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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: 2021
Dec 29, 2021

We often refer to “the business” when we are trying to ensure that we take a larger perspective on procurement’s work. But at the end of the day, “the business” is made up of many individuals, each one of them is a different type of procurement stakeholder. We want to share more stakeholder voices because procurement is always at risk of misunderstanding or misinterpreting what they really need from us.

At Mastermind LIVE Fall 2021, Philip Ideson moderated a session with Chet Patel, Chief Commercial Officer and President of the Americas at BT, and Cyril Pourrat, CPO at BT Sourced, BT’s procurement services company. 

Art of Procurement has had a front row seat to watch the transformation of the BT Sourced enterprise procurement team, one that we believe is setting the standard for the future of procurement. In this session, focused on stakeholder collaboration, we got to hear:

  • What a procurement digital transformation journey looks and feels like to stakeholders observing from the outside
  • How closely related partnership with the business and partnership with suppliers are for procurement
  • How procurement can establish themselves as a trusted advisor to the business - even when that means telling them ‘no’
Dec 28, 2021

Data was a major topic in 2021, whether the focus was on quality, access, or analytics. There always seems to be too much data, not enough data, or trust issues from procurement and/or the business to make our decision-making processes as data-driven as we would like.

At Categorypalooza 2021, Betsy Pancik, Joe Adamski, and Nick Buitrago from ProcureAbility considered the challenge of getting accurate data to inform procurement’s buying strategies and offer their personal tips on how to overcome those challenges. 

Betsy Pancik moderated the session, which included deep dives on topics such as:

  • The impact that procurement’s data problems have on the business and what we can do about them
  • How much time procurement should spend digging into their data versus building relationships (for instance)
  • What leading procurement organizations are doing with (or about) their data and what others can learn from them
Dec 27, 2021

In 2021, we facilitated a lot of discussions about category management. Is it still fit for purpose or does this 25-year old business process need to evolve faster to keep up with the ways procurement continues to change?

At Mastermind LIVE Spring 2021, Nancy Nicoll, VP of Indirect Sourcing Center of Excellence at Retail Business Services, and Jaime Robles, CPO of Caseys General Stores, joined Philip Ideson for a panel session to discuss procurement operating models - specifically, whether category management is 'dead' or 'alive' and if procurement should pursue a relational or expertise-based model for working with the business.

They answered questions such as:

  • What are some of the challenges that a category management-driven procurement structure brings and how can we overcome them?
  • How might procurement’s approach to category management affect their relationship with the business?
  • Where should procurement get category expertise from if it doesn't reside in the person running the sourcing process?
Dec 20, 2021

Supplier experience management is a new area of focus for most procurement teams, even though we often serve as the primary point of contact for suppliers. We just haven’t thought about it before. If we want to improve the supplier experience, becoming customers of choice in the process, we are going to need to revisit many of our policies, processes, and programs.

In an effort to better understand the supplier experience and the opportunity associated with improving it, we partnered with HICX to run a three-part AOP Live series. We were joined by leading practitioners to answer audience questions on three topics:

  1. Making a Business Case for Supplier Experience Management
  2. Looking at the present and future of Supplier Experience Management in Practice, and
  3. Articulating the ROI associated with World Class Supplier Experience Management

The three hours of conversation were full of insights and inspiration, and we’ve edited the best portions of them into this podcast.

  • In the first session, Charlotte Anabelle de Brabandt and Ramit Mahajan talked about the benefits associated with creating a good enough supplier experience to be seen as a customer of choice - what that looks like in practice and whether the disruptions of the last two years have impacted how executive leadership regards that objective. 
  • In part 2, Adam Brown and Costas Xyloyiannis talked about the misalignment between how highly procurement would rate themselves as a partner and what the supplier experience is actually like in practice.
  • In the final installment of the series, Robert Bonnar and Mary Beth Lang explored the meaning of supplier experience management and how it connects to other types of value and initiatives that procurement is already leading.
Dec 15, 2021

Leading procurement organizations are constantly reimagining their processes and operating models, but in today’s unpredictable and fast-changing world they are under more pressure than ever to deliver a high-level roadmap to building the procurement function of tomorrow.

