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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
Mar 22, 2021

Today’s podcast is part of a special two-week series, our second annual sponsored StartUp and Growth Series, where we aim to shine a light on the early stage and growth companies who are changing the way that leading procurement teams are driving outcomes that truly align with corporate objectives.

We will ask an entrepreneur from seven different companies questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.  It’s a great way for you to get to know those who are leading the way.

In today’s episode, I speak with Adriano Garibotto, co-founder of Creactives

Mar 18, 2021

Today’s podcast is part of a special two-week series, our second annual sponsored StartUp and Growth Series, where we aim to shine a light on the early stage and growth companies who are changing the way that leading procurement teams are driving outcomes that truly align with corporate objectives.

We will ask an entrepreneur from seven different companies questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.  It’s a great way for you to get to know those who are leading the way.

In today’s episode, I speak with Gregg Antenen, Executive Managing Director of Vistio.  Unlike the other providers in our series Vistio is not directly focused on procurement, but is a tool that procurement can help our stakeholder use in the call center category.

Mar 17, 2021

Today’s podcast is part of a special two-week series, our second annual sponsored StartUp and Growth Series, where we aim to shine a light on the early stage and growth companies who are changing the way that leading procurement teams are driving outcomes that truly align with corporate objectives.

We will ask an entrepreneur from seven different companies questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.  It’s a great way for you to get to know those who are leading the way.

In today’s episode, I speak with Stephanie Lapierre, Founder and CEO of Tealbook. 

Mar 16, 2021

Today’s podcast is part of a special two-week series, our second annual sponsored StartUp and Growth Series, where we aim to shine a light on the early stage and growth companies who are changing the way that leading procurement teams are driving outcomes that truly align with corporate objectives.

We will ask an entrepreneur from seven different companies questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.  It’s a great way for you to get to know those who are leading the way.

In today’s episode, I speak with Anders Lillevik, Founder of Focal Point.  

Mar 15, 2021

Today’s podcast is part of a special two-week series, our second annual sponsored StartUp and Growth Series, where we aim to shine a light on the early stage and growth companies who are changing the way that leading procurement teams are driving outcomes that truly align with corporate objectives.

We will ask an entrepreneur from seven different companies questions about what gap in the market their solution addresses, how they differentiate their technology and what their tools look like in action.  It’s a great way for you to get to know those who are leading the way.

In today’s episode, I speak with Costas Xyloyiannis, CEO of HICX.  

Mar 8, 2021

Good negotiation skills are fundamental to procurement. They allow us to maximize value while simultaneously building resilient, low-cost supply chains. But now that procurement is moving towards collaborative partnerships with our suppliers, many are concerned that reducing direct competitive pressure will inadvertently allow higher pricing.

Cost transparency allows procurement to balance collaboration and negotiation. By focusing on the primary material and service cost drivers of what is being negotiated, and using trends and should cost modeling, it is possible - and effective - to have fact-based pricing discussions with suppliers. Procurement can keep their prices in line with supplier costs and preserve the relationship by acknowledging the need to allow them overhead/gross margin and building both into the model.

In this podcast, based on an AOP Live session, Rod Sherkin, Founder and President of ProPurchaser and a former CPO, answers live audience questions about:

  • Whether procurement needs to take their relative size and buying power into consideration when using should cost modeling to manage a spend category
  • If there is an approximate or ballpark overhead margin percentage procurement can use when building a first-pass should cost model
  • How to introduce should cost models with incumbent suppliers where they have not been applied in the past
Mar 1, 2021

If you are relatively new to the field of procurement, there is a good chance you’ve never experienced an auction first-hand. With all of procurement’s focus on moving towards value and away from cost-only decision making, that’s understandable. Unfortunately, however, auctions are a valid tool in procurement’s vast toolbox, and in many cases we may be dismissing them - and their potential in a negotiation - without sufficient evaluation of the opportunity. 

Jacob Gorm Larsen is the Head of Digital Procurement for Maersk and the author of the newly published book, “A Practical Guide to E-Auctions for Procurement: How to Maximize Impact with e-Sourcing and e-Negotiation.” From his perspective, an auction is simply “an online, market-driven negotiation, based on total value and with commitment.” That’s certainly not something procurement should take off the table when the conditions are right.

