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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
Apr 8, 2019

Everyone wants to be seen as an innovator, and procurement leaders are no exception. The problem with this desire is that, much like procurement transformation, the definition of innovation can be hard to pin down. We all know it when we see it, but setting out in the morning with “innovation” at the top of your to-do list can be paralyzing… unless you have a master plan.

I interviewed Nancy Nicoll, Vice President of Not for Resale (NFR) / Indirect Strategic Sourcing, at ProcureCon Indirect East about everything from reporting to the C-suite to managing procurement through a huge corporate merger.

Although savings continues to be a high priority in the razor-thin margin grocery retail environment, they are not the horizon of procurement’s focus. For Nancy and the rest of her team, savings are the foundation – what gets them through the door and establishes their credibility – so that procurement can go on to deliver exceptional, sustained, big picture value.

 

Apr 1, 2019

When we hear about ‘fintech’ providers, most of us immediately think of a quickly shifting ad diverse landscape of startups – highly innovative companies, some of which are here today and gone tomorrow. If partnering with a fintech is even on your company’s radar screen, how can procurement develop a reasonable strategy for such an unpredictable industry?

I’m joined today by Andy Atkins, a professional commercial contract manager with a decade of experience negotiating and drafting complex financial, information technology and telecommunication agreements. He is an IACCM Certified Contract and Commercial Manager as well as a Certified Professional in Supply Management and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). His broad array of industry experience has empowered him to become a subject matter expert in supplier management, including intricate multi-million-dollar transactional agreements.

Andy recently authored an article for IACCM’s Contracting Excellence Journal titled, ‘The ‘FinTech Five’ – Mitigate Risk by Focusing on Five Clauses’ (see link below). It caught the attention of the AoP team, and we brought him on the podcast to discuss the fintech industry (and more) for a broader procurement audience.

In this conversation, Andy covers points such as:
• What is fintech (or financial technology), and how mature are the providers in the market?
• How to perform due diligence on startups, regardless of the product or service they provide.
• What are the differences between procurement in highly regulated industries such as financial services and pharmaceuticals and managing spend in less regulated industries?
• The importance of understanding your customers’ perspective – no matter what industry they are in.
• How procurement can be seen as a value-add rather than an internal roadblock by earning the trust of stakeholders and decision makers.

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Today’s discussion does not condone nor condemn the investment, business relationship, acquisition or trading of any equity directly related to a financial technology company or entity. This podcast discussion is strictly for educational purposes and is not for legal or financial advice. The opinions represented here do not necessarily reflect those of Andy’s current or previous employers and Andy is speaking today on his own behalf without further representation.

Mar 25, 2019

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from March’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In March, Louis Bastone (Indirect Category Manager at ASML) talked about making the move into procurement from another function or later in one’s professional career. Sammeli Sammalkorpi (co-founder of Sievo) provided some grounded advice about AI, making clear that if we want it to generate real results, we have to apply it wisely. Finally, David Loseby (author, Soft Skills for Hard Business) reminded us that as long as people are still at the heart of business, we need to be aware of our choice of language, their perspective on decisions, and the impact of small decisions compounded over time.

Don’t miss out on upcoming opportunities to connect with us in person at ProcureCon, Ivalua NOW, Ariba Live and the upcoming SIG Summit. We also have two AOP Live sessions scheduled in April, one with Kris Koneru at Infosys and one with Anthony Clervi at UNA. Make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list to receive notice once those events are open for registration. 

This month’s discussion topic comes from a Harvard Business Review Article: ‘Digital Transformation is Not About Technology’. It reminds us that our technology may have changed, but implementation and adoption challenges remain the same – especially for organizations that are trying to significantly change and improve their operational capabilities.

Mar 18, 2019

In a era when we emphasize the importance of ‘soft skills’ in the face of the hardest business challenges, the human element is impossible to ignore. While most of us tend to focus on developing our own interpersonal skills (or the absence of desired interpersonal skills in others), an equally important element is behavior. What are people doing and why? If we can understand behavior, we are in a far better position to deliver results and build sustainable relationships. 

I’m joined today by David Loseby, FAPM, FCMI, FCIPS Chartered, FRSA - CPO of Aquitaine Strategy Limited, Global Board of Trustees Member of CIPS, advisor and author of ‘Soft Skills for Hard Business’ (2018). He has spent 25 years at the senior executive/director level driving value and change through procurement, organizational transformation and change management in the public and private sectors.

