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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
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
Jan 28, 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 Stephany Lapierre, CEO of Tealbook, a master supplier data management platform founded in 2015.

 Discussion highlights include:

  • The glaring investment between procurement’s investment (to date) in technology versus the investment in the data that runs through that technology.
  • How increasing the quality of supplier master data can actually reduce the friction associated with changing procurement software providers.
  • Why machine learning may help procurement make the leap from understanding who their suppliers are to recognizing the total value those suppliers can offer.
Jan 27, 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 Edmund Zagorin, the Founder of Bid Ops. Bid Ops is a sourcing enablement platform founded in 2018.

Discussion highlights include:

  • Where the majority of time is invested in a sourcing process, and how that can be streamlined without sacrificing results
  • Separating ‘the market’, which is effectively a generalized abstraction, from the effective market that determines a buyer’s true optionality
  • How the length of a negotiation can either favor the buyer or the supplier
Jan 23, 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 Arvid Fredin and Nils Lundgren, the team behind Spendency, the self-proclaimed “easy to use” spend analysis solution founded in 2015. 

Discussion highlights include:

  • Why ‘ease of use’ is both the most important and the most difficult sell
  • How their belief in democratizing access to advanced analytics is reflected in Spendency’s reflects the commercial model and company structure 
  • The advantage associated with embedding process-based thinking into a tool so that workflows do not have to be rolled out heavy-handedly to users
Jan 22, 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 Alan Holland, the Founder and CEO of Keelvar. Founded in 2012, Keelvar provides the automation procurement needs to achieve speed, while also increasing adherence to best practices.

Discussion highlights include:

  • The power and resource efficiency of combining optimization and automation
  • The critical differences between intelligent automation and robotic process automation (RPA)
  • The business case for applying optimization technology to large or analytically complex spend categories
Jan 21, 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 Paul Gurr, Managing Director at Provalido, an online platform for tracking savings that was founded in 2013.

Discussion highlights include:

  • The strategy (and feasibility) of taking a ‘best of breed’ approach to building a procurement technology portfolio
  • The continued need for procurement to emphasize and invest in clean, high quality data
  • The direct connection between tracking and process/purchasing transparency
Jan 20, 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 Sam Jenks, Chief Marketing Officer at Kodiak Hub, a supplier relationship management platform founded in 2015.

Discussion highlights include:

  • Why supplier insight has to be based on both robust scorecards and data analytics.
  • That (believe it or not) Excel continues to be Kodiak’s biggest competitor.
  • How this is the time – even according to well-known consulting firms and CTOs – to be an early adopter and partner with a startup
Jan 13, 2020

Despite their reliance upon legacy systems, manufacturers are all about efficiency. This, combined with the pain caused by those same legacy systems, is finally starting to build momentum for procurement digitalization – especially among larger manufacturers.

Sundar Kamak is the Global Head of Manufacturing Solutions at Ivalua, and his background in manufacturing is largely concentrated in the aerospace and automotive industries. In this podcast, he shares his perspective on the move towards digital procurement in the manufacturing space as well as the overall trends he has observed.

Sundar provides additional insight on topics such as:
· The limitations of ERP systems in the face of inter-enterprise collaboration projects
· Going beyond balancing cost, quality and supply assurance to drive competitive advantage
· Closing the gap between product development and strategic sourcing, especially in the case of direct materials
· Continuing movement away from the use of Excel in favor of increased speed and collaboration

Jan 6, 2020

If 2019 was the year of emerging technology hype, then 2020 holds the potential to be the year that we turn our attention to the work that needs to be done to derive concrete value from that technology: blockchains included.

In late 2019, Remko Van Hoek, Clinical Full Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Arkansas – Sam M. Walton College of Business and a Member of the CSCMP Board of Directors, co-authored a book titled Integrating Blockchain into Supply Chain Management: A Toolkit for Practical Application. He and his three co-authors were looking to combine the understandable enthusiasm for distributed ledger technology with the knowledge we have about emerging technologies of the past. Their goal: to provide actionable insight and realistic use cases.