In TRANSFORM - a thought-provoking new podcast series from Art of Procurement in partnership with Globality - we spotlight the agenda-setting procurement leaders and companies who are changing the game and redefining the Future of Procurement.

In the third episode in the series, host Philip Ideson talks with Vanessa Pepperell, Global COO and Strategy Procurement Vice President of Aquanima, the procurement company of Santander. Their two decades’ worth of expertise now allows them to support external clients as well.

In this interview, Vanessa explains how Aquanima is driving digital transformation in services procurement:

  • How investing in ESG can help companies build brand value and ward off risk
  • Why strategic partnerships require transparency, but they also require development from the buy-side organization
  • The change management effort that will be required over time to account for the fact that sustainable supply chains are often more expensive
Dec 13, 2021

There are multiple ways for procurement to achieve savings - and some are more collaborative than others. The more planful we can be about the overall process, the more opportunities we are creating to work arm-in-arm with the business in pursuit of those savings. 

Art of Procurement recently hosted an AOP Live webinar with Joe Payne, SVP of Source-to-Pay at Corcentric, and Dave Quillan, Senior Manager of Procurement at Alliant Credit Union (ACU) to discuss how procurement should discuss savings with the business and what incentives can be used to ensure the business feels rewarded by the process.

Dave and Joe share their experiences and points of view to these topics and more:

  • How procurement can work with leadership to incentivize savings and minimize compliance problems at the same time
  • Partnership oriented ways for procurement to increase their category-specific credibility with the business without stepping on their toes
  • The critical step of defining - or potentially redefining - addressable spend before developing strategies to deliver savings
  • How to build and execute a sourcing roadmap to ensure annual savings targets are met and the resources that can help procurement reach their savings goals
Dec 6, 2021

Each change journey is unique - and yet - can benefit from embracing proven best practices that have been formalized by specialists with equally unique expertise. The benefits of taking such a journey are becoming clear at the University of Massachusetts, as they bring their print, marketing, and branded merchandise spend under management through a partnership with SupplyLogic.

David Cho is the Chief Procurement Officer and Managing Director at the University of Massachusetts. His team began their change journey with an investment in their partnerships (both internal and external), technology, and data that helped them achieve a deeper understanding of their marketing and print services spend. They worked at the category level to inform strategies and decisions that would have a lasting impact and deliver multiple forms of ROI for the university.

In this episode, based on an AOP Live session, David is joined by Phil Schoonmaker, CEO of SupplyLogic, and Host Philip Ideson to answer live audience questions about what he and his team have learned on their change journey:

  • The importance of centralizing procurement so that there can be one ‘attack plan’ for managing large numbers of suppliers and transactions and one approach to influencing stakeholders
  • When and why to leverage experts outside of the organization to advance the partnerships being built internally
  • Insights and intelligence that can be used to advance corporate social responsibility in the form of local, diversity-owned, and environmentally friendly supplier partnerships
Dec 1, 2021

Leading procurement organizations are constantly reimagining their processes and operating models, but in today’s unpredictable and fast-changing world they are under more pressure than ever to deliver a high-level roadmap to building the procurement function of tomorrow. 

In TRANSFORM - a thought-provoking new podcast series from Art of Procurement in partnership with Globality - we spotlight the agenda-setting procurement leaders and companies who are changing the game and redefining the Future of Procurement.

 In the second episode in the series, host Philip Ideson talks with Adam Brown, Head of the Procurement Digital Garage and Senior Manager of Transformation at BT Sourced. Adam and his team are leading the way in transforming the role and the impact of procurement beyond traditional boundaries. 

 

This interview gives Adam a forum to talk about the importance of building a digital procurement ecosystem to enable lasting transformation:

  • Why procurement needs to think about transformation as a process of constant reinvention
  • How his perspective on procurement talent is shaped by the emphasis BT Sourced places on their best-of-breed digital ecosystem

Building self-service capabilities that distributed buyers really don’t have to worry about getting right

Nov 29, 2021

In 2021, 62% of the companies in the S&P 1500 index did not provide an annual forecast - some even stated that there is just too much uncertainty for them to be accurate (WSJ, 9/22/21). This is a reality that all companies in all industries worldwide have accepted; market conditions will remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. 