In this conversation, Jacob and Host Philip Ideson discuss:

  • The history of auctions as part of the longer timeline of procurement technology development
  • How and when to use auctions to create maximum value for the business
  • How to improve communications with suppliers so that both parties achieve their goals and to promote the creation of a lasting relationship
  • The ways procurement organizations can structure themselves to ensure they get maximum ROI from their investments in technology
Feb 25, 2021

Traditionally, procurement has been focused on driving corporate profitability by putting pressure on suppliers, rationalizing specifications, and managing demand. While these strategies have delivered some benefits to the business, their diminishing returns came at the cost of procurement’s internal reputation. As procurement’s focus turns to top-line growth, they will have to change more than just their strategies and tactics before they can be successful.

This podcast is the last in a 4-part series focused on how procurement can contribute to efforts to restore corporate growth. In this episode, Host Philip Ideson shares why a focus on growth is so important to the future of the procurement profession before concluding the podcast series by sharing some of his key takeaways from the first three episodes.

In this episode, Philip wraps up the series by considering points such as:

  • Why procurement doesn’t need to fix how we are perceived, so much as we need to address the attitudes, styles, and behaviors that have led to that perception
  • How procurement can pivot to a focus on corporate growth, and what we need to understand about our organization before knowing which actions to take
  • The opportunity associated with a partnership between procurement and sales, and which corporate KPIs this will allow procurement to contribute to
Feb 24, 2021

The pandemic has caused a rethink of many past assumptions, from just in time inventory to offshored supply chains. Moving forward, leaders need to avoid jumping from one extreme to the other. Traditionally accepted priorities such as efficiency and cost containment suddenly must be assessed against the risk involved. Success will increasingly depend on how well organizations strike the optimal balance among such priorities.

This podcast is the third in a 4-part series focused on how procurement can contribute to efforts to restore corporate growth. In this episode we welcome Alex Saric, Ivalua’s Chief Marketing Executive. For over 15 years he has evangelized spend management, shaping its evolution and working closely with hundreds of customers to support their digital transformation journeys. 

In this episode we will look into:

  • What risk factors are most critical and how can procurement best manage them?
  • What strategies can best minimize the tradeoffs between risk and growth?
  • What can procurement / supply chain leaders learn from investors by taking a portfolio view of supply chain risk?
Feb 23, 2021

As organizations look beyond Covid-19, restoring growth is top of mind for many. Specific strategies vary by industry and company, but suppliers often play an integral role. This is especially true as organizations have become more dependent on the supply chain than ever before and their innovation is increasingly key to growth and success.

This podcast is the second in a 4-part series focused on how procurement can contribute to efforts to restore corporate growth. In this episode we welcome Vishal Patel, VP of Product Marketing at Ivalua, where he is focused on ensuring product - market fit, understanding customer needs and driving market trends.

In this episode we will look into:

  • What are the best ways for suppliers to contribute value?
  • What does procurement need to improve their collaboration with suppliers?
  • How can organizations establish themselves as customers of choice so suppliers are willing to collaborate and share innovations?
Feb 22, 2021

Procurement’s stature has grown during the COVID-19 crisis as costs, cash flow and supply continuity quickly became top priorities and homepage news. To maintain its slot on the boardroom agenda going forward, procurement leaders must show that they can contribute to restoring growth beyond the pandemic and support a longer list of objectives.

There are ample opportunities for procurement to contribute to this broad enterprise growth, but unfortunately, few procurement teams have experience doing so. In order to be successful in this new endeavor, procurement will have to expand their influence in the organization through effective engagement of and collaboration with other parts of the business.

This podcast is part of a series focused on how procurement can contribute to efforts to restore corporate growth. In this episode we welcome Sylvie Noel, CPO at Covéa Group, the #1 in property and liability insurance provider in France. She has held this role for nearly a decade, and in that time she has led a complete overhaul of Covéa Group’s purchasing process, including new systems implementations and a change effort involving new manager priorities, procedures, and compliance.