In this conversation, Remko answers questions about:

  • The use cases he and his co-authors had the opportunity to study and what they learned from those leading companies
  • The role of third party advisors in blockchain pilots and implementations
  • How to increase the likelihood of success with a blockchain pilot project, including project scope, partner selection, and setting internal expectations
Dec 23, 2019

As we begin to wind down for 2019, Art of Procurement host Philip Ideson shares the three themes that are at the forefront of his mind when considering the health of the procurement function and the opportunities that await in 2020.

Dec 16, 2019

This week’s podcast is based on our recent AOP Live session with Pierre Lapree and Jason Treida. They joined us last month to take live audience questions about how procurement can maximize the value potential of automation while ensuring that performance management is not lost in the ‘noise’ of technology.

Most of today’s technology focuses on either the transactional aspects of procurement (P2P) or shiny new toys (RPA/AI/Blockchain). It does not necessarily provide a holistic view our activity and performance. And yet, it is those activities and that performance that determine procurement’s impact and influence now and in the future.   

In this live session, we discussed:

  • Procurement’s Fascination with ‘Shiny’ Technology
  • The stages of procurement maturity, and how performance should be measured and incentivized as we progress
  • The power and importance of corporate ‘rituals’
  • How a careful consideration of procurement performance management requires us to approach technology selection and implementation differently
Dec 9, 2019

Whether you call it supplier performance management or supplier relationship management, procurement has always understood that we need supply partners at their best for us to realize the maximum ROI from each contract. Usually, however, that boils down to a meeting where we point out where they could be doing better or ask a bunch of questions that imply the same thing and send them on their way to figure out how they should improve. It basically amounts to procurement making a wish list and throwing it over the wall.

Needless to say, this delivers questionable results. Procurement doesn’t have the time required to follow up with as many suppliers as we should, and the suppliers don’t have an incentive to put more energy than absolutely necessary into a contract they have already signed. Besides, they’re often not sure exactly what we want from them.

In this disconnect, Amanda Prochaska, President and CEO of HPP Coach, and Jonathan Townsley, a Business Transformation and Supply Management Advisor, see an opportunity for procurement to meaningfully and sustainably change the way we manage our suppliers.

Dec 2, 2019

Having the opportunity to reflect back on a successful career in its entirety is a gift, and in “A Procurement Compendium”, Peter Smith shares that gift with the whole procurement community. From being found by procurement (either because he could play tennis or because he was lousy at sales), to his time as a consultant and then 8+ years with Spend Matters, he’s experienced nearly everything.

Peter shares stories from his career that capture the things he’d done differently. He wishes he’d insisted upon having better talent. He would fight for the budgetary resources to get his team the resources they needed. He would be less cautious and spend more time connecting on a personal level with fellow executives.

In this conversation, Peter talks about:
· The importance of competition and the dangers of supplier dependence
· Why procurement is not in decline (yet)
· What new CPOs should do to succeed early on

Nov 25, 2019

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 November’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

Note: This is a special - early and shortened - version of our This Month in Procurement podcast due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. We would like to thank you, our listeners and followers, for sharing your time and energy with us during the year. The procurement community is amazing. We continue to be enthusiastic about being part of your network and having you in ours! 

 

Nov 18, 2019

In this week’s podcast, Philip Ideson is joined by two members of the Procurement Leaders team, David Rae, their Chief Product Officer, and Geraldine Craven, Head of Research. They recently completed a study in cooperation with Bain Consulting to understand what is changing in advance of the arrival of 2020 and what remains the same.

In this conversation, David and Geri talk about the key recommendations in Procurement Leaders’ 2020 CPO Planning Guide, including:


• The need for procurement to connect with the broader C-suite agenda
• The organizational differentiation that Procurement Leaders is seeing among companies that focus the customer experience, innovation or risk management
• Whether it is easier to drive transformation when change is already underway or when a team is at the beginning of their journey
• The skills that leadership teams need to make sure are in place within procurement, and why it is critical that procurement recruit from outside the function

Nov 11, 2019

“A good procurement person has two qualities: One is they're curious. They want to know how things are made. How did we get it here? Why is the supplier doing that? What is the price? What is the cost? So, curiosity is the number one thing and the number two thing is emotional intelligence. Do they have the capability to build relationships inside and outside the business?”