In this episode, based on an AOP Live session, host Philip Ideson talks with Sherri Barnes, Director of Market Intelligence Services at ProcureAbility, and Kristen Rellihan, Senior Manager of Advisory at ProcureAbility. They discuss how procurement can develop strong buying strategies despite the certainty of uncertainty in the market and what tactics may be best suited in our current inflationary environment. 

Sherri and Kristen also answer live audience questions about:

  • The current state of the economy and how long ProcureAbility expects the uncertainty to last
  • What economic information sources procurement may want to consult, and how we can turn what we learn into actionable insights
  • How to bring market information into conversations with internal stakeholders, especially when the news is not positive
Nov 22, 2021

Usually the transformation journeys we hear about are focused on a single company, but there are instances of industry wide transformation efforts as well. The oil and gas industry is a perfect example. These companies are looking to evolve into broader chemical and energy organizations for the sake of sustainability, and procurement has the opportunity to become a strategic partner in this transformation. 

​​In this episode, host Philip Ideson gets a look into the role of procurement transformation in the oil and gas industry by interviewing Artem Sherekh, the Global Oil and Gas Practice Lead at SAP, and Ferhat Eryurt, a partner at apsolut Group. Headquartered in Germany, apsolut Group is an SAP and SAP Ariba consulting partner that delivers on-premise cloud and hybrid procurement solutions. 

After shining a light on the role of procurement in the oil and gas industry, Artem and Ferhat talk about:

  • How companies are overcoming the cost-based hurdles associated with transitioning from conventional oil and gas to more expensive but sustainable renewable energy sources
  • Ways for procurement to reevaluate their value proposition to the company as conditions change, and how that should guide their activities
  • Why high quality, centralized data is an absolute must, even in fast-paced, regulated organizations going through a lot of M&A activity
Nov 17, 2021

Leading procurement organizations are constantly reimagining their processes and operating models, but in today’s unpredictable and fast-changing world they are under more pressure than ever to deliver a high-level roadmap to building the procurement function of tomorrow.

 In TRANSFORM - a thought-provoking new podcast series from Art of Procurement in partnership with Globality - we spotlight the agenda-setting procurement leaders and companies who are changing the game and redefining the Future of Procurement.

 For the first episode in this special series, host Philip Ideson talks with Dr. Elouise Epstein, a partner at Kearney and the acclaimed author of Trade Wars, Pandemics, and Chaos: How Digital Procurement Enables Business Success in a Disordered World. She is surely at the forefront of driving the procurement profession to an elevated future.

Dr. Elouise shares her honest perspectives on:

  • How she thinks most procurement leaders need to change their thinking about the profession
  • How technologies like AI can enable companies to achieve their ESG goals and tap into new sources of innovation, growth and enterprise value
  • The traits that distinguish the companies that have best positioned themselves for long term success
Nov 15, 2021

The State of the Procurement Profession report, one of the largest studies of the profession, is now in its fourth year. Among the key takeaways is data that suggests cost-related objectives remain dominant, with sustainability initiatives far down the list of priorities, despite discussions and content that suggest more progress has already been made. The silver lining is that the entrepreneurial procurement movement seems to be taking hold, and may usher in a time of accelerated change.

 

In this episode, host Philip Ideson is joined by Dr. Marcell Vollmer, Partner and Director at Boston Consulting Group, and Christoph Bode, Professor at the Business School of the University of Mannheim and Endowed Chair of Procurement. They recently collaborated, with the assistance of ISM, to survey the procurement profession, and have published their findings in the newly released report “State of the Procurement Profession 2021.”

 

The key findings of the research focus on entrepreneurial orientation, digitization, and ESG, as well as considering procurement reporting structures:

  • Early indications that the first ‘big wave’ of procurement digitalization may be coming to an end
  • Why recent concerns about supply chain risk are changing how companies approach sustainability, and why this shift plays to procurement’s strengths
  • The mindset and risk tolerance that are observed in entrepreneurial procurement teams - who also appear to be outperforming their peers
Nov 8, 2021

In a recent Art of Procurement survey, access to market insights was cited as the second most pressing challenge for procurement professionals. Even when procurement is able to access the insights they need, they still have to ensure that they are up-to-date, harder than ever given the level of uncertainty and unpredictability in today’s business climate.