In this first installment in the 4-part series, we’ll dive into :

  • What are the top opportunities for procurement to contribute to growth?
  • How can procurement leaders effectively expand their influence in the organization?
  • How can you best collaborate with other departments?
  • Key to gaining executive support for required investments?
  • What are the requirements from a people and technology perspective?
Feb 15, 2021

Risk management may not always be a formal part of procurement’s scope, but it is a natural extension of our current work. As a result, the difference between procurement’s ability to effectively manage risk may be as simple as officially declaring that it is in scope and embracing all of the activities and metrics that come with it.

Canda Rozier is a multiple-time CPO with experience working across a number of leading global organizations and the President and founder of Collabra Consulting. She has always regarded risk management as important as part of the supplier life cycle, but it has risen in both priority and prominence since the start of 2020.

In this conversation, Canda speaks with Host Philip Ideson about:

  • How to measure and set expectations for the ROI associated with a formal risk management program
  • How risk management efforts change for product v. service categories
  • Where data security and cybersecurity intersect with more traditional supply chain risk management efforts
Feb 8, 2021

Marketing is just one of the functions that procurement has a somewhat ‘rocky’ history of past relationships with. When you extend that existing internal friction into the relationship with creative agencies, the problems and disconnects seem to compound.

Leah Power is the EVP, Strategic Operations Consultant at the Institute of Communication Agencies. Prior to this, she served as the COO at Grey Canada and the Finance Director at DDB Canada. Her primary focus is helping agency executives resolve business issues related to new business growth, finances, procurement, and agency remuneration. 

In this conversation, Leah speaks with Host Philip Ideson about:

Why RFPs are not the best sourcing strategy for creative agency spend

Why a ‘price first’ approach drives innovation in standardized product categories but inhibits it in value-based service categories like marketing 

How procurement can help determine a good or ‘best’ fit between a company and the capabilities of a range of creative agencies

Feb 2, 2021

Despite the fact that the need to manage tail spend is hardly a new idea in procurement, it continues to be one of the greatest challenges we face. Tail spend is messy, risky, hard to analyze, and - if you take the wrong approach - very costly to address.

Merck was faced with a huge, global tail spend management problem, but they refused to let it fester or get the best of them. Starting with a U.S.-based pilot in their life science division, they partnered with WNS Denali to get a grip on their tail spend without alienating the business or breaking the bank.

Tom Cicale is the VP of Procurement for Merck KGaA, where he is responsible for global plant services consisting of MRO, CAPEX/OPEX, site services, utilities and logistics, and Sameer Sharma is a client engagement leader in WNS Denali’s delivery organization. They have worked together to design and implement a truly unique tail spend management program.

In this podcast, which is based on an AOP Live session that one attendee described as “the most impactful webinar I have ever been on in my entire career,” Tom and Sameer candidly answer questions such as:

  • How do you measure the impact and success of your tail spend program in such a way that procurement showed positive ROI and secured finance’s validation for your numbers?
  • Did Merck’s global footprint (and complex technology landscape) present a problem in the wider program rollout and, if so, how did you overcome it?
  • If you had to do something differently, what would it be?
Jan 25, 2021

All companies have been affected by the pandemic over the last year, but companies in the healthcare industry - like Kaiser Permanente - have felt the pressure and the change to their operating procedures more than most. Mary Beth Lang is the Chief Supply Chain and Procurement Officer at Kaiser Permanente, an integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California.

In this conversation, Mary Beth tells Host Philip Ideson:

  • The importance of understanding your suppliers’ supply chains: how they produce or secure volume, whether their demand is met by contracted demand or spot buys, and where they are reliant upon imports to fill orders
  • How Kaiser Permanente revamped its procurement resources and became more agile during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • What Kaiser Permanente learned from the pandemic about its procurement processes and what will be changed in the future
  • How the Kaiser Permanente procurement team plays an active role in helping drive community impact
  • Tips on how procurement teams can leverage their spending efforts to support their communities through working with diverse suppliers
Jan 18, 2021

In the spring and summer of 2020, there were plenty of stories about professionals and teams rallying to get their jobs done while working remotely, in some cases even going above and beyond to achieve levels of performance that no one would have thought possible. As the pandemic stretches on, and reaches a second wave or additional shutdowns, widespread fatigue is starting to set in.

