Category Archives: Big Ideas Summit

Procurement and The Conversational Century

The social media revolution has allowed for traditional institutions to create personal digital conversations with their audience. We are in the era of ‘The Conversational Century’.

Facebook Conversational Century

When he was born in July 2013, Prince George of Cambridge became the first royal baby to have a hashtag. There were over 3.5 million Facebook mentions of the young Prince in the 24 hours leading up to his birth.

And it’s not just royalty on social media. Pope Francis is the first Pope to engage with a wider audience through Twitter.

Elizabeth Linder, a Princeton University graduate, is at the forefront of the social media revolution. She has described the intersection between Facebook and the 21st century governance as ‘The Conversational Century’. Linder started working for Facebook as their Government and Politics specialist in 2008, when the company had fewer than 100 million users.

She built up Facebook’s Politics and Government Programme for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Her role includes advising political representatives, government agencies, public administrators, and think tanks on the intersection of Facebook and modern governance.

What is The Conversational Century?

Conversational Century

Social Media and networking play an important role in the practice of public diplomacy. Facebook, with its individual and country pages, presents opportunities for the public diplomacy sector to engage the public audience in a number of diverse ways. This engagement is part of the conversational century.

Linder defines ‘The Conversational Century’ as the new era in leadership, where leaders are turning outwards to have conversations with the public, aided by the latest social media technology. Social media is forcing traditional institutions and influential leaders to change their communication channels and dialogue.

Traditional institutions, such as the British monarchy, are actively using social media to engage with audiences, using a personal tone to create a digital conversation. The impact of the conversational century is seen through the shifting nature of communication, from a traditional, one-way channel, to a diverse, two-channel communication channel.

Back in 2010, when there were 500 million Facebook users, politicians running for office were only just beginning to explore new technology and start the transition to ‘digital elections’. Now, there are 1.39 billion Facebook users, hailing from a diverse range of backgrounds, languages, and socio-economic classes. This gives political candidates and institutes the opportunity to speak to a very broad range of people, all at once.

Linder described the British General Election of 2015 as a “conversational election“, during which politicians used social media to engage in real and authentic discussions with the public. A shift is occurring in the relationship between politicians, leaders and people in power and social media. These leaders now face the situation where they must contribute and engage with social media in order to stay relevant with their audiences.

Conversational Century and Procurement

Procurement leaders, much like political leaders, need to embrace the Conversational Century and the power of social media, in order to engage with a wide range of people and contribute to live dialogue.

Procurement itself will play an active role in the Conversation Century. Social media platforms, such as Procurious and Facebook, offer a unique opportunity for procurement professionals to share knowledge of what is happening in procurement. Companies and industries can showcase what they have done and what they are working on to an active and engaged audience.

Furthermore, as social media is increasingly integrated into corporate life, procurement can use it to play a key role in observing and analysing all sides of the business. It can be positioned between the customer side, internal stakeholders and the supply side.

The increased visibility of data resulting from the management of social customer relationships, social internal stakeholders, and social supplier relationships, will provide procurement with information-rich data which can potentially lead to increased collaboration, agility and faster decision-making.

Elizabeth LinderElizabeth Linder is a keynote speaker at Big Ideas Summit 2016 powered by Procurious. Elizabeth will be continuing the discussion about ‘The Conversational Century’ and how it will become an integral part of procurement.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Procurement’s Future: Upskilling in Supplier Relationship Management

Why upskilling in Supplier Relationship Management is key to the future success for the Procurement profession.

Supplier Relationship Management

The rapid development of artificial intelligence and cognitive technology is completely redefining the boundaries of what is possible for procurement. To fully take advantage of this new era and remain relevant, CPOs and their organisations will have to react very quickly and re-orientate more than ever their focus towards supplier relationship management.

Why is SRM fundamental to Procurement?

The traditional and archetypal focus of the CPO has been on cost savings, whilst arguably neglecting the supplier relationship. We have reached the point where applying pressure to suppliers to cut costs is unsustainable. It has been proven that working on improving relationships with suppliers is the key to fostering innovation; to go beyond just savings and develop more value adding capabilities.

Secondly, with artificial intelligence and technological advances comes an increasing level of automation, not only of tactical and operational procurement tasks, but also complex sourcing activities, such as RFX creation, analysis, or even scoring. Even market research or negotiation can be improved, to a point where technology will perform these tasks in a better, more efficient and secure manner.

This will allow more time for procurement to focus on supplier activities after contract signature, such as performance management, or supplier collaboration and innovation programs.

In addition, procurement teams will be equipped with the tools to navigate the procurement process more quickly, easily, and in an even more compliant way. It may lead to the point where there is less of a necessity for a full, dedicated team. It is therefore important that the role of supplier management remains within the remit of the Procurement function, to avoid inefficiency and over-complication.

This is especially true for companies where part of this process is handled by different organisation. To improve in this area, there must be one owner who can efficiently coordinate the strategy, the training, and the performance management.

Another benefit of becoming more skilled at Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is reducing risk. With a strong SRM process, Procurement can not only very quickly identify potential supply chain disruption, but also proactively mitigate any event that may occur, by fostering a collaborative and transparent relationship with suppliers.

Generating Innovation Through SRM

Supplier collaboration has also become an increasing focus for Procurement, especially where cost savings have been stretched to breaking point, and yet there is still requirement to go beyond this.

Suppliers and Procurement organisations have to work hand in hand to be even more cost effective and extract additional value from their relationship, and this on a long term basis. SRM is an invaluable approach to promote and generate innovation.

There is a well-known anecdote regarding a multinational car manufacturer, just one example amongst many others, of the benefits of good supplier relationship management. The company wanted to cut the cost of the window trim on their car, and turned to their suppliers for help. The suppliers created a new resin which would streamline the manufacturing process.

The result was a reduction of 2,700 gallons of diesel fuel and 60,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, by removing 19,200 truck miles transporting the parts between factories. It was a move that was both good for the environment (look at that carbon dioxide reduction), and dramatically cut costs.

Undeniably, in this context, by leveraging partnerships and collaboration, procurement teams become the customer of choice. They can therefore encourage and gain access to new innovations or insights, which could stand to be an important competitive differentiator.

What skills does the future Procurement workforce need to develop?

With this in mind, CPOs need to assess how their staff interact with suppliers, in order to determine whether they have the right skills, and also to understand what is missing, to fully unlock these supplier relationship management capabilities.

On that basis, and with the new direction that Procurement is taking, future procurement professionals should be looking to develop such skills as influencing leadership, change management and creativity. These are, arguably, not amongst primarily targeted skills in a current buyer profile.

With the advent of data insight and technology enhancing Procurement activities, CPOs will also have to upskill their teams to be able to fully maximise the potential of the tools available to them, as there is little doubt of the value available here.

Aside from data and tool utilisation, the human side is equally as important. Acting on insight and fostering the ability to listen, earn trust, and foster a high level emotional intelligence and creativity should also be part of the soft skills of the new buyers.

In an environment where technology will be ever-present, it will be even more important to master these skills, as maintaining customer satisfaction and high value relationships will continue to rely on the human side of the service management.

It becomes urgent not only for CPOs but also for the professionals working in Procurement today, to ask themselves about what should we do if we want to stay relevant to our organisation in 5 years’ time? How will we be able to fully endorse roles such as Supplier Relationship Manager and deliver value? Should we go on new training courses, and re-skill completely? What type of skills should be developed, and where and how can we acquire them?

These questions will need answers, and those who will address them first will obviously be ahead of the crowd in fostering innovation and adapting to the Procurement world of the not-too distant future.

IBM are one of the sponsors of the Big Ideas Summit, being held in London on April 21st. 

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Big Ideas in Procurement in Africa

Procurement in Africa receives a lot of press, not necessarily all of it positive. But as the profession develops, more ideas will be generated by its professionals.

Procurement in Africa

Ahead of the Big Ideas Summit 2016 on April 21st, we are taking a look at the key issues facing procurement in the coming years. We have asked experts and influencers in our community to share their Big Ideas on the themes we will be discussing on the day.

Here, our experts and influencers share their thoughts on the Big Ideas impacting organisations and industries in procurement in Africa.

Elaine Porteous, Freelance business writer in Supply Chain and Procurement

Elaine PorteousHow can procurement foster innovation from its key suppliers? Is it a case of triangulation or strangulation?

My contention is that many of the creative suggestions and innovative ideas arrive and die in procurement. Why?

  • I’m too busy for this
  • Not my job
  • Don’t know who to pass it on to
  • What is the supplier trying to get from us?
  • What’s in it for me?

If we talk about supplier innovation, we are asking our key suppliers to help us with a problem that we need to solve. But who engages with the supplier to discuss his ideas? Procurement.

And then what? The cycle begins again. My Big Idea is that procurement leaders need to teach procurement people how to deal with supplier innovation.

Procurement - Where Innovation Goes to Die?
Procurement – Where Innovation Goes to Die?

Mervyan Konjore, Managing Director & Social Change Measurement Specialist, Measure Value Ltd

Mervyan KonjoreMy Big Idea looks at Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and the gap between aspirations to make the world a better place, and creating a better world.

Many companies have adopted and integrated Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s premise about the link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility (CSR), by finding ways to incorporate suppliers in their value chain, upskill, train and capacitate staff and give back to communities where they operate. 

However, the impact of these social programmes are still largely assessed using either financial metrics or anecdotal reports, both of which fall short of capturing changes in behaviour such programmes strive to effect. 

As companies come under greater scrutiny regarding whether their social programmes transcend statutory compliance, the realisation that there is a need for different measurement metrics is slowly starting to dawn. 

There is a need for measurement metrics capable of helping companies determine the gap between aspirations to make the world a better place, and creating  a better world. Such metrics need to capture, quantify and determine the impact of and value created by CSR programmes. Quantifying the changes in behaviours can allow organisations to see the impact of these programmes in people’s lives.

Do you work in supply chain or procurement in Africa? What’s your Big Idea for the future of profession? Let us know and we could be discussing them on April 21st.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Fast Fashion, The Supply Chain and The True Cost

Fast fashion helps sate deeply held desires among young consumers in the industrialised world for luxury fashion, even if it embodies unsustainability.

Fast Fashion

Trends run their course at high speed, with today’s latest styles swiftly trumping yesterday’s, which have already been consigned to the waste bin. Fast fashion has allowed for the constant supply of fashion trends, captured straight from the catwalk, at a cheap price.

What is ‘The True Cost’ of Fast Fashion?

The True Cost movie is a 2015 documentary that focuses on fast fashion and the supply chain. The documentary discusses several aspects of the garment industry from production – exploring the life of low wage workers in developing countries – to its after-effects of river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death.

The True Cost is a collage of interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners, and fair trade companies and organisations, promoting sustainable clothing production.

Lucy Siegle is an author, journalist and Executive Producer of The True Cost. Her research into the fashion supply chain lifted the lid on the pollution and blind exploitation, inspiring her book To Die For. The deeper she dived into the fashion supply chain, the bigger the story became.

In an interview for The True Cost, Siegle comments that the most surprising thing she discovered was how quickly a sustainable system can be undone and destroyed forever. She had discovered that most western buyers were using completely nonsensical calculations when they placed orders in first tier factories.

This meant that factories could not possibly complete the enormous orders that had been placed, and would turn to outsourcing. This was where sweatshop labour became the reality.

“I realised there were a number of flashpoints in the supply chain that were adding up to extreme exploitation and possible catastrophe and that this was a standard business model.”

Garment manufacturing is estimated to be a $3 trillion industry. Yet factory workers are subjected to poor working conditions, low salaries and minimal to no rights. The True Cost documents the events of the 2013 Savar Building, or Rana Plaza, disaster, when an eight-story commercial building collapsed, killing over 1,000 people.

The event sparked the investigation into fast fashion on a global scale.

The Supply Chain and Fast Fashion

There is pressure on the supply chain to manufacture garments quickly and inexpensively, allowing the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at a lower price.

fast fashion and the supply chain

Fast fashion very quickly became disposable fashion, due to the relatively low costs needed to deliver designer products to the mass market. The consequences of the trend became noticeable through increased pollution from manufacturing of the clothes and the decay of synthetic fabric, poor workmanship, and the emphasis on brief trends rather than classic pieces.

Recently, Australian surfwear brands have been urged to publish a list of every factory used in their supply chain. This follows an investigation that revealed some garments being made for the Rip Curl brand had been manufactured in North Korea, where factory workers endured slave-like conditions.

Rip Curl claimed to have no knowledge of their garments being produced in North Korea, as the clothes were shipped to retail outlets and sold with a “made in China” logo on them.

Rip Curl blamed one of its subcontractors for the practice, stating this was a case of a supplier diverting part of their production order to an unauthorised subcontractor and country. This was done without their knowledge or consent, and in clear breach of supplier terms and policies.

Rip Curl and North Korea

After the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Australian firms’ garment-sourcing policies came under intense scrutiny. More than 90 per cent of garments sold in Australia are estimated to be sourced from Asia, while a huge proportionate of Asian garment workers are women who are paid minimal or poverty wages.

The event promoted a number of global brands to speak openly about their CSR efforts. Lucy Siegle comments that Public Relations efforts around company CSR efforts are getting more sophisticated. However, in many case, the business models stay the same. This is a concern when the business model is based on furious expansion, and companies are investing in pilot schemes in new low-wage fashion production hubs.

The fast-changing and glamorous image of the fashion industry presented to consumers is the very aspect which poses significant challenges for supply chain professionals. Companies are increasingly opting for a similar supply chain network, allowing them to easily and quickly replenish and rotate stock, and align with local market trends.

Sourcing location is one of the biggest challenges posed in the fashion industry. Sourcing from further afield can bring lower costs, but results in visibility and traceability challenges. Sourcing close to key markets guarantees a fast response, but has much higher costs and capacity constraints.

Lucy Siegle and Big Ideas Summit 2016

Lucy Siegle - True Cost

Lucy Siegle is a key note speaker at the Big Ideas Summit 2016 powered by Procurious. She will be sharing her thoughts and experiences on the ethical supply chain and the true cost of doing business in the fashion industry and a number of other industries.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Why Future CPOs Need to Walk the Talk

Procurement is changing and its leaders need to change to in order to succeed. Lucy Harding tells Procurious why it’s behaviours, more than technical skills, that will define future CPOs.

Lucy Harding - future CPOs

Lucy Harding, Partner at global executive search firm, Odgers Berndtson, is considered to be the UK’s leading CPO headhunter. She believes that for future CPOs, behaviours and business acumen will carry more weight in recruitment than technical skills.

Lucy’s involvement in Big Ideas is consistent with her view that future CPOs and leaders need to have the following key attributes:

  • The ability to create a function that brings insight and innovation to an organisation
  • Use of the best technology tools and trends to enable your team to be effective.
  • Ability to access and excite emerging supply partners
  • Ability to attract and retain the best talent – tuning in to the millennials motivations and creating roles that offer challenge and development

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, Lucy will be taking part in a panel discussion, which will discuss attracting the top talent to procurement, and what skills will be required by future CPOs and other procurement leaders.

The thing I’m most looking forward to about the Big Ideas Summit is meeting new people that have interesting ideas on how to move the profession forward. It’s exciting to see the breadth of speakers and contributors that will be able to discuss emerging and future trends that the function needs to get to grips with.

What are the key differences between the skills required for executive level procurement, and the mid-level roles?

The difference between the skills needed at the mid-level and those required at an executive level are behavioural, rather than technical. This is the same for any functional leader (HR/Finance/IT) as they become the head of their function. Technical competence is a given. At senior levels, after a number of years in a function, everyone should be technically competent.

At the margin, the difference is leadership, broader business acumen, financial numeracy, and breadth of experience gained across a range of industries and geographies. To land the top role, an organisation will be looking at you not only with that role in mind, but what can you do next.

What would you say are, or will be, the key attributes of procurement leaders in the next 5 years?

  • The ability to create a function that brings insight and innovation to an organisation
  • Use of the best technology tools and trends to enable your team to be effective.
  • Ability to access and excite emerging supply partners
  • Ability to attract and retain the best talent – tuning in to the millennials motivations and creating roles that offer challenge and development
  • The ability to structure your organisation that gives you the best access to global talent
  • Someone who doesn’t talk procurement language to the business
  • A combination of procurement and business skills
  • Experience of living and working in emerging markets

Do you see any patterns or common issues when it comes to your executive searches?

Clients are increasingly keen to recruit “business leaders first, functional excellence second”. International experience, with a breadth of industry sector experience is also in high demand. Above all, the ability to engage with the business, and do what you say you are going to do, is critical.

This is becoming increasingly evident, since many of the searches I undertake have elevated the positioning of the role, and therefore visibility to the Board is heightened.

Procurious focuses a lot on the individual brand and social media presence of all procurement professionals. How important is this for recruitment in the profession?

Social Media is an increasingly important tool for recruitment. At the junior and middle management levels it’s often used for candidate identification so a well presented profile is vital to get “found”.