In this week’s episode, Host Philip Ideson is joined by Ashley Cruz, Manager of Client Services at ProcurementIQ, and Thomas Lawson, their Product Development Manager. Starting by providing an honest look at procurement’s legacy relationship with market intelligence, they share some of their best tips for making insights actionable and provide a behind the scenes look into how ProcurementIQ builds their market intelligence reports.

In particular, Ashley and Thomas answer questions about:

  • Why the time has come (or passed) for procurement’s market intelligence to move beyond supplier discovery and cost/price benchmarking
  • The value of incorporating market trends and dynamics as well as models into the negotiation and bid review process
  • The most frequently asked questions they hear from procurement teams when it comes to accessing and acting upon market insights and intelligence
Nov 4, 2021

The high number of low-cost transactions is just the beginning of the challenges with tail spend management. Spend often finds its way into the tail through multiple ‘wrong turns,’ each of which requires a different approach by procurement and a correspondingly different resolution. There is no one ‘cause’ of tail spend and therefore there is no one solution. 

In this episode, which is based on an AOP Live session, host Philip Ideson speaks with Jean-Baptiste Anne, Head of Enterprise Sales and Professional Services Teams for Amazon Business, and Vishal Patel, VP of Product Marketing at Ivalua about all things tail spend.

How do they define it, how to integrate self-service models, and ways to look at the ROI of your tail spend program.

Jean-Baptiste Anne and Vishal Patel answer audience questions about:

  • The differences between a dedicated tail spend solution and integrating that same capability into a platform
  • How to know that you are making the right investment to deliver a tail spend ROI for your company
  • The criticality of understanding what is in your tail spend to being able to direct it through self-guided buying options such as Amazon Business, new procurement-led sourcing projects, or incorporation into existing contracts
Nov 1, 2021

Procurement has been working hard to expand our value proposition beyond savings for a long time, and the current conditions in service-based industries may provide a perfect opportunity. Many service and people-based industries are being hit hard by what is being called ‘The Great Resignation.’ Managing these categories on cost alone will definitely not be enough.

In this episode, host Philip Ideson speaks with ​​Amy Fong, Vice President of Sourcing and Vendor Management at Everest Group. Amy has had a front row seat to procurement transformation as both practitioner and an advisor, and she is currently focused on services categories. This interview was recorded as part of PASA’s (Procurement and Supply Australasia) ninth annual PASA Premier Confex.

Amy answers service-specific questions about:

  • The roles and industries where labor shortages are the greatest - and therefore the potential price increases are the highest
  • Evidence that companies may be pre-buying digital services the way they were hoarding toilet paper in 2020
  • The trends she sees with regard to service providers integrating technology and automation into their delivery models
Oct 25, 2021

We have observed a huge surge in investment in procurement technology startups over the last 12 months, and many of them are leveraging new ‘cognitive’ technologies to be smarter and more intuitive than the procurement technology of years past. In order to truly understand the value proposition of these solutions, procurement needs to have a solid grasp of what cognitive technology is and how its introduction will impact current technology, processes, and talent.

​​In this episode, host Philip Ideson speaks with Melissa Drew, an Associate Partner at IBM. Melissa has 27 years of procurement and supply chain experience, from both an industry and consulting perspective. She collaborates with organizations to reimagine how companies should look in order to remain competitive and was recently recognized as a global leader in consulting in the ‘Excellence in Influence’ category.

Since most procurement organizations are in the early stages of thinking about cognitive technology, Philip asks Melissa questions about:

  • What is cognitive technology really versus what we might read and hear in ‘hyped’ product marketing literature?
  • Where should companies be looking to apply the advantages of cognitive technology to their current procurement processes?
  • The critical need for procurement leaders to invest in the data literacy of their organization
Oct 18, 2021

Everyone who works for the Clorox Company is encouraged to lead ‘with their head, heart and guts.’ For procurement, this meant boldly accepting - and even driving - change by reimagining their indirect procurement operating model. 

Art of Procurement was recently joined by Kathy Thrasher, a Senior Procurement Manager at The Clorox Company, and Mike Caldron, Senior Group Manager at WNS Denali, for an AOP Live session all about their transformation journey. When asked what made the greatest difference in their success, Kathy knows the answer offhand, “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” 

Clorox transformed their indirect P2P - half of their total spend as a company - in the middle of the pandemic, during a time when they were ‘all hands on deck’ trying to support the global spike in demand for antibacterial products. They were able to move from operating without any purchasing system to empowering distributed buyers and suppliers to meet their own transaction and information needs.

In this episode, host Philip Ideson speaks with Kathy and Mike about:

  • The role of IT in the transformation of Clorox’s indirect procurement
  • How the team revisited their talent and staffing to ensure that skills and system-related changes were addressed
  • The investments they made to improve the supplier experience, enabling their external partners in very challenging business conditions
Oct 11, 2021

News of supply shortages and price increases seem to be everywhere. For consumers, that means their dollar doesn’t buy quite as much as it used to, but for procurement, it means every supplier email or call is likely to be a request for a price increase. What is procurement to do?

In this crossover episode from The Sourcing Hero podcast, produced in partnership with Una, Host Kelly Barner flips the tables to interview AOP Founder and Managing Director Philip Ideson. His advice on how to address supplier price increase requests is timely - as is his input on how procurement can avoid being ‘re-pigeonholed’ as a cost-only team.

If you enjoy this interview, subscribe to The Sourcing Hero podcast for weekly conversations on topics of interest to procurement with a wide-ranging group of guests.

In this conversation, Phil shares his perspective on:

  • How procurement should respond to a supplier that reached out with a request for a price increase
  • What options procurement has for mitigating the increase once it has been determined to be a valid request from the supplier
  • If procurement needs to worry about getting TOO GOOD at protecting the bottom line in challenging times
Oct 4, 2021

It isn’t often that procurement has the opportunity to hear the sales perspective on our work, but that is precisely what we bring you in this episode of the Art of Procurement podcast.

Chris Mele is the Managing Partner of Software Pricing Partners. In this interview, he provides an outsider’s perspective on two topics that are important to procurement:

  1. How pricing works in the software industry: whether suppliers are being fair and how to negotiate when you feel like you’re examining a ‘black box,’ because the pricing is value-based rather than input cost-based 
  2. What the typical RFP process looks like to sales reps. You won’t just hear Chris’ perspective on RFPs - he solicited input from other sales professionals as well. 

Before hitting play, we would like to offer a special listener’s caution on this conversation... 

There are two ways to listen to this episode. You can either hear a salesperson advocating for process changes that might make his job easier (not recommended), or you can hear honest input that will help you design your sourcing strategy to better deliver what the business needs from its supply partners. Which way you listen is entirely up to you.

Sep 27, 2021

Procurement, treasury and accounts payable have one set of shared objectives when it comes to supplier engagement and management, but all too often they operate in silos. This complicates supplier management and does little to improve their experience while working with a company. Restructuring how these groups work together through procurement transformation can create opportunities to support each other’s goals and therefore better deliver against business expectations.

In this episode, Host Philip Ideson is joined by Joe Payne, SVP, Source-to-Pay at Corcentric, and Jennifer Ulrich, Senior Director of Advisory at Corcentric. They are both return guests on Art of Procurement and are two of four authors of the recently released book: Managing Indirect Spend.

This conversation is based on a recent AOP Live webinar titled, “Bridging the Gap Between Procurement, AP, and Treasury through Procurement Transformation.” 

In that session Joe and Jennifer answered questions from a live Art of Procurement audience about:

  • Where procurement, treasury, and accounts payable tend to fall out of sync and why
  • How fragmented processes not only negatively impact suppliers, but reduce the ROI to the company from those relationships 
  • The additional benefits - such as reduced overall effort and improved data quality - that result when all three groups work collaboratively
Sep 20, 2021

“I'm going to change your mindset. You're going to want me to help you. You're going to want my team. You're going to want more procurement and you're going to advocate for us. I love watching it shift.”

