of Global Procurement at MetLife. He started his career in supply chain in the automotive and airline industries before making the switch to procurement and financial services. He has also worked on both sides of the direct/indirect spend line.

His experience and point of view are critical for any procurement organization weighing the benefits and challenges of full digital transformation. That doesn’t just mean taking the source-to-pay process online; it requires the leadership team to explore and employ the full advantages of bots and robotic process automation (RPA).

In this conversation, Mahmood shares his advice about:

  • The importance of having a vision for procurement digitalization that includes more personalized capabilities and self-service options for distributed buyers, and what boundaries (if any) should confine what non-procurement colleagues have access to do.
  • What he would do differently to market procurement within his organization if he had it to do over.
  • How to evaluate, select and implement RPA solutions specifically for procurement applications.
  • The kinds of changes further automation of procurement requires to the relationship between procurement and in-house IT.
Sep 9, 2019

If we were to describe a CPO that was focused on emotional intelligence (EI) and self-empowerment, tranquility and self-possession, where would you guess he or she worked? Maybe at a lifestyle brand or a Silicon Valley startup. It would probably take you a few hundred guesses to come up with the National Basketball Association (NBA). 

In this week’s podcast, host Philip Ideson interviews Joe Postiglione, CPO of the NBA, author and executive coach. True to our opening question, he is a certified empowerment coach and certified emotional intelligence coach. After leaving a supply chain-focused career in big consulting, he became an entrepreneurial executive coach. Now he supports all of the leagues that form the NBA.

Despite working in a fast-paced environment that no doubt has more than its fair share of intensity, Joe stresses focus and living in the moment with his team – who he continues to support in a manner reminiscent of his coaching days. “Anyone can learn to live a more “self-empowered life,” Joe tells us.

Based on all of his professional experiences, Joe paints an interesting picture of the self-limiting beliefs specific to procurement pros, including an inability to escape the thinking that led to a problematic situation in the first place and being preoccupied rather than present. Fortunately, the way out of that box is as simple as choosing to think differently.

Sep 2, 2019

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from August’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In August, we split our time between active procurement practitioners and thought leaders. Dana Small, Global Category Manager at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, talked about her transition from finance to procurement (yes, on purpose) and shared how being a business blogger changes her perspective on her ‘day job’. Then Jason Cammorata, Vice President of Strategic Sourcing at MDC Partners, spoke about the qualities that make conflict “good” for an enterprise and the teams within it.

On the thought leader side, Hélène Laffitte, Founder and CEO of Consulting Quest, provided insight into best practices for sourcing consulting services and Procurement Insights Founder Jon Hansen pointed out that while companies can’t transform without going through procurement and supply chain, we aren’t alone in the disruptive challenges we face.

This month’s discussion topic is technology implementation ‘turn arounds’. Since implementations rarely go smoothly without considerable planning and communication, something both Philip and Kelly have experienced personally, nearly every implementation needs a turn around. Often, this stems from the misplaced expectation that implementation = digital transformation, and vice versa.

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