As David explains, the importance of remembering what while we all expect others to exhibit ‘rational’ behaviors, rationality is in the eye of the beholder. In cases where we think others are acting against their or the enterprise’s best interests, it is likely that we either do not have access to the same information they do, or that they are interpreting that information differently than we are. Getting to the root of that disconnect is the most effective way to address unexpected behaviors and achieve alignment.

Mar 11, 2019

Automation can only be as good as we program it to be. If we want innovative, industry-leading support from emerging technologies, we need to be informed about the potential applications of AI and machine learning.

I’m joined today by Sammeli Sammalkorpi, Co-founder of Sievo, in a discussion that was driven by the engaged audience that joined us for February’s AOP Live session. We gathered questions in advance and fielded spontaneous ones during the event rather than wading through a conventional slide-driven talk on AI use cases.

One topic everyone kept coming back to was how to know when you are ready for an investment in AI and whether procurement is a good use case.

According to Sammeli, there are an increasing number of examples of how AI and machine learning add value in procurement. They include spend classification, capturing supplier information from public sources, and parsing the key terms from lengthy, complex contract documents. Automation can be implemented as a pilot project or an enterprise-wide effort, and it can improve legacy processes as well as parts of the business that have been deliberately re-worked to leverage the unique advantages of AI.

Mar 4, 2019

We often discuss the impact that procurement talent has on current results and the role it will play in determining how our function evolves in the future. The procurement community is vibrant, diverse and defined, but we need to remember that some of our best future team members are currently either in college or working in other functions. How we represent ourselves to them will determine how soon and how willingly they join our ranks.

I’m joined today by Louis Bastone, Indirect Category Manager for ASMC, a manufacturer of chip-making machines in the semiconductor industry. 9 out of 10 times when you ask someone how they ended up in procurement, their answer involves some an unexpected career twist. Not Louis. He took procurement courses in college while pursuing a degree in Integrated Supply Chain Management.

In this interview, Louis shares the role that creativity, enthusiasm and influence have on performance and job satisfaction as well as our elevation from tactical to strategic work. He also provides interesting insight into the entrepreneurial appeal of working in procurement and how newcomers can balance an affinity for their adopted function while not losing the critical edge of a broad, cross-functional point of view.

As Louis explains, we’re all on a journey. How far we get is mostly a matter of perspective. His advice is to focus on the professional experiences you want to have rather than the title you’re hoping to get.

Feb 25, 2019

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) discuss their major take-aways from February’s news, industry topics and podcast interviews.

In February, Andrew Daley (Edbury Daley) described the importance of conquering risk aversion when we scope out and fill open positions. Jens Hentschel (FIVIS Partnership) reminded us of the danger of “toiling away” at a tactical level while missing the big picture. Finally, Matt Clark (Corcentric) described the positioning challenges being faced by accounts payable organizations as well as the company’s recent acquisitions: Source One Management Services and Determine.

Don’t miss out on upcoming opportunities to connect with us in person at ProcureCon and Ariba Live, or the latest on the AOP Live schedule – including the free download on Building a Procurement AI Game Plan based on February’s session with Sievo.

This month’s discussion topic was driven by the findings of The Hackett Group’s 2019 CPO Agenda Report: Building Next-Generation Capabilities. The existing gaps between what procurement believes is important from a skills development perspective and what the enterprise values (and why) may be a quick read, but it deserves a lot of thought.

Feb 18, 2019

The Accounts Payable team play a key role in the success of procurement. 

The data that they extract from supplier invoices determines the accuracy of our spend analytics (and therefore our strategic insights) and the capture of the cost savings we claim (and thus procurement's ROI).  

Today's guest on the show is Matt Clark, President and COO of Corcentric.  Corcentric's research shows that, despite the importance of Procurement and Accounts Payable alignment, the vast majority of groups still operate in silo's.  And this is costing a typical company up to 60% in savings leakage. 

In today's conversation, I seek to better understand what keeps an AP Leader up at night, and how a procurement leader can translate this understanding a more collaborative relationship that elevates the impact of both groups.

We recorded our discussion just a couple of days after Corcentric entered into an agreement to purchase procurement SaaS provider Determine.  In our interview, I also ask Matt to share details behind Corcentric's strategy to continue to grow their end-to-end procurement capabilities.

Feb 11, 2019

Recruiting and strategic sourcing actually have a lot in common – even beyond the role that risk appetites play in decision making. In both cases, the sooner you get a specialist or expert involved, the better stated your requirements will be, and the better the outcomes you can achieve. It can also be hard to break free from historical approaches to meeting needs, whether that means escaping the pull of an incumbent supplier or looking beyond a traditional candidate profile.

I’m joined today by Andrew Daley, a founding Director, and leader of the procurement practice at Edbury Daley, a recruiting company specializing in the spend management, spend analytics, payments and supply chain finance markets. Andrew has shared his talent and recruiting insights with us in several AOP pods, including Episode 8, The Strategies & Tactics You Need to Secure Your Dream Job in 2016, and Episode 76, The Rules of (Procurement) Attraction.

In this interview, we discuss how the risk-averse nature of hiring managers is limiting the potential impact of procurement organizations and why our role definition and hiring processes need to be rethought.

Feb 4, 2019

We’re all positive that digital automation is the right way forward for procurement, but why? Are we pursuing progress for its own sake or to achieve an expanded range of procurement contributions? Put more simply, what do you plan to do with the time freed up by smart automation?

I’m joined today by Jens Hentschel, Founder and CEO of THE FIVIS PARTNERSHIP, a consultancy and training company based in London. With the FIVIS team, Jens focuses on the importance of customer-centricity in procurement transformation and skills development.

According to Jens, much of procurement is missing the big picture – toiling away in tactical isolation when a mindset shift is critically needed. Rather than trying to carve out a bigger role by taking on more tasks, Jens advocates for procurement to make an investment in meaningful connections. While we know the raw materials being purchased, if we do not also understand the needs of the end consumer, our impact is limited.

In this interview, we discuss why customer centricity is so important, and why it is also so difficult and likely to be overlooked by ‘too-busy’ procurement teams.

Jan 28, 2019

This month, AOP revives and reimagines ‘This Month in Procurement’ as an informal monthly discussion of podcasts, news and trends.

In this episode, AOP Host Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner (AOP Content Director and Owner of Buyers Meeting Point) share their secrets for surviving the unceasing onslaught of procurement content and discuss their major take-aways from the month’s podcast episodes.

In January’s podcasts, we heard from Charlotte de Brabandt and Yannick Blattler about generational differences while Sarah Scudder addressed entrepreneurship and category expertise and Joanna Martinez gave us positive food for thought that is much needed in today’s disruptive world.

January also brought news of an innovative new approach being implemented by the State of California: Procurement Innovation Sprints. Will this change allow procurement to focus on objectives rather than specifications in the supplier evaluation process? Only time will tell.

Jan 21, 2019

We constantly read about disruptive change affecting companies and entire markets. The source of that disruption is always positioned as the hero - but what about the other characters in each of those stories? What if you are living through change that is not of your own making?

I’m joined today by Joanna Martinez, Founder of Supply Chain Advisors, LLC and author of the new book, A Guide to Positive Disruption: How to Thrive and Make an Impact in the Churn of Today’s Corporate World.


Joanna is hardly new to Art of Procurement. She has appeared with me twice before, in Episode 59, ‘An Introduction To Value Based Procurement’ and again in Episode 66, ‘Where To Look To Generate Procurement Driven Value’. Between those two conversations and the one you’ll hear today, there is no denying that Joanna’s vision for procurement (and, in fact, life as a whole) extends far beyond tactical methods and measurements.


In this interview, we discuss the difference between change and disruption, look at the simple ways you can make a positive difference in your own career, and face the fact that each and every one of us must learn to “embrace the churn”.

Jan 14, 2019

Entrepreneurship and innovation are highly prized in today’s business environment, but has procurement managed to deliver its fair share of either?

I’m joined today by Sarah Scudder, President of the Real Sourcing Network (RSN), a company that provides clients with print management software that allows them to manage the print category in-house.

In our conversation we discuss a wide range of topics, including healthy risk taking for the sake of career development, how to make the most of modern procurement events, and print category best practices. Sarah shares her unmatched perspective on this $77B U.S. industry, and how procurement can leverage technology to get the best total value by combining large dominant players and smaller, niche market entrants in this labor-dependent, capital intensive space.

Jan 7, 2019

How can procurement leaders create the environment necessary to attract the next generation of talent into the profession - and help them fulfill their potential?

I’m joined today by returning guest Charlotte de Brabandt - ISM’s 2018 30 Under 30 Winner - and Yannick Blattler, the Managing Director of NeoViso, a consulting firm that helps companies more effectively engage with Gen Z.

In our conversation, we discuss common misconceptions about Millennial and Gen Z workers, while Charlotte and Yannick share tips and strategies that will help organizations attract and engage the next generation of procurement leaders.

 

Dec 17, 2018

Are you ready for 2019? 

In today's podcast - the last of 2018 - I reflect on what has changed for procurement this year, and what hasn't! 

I then share a couple of predictions for 2019, including my recommendations for areas of technology investment next year. 

Finally, I leave 2018 with three questions to consider over the holiday break that will help you kick-start your change journey in 2019. 

Dec 10, 2018

Out of the 232 podcasts to date, today is the first time that we dig into GPO’s - or Group Purchasing Organizations.

And as I planned out this topic, I invited today’s guest, Jay Black, to join me.

Jay is Vice President at Insight Sourcing Group and has significant experience in the GPO space, selling and operating services under a number of different GPO delivery models.

I’ll be honest and say that, prior to today’s discussion, I have always felt that a GPO fit a very specific market niche of small companies. However, our conversation opened my eyes, especially to the use of GPO’s in larger organizations as part of a multi-dimensional approach.

Jay and I explore the nuts and bolts of GPO’s - when and how to use them, what to look for, and how to continue to benefit once any initial one-time savings have been exhausted.

Dec 3, 2018

Today on the show I am joined by Mike Morsch. Mike is the Vice President of Global Procurement and Supply Chain at CDK Global.

Mike shares more about CDK in our interview, but to give you some context, CDK Global is a $2B+ revenue company that provides technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive dealership industry. They were formally the Dealer Services division of ADP before being spun off into an independent company back in 2014.

In today’s conversation, we discuss Mike, and CDK’s journey to transform procurement within CDK after the spin-off.

As is often the case after a spin-off like this, the new company - in this case CDK Global - has to rebuild a large part of its organization from the ground up. Either the infrastructure that comes over from the former parent company is not suited for a smaller company that the spun-off entity now is, or there is no infrastructure that comes across at all!

I question Mike about the three phases of transformation that typically occur in a situation like this: steadying the ship post the spin-out, rebuilding capabilities and more fundamental technical infrastructure, and then looking forward to bringing in new technology to evolve the procurement value proposition.

As you will hear, Mike has deep IT experience outside of procurement, and so I wanted to tap into this to understand how he looks at technology and developing a business case for investments in technology.

Nov 26, 2018

My guest is Edmund Zagorin.  Edmund in the founder and CEO of BidOps, and I hope he won’t mind me saying, but a technology geek when it comes to procurement.

Our conversation today focuses on the application of emerging technology to the sourcing process - particularly complex sourcing events - and the subsequent negotiation process.

Of particular interest to me was Edmund’s quest to automate the negotiations process. I dug into the what, the why and the how as I explored if negotiations can be completely automated, or if automation in the negotiation process helps the human ultimately seal the deal.

Nov 19, 2018

This week is Thanksgiving here in the US… a time when most people are thinking about spending time with their families rather than listening to a procurement podcast!

So with that in mind, I thought I’d wait until next week to release another interview.

I’m going to be spending a lot of my week planning for 2019; for Art of Procurement, and for our CatalystCo product and service roadmap.

As I do that, I want to ask you for your help...

Nov 12, 2018

Today’s episode was recorded last month at the SIG Fall Summit, with my good friend Antonio Humphreys.

Antonio is Senior Manager of Global Procure to Pay at Adobe in San Jose, California. Antonio is a returnee to Art of Procurement, having previously joined me last year back on episode 157 when we discussed the Marketing category and general procurement organizational development.

Today, we focused on Antonio’s experience in managing teams within a global and virtual environment, including his insights into fostering a sense of team across borders.

Nov 5, 2018

Normal service is resumed on the podcast today, as we return to our weekly interview format!

Today, I’m joined by one of my good friends, Alison Smith.

Alison has a broad range of procurement experience - as a practitioner, service provider, trainer, facilitator, and coach!

I was first introduced to Alison's work via her moniker of The Purchasing Coach. I really enjoyed reading her blog, and her perspectives on how we can all unlock our own potential, within the context of procurement. Her thoughts and approaches challenge the status quo, which is something that really calls to me!

As I got to know Alison, I began to count on her for some of my own coaching needs, and I’ve been excited to follow her progress as she began to write her first book, Can’t See the Wood for the Trees.

Recently published, it helps readers unlock their potential, and turn challenges into opportunities by helping us to think differently. In today’s conversation, we take a deep dive into the book, and contextualize it for procurement professionals.

Oct 31, 2018

226: #TakeAction: 15-Minutes a Day

I do not have an interview for you today. In fact, for the month of October, we are going to do something completely different.

I ask practitioners about their challenges where ever I go, and the single piece of feedback I get is that for all the great ideas they read and hear about, it is hard to put them into practice

First, I know many of you listen to the pod while commuting or working out - and it is hard to stop in the middle of a podcast and takes notes on what actions you want to take.

And second, there is always a challenge for people between wanting to invest in their own personal development, and the time pressures of a hectic job.

We have crowned October as #TakeActionOctober - because no phrase is complete these days without a hashtag!

October will be all about taking the actions you need to elevate the influence and impact of you AND your team.

Every day this month, you will hear a micro-sized pod - no more than 5 minutes per day - that I selected to inspire you to act.

We’ve curated Content from the back catalog of over 200 Art of Procurement episodes, and more than 1,000 articles featured in our weekly newsletter This Week in Procurement. I’ll also throw in some of my own experiences for good measure.

The commitment I ask of you is to take one action to put into practice - or to coach or mentor a team member or peer - your key takeaway from each episode.

Oct 30, 2018

225: #TakeAction: Have an Opinion on the Future of Procurement

I do not have an interview for you today. In fact, for the month of October, we are going to do something completely different.

I ask practitioners about their challenges where ever I go, and the single piece of feedback I get is that for all the great ideas they read and hear about, it is hard to put them into practice

First, I know many of you listen to the pod while commuting or working out - and it is hard to stop in the middle of a podcast and takes notes on what actions you want to take.

And second, there is always a challenge for people between wanting to invest in their own personal development, and the time pressures of a hectic job.

We have crowned October as #TakeActionOctober - because no phrase is complete these days without a hashtag!

October will be all about taking the actions you need to elevate the influence and impact of you AND your team.

Every day this month, you will hear a micro-sized pod - no more than 5 minutes per day - that I selected to inspire you to act.

We’ve curated Content from the back catalog of over 200 Art of Procurement episodes, and more than 1,000 articles featured in our weekly newsletter This Week in Procurement. I’ll also throw in some of my own experiences for good measure.

The commitment I ask of you is to take one action to put into practice - or to coach or mentor a team member or peer - your key takeaway from each episode.

Oct 29, 2018

224: #TakeAction: Increase Your "CQ"

I do not have an interview for you today. In fact, for the month of October, we are going to do something completely different.

I ask practitioners about their challenges where ever I go, and the single piece of feedback I get is that for all the great ideas they read and hear about, it is hard to put them into practice

First, I know many of you listen to the pod while commuting or working out - and it is hard to stop in the middle of a podcast and takes notes on what actions you want to take.

And second, there is always a challenge for people between wanting to invest in their own personal development, and the time pressures of a hectic job.

We have crowned October as #TakeActionOctober - because no phrase is complete these days without a hashtag!

October will be all about taking the actions you need to elevate the influence and impact of you AND your team.

Every day this month, you will hear a micro-sized pod - no more than 5 minutes per day - that I selected to inspire you to act.

We’ve curated Content from the back catalog of over 200 Art of Procurement episodes, and more than 1,000 articles featured in our weekly newsletter This Week in Procurement. I’ll also throw in some of my own experiences for good measure.

The commitment I ask of you is to take one action to put into practice - or to coach or mentor a team member or peer - your key takeaway from each episode.

Oct 26, 2018

223: #TakeAction: Mind Your Language

I do not have an interview for you today. In fact, for the month of October, we are going to do something completely different.

I ask practitioners about their challenges where ever I go, and the single piece of feedback I get is that for all the great ideas they read and hear about, it is hard to put them into practice

First, I know many of you listen to the pod while commuting or working out - and it is hard to stop in the middle of a podcast and takes notes on what actions you want to take.

And second, there is always a challenge for people between wanting to invest in their own personal development, and the time pressures of a hectic job.

We have crowned October as #TakeActionOctober - because no phrase is complete these days without a hashtag!

October will be all about taking the actions you need to elevate the influence and impact of you AND your team.

Every day this month, you will hear a micro-sized pod - no more than 5 minutes per day - that I selected to inspire you to act.

We’ve curated Content from the back catalog of over 200 Art of Procurement episodes, and more than 1,000 articles featured in our weekly newsletter This Week in Procurement. I’ll also throw in some of my own experiences for good measure.

The commitment I ask of you is to take one action to put into practice - or to coach or mentor a team member or peer - your key takeaway from each episode.

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