In this conversation, Tom tells Host Philip Ideson:

  • How to be an effective leader while moving from an operational focus to one based on preserving and fostering employee engagement
  • The social and lifestyle differences between employees that have been exacerbated and highlighted by the need to work from home in varied personal circumstances
  • The critical role that authenticity and trust play in building professional relationships that are strong enough to overcome situations when people are not okay
Jan 11, 2021

Casey’s General Stores is the 5th largest convenience store chain in the United States and owns one of the largest pizza brands in the nation. With 2,200 locations in 16 midwestern states, they have $10 Billion in revenue and a double-digit growth rate. What wasn’t going well for Casey’s? They had no procurement team.

When a new CEO came in, one of the first things he did was to bring in Jaime Robles as his Vice President of Procurement and Sourcing. With a career of successes in procurement team building and transformation, he was uniquely qualified to build Casey’s brand new procurement organization from scratch.

In this podcast, Jaime tells Host Philip Ideson:

  • What he sees as the top two factors in procurement’s evolution over the last decade
  • How he achieves a balance between procurement talent and technology
  • What he believes procurement should be doing other than strategic sourcing
Jan 4, 2021

Despite the fact that Jan Griffiths has had a successful career as a tier-1 CPO and entrepreneur, she still wasn’t prepared for the personal and professional impact of the pandemic. After indulging in a full day of Netflix, she decided to push herself out of her comfort zone and into a non-judgemental accountability project with a pop-up group of peers.

What started as a ‘therapeutic’ accountability clinic evolved over time to become the accountability lab: a group of people that connect daily for 30 minutes at 6:30 a.m. to make commitments to themselves in the supportive presence of others. The learnings from this experiment have changed the way she feels about her own situation and will no doubt impact her leadership seminars going forward. As Jan tells Host Philip Ideson, “I love, love, love leadership.”

In this conversation, Jan shares her candid perspective on:

  • The power of incremental change, whether it includes improvement over time or small course corrections
  • Why procurement needs to change their approach to goal setting before they can increase their impact on the enterprise
  • The rallying impact of having a brand identity at the functional level, and the need to ensure that the brand aligns with company objectives
Dec 28, 2020

We are all customers in our personal lives, and most of us can easily distinguish between a good customer experience and a poor one. But can procurement create a positive customer experience in a B2B setting for all of our different stakeholder groups consistently and at scale? Absolutely - but we have to set the right expectations and priorities first.

This interview, based on one of the most popular sessions from AOP Mastermind LIVE 2020, features Stephanie Thum, CCXP, Founding Principal of Practical CX, discussing the fundamental principles of customer experience with Art of Procurement General Manager Kelly Barner. 

Key takeaways from this session include:

  • The core values emphasized in formal customer experience development and how procurement stands to benefit from putting proven practices into use 
  • Suppliers are not one of procurement’s customer groups, but they are absolutely vital and we can’t create a positive customer relationship without them
  • The difference between creating or fostering a good customer experience and putting in the energy and effort to repair a poor or damaged customer experience
Dec 21, 2020

After years of investment in talent and technology, procurement has become a catalyst for enterprise transformation. No other function is in a better position to lead disruptive change and reinvention than procurement. But if we want to thrive in the ‘next normal,’ we must be able to go let go of the past, be bold, and embrace intelligent risks. 

This interview, based on one of the most popular sessions from AOP Mastermind LIVE 2020, features Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group, and Keith Hausmann, Chief Revenue Officer at Globality. They join Host Philip Ideson to discuss how leading CPOs are helping their teams re-imagine the ‘art of the possible’ and to drive new sources of value for their companies and for their stakeholders. 

Key takeaways from this session include:

  • Digitizing legacy processes is not enough to be agile in today’s challenging, fast-paced environment
  • Procurement should not try to generate revenue, but rather work to enable revenue through creative strategies
  • Since large companies tend to buy from other large, stable companies, procurement needs to be focused on incentivizing suppliers to deliver their very best work
  • Capabilities that can be leveraged - regardless of where in the organization they sit - should be pulled into procurement projects rather than expecting to increase headcount
Dec 14, 2020

To meet today’s challenges in supply chain spend management, we must embrace automation. Gone are the days of being able to throw bodies at a problem. Systemic inefficiency not only creates unsustainable processes, it creates enormous waste and revenue risk. Now is the time for procurement to lead through change.

Procurement teams are uniquely positioned to lead supply chain resilience initiatives. That’s because procurement brings together the right suppliers, products, and materials needed to fulfill customer demand. 

In this podcast based on an AOP Live session, Tom Kieley, CEO and Co-Founder of SourceDay, and Go Kamiyama, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives from NetSuite, answer audience questions about:

  • How we can better understand supply chain-related spend management challenges
  • What resilience and responsiveness to demand signals look like in practice, and how procurement can incorporate them in their existing processes and frameworks
  • Opportunities for procurement to embrace automation for the purpose of increasing supply chain visibility and resilience
Dec 9, 2020

For all the stories of stress and struggle we heard in 2020, there have also been some amazing examples of heroism and success. Procurement teams worked long hours with little information to go on to keep their operations running, often partnering with suppliers and colleagues to find creative solutions on the fly.

Art of Procurement recently partnered with Ivalua to interview several CPOs about what they learned in 2020 and how that will change their approach going forward. 

In today’s bonus podcast, I thought I would share just a couple of short outtakes from two of the CPOs - Dan Symon, the CPO of New York City and Sajid Kunnummal, the Vice President and CPO at Navistar.

January 1, 2021 won’t bring a return to normal, but it does mark a new beginning. Procurement has never stopped maturing and evolving, and the past year brought on an enormous growth spurt. We’ve uncovered hidden weaknesses, seen the benefits of transparency and risk management, and forged new partnerships both inside and outside of the company.

To read more about how CPOs are pivoting their teams to enable success in 2021, you can get the full paper at artofprocurement.com/2021pivot.

Dec 7, 2020

Financial services spend has never been what you might consider ‘low hanging fruit,’ but many procurement organizations are getting to the point where they are not only ready to manage it, the organization needs them to bring consistency and transparency to these critical supplier relationships and operational requirements.

Diego De la Garza, Senior Director Global Services & Delivery at Corcentric, brings over a decade of industry experience to the table to address this complex spend category. Whether the company is B2B or B2C, the increasing role of technology in global business is increasing the range of financial services requirements most companies have and raising the bar on what current partners need to be capable of. 

In this interview, Diego describes the financial services category with Philip Ideson and Kelly Barner:

  • How new or disruptive technologies are redefining financial services or altering how companies partner with providers meet those needs
  • The key internal relationships procurement needs to manage when sourcing financial services and how those other functions measure success
  • The nuances and opportunities to switch suppliers and how they compare to other, less regulated, categories of spend
Nov 30, 2020

In the current moment, companies are finding themselves at the intersection of digital transformation and the varied but extreme pressures of the pandemic. And who is positioned to address the opportunities and challenges of this intersection? Procurement.

Tony Uphoff is the President & CEO at Thomas - formerly ThomasNet. He has enjoyed a successful career leading and growing media and information businesses such as The Hollywood Reporter, UBM TechWeb, and business.com.

In this conversation, Tony speaks from the perspective of a multiple-time CEO about:

  • How procurement can demonstrate their expanded impact on the business and what is required to gain access to the most strategic discussions in the company
  • How investments in supply chain risk, diversity, and sustainability are starting to affect the valuation of publicly traded companies
  • The impact of COVID-19 on sourcing trends in PPE and beyond based on Thomas’ treasure trove of data, including some really interesting predictors of still trends to come
Nov 27, 2020

On November 4, 2015, the Art of Procurement podcast officially launched. In 5 years, we’ve released 345 episodes and surpassed 500,000 listens. We’ve gone from being a new, unproven idea to being a trusted voice in the community and the #1 weekly podcast in all of procurement.

To celebrate this occasion, we are running a special series that will extend through the rest of November. For the next three weeks, there will be a daily 5-minute show that answers one of the most interesting and frequently-asked questions we have received from listeners. The questions will be answered alternately by AOP Founder and Host Philip Ideson and AOP General Manager Kelly Barner. (Fun fact: Kelly was AOP podcast guest #6.)

Thank you for joining us for this series and for being part of the AOP community - whether you have been with us since episode #1 or not!

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