 

Many procurement leaders have been tasked with building the first procurement organization at their company. It is always a challenging journey, with many unexpected twists and turns. For fast-growth companies with a global footprint, establishing formal procurement is absolutely critical, but it has to be done in a way that does not impede the growth trajectory.

 

Sarah Kaye is the Director of Procurement at Spin, a part of Ford Mobility, an electric scooter and bike-share company. She is combining her passion for marketing with the procurement experience she gained working at organizations such as Target, Radisson Hotel Group, and WeWork.

 

Sarah’s responsibilities at Spin began at the beginning; building and growing the company’s very first procurement team.

 

In this conversation, Host Philip Ideson and Sarah discuss how she is building procurement capabilities that truly align with the needs of the business, and how she is leveraging her marketing skills to build and sell the procurement value proposition:

  • The level of sophistication she is able to bring to procurement’s internal relationships by making personal connections aimed at delivering long term value
  • Why the best problem she has is too many contracts to negotiate and execute
  • The importance of procurement taking programs like diversity and inclusion or sustainability and moving beyond tracking and reporting to full advocacy with the business
Sep 13, 2021

Corporate travel is one of the most complex spend categories that procurement has management responsibility for. For almost two years now, business travel has been in a state of flux resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, leaving most companies and procurement teams with a whole series of unanswered questions:  

How should your corporate travel policy change to reflect new realities? How do you negotiate deals when volumes are uncertain? How do you account for traveler safety? And how do you integrate sustainability into your travel program?

In this four-part special series brought to you in partnership with Egencia, the world’s business travel platform, we will cover all of these pressing issues and more.

In the final episode of the series, host Philip Ideson speaks with Kristina Zdrilic Siljedahl, Global Account Manager and Sustainability Ambassador at Egencia, to discuss the tactics and metrics that companies can use to integrate sustainability into their travel program.

Sep 13, 2021

Corporate travel is one of the most complex spend categories that procurement has management responsibility for. For almost two years now, business travel has been in a state of flux resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, leaving most companies and procurement teams with a whole series of unanswered questions:  

How should your corporate travel policy change to reflect new realities? How do you negotiate deals when volumes are uncertain? How do you account for traveler safety? And how do you integrate sustainability into your travel program?

In this four-part special series brought to you in partnership with Egencia, the world’s business travel platform, we will cover all of these pressing issues and more.

In the third episode of the series, host Philip Ideson speaks with Caitlin Deegan, Senior Director of Strategy at Egencia, to discuss the elevated responsibility organizations have to protect traveler safety, and what actions they can take to minimize risk as much as possible.

Sep 13, 2021

Corporate travel is one of the most complex spend categories that procurement has management responsibility for. For almost two years now, business travel has been in a state of flux resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, leaving most companies and procurement teams with a whole series of unanswered questions:  

How should your corporate travel policy change to reflect new realities? How do you negotiate deals when volumes are uncertain? How do you account for traveler safety? And how do you integrate sustainability into your travel program?

In this four-part special series brought to you in partnership with Egencia, the world’s business travel platform, we will cover all of these pressing issues and more.

In the second episode of the series, host Philip Ideson speaks with Delphine Boulton, Director of Consulting at Egencia, to discuss different approaches procurement teams can take to negotiate travel deals when traveler demand is uncertain.

Sep 13, 2021

Corporate travel is one of the most complex spend categories that procurement has management responsibility for. For almost two years now, business travel has been in a state of flux resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, leaving most companies and procurement teams with a whole series of unanswered questions:  

How should your corporate travel policy change to reflect new realities? How do you negotiate deals when volumes are uncertain? How do you account for traveler safety? And how do you integrate sustainability into your travel program?

In this four-part special series brought to you in partnership with Egencia, the world’s business travel platform, we will cover all of these pressing issues and more.

In this first episode of the series, host Philip Ideson speaks with Ann Dery, Director of Global Travel at S&P Global, and Rob Fodor, Global Account Manager at Egencia, about the changes companies are making to their travel policies in the short term and their perspective on when different types of travel will resume.

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