In this week’s podcast, Philip Ideson is joined by Bill Michels, Vice President of Operations Americas at CIPS. They discuss the global nature of today’s supply chains and the impact that shift has had on the professional procurement community: specifically, they discuss the ongoing impact of trade tariffs around the world, and the proactive actions that can be taken to prepare for economic recession.

In this conversation, Bill talks about:


• Why procurement needs to start focusing on influencing buyer behavior, not their spend
• The destabilizing impact of tariffs, and whether it is possible for them to represent an opportunity as well as a challenge
• How procurement leaders can begin to proactively plan for an economic recession.
• How procurement skills development is being impacted by the very different interests and needs of the four different generations making up the current workforce

Nov 4, 2019

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 October’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In October, we heard a total of seven podcasts:

  • A solo show from Philip Ideson on Getting Executive Buy-in for a Procurement Change Initiative
  • A five-part series with leadership team from Efficio, titled “A CPO’s First 100 Days”
  • An interview with Ryan Flynn, a Principal at Deloitte Consulting, about their 8th annual CPO Survey 

This month’s discussion topic is one that most procurement professionals – most people, in fact – think about this time of year… How can I set myself up for success in the new year? With less than 60 days remaining in 2019, there isn’t a minute to waste. The AOP team is already actively engaged in the planning process, and we are positive 2020 is going to a much brighter – and bolder – year!

Oct 28, 2019

“The ‘complexity masters’ have taken the transactional side of procurement and turned it into a well-oiled machine, a combination of operating models and digital strategies, so that they can focus on those areas where they can drive the most value.”

The annual Deloitte Global CPO survey is one of the most anticipated reports of the year. In this year’s report, the 11th annual, the authors took a different approach than they have in the past, calling out a single word of focus: complexity. Ryan Flynn is a Principal at Deloitte Consulting with 14 years of experience helping global companies improve their sourcing and procurement efficiency and effectiveness.

Despite the fact that so many things seem to remain the same in procurement year after year, Ryan observes that his team is seeing movement – and fortunately, we are moving in the right direction. Procurement’s scope is shifting, as is our attitude towards ‘good’ risk. Of course, there is still plenty of work to be done, and nothing ever remains the same.

Oct 25, 2019

You have just been appointed to a new CPO position. Your executive leadership team is looking at you to make an immediate impact while setting up procurement as a driver of sustainable, long term value. You know that your first 100 days in the role may make or break your career. What do you do? Where do you start? 

In this special 5-part series, made possible through a partnership with Efficio, we will provide you with the roadmap you need to hit the ground running. 

In the fifth - and final - episode of the series, I spoke with Shirin Tomlinson, head of The Efficio Academy, about the importance of investing in skills development, starting with how a new CPO can attract the best talent into procurement.

In addition, Shirin and I discussed:

  • What skills CPOs should look for in their teams now and in the future
  • How companies should approach the training and upskilling of current team members
  • The risks associated with not focusing on the team and their skills in the early days of a procurement change effort
Oct 24, 2019

You have just been appointed to a new CPO position. Your executive leadership team is looking at you to make an immediate impact while setting up procurement as a driver of sustainable, long term value. You know that your first 100 days in the role may make or break your career. What do you do? Where do you start? 

In this special 5-part series, made possible through a partnership with Efficio, we will provide you with the roadmap you need to hit the ground running. 

In this fourth episode of the series, I spoke with Peter Wetherill, a Principal at Efficio, about where to start with the new technology that you are expecting enable your elevated procurement value proposition.

In addition, Peter and I discussed:

  • The legacy of wasted time and resources associated with technology implementations
  • How important procurement’s technical ‘literacy’ is to the realization of post-implementation ROI
  • Where to begin in a non-digital procurement organization
  • How to evaluate technology that is already in place
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