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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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Now displaying: September, 2020
Sep 28, 2020

AOP Host Philip Ideson starts each interview with a question about what brought that particular guest to procurement. With this week’s guest, business consultant and coach Juergen Scherer, it might have been better to ask what brought him THROUGH procurement, because he has held influential roles across procurement, supply chain, sales, and operations.

While he isn’t in procurement today, Juergen’s doctoral thesis on Procurement Marketing received the Scientific Award of the German Industry Association for Purchasing and Supply Management. His knowledge of the function has unquestionably improved his ability to excel in each of his other roles, as well as in his current coaching practice.

Today, Juegen splits his time between Germany and the US West Coast as a business consultant and coach, leading his business called BXB-Exchange. He reached out to Art of Procurement in response to our podcasts about the flywheel effect and its applicability to procurement. We took that opportunity to probe deeper into his thoughts about how procurement can better align with the business as a whole.

In this conversation, Juergen shares examples from his extensive background that illustrate the key part of his business philosophy:

  • How procurement can push suppliers to deliver more value while investing in them so that their capabilities are developed at the same time.
  • Why, despite the fact that every buyer/seller relationship is unique, there are common success factors that have to be consistently present: trust, open communications, and mutual respect, to name a few.
  • How procurement can develop and effectively communicate a “USP,” or unique selling proposition, to both suppliers and internal stakeholders.
Sep 21, 2020

Although procurement professionals don’t usually think of ourselves as making ‘cold calls,’ we do it all the time. If you’ve ever sat down with a stakeholder for the first time and immediately realized they either don’t understand procurement’s role or don’t particularly care for our processes, you’ve survived a cold call.

 

In that moment, you can either explain or listen, and although listening is the better way to build understanding and rapport, most procurement professionals aren’t prepared to structure this kind of conversation.

 

In this week’s podcast, Host Philip Ideson discusses how to master this type of first meeting using an approach that sales professionals use - and have no doubt used on you - called the discovery call. He explains:

  • Why discovery calls are important and how they set the tone for the long term success of the relationship
  • The three components of a typical discovery call: the planning, the call itself, and then the follow up
  • How to prepare in advance to ensure your discovery calls are productive for procurement and for your stakeholder(s)
Sep 14, 2020

One year ago, all procurement could talk about was digital transformation. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of those plans were thrown overboard. 

We may not be doing what we expected to be working on as we approach the final quarter of 2020, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a strong appetite for procurement change, both at the executive level and within the procurement community. The difference is that we are now trying to lead transformation in the midst of a disrupted landscape without the benefit of any forward-looking certainty.

Christopher Eyerman is the Head of Procurement Innovation at Denali - A WNS Company and David Clevenger is their Director of Procurement and Operational Excellence. They are focused on the factors that influence digital maturity and readiness for change in the context of the entire procurement ecosystem.

In this podcast, which is based on an AOP Live session made possible by Denali, Christopher and David share their point of view on:

  • How procurement can get the digital journey started - in reality, not just in theory
  • The types of change management investments procurement will need to make in order to ensure that transformation is successful and sustainable
  • What additional trends we should be preparing for as we close out 2020 and attempt to ready ourselves for the new year
Sep 7, 2020

Technology is an extremely broad spend category and it is expanding by the day because of our emphasis on digital transformation. Nearly every function and category has an IT software or services component to it. Technology truly forms the foundation, or “lifeblood” as Rene Mathis put it, of corporate initiatives.

Rene Mathis is an Associate Director at Corcentric where he specializes in technology category spend. He is currently working side by side with companies that are reevaluating their IT contracts, redefining their uptime definitions and service level agreements, and attempting to put plans in place - despite the fact that no one knows what the next 6-12 months will hold.

In this interview, Rene shares his point of view with Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner on:

  • The current state of IT sourcing, including what has (and has not) changed because of the COVID-19 shutdowns
  • The health of procurement’s relationship with in-house IT, and some suggestions for building collaborative bridges while still achieving spend-related objectives
  • Trends in emerging technologies and automation that procurement should be prepared to address in cross-functional sourcing projects
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