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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: Category: procurement
May 18, 2020

The scope of responsibilities associated with enterprise procurement has grown significantly over the last decade, and yet we keep coming back to the ‘good old’ RFP. This one enabling tool often defines our reputation as a function, and not always in a good way. At the same time, no other approach has been able to unseat the RFP, and it remains the best way to evaluate supplier costs and capabilities in a standardized and structured way. 

Dave Hulsen, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of RFP360, joined us for an AOP Live session on March 31st. His topic - reclaiming the power of the RFP - clearly struck a chord with the procurement community, because we’ve never had so many excellent questions submitted by audience members before.

May 11, 2020

There are a lot of very talented people today that suddenly find themselves un- or under- employed by no fault of their own and companies lift with critical vacancies. How can professionals and hiring managers continue to move careers and operations forward under the current business conditions?

Mark Holyoake is the founder of Holyoake Search, a US East-coast based procurement recruitment firm and someone who always has his finger on the pulse of the procurement recruitment market. The landscape for hiring and being hired in procurement has changed dramatically over the past couple of months, so what does that mean for anyone looking for a new role or for executives looking to hire their next rising star?

In this interview, Mark provides Host Philip Ideson with an honest overview of the current state of hiring, interviewing, and career building.

May 4, 2020

While the challenges of COVID-19 aren’t completely behind us, many organizations are starting to look ahead to what's next. For many procurement teams, that means identifying and defining quick wins from a cost savings or expense reduction perspective. 

Brian Seipel is a Consultant and Spend Analysis Lead at Corcentric, where he helps organizations perfect their strategic sourcing abilities, manage supplier relationships, and clear away process roadblocks. We asked him about his advice about getting quick wins (that are actually quick) without alienating suppliers or stakeholders.

Apr 27, 2020

As procurement has worked to reposition ourselves as a source of value beyond savings, we have had to rebuild our relationships on a foundation of credibility and rapport. That hasn’t been an easy change for all procurement professionals and teams, and some stakeholders have been easier to win over than others. We have made significant progress to date, but the journey continues.

Canda Rozier is a multiple-time CPO with experience working across a number of leading global organizations. She recently started her own procurement consulting firm, Collabra Consulting.

In this interview, Canda shares her point of view on some critical considerations for procurement teams looking to partner sustainably with the business.

Apr 24, 2020

Sustainable expense management programs should be managed to align outcomes with company objectives. Doing so amplifies their impact, strengthens stakeholder and supplier relationships, and provides real savings that can be reinvested as necessary.

In this 5-part special series, Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson will take you through the keys to running a successful expense management program, pitfalls to look out for, and tactics to cover incumbent supplier management, strategic sourcing, and demand and category management.

Apr 23, 2020

Sustainable expense management programs should be managed to align outcomes with company objectives. Doing so amplifies their impact, strengthens stakeholder and supplier relationships, and provides real savings that can be reinvested as necessary.

In this 5-part special series, Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson will take you through the keys to running a successful expense management program, pitfalls to look out for, and tactics to cover incumbent supplier management, strategic sourcing, and demand and category management.

Apr 22, 2020

Sustainable expense management programs should be managed to align outcomes with company objectives. Doing so amplifies their impact, strengthens stakeholder and supplier relationships, and provides real savings that can be reinvested as necessary.

In this 5-part special series, Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson will take you through the keys to running a successful expense management program, pitfalls to look out for, and tactics to cover incumbent supplier management, strategic sourcing, and demand and category management.

Apr 21, 2020

Sustainable expense management programs should be managed to align outcomes with company objectives. Doing so amplifies their impact, strengthens stakeholder and supplier relationships, and provides real savings that can be reinvested as necessary.

In this 5-part special series, Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson will take you through the keys to running a successful expense management program, pitfalls to look out for, and tactics to cover incumbent supplier management, strategic sourcing, and demand and category management.

Apr 20, 2020

Sustainable expense management programs should be managed to align outcomes with company objectives. Doing so amplifies their impact, strengthens stakeholder and supplier relationships, and provides real savings that can be reinvested as necessary.

In this 5-part special series, Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson will take you through the keys to running a successful expense management program, pitfalls to look out for, and tactics to cover incumbent supplier management, strategic sourcing, and demand and category management.

Apr 13, 2020

Despite the procurement mindshare dedicated to technology, it hasn’t changed things as much as we all would have liked. Most of procurement’s sourcing activities happen the same way they always have, albeit with much improved user interfaces. This is especially true for complex service categories that have always defied our processes and templates.

Keith Hausmann is the Chief Revenue Office at Globality. He also has the unique distinction of being both a former client - and a former boss - of Art of Procurement Host Philip Ideson. His enthusiasm for a worthy business challenge and the agile nature of innovative start-ups recently led him to join this AI-powered services sourcing platform provider.

In this interview, Keith provides his point of view about several of the strategic challenges that procurement still faces ‘after all these years’ and the role that procurement technology can play in resolving them:

  • Technology as an enabler for procurement teams that feel pressure to reduce indirect costs but want to do incredibly challenging and interesting work
  • Why it is never a good idea to let a supplier - even an incumbent - define the scope or demand for a stakeholder (and why it keeps happening)
  • The unique requirements procurement teams have when sourcing complex services categories
Apr 6, 2020

The team at Art of Procurement has worked with Joe Payne for years. We collaborated when he was at Source One Management Services, and now that they have been acquired by Corcentric, our joint efforts continue under that banner - which has also extended to include the Determine team. Joe is now the Senior Vice President of Source to Pay at Corcentric, where he continues to apply his years of procurement consulting and services experience.

Given the fact that we spoke to Joe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we obviously talked about risk and uncertainty, but we also asked his advice about managing procurement in times of recession. What have we learned in the past that we can apply to the economic conditions we will face as the economic shutdown comes to a close?

Apr 1, 2020

Tim Crawford is a former CIO who now advises CEOs and business executives on strategic IT transformation initiatives. He is also the host of the “CIO in the Know” podcast.

We had originally invited Tim to join Art of Procurement for a conversation about how procurement professionals can most effectively support our IT colleagues in the long term, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines and agendas worldwide, we decided to pivot and take this opportunity to discuss some of the IT challenges that are top of mind under the current circumstances.

We asked Tim about the challenges most CIOs are facing on a day-to-day basis, and how procurement can help.

Mar 30, 2020

As we run this podcast, the entire world is consumed with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Procurement teams have been hit directly in the form of uncertain supply chains and unstable suppliers. While we are naturally consumed with short term risk mitigation, at some point, we will emerge from this crisis. What will our companies face then?

Christian Heinrich is one of the industry professionals splitting his time between the short term and the longer-term view. He is the Co-Founder of scoutbee.com and a Professor of Digital Transformation at Quadriga Hochschule Berlin.

Christian took some time out to share with us what he is seeing on the ground. What tactics and strategies are they taking and how are they starting to scope and plan out the actions they need to take today to prepare for a return to some kind of normalcy once the pandemic is contained.

Mar 25, 2020

Now that procurement professionals and organizations have absorbed the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are stable enough footing to start to serve others - including our suppliers.

Many of the programs procurement has put in place in recent years have incentives partnering with small, diverse businesses. Those disruptive companies are now at high risk of being disrupted by the pandemic, in some cases permanently.

Amanda Prochaska is a long time procurement leader, working for companies like the Kellogg Company, Kraft Heinz, and MGM Resorts International. In 2019, Amanda founded HPP, a company that specializes in helping companies of all sizes achieve operational excellence by supporting the performance of their key suppliers.

HPP has set up a Recovery Program to help suppliers take advantage of assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA):

  • Special steps being taken by the SBA, with backing from the US Treasury, to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Government eligibility requirements for SBA loans and how the funds need to be used
  • The types of product and service suppliers that procurement may want to share this information with (i.e. facilities maintenance providers for buildings that have been closed down temporarily)
Mar 23, 2020

There are some categories of indirect spend - think pest control, waste & recycling, industrial gasses and equipment rental - that cost more to source than they offer in savings. Rich Ham, CEO of Fine Tune, calls those ‘nuisance expenses.’ For a combination of reasons, they take so much time to manage, and result in so little savings (once they have been sourced for the first time), that they serve as little more than a distraction for procurement teams trying to function more strategically.

The uniform industry is valued at $16B annually, and 3 national players account for 55-60% of the revenue in the United States: Cintas, Aramark, and Unifirst. As regional and ‘mom and pop’ players in this industry are gradually being assimilated into the big three, procurement organizations are going to have to completely overhaul their approach to this category.

In this interview, Rich provides insight into the unique approaches and opportunities associated with this specific ‘nuisance expense:’

Mar 16, 2020

It is safe to say that we currently find ourselves in unprecedented times. Some of us will be impacted by the spread of the coronavirus more than others, but the likelihood is that it will affect all of us in some way.

At Art of Procurement, we are going to be at your side for the duration, helping you prepare for the ‘unknown unknowns’ with practical advice on how you can mitigate the worst of the impact and turn your response into a competitive advantage.

To that end, we arranged for a short-turnaround Sunday morning podcast recording with Jan Griffiths. As the former CPO of a tier-1 automotive manufacturer, now the Founder and President of leadership coaching consultancy Gravitas Detroit, Jan has weathered her fair share of crisis and uncertainty. She has come through all of it strengthened and determined to succeed, and she shares her insights with us about how we can do the same.

Mar 9, 2020

Everyone wants to have a positive social impact on their community or industry, but doing so also has to be a sound business decision. That is something that Paul Polizzotto instinctively understands. It has fueled and inspired his 30+ years as a social entrepreneur. As the Founder and CEO of Givewith, Paul is combining his desire to have social impact with his knowledge of marketing and advertising to create value for buyers, suppliers, and the world.

Rather than being a soft, ‘feel good’ type of initiative, the Givewith process and principles are based on hard data and environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) analytics. Paul and his team know that the value of social impact has to be precise and undeniable if companies are going to get on board, and so they have made that the backbone of their approach to B2B commerce.

In this interview, Paul explains how B2B transactions that were going to happen anyway, can be leveraged for social good:

  • Buyers continue to negotiate the very best deal they can get, as well as competitive non-price terms
  • Suppliers use their ability to advance their customers’ sustainability objectives as a sales and collaboration differentiator
  • And if you happen to have a few ‘objections’ that come to mind as a pragmatic procurement professional - you’re not alone. We asked Paul the tough questions as well.
Mar 2, 2020

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (General Manager of AOP and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from February’s podcast interviews and share their point of view on a new topic. This month they discuss how to manage a healthy ‘breakup’, managing relationships, responsibilities, and results at the end of a project

Feb 24, 2020

According to the Cimpress corporate website, “We manage our businesses in a decentralized, autonomous manner so as to ensure we remain close to our customers, focused and entrepreneurial.” Now go back and read that statement again – this time as a member of the procurement team supporting such a collection of businesses.

Evert Karsen is the Vice President of Global Procurement at Cimpress. From his office in Switzerland, he leads a team of procurement professionals that support Cimpress’ multiple autonomous brands, including Vistaprint, Easyflyer, and BuildASign.

They don’t have a mandate to lean on with internal stakeholders, but they don’t have a savings target either. That combination of conditions has made it possible for them to deliver a wide range of value types and build a services-oriented relationship with the business.

Feb 17, 2020

You are probably familiar with some of these terms if you have ever participated in a complex contractual arrangement: arbitrator, mediator, certified deal architect, even the “wise persons committee.” All of these titles refer to objective third parties that are brought in to help resolve high-stakes situations.

Kate Vitasek, a member of the graduate faculty in executive education at the University of Tennessee, and the creator of the Vested model, has recently co-authored a whitepaper that takes the concept of the roles above and modifies it to meet the needs of ongoing, complex third-party relationships.

A “standing neutral” is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is different than the roles above in that a standing neutral is brought in before the conflict occurs; they are part of a contract’s governance structure. They are neutral, and mutually approved by the parties to the contract.

Kate provides background and case examples to show:

  • How, when and why two (or more) companies might bring in a standing neutral to facilitate contract governance?
  • What impact the standing neutral role has on the relationship associated with the contract.
  • That using the right standing neutral under the right circumstances allows companies to proactively prevent conflicts and misalignment that could rob both parties of intended value.
Feb 10, 2020

Procurement can no longer turn a blind eye to bad data. If we are going to leverage our data for advanced applications such as AI, machine learning, RPA, etc. we have to address data quality now - without spending more time or allowing it to become more fragmented. 

Joe Yacura is a former CPO of organizations such as Fannie Mae, Bank of America and American Express, and is the co-author of the 3rd Annual Data Quality and Governance Study in partnership with Dr Rob Handfield and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) at NC State. 

Feb 3, 2020

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (General Manager of AOP and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from January’s podcast interviews and announce the official launch of Procurement, Inc., the new Art of Procurement framework for repositioning procurement as a strategic services business.

Jan 31, 2020

Procurement has always been fertile ground for tech entrepreneurs. We have pulled together some of the most compelling – and potentially disruptive – procurement solutions for a Special Startup Series. We will ask each entrepreneur questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.

In this podcast, we interview Rowena Ludwig, Chief Marketing Officer of TraDove, a social networking platform built to match and connect business buyers and sellers and blockchain payment solution provider.

Discussion highlights include:

  • How blockchain tokens can be used to facilitate B2B payment transactions.
  • The security and information storage implications of a B2B blockchain v. a traditional one.
  • Why social network-based technology is the most efficient way for global buyers and sellers to connect.
Jan 30, 2020

Procurement has always been fertile ground for tech entrepreneurs. We have pulled together some of the most compelling – and potentially disruptive – procurement solutions for a Special Startup Series. We will ask each entrepreneur questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.

In this podcast, we interview Pierre Laprée, Founder of Per Angusta, a procurement project pipeline and performance tracking tool founded in 2012.

Discussion highlights include:

  • The importance of investing in - and building up - procurement’s internal credibility through detailed performance management tracking.
  • An acknowledgment that procurement teams carry a heavy workload, often multiple projects at one time, including a wide range of task types and activities.
  • Why the challenge of ‘savings’ needs to be addressed as a process by both procurement and finance, not as an issue with procurement’s value proposition.
Jan 29, 2020

Procurement has always been fertile ground for tech entrepreneurs. We have pulled together some of the most compelling – and potentially disruptive – procurement solutions for a Special Startup Series. We will ask each entrepreneur questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.

In this podcast, we interview Tarmo Saidla, Co-Founder and CEO of ProcurementFlow, a collaboration and work management platform founded in 2019.

Discussion highlights include:

  • The challenge of combining consistent purchase approvals and oversight with buyer convenience and speed
  • While a lot has changed in procurement, the need for a centralized team and streamlined processes has not abated
  • How, much like with Excel, companies are unlikely to ever get distributed buyers to stop relying on email for requests and approvals
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