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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: Category: procurement
Jun 29, 2020

It is never easy to request additional headcount, so making sure the timing is right and having a solid business case are critical to protecting your internal reputation and hopefully getting an affirmative response.

There are plenty of ways procurement can stack the deck in their favor, and most of them have to do with demonstrating alignment with enterprise objectives and a vision that explains the value associated with that position in the longer term.

Alexis Ryan has been in procurement for 2 decades, the last 5 years of which have been spent in leadership positions. After starting her career in Legal, she ended up in procurement with no preconceived notions about the function’s value proposition or focus.

In this interview, Alexis provides her advice about how and when to request additional procurement headcount and how to increase the chances of the request being approved:

  • Which procurement metrics can be most effective at supporting requests for additional headcount
  • The objections to growing procurement’s headcount that leaders should expect to face in the enterprise-wide competition for resources
  • What a documented headcount business case should look like, and the type of information it should include
Jun 22, 2020

When it comes to governance during the sourcing process, your experience probably matches one of the following two scenarios:

  1. You have a strict 7 or 8 step process, and at the end of each step you have to get an approval of some sort to move to the next.  
  2. You have an approval council that wants to see proof that you checked every single box during the sourcing process.  

What do these scenarios have in common? They are burdensome, create mountains of paperwork, and really slow down the process. No wonder stakeholders want to bypass procurement altogether.

In this podcast, AOP Founder and Host Philip Ideson shares his easy 2-step governance process, one that he created when he was an Indirect Sourcing Manager earlier in his career. This process - and the templates required to carry it out - are part of one of the AOP Mastermind mini-courses that you member companies will be able to access on July 1st,.

Jun 15, 2020

For many procurement teams, risk management is now priority #1. If that sounds like your situation, how can you make sense of all the unknowns and ensure that each one of your category strategies is prepared to adapt to whatever may come your way?

In today’s solo show, AOP Founder and Host Philip Ideson shares one way you can balance risk and agility: by taking the business continuity and disaster recovery plans we often ask our suppliers to provide and applying the concept to your category strategy.

This approach can be used whether the category, product or service in question has a physical supply chain (products) or a virtual supply chain (services). Either way, a category continuity plan will help you proactively identify the risks associated with a category, product, or service and identify potential mitigation steps to take should a particular scenario occur.

Listen to this podcast to learn more about the following ways to apply business continuity planning to risk management:

  • The six key steps you will need to follow to create your business continuity plan, and why the focus is about ensuring you are well-informed
  • Why supply chain mapping and scenario planning are a powerful (and actionable) combination
  • Which proven frameworks and tools can be helpful when identifying specific points of failure
Jun 8, 2020

A lot of things have changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, not the least of which has been procurement and supply chain teams being thrust into the spotlight in very challenging conditions. As an Executive Search Consultant, Tom Graham has naturally been focused on how this increased exposure has impacted leaders, individual contributors, and entire teams.

Since the lockdowns began, Tom has been holding regular, virtual roundtables with Chief Procurement Officers and Chief Supply Chain Officers to discuss everything from crisis management to planning for the new normal. Their observations and perspectives on next steps have evolved with the status of the crisis, and as businesses begin to open back up, the time is drawing near to start acting on those ideas. 

In this interview, Tom shares what he has seen and heard and what he expects to see next as the world continues to adapt to the new normal: 

  • Why he expects the initial transition period to be so difficult for companies that are in the process of bringing their operations back online
  • Why natural leaders have been less impacted by our current virtual ‘working from home’ situation than people might have expected
  • One of the best techniques he has seen in practice for finding a solution to a highly complex problem and making it very easy and straightforward for others in the enterprise to support
Jun 1, 2020

Logistics has never been an easy category of spend to manage. Whether your company is multimodal, focused on less-than truckload (LTL), or depends upon small parcel, carriers and third-party logistics providers form a critical link between you and your customers. Superimpose the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of that complexity, and you have one of the most fluid and challenging situations procurement will get involved in.

Joe Lazzerini is a Consultant at Corcentric, where he helps organizations manage their logistics category spend. In fact, he was consulting in logistics long before he found his way to the world of procurement.

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

  • What the state of the global logistics market looked like before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • When companies should look to their carriers for input on costs, contracts, and shipping capacity
  • Why paying the right price is more important than paying the lowest price, and the importance of becoming a ‘shipper of choice’
May 25, 2020

According to Harvard Business Review, under Zero-based budgeting (ZBB), “Expenses must be justified for each new budget period based on demonstrable needs and costs, as opposed to the more common method of using last year’s budget as your starting point, then adjusting up or down. ZBB is a straightforward, intuitively simple way to aggressively strip out costs that cannot be rationally justified.”

Sounds wonderful, right? Well, as this week’s guest (and the HBR article referenced above) point out, there is no such thing as a ‘one-size fits-all’ silver bullet, even when it comes to aggressively cutting costs.

 

David Ward is the Director of Global Sourcing & Procurement at a global pharmaceutical company, and has held procurement positions at Ford, Rolls Royce, AstraZeneca, and Unilever. During his time at Unilever, he became the ZBB Programme Leader for Marketing and Business Services, and so he has seen the advantages and disadvantages of this budgeting and management method first hand.

In this interview, David explains how ZBB works and whether it is a strategy that procurement should actively consider in the current economic conditions:

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.

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