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:
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:
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:
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: