After two smash-hit Summits in London and Chicago, we’re bringing Big Ideas 2018 to Sydney, Australia! Find out how you can get involved.
Did you hear the one about the time an expert on influence, a clinical psychologist and a digital transformation guru walked into a bar?
… Unfortunately we don’t have the punchline for you, because it hasn’t happened yet. But it WILL happen on Tuesday 30th October at the conclusion of the most exciting #procurement event to hit Australian shores – the Sydney Big Ideas Summit.
Julie Masters, Nicky Abdinor and Gus Balbontin are just three of the incredible speakers that will take the stage in Sydney. Let’s check out the agenda:
Innovate and Disrupt
Electrifying keynote speaker Gus Balbontin will open #BigIdeas2018 with a strong message about how to survive – and thrive – in an ever-changing market. Drawing upon his experience as Executive Director and CTO of iconic Australian publisher, Lonely Planet, Gus will share powerful concepts of change, adaptability, transformation and innovation.
Adapt and Perservere
Jamila Gordon has an incredible story to share about her journey from a refugee escaping the Somalian civil war to the boardrooms of some of Australia’s leading organisations. The former Qantas CIO and current Director of Jayride will deliver memorable messages about the importance of dreaming big, the keys to effective leadership amidst change, and the crucial role of resilience and positivity.
Born without arms, not without attitude! Nicky Abdinor is an expert on doing more with less. A clinical pyschologist and motivational showstopper, Nicky will demonstrate how to create sustainable change in our attitudes, beliefs and emotions.
The Procurement Evolution
One of the most recognisable faces in procurement, Tom Derry is the CEO of the Institute for Supply Management, a not-for-profit organisation with more than 50,000 members worldwide. Tom will join Procurious Founder Tania Seary for a fireside chat about the evolution of procurement, presenting ISM’s latest research into the procurement tasks most likely to be taken over by AI.
Supplier diversity, sustainable sourcing and corporate social responsibility are now recognised as key sources of competitive advantage for businesses around the world. Henrik Smedberg will share SAP Ariba’s thought-leadership into why every procurement professional must procure with purpose.
What will procurement resemble by the year 2030? The future is brimming with AI, cognitive technology, and robotic process automation. This presents an incredible opportunity for the profession, but also a great deal of uncertainty. In this session, delegates will collectively brainstorm the greatest threats and opportunities facing procurement, and identify the crucial skills needed to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0.
Delegates will also hear leadership insights direct from one of Australia’s top Chief Procurement Officers – Thomai Veginis, CPO of Telstra.
Surviving a toxic workplace
Have you ever reported to a workplace psychopath? Have you ever had to manage one? David Gillespie, best-selling author of Taming Toxic People, will take delegates through the strategies that will preserve our sanity in a toxic workplace. David’s articles on workplace psychopaths have been some of the most popular ever published on Procurious!
How do I get involved?
Attending in-person: If you’re within cooee of Sydney, this is your opportunity to be in the room! The Sydney Big Ideas Summit is suitable for highly motivated, forward-thinking, tech-savvy future leaders. If you fit the bill, join us at the Australian National Maritime Museum on October 30th, but be quick – places are strictly limited.
Become a Digital Delegate: The Sydney Big Ideas Summit will light up social media, spark vigorous discussion and crowd-source ideas for the future of the profession via our Digital Delegate group here on Procurious. Sign up (it’s free!) to follow the action, including live-streamed speaker presentations, speaker interviews and blog articles without ever having to leave your own desk.
On the fifth and final day of Career Boot Camp we chat to not one but two Ultra-marathon runners!
Australian ultra-marathon runner Samantha Gash is a true inspiration. She’s run 3253km in 76 days across India, completed a 1968km expedition run along South Africa’s Freedom Trail and undertaken no less than four 250km desert ultramarathons.
But she can still recall the fear she felt when she ran her very first marathon.
“When you train for a marathon you only train to 32km. When I got to that point in the race I absolutely freaked out and wanted to quit because I was terrified. I realised I needed to keep pushing myself into those situations that scared me because running marathons and ultra marathons, although impressive on some level, are no where near like the real life challenges you’re going to face.”
Sprinting outside of your comfort zone
For Samantha, who was a “physically dormant” individual during her childhood and adolescence, took up running as a personal challenge “I really believe that we get such personal and professional development and an understanding of who we are when we choose to go into that unknown so I connected to the thing that scared me the most. Running for me became a way of me becoming mentally stronger and then I got the bug!”
Tom Evans , UK ultra-marathon runner, stumbled into the sport after challenging himself to complete the Marathon des Sables (a six day, 251km run across the Sahara Desert) in a faster time than his two friends. He seems as surprised as anyone that he managed to complete the race in 3rd place, the highest ever ranking for a European entry.
Since then, he says, “lots of amazing opportunities [have arisen] to race all around the world, from Costa Rica to the French Alps. The performance side of things for me is important but what I really thrive on is that mental and physical challenge, you don’t know what’s going to happen. There are so many external factors that can change along the race or during a training session especially in these more arduous environments. For me it’s really humbling and I’ve fallen in love with the sport over the last year.”
Running – it’s (mostly) all in the mind…
Both athletes place huge importance in mental preparation ahead of a big race, “It’s definitely not seen as that important” says Tom. “But it plays a huge part. I try to focus on the process not the outcome. Some days [of a race] it will not go great and sometimes it will – but if you focus on getting the small things done it will all add up. I’m big on setting goals and have high, but very realistic goals, that i am able to achieve.”
“It also helps to have a strong purpose so you know that when things get hard that you have an underlying purpose and know why you’re doing what you’re doing. ”
Samantha also credits mental perseverance as a key contributor to her running success “The mental component of ultra running really dictates how your physical body tends to flow and respond.
“If you can find ways of being calm when your body is stressed, when conditions are hard you just don’t sweat the small stuff anymore – mental is underrated by many people.”
That’s not to say physical preparation isn’t important too, ultra marathons are pretty far, and that’s an understatement, and often take place in unfamiliar conditions that require a lot of forward preparation.
Samantha has run races in the most extreme conditions, temperatures and altitudes and endeavours to simulate those conditions in her training schedule. “When I can’t simulate the challenging component of a race I’ll replace it with something else equally challenging or something that pushes me.”
“In 2016 I ran from the West to the East of India, which was going to be at a high altitude and in really intense heat. I couldn’t be constantly running in the heat throughout Melbourne’s winter so I put a treadmill in a hot yoga studio. I hate treadmill running, which is why I’m a trail runner but I went into a yoga studio late at night when classes were over, cranked the temperature up to 36-40 degrees and then ran on it for hours. It wasn’t just physical training it was mental training.”
Tom cites similar challenges in his training regime “I’ve just finished [a race] running in the mountains. In the UK there are no mountains so sometimes you have to think outside the box in your physical training.
“Physically there’s only a certain amount of things you can control – the way i describe it is controlling the controllables. Any stone I can overturn and carry out detailed planning for is worth doing – I’ll train really specifically for each race.”
When the going gets tough…
Enduring the seemingly unendurable is part and parcel of ultra-marthon running life. “You know it’s going to happen” explain Samantha, “and knowing that you’re going to go into a rough place can equip you for dealing with it.
“There is always a very clunky period when you move beyond training, you move beyond adrenaline and the excitement of early phases of something and it becomes really challenging as your mind and body is learning to adjust.” When Samantha ran across India it was tricky to adjust to the extreme heat. “We were running on a road where there was a lot of traffic and a lot of pollution so we were very burdened. And my body started to break down [to the point that] I was struggling to even walk.”
“When you can’t do what you think you could have done it’s natural to freak out and get a bit disillusioned.”
But in that moment it’s important to take control and embrace the unexpected circumstance you’ve been faced with – “that’s the exciting part!”
“Sometimes you have to walk or listen to music or change your pacer – you have to explore and experiment. We are quite quick to be harsh on ourselves when things don’t go to plan – we need to move away from what we consider to be failure and redefine it as an opportunity.”
Tom agrees with Samantha stating that “things will go wrong but how you deal with these things will make the difference between a good and bad performance.”
Tom maintains his composure and determination by looking both forwards and backwards in time.
“What is the goal I set and how much do I want what I set out to do? I try to think about the outcome – knowing that if I really want this it’s going to be possible and my mind will conquer my body.”
“I also think backwards, thinking about all the process, everything I’ve put into training, all those workouts, the sacrifices I’ve made to get to where I am.”
That attitude can “pull you out of any hardship to get you to the finish and achieve your goals.”
Samantha Gash and Tom Evans are speaking on Day Five of Career Boot Camp 2018. Sign up here(it’s free) to listen to his podcast now.
If supply chain pros can secure a seat at the table, it becomes easier to to share insights, challenge processes, support the business and be part of strategy creation – ultimately delivering value.
Laura Faulkner, CPO and Director Supply Chain Management for Nationwide Building Society, is truly passionate about developing the profession in order to raise its value and reputation within the business.
“As a fellow of CIPS I really am very keen to take on an active role in working across all industries; sharing best-practice and learning from the best of who’s out there.”
Laura is a firm believer that Supply Chain functions act as an extension of the organisation as a whole and in her role at Nationwide Building Society she has led by example, “leading a team that supports the delivery of our business strategy but doing so in a really collaborative way with stakeholders and suppliers. Our suppliers and partners are simply an extension of our own firm . We have the ultimate responsibility and the actions of our suppliers reflect on us.”
Recent events have truly tested this mentality. The collapse of Carillion, one of Nationwide’s biggest suppliers, in January 2018 hit particularly hard.
“When [Carillion] collapsed on 15th January we really did have only two areas of focus. One was to secure the services which was everything from security, reception, data centers and maintenance.
“But we also had to do the right thing by all of the Carillion staff that had served Nationwide for a number of years. Within six days of the collapse we in-sourced all 300 members of staff and directly contracted with the 160 sub contractors.
“To me sharing this kind of story shows how we can add value not only to our own organisation but also in sharing it across other industries. We’ve all got things we can learn from each other and it’s very key that we play a pivotal role within our organisation. We are that link to the supply chain, we do not outsource the risk that the supply chain brings and we have to take full responsibility.”
Getting (and keeping!) supply chain’s seat at the table
We were really interested to hear Laura’s thoughts on how supply chain professionals can secure a seat at the table.
“Well it’s easier said than done ,” she admits, “and at all the firms I’ve worked with it’s been something we’ve pushed for. We really do need a seat at every relevant table whether that be the investment boards or the strategy committees – you need to be part of the discussion not someone brought in and brought up to speed outside of the meeting.
“It’s easier when you’re sitting round the table to give your insights, to challenge, to support and really be part of either the decision making or the strategy creation.”
But, as Laura points out, it’s always easier to get that first invite to a meeting. It’s keeping the seat at the table that’s really challenging. “If you want to be kept at the table,” she suggests “you need to be able to add something and bring some unique, different types of thinking. [Supply chain management teams] are one of the strongest links to the outside world. Use it and you can bring insights and innovation.”
“We’ve just announced at nationwide that we’ll be investing a further £1.3 billion of investment into our new strategy and we are fully engaged in making that happen.
“I’ve been working with the CTO – we’ve been holding meetings and strategy sessions with all of our key partners and investigating new possible supply chain partners and it’s that engagement and listening to what our suppliers have to say that will really help us develop the strategy further and ultimately deliver it.”
Laura Faulkner is speaking on Day Three of Career Boot Camp 2018. Sign up here(it’s free) to listen to his podcast now.
The days of transactional activities in supply chain management are numbered and look set to exit our organisations very rapidly…
Chris Crozier, Chief Digital Officer – Orica International has seen first-hand how the perception of supply chain management has changed over the years.
As little as thirty years ago he can remember there being “very little recognition [of the profession] and the nuances around the skillsets required. In fact, most people talked about the smartest people in the room being in marketing and I saw that there was plenty of opportunity around skillset affirmation around supply chain.”
On Day Three of Career Boot Camp we speak to Chris about the evolution of the supply chain management profession, the importance of embracing new technology and implementing digital transformation.
Supply chain management across company borders
As someone whose, very impressive, career has criss-crossed several industries, Chris is a keen advocate for supply chain professionals working across functions.
“Supply chain is such a beautiful function where you do get that end to end view of an organisation,” he explains. “We need to make sure that we leverage that and the relationships we have with other functions [including] any career opportunities – not just for ourselves but for our teams.”
He warns against leaders becoming too defensive of their supply chain talent; “I think that’s a real blind spot in some of the supply chain functions as they stand today. So share the talent and surround yourself with highly capable people but be prepared to move them in and out of supply chain.”
In seizing any opportunities to move talent in and out of teams supply chain pros are facilitating the creation of “a really virtuous cycle of understanding” and ensuring that there are “supply chain evangelists in other functions.”
Indeed, working in both tech and supply chain has proved to be the perfect balance for Chris, “one of the things you get from working in supply chain is a broad analysis and encompassing oversight of the organisation and I think that’s what technology also requires. So there was a lovely fit between the technology understanding that was necessary in a CIO role and that broad business perspective you get from [working in] supply chain.
“Having that very broad business understanding meant I could provide that bridge between business requirements and a technology outcome.”
The impact of technology on supply chain
As is the case with every single function in every single organisation, supply chain professionals will be significantly disrupted as a result of incoming technologies.
And Chris, a self-proclaimed advocate and evangelist for the technologies coming through his door believes it is imperative for supply chain professionals to have a decent understanding of the latest technology in order to be successful in the long term.
Professionals need to know “how to apply it, where to apply it, how to leverage it most effectively and, most importantly, what’s coming in in the future that can help you to be even better in your role and therefore have a more productive organisation and ultimately underpin the broader company that you work for.”
Chris believes that the days of transactional activities in supply chain are numbered and will exit the organisation very rapidly, which is, of course, bad news for the supply chain professionals who are doing these transactional activities! “We will move to the world of the seamless end-to-end supply chain, which we were talking about in 1998-1999! We were all talking at that stage about real-time supply and demand activity.”
And Chris believes we’re fast approaching that point today with “the compute power that we have available, the network capacity we have available and the technology we have available.”
“People will talk about blockchain and other technologies and, yes, that’s all part and parcel of the way forward. But ultimately supply chain professionals now need to continue to go up the value curve.
“A lot of the things we do around competitor intelligence, around negotiation strategy and so on will be superceded by the technologies coming through the door.”
“Those things are just going to become endemic as tools for professionals in supply chain so we need to be on top of that, prepared for that and able to leverage that because it’s going to hit us very soon.”
Chris Crozier is speaking on Day Three of Career Boot Camp 2018. Sign up here(it’s free) to listen to his podcast now.
What are the key skills supply chain professionals should be developing in an AI-enabled future?
“I’m a great believer in great passion,” says Ron Castro, Vice President, IBM Supply Chain. And it’s just as well given that Ron is responsible for all strategy, execution, and transformation of IBM’s US$70Bn global end-to-end supply chain, delivering to clients across more than 170 countries.
“Always be as bold and as fast as you can,” he says. “I’ve never looked back in a transformation and thought ‘Darn it! I wish I had gone slower.’ There’s always room to be bolder and to go faster.”
On Day Two of Career Boot Camp, Ron speaks to us about the greatest challenges and complexities of his role, the importance of leadership, and the key skills that supply chain professionals should be developing in an AI-enabled future.
Building a cognitive supply chain
“We’re at a point when new technologies are truly enabling us to take advantage of all kinds of data and giving us actionable insights close to real time,” Ron says.
“In our case, it all started several years ago when we built our transparent supply chain across [all] processes and systems, which gave us an excellent platform to apply advanced analytics and manage our business by exceptions. We set a very clear goal to become the first cognitive supply chain. This is based on our strong belief that with machine and human interaction we can truly augment supply chain professionals’ daily decision-making,” he says.
Ron points to several emerging technologies that provide incredible opportunity – AI (Watson, in IBM’s case), machine learning, blockchain, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and 3D printing.
“Humans and machines always get a better answer than machine alone or human alone. With that principal we’re training Watson with our best supply chain experts [and] letting it observe our decision-making in digital resolution rooms,” Ron says. “Watson is learning in real time with us so it can help us to identify risks, predict issues and, as a trusted advisor, suggest our best course of action. How were similar problems tackled in the past? What are the risks or alternatives? Who should be involved or advise us on what actions we should be taking to manage the situation better and faster?”
“As we map the future of our supply chain it is crystal clear that we are getting the most value of our capabilities as we start to stack technologies together,” he says.
The challenge that’s keeping supply chain leaders up at night
“I have the pleasure of leading one of the most talented supply chain teams in the world,” Ron says. “I really love the adrenaline and all the variables that you need to be able to optimise it and the challenge of ensuring the right balance between demand and supply while [delivering] the highest quality and [focusing] on managing revenue cost.
“We are sensing and responding fast in the most intelligent way to any changes in the supply and demand equation, whether it be the introduction of new products, reacting to a natural disaster, geopolitical issues or supplier constraints,” he says.
But Ron also acknowledges that the tech industry is changing by the minute.
“[T]he challenge that keeps me up at night is are we transforming, are we moving fast enough and, more importantly, are we giving our team the tools they need to be successful?” he asks. “At the end of the day [are we building] an organisational culture that’s primed to leverage new technologies, unleash innovation, and challenge the status quo? Do we truly have the skills for the future?”
The making of a supply chain leader
Ron always sees the need for strong leaders. “Some of the fundamentals [of leadership] don’t change; passion, perseverance, global and holistic thinking, collaboration and the value of diversity, [and] building a culture of feedback and continuous improvement,” he says.
Ron believes all these factors, indicative of a high-performance culture, will become even more critical in an AI-enabled future.
“We need leaders that take risks and drive a clear vision around digital supply chain and the need to be innovators; leaders that value experimentation over perfection [and] are willing to try new things and correct fast as needed,” he says.
Ron believes that leaders need a deep understanding of technology and where the trends are heading.“Disruptions are coming and they will hit us faster than ever so the ability to react becomes essential,” he says.
Ron advises aspiring supply chain professionals to take a step back and ensure that they are holistic, global, and horizontal thinkers. He encourages them to embrace new ways of working and collaborating with one another in order to become agile thinkers.
“In this new world the basics of supply chain are still critical so you can optimise a supply chain holistically from an end-to-end perspective. But you also need to be technically savvy,” he says. “The machine-human interaction will continue to increase and all these technologies will continue to become even more critical in supply chain.”
Data scientists will also be highly valuable, Ron says, as the ability to gather insights and ask the right questions will become critical for supply chain professionals.
Ron Castro is speaking on Day Two of Career Boot Camp 2018. Sign up here(it’s free) to listen to his podcast now.
Sometimes supply chain is viewed as an abstract part of the business – we’re the wire between switch and the light. But that wire is not always fully understood…
Career Boot Camp 2018 kicks off this week! And this year’s series, Your Supply Chain Career: Accelerated, has been designed to help you sprint outside of your comfort zone and get into the best career shape of your life!
On Day 1, we catch up with Rick Blasgen President and CEO of CSCMP who has a lot of hope for the future of the supply chain profession.
“I think our professions have come such a long way already and have such a long way to go. Procurement and supply chain management will be an embedded feature of every competive global company around the world because they see so much of what goes on.
“[At CSCMP] we see it really growing into the fabric of successful companies. There is so much opportunity before us as our global economies kick in and we use technology and productivity processes to improve our ability to serve customers in markets that are yet to be conquered.”
The value in professional certifications
The debate rages on over the true value in professional supply chain certifications. But Rick is pretty sure they’re here to stay!
“This profession changes so rapidly – think about risk management or about deliveries by drones or autonomous vehicles. These types of systems or technologies were not even part of our lexicon ten years ago and so certifications allow us to keep fresh, allow us to continue to demonstrate that we have a mastery of the supply chain and procurement professions by being on the forefront of what’s coming down the line that we might be able to use in our professions.
“One of the things important to CSCMP is to advance the logistics, supply chain and procurement professions and the careers of those working in them. The only way we do that is by being thought leaders and thinking about using the new technologies and tools that have never before existed. Our certifications will educate you on these things and then test that you have the understanding and can utilise the complexity within them.
“So I think [professional certifications] are a normal course of continuing to educate yourself and continuing to be knowledgeable about such a dynamic and ever-changing field.”
Upskilling your supply chain team
How does Rick feel about experienced hires versus the value in up-skilling talented professionals from diverse backgrounds?
“There is no reason that someone with a lot of experience in a different field can’t be very successful working in supply chain. If you have the ability to analyse data or if you’re an engineer – those types of talents and skills play a very important role within the supply chain world.
“Sometimes supply chain is viewed as an abstract part [of the business] – we’re the wire between switch and the light. You flick the switch and the light goes on you don’t call your power company and thank them because you expect the light to go on.
“Well that wire is sometimes not truly understood – supply chain and procurement professions struggle a little bit with awareness.
“But there’s so much opportunity and different types of jobs that folks can come into. If you have a set of skills like great interpersonal skills or great managerial and leadership skills you’re going to do just fine in a supply chain position as long as you can analyse data and think logically about this flow of inventory and information.
“We’ve seen folks come from the medical industry, consumer products, consumer electronics or even different types of functions such as English or History majors who have come and done a wonderful job.
“Is it great to get supply chain education? Sure it is! Universities these days are doing a great job of explaining modern day supply chain theory. But you can certainly be successful as you fly into this profession with a set of skills that really make a difference.”
Rick’s parting words to any aspiring supply chain professionals?
“Young folks have a great opportunity – I have never seen a hiring market like it is now. If youre looking for a job on another continent I can’t think of another field where you can go ahead move to another part of the world If you so desire and have a very fruitful experience. If you have a global experience or a global mindset you’ll do very well in supply chain because it is such a global field.”
Rick Blasgen is speaking on Day 1 of Career Boot Camp 2018. Sign up here (it’s free) to listen now!
Contingent Labour represents an ever-increasing proportion of our workforce, and it’s not hard to understand why. What is challenging for procurement teams, however, is effective management of their organisation’s contingent workforce…
“Depending on whose data you believe, the contingent workforce now makes up from 20 per cent  to 40 per cent  of the global workforce, with some analysts estimating that it will reach 50 per cent by the year 2020,” says Doug Leeby, CEO – Beeline.
Procurious caught up with Doug ahead of his keynote presentation at Big Ideas Summit Chicago to learn more about the state of contingent labour in the workplace today and to pick his brains on how procurement teams can best manage, and leverage, their ever-evolving workforce.
The rise of the contingent workforce
“It’s easy to understand why contingent labour is growing,” explains Doug. “Most companies are under intense pressure to improve their bottom line and usage of contingent staff, contractors, freelancers, and consultants is an excellent economic model that can be deployed to both accomplish discrete projects and assist an organisation during surge periods of work.”
“There is an enormous economic benefit in being able to ramp up key areas of the workforce during heavy times and down in lighter times. Additionally, the enterprise can complete important project work by hiring external experts rather than having to bring highly specialised skills into the organisation. The short-term costs may appear high but the total cost to production can, in fact, be much lower.”
“Traditionally, companies have looked to the contingent labor population for work that is less strategic, saving that for FTEs. However, more and more, we are seeing a hybrid approach. Successful companies in which HR and Procurement are working together have figured this out. Most of us can’t afford a team of data scientists but we can contract a team for a specific goal. That’s a very strategic example whereas the contingent workforce can produce extraordinary value.”
The challenges of contingent labour
Employing a large proportion of contingent labour to your organisations presents a whole new set of challenges for both procurement teams and HR. But, as Doug advises, it is specifically in-effective management of contingent talent that will lead to enormous problems and risks for your organisation.
“Companies may be operating out of compliance, exposing themselves to severe penalties. Additionally, improperly managing this talent can lead to overpayment or under-delivery of results. Metrics and KPIs are critical to ensure that the program is properly managed. Everyone has heard about the now-infamous ‘war on talent.’ It isn’t subsiding. Not having a smooth-running program to manage contingent labor invariably leads to losing great talent to those who do have solid programs.”
Part of the difficulty with managing contingent labour is procurement’s failure to work constructively and efficiently alongside HR departments.
“Asking the two departments to take time to think about optimising their workforce is a tough ask,” explains Doug.
“This is not a small undertaking nor is it something that can be accomplished in one meeting, or even a series of meetings. It is transformational, which means it requires a significant investment of time and resources, but I believe it will happen as the focus on talent comes into greater view at the C-suite. HR has an outstanding opportunity to look at talent holistically and work with Procurement to ensure that it is sourced and managed properly. This will deliver tremendous value to the organisation.”
Using tech to manage contingent labour
“Technology today is an enabler,” Doug explains. “However, with the progress being made in AI and machine learning, it will soon become far more than just an enabler – it will become an advisor.
“Technology shouldn’t just be about workflow and reporting. Rather, it should act more as a subject matter expert or concierge helping procurement and HR to analyse their workforce and make strategic decisions.
“The challenge with this transformation is that it depends on organisations getting all their data into the technology and most still have a way to go. At a minimum, they need get all of the contingent labor into the system – complex, statement-of-work (SOW) based, milestone-based services as well as contingent staff.
“VMS technology can manage not only who the contingent workers are, where they are, what they are doing, and what facilities and data they have access to, but also how well they perform their assignments.”
The future of the workforce
“The workplace and workforce model that has been in place since the Industrial Revolution, designed for stable markets and long-term business planning, is giving way to a new model based on constant change and adaptability,” Doug believes. We asked Doug to outline what he believes will be the key features of the workforce of the future…
1. Talent first
Over time, I believe organisations will adopt a “Talent First” approach that will be led by HR. Procurement will remain a solid partner, but HR will need to lead the initiative within the organisation. They will work, proactively, with department heads and finance to figure out the best way to achieve desired outcomes.
2. The human touch
Some outcomes will be handled via artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, but much will still depend on people. Competitive organisations will focus on optimising their workforce. They will then focus on how to source this talent holistically.
3. Talent pools
Talent sourcing won’t be done in silos anymore. Organizations will establish private talent pools and work to attract talent, both FTE and non-FTE, to their pools. Then, they will be able to hire/engage known talent which leads to a higher propensity for success.
Companies will make use of functionality like our Self-Sourcing. In other words, they will go directly to the contingent talent rather than through intermediaries. This is already being done with freelancers, but we will see more of this with contractors and consultants.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for the profession to put sustainable procurement at the front and center of business.
Daniel Perry, Global Alliances Director – Ecovadis believes that the role of procurement is evolving. Evolving from being “primarily focused on cost savings and operational efficiency, to a more strategic and central player in risk management and value creation.”
Now, more than ever, it’s important for the profession to put sustainable procurement at the front and center of business.
“Stakeholders, including end consumers, B2B customers, shareholders etc. are demanding that businesses take responsibility for practices all the way into their value chain. They’re driving transparency and, ultimately, a positive impact by working with high-integrity partners. And it’s procurement teams that are in the ideal place to meet these higher stakeholder demands.”
“The power of the spend that procurement controls (often between 50-70 per cent of turnover) puts procurement at the crossroads of not only risk management and brand protection, but also as internal partners for driving value creation. Of course they want the value chain to be resilient – to avoid interruptions or damage to their company’s reputation – but they also want to provide supplier-driven innovation and support for transformative business models and offerings. –
“Procurement teams focused on sustainability do this by selecting and working with the best suppliers in a way that goes far beyond price, quality and delivery, to include performance around environmental, social and labor and ethics practices.”
The value-add of sustainability programs
It’s all too common to hear an organisation defend their lack of commitment and lack effort in this space. “It’s too expensive”, “it’s too difficult”, “it’s too time consuming” or “we’re just not ready” are typical refrains.
“The benefits and ROI of sustainability include not only operational savings, but strategic outcomes. A well-developed Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program that is integrated into the company values, and is driven with executive support, can drive key business performance metrics such as:
Sales and reputation: A burgeoning wave of consumer sentiment is cresting. More and more customers are comparing the sustainability details of products and services, and it is changing their purchase decisions. Companies making the right sustainability investments can realise a possible increase in revenue of up to 20 per cent.
Employee morale and productivity: Sustainability programs can do wonders to improve employee satisfaction, reducing a company’s staff turnover rate by up to 50 per cent and increasing employee productivity by up to 13 per cent. Integrating CSR practices in your company and brand also has a hugely positive impact on recruiting. If your company has a better sustainability reputation, it often generates more interest from applicants, allowing you to be more selective and choose higher quality candidates.
Increased market value: Sustainability programs can increase a company’s market value by up to 6 per cent.
Innovation: With more power comes more responsibility…and more options. Many companies are pursuing sustainable procurement strategies in order to find innovative suppliers that will help them differentiate their product or service offering.
Dupont, for example, changed its innovation strategy to embrace a “sustainable growth” mission, saying “If we bring the solutions to the market sooner than our competitors do, we will be more successful in continuing to grow the company.”
Making sustainable procurement work
“One of the biggest challenges companies face in sustainable procurement is measuring and understanding current performance within their supply base, in the context of global standards and benchmarks. It can also be challenging to engage suppliers as collaborators in their mission. And to get there requires a mix of expertise, the right technology, change management and process integration backed by executive commitment.
“First, the organisation needs a clear mandate from the executive team, which makes the sustainable procurement program an integral part of the function’s mission and values. This is embodied by investing in change management and communication programs and taking steps towards implementation and company-wide adoption.
“Success also requires reliable, agreed-upon indicators for sustainability performance that both buyers and suppliers can understand, and that are actionable. Many companies collect lots of unvalidated data, but buyers rarely have the CSR expertise or time to validate or interpret it – and this is where a standardised, evidence-based, and analyst-generated rating – like EcoVadis provides – comes into play.
“Additionally, CSR criteria and performance indicators must be integrated across the procurement function and include the use of clear and enforceable codes of conduct, contract clauses and tender criteria. Buyers need to believe in and leverage these criteria in their supplier development and sourcing activities., And, procurement groups should agree on, measure and reward on the critical CSR / sustainability KPIs in the same way they track cost savings or other key metrics. These all drive adoption in the organisation and make sustainability inherent to the procurement role.
“Increasing the benefits to a single company, a mutualised platform can make it much easier for suppliers to share the same scorecard results with all their customers, enhancing transparency and collaboration to drive network effects for maximum improvement and impact.”
Only 7 per cent of procurement functions are perceived as ‘maturing’ in terms of digital transformation and a mere 38 per cent of teams have the capability to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0. Find out how to address these challenges in our latest report: Procurement 2030: Level 2.
Without careful preparation, revolutions fail.
From Spartacus’ slave rebellion in Ancient Rome, to the Satsuma Samurai uprising in Imperial Japan, to the Boxer rebellion in colonial China, history has shown that a revolution cannot be powered by enthusiasm alone. Successfully landing a change of any significant scale requires strategy, planning, and no small amount of determination to see it through.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is now upon us, and its effects can be seen in the assembly lines and offices of companies around the globe. Game-changing technology such as 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain will super-charge the supply chains of many organisations, but need to be implemented with care.
Level One of the four-part “Procurement 2030” series by Procurious and Michael Page UK examined the forecast for procurement and the threats and opportunities facing the profession. The latest report, Level Two, shifts the focus to the practicalities of procurement and supply chain management’s evolution – against the backdrop of a technological revolution.
Our survey of 590 global professionals revealed that there is a great deal of preparation to be done before the majority of procurement functions will be equipped to take full advantage of Industry 4.0, particularly in the areas of strategic planning, creating a roadmap that gives priority to the most impactful elements of the digital revolution, and (crucially) having the right talent on board.
Our survey revealed that only 7 per cent regard their procurement functions as ‘maturing’ in terms of digital transformation. The factor holding back this maturity would appear to be a lack of support from the wider business, with comments such as:
“Management is not interested in a digital transformation journey.”
“Our desire to transform is not matched by the business, who do not see the value.”
“Digital transformation of procurement is not even on the agenda.”
Some steps that might be taken to improve this situation include:
Do your homework and build a rock-solid business case that supports digital transformation. Alarmingly, 43% of survey respondents indicated they do not have a formal digital transformation strategy.
Ensure you align each step of your digital transformation journey to an enterprise-level objective.
Find a sponsor (a senior person in the organisation) to support your proposal.
Have the courage to take a risk – have confidence behind your ideas and be prepared to stand up for them.
What do you regard as procurement’s greatest weakness? This research reveals that a narrow focus on cost savings and a lack of influence in the wider organisation are two stand-out factors that are holding procurement back.
HSBC CPO Jan Fokke Van Den Bosch shared his opinion of procurement’s greatest weakness in this video interview.
What’s Your Priority?
Moving systems into the cloud and leveraging big data analytics are by far the two most likely technologies to be implemented within the next 24 months by surveyed organisations.
Although AI and cognitive procurement are perceived as two of the most difficult-to-implement technologies, they are also expected to have the greatest impact on organisations. Other high-impact technologies include big data, cloud computing, and robotic process automation.
When prioritising these technologies to create a digital transformation roadmap, take the following factors into account:
Enablers – which technologies need to be implemented first to enable others to work successfully?
Impact – which technology will make the greatest positive impact on your wider organisation’s goals?
Costs and benefits – what is the long-term ROI on this investment? What are the benefits beyond cost savings?
The Right Team For The Job
Our survey-takers believe that on average, only 38% of their colleagues heave the capability required to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0.
For procurement functions on the cusp of a major digital transformation, now is the time to examine the team’s attributes and capabilities and, if necessary, bring in fresh talent with the ability to drive change and reap the full benefit of enabling technology.
While digital skills are a must, candidates should be screened for attributes such as a willingness to embrace change, agility, and the flexibility to make use of new behaviours and technologies.
Another solution to the perceived capability gap is to embrace the gig economy. The future of work will be project-based and outcome-focused. From the employer’s perspective, it will become increasingly important to bring in the right team for the right project.
A higher percentage of contractors in procurement will enable project managers to scale up and down as necessary, with results revealing that employment of contractors is expected to nearly double by 2030.
Interested In Learning More?
This content-packed report also contains links to relevant thought-leadership from Procurious and Michael Page UK, including videos, blog articles, podcasts and webinars.
And don’t forget … parts 3 to 4 of the Procurement 2030 report will be released in the coming months!
How can the missing puzzle piece make it easier for procurement teams to operate sustainably, improve supply chain transparency and eliminate corruption?
As procurement professionals we’re always talking about how leveraging innovative technology can add value to our organisations.
But less frequently addressed is how technology can make it easier for procurement teams to operate sustainably, improve supply chain transparency and eliminate corruption.
In our latest Procure with Purpose webinar we’ll be exploring how the latest and greatest in technology innovations can not only help procurement pros deliver business value but also drive and enable purpose-led practice.
Join us on October 10th when we’ll discuss the tech that’s helping procurement teams to collaborate with their suppliers and improve transparency; how to communicate the importance of using tech to improve purpose-led procurement and why businesses must integrate tech-led purpose-driven practice into all of their decision making.
How do I register for the webinar?
Registering for The Missing Puzzle Piece: How Technology Can Empower You To Procure With Purpose couldn’t be easier (and, of course, it’s FREE!)
I’m already a member of Procurious, do I still need to register?
Yes! If you are already a member of Procurious you muststill enroll to access the webinar. We’ll send you a email with a link to the webinar platform in the run up to the event.
When is it taking place?
The webinar takes place on 10th October at 10am EDT/ 3pm BST. Sign up or log in via the form above and we’ll be in touch ahead of the event to provide details on how to join the webinar live.
Help! I can’t make it to the live-stream
No problem! If you can’t make the live-stream you can catch up whenever it suits you. We’ll be making it available on Procurious soon after the event (and will be sure to send you a link) so you can listen at your leisure!
Can I ask a question?
If you’d like to ask one of our speakers a question please submit it via the Discussion Board on Procurious and we’ll do our very best to ensure it gets answered for you.
What is the Procure with Purpose community?
Procure with Purpose is a community for procurement pros who want to deliver value beyond cost savings and efficiencies – shining a light on the biggest issues from Modern Slavery to Environmental Sustainability – and on you, our members, who are already driving exponential change.
Oliver Campbell, Director Procurement & Packaging Engineering
Oliver is a Director of Procurement & Packaging Engineering at Dell Technologies. He has become one of the most influential thought leaders in the packaging industry by combining innovation and supply chain best practices. Under his leadership, Dell introduced industry changing materials such as bamboo, mushroom, and molded paper pulp for more environmentally healthier packaging.
Most recently, Dell launched Ocean Plastic packaging with the aim of creating an industry response to tackle the task of the ocean plastic crisis. Through founding NextWave, a cross-industry consortium of like-minded companies, Dell is creating a commercially viable, and scalable, supply chain that is focused on keeping plastics out of the ocean and in the circular economy.
Oliver’s accomplishments have been highlighted for their business and social influence by Fortune in their 2017 Change the World Companies, and by LinkedIn in their 2017 Top Companies to Work For. Additionally, the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show recognized his pioneering work in Ocean Plastic with a Best of Innovation Award. Mr. Campbell holds Bachelor and Master Engineering degrees from Cornell University and an MBA from The University of Texas. In his free time, you can find him training for his next triathlon.
Justin Sadler Smith, Head of United Kingdom & Ireland, Ariba Cloud Procurement at SAP Ariba
Justin Sadler-Smith is head of SAP Ariba UK and Ireland, procurement and supply chain thought leader, and cognitive procurement ambassador. He is one of a growing number of procurement leaders around the world who helps procurement and supply-chain teams ensure that fair labor practices are in play across their global supply chains by harnessing innovative technology and increasing competitive advantage
Padmini Ranganathan, Global Vice President – SAP Ariba
Padmini Ranganathan is Vice President, Products and Innovation for Supplier Risk, Compliance and Sustainability solutions for SAP Ariba. In this role, she is responsible for product strategy and engineering and leads a team of experts focused on delivering solutions that enable risk-aware, sustainable and ethical supply chains.
Prior to SAP Ariba, Padmini led the Analytics for Industries solutions marketing team at SAP which brought to market the first analytical applications and content for “art of the possible” industry and line of business application scenarios. Before joining SAP, Padmini worked at Oracle, where she was part of the procurement product management team that delivered the first web-based, self-service applications for procurement and a technical consultant in the areas of order management, inventory & distribution, procurement and manufacturing.
Padmini is a passionate advocate for bringing technology to business users that simplifies and enriches their daily work and decision making. And as the Products & Innovation lead for SAP Ariba’s Procurement with Purpose initiatives, she is dedicated to helping businesses balance their costs with conscience and make an impact on the larger world.
Padmini has a post-graduate diploma in computer science from UC Berkeley, California, and a bachelor’s degree in commerce with a major in Cost & Management Accounting from Bangalore University, India.
Sign up for The Missing Puzzle Piece: How Technology Can Empower You To Procure With Purpose ahead of 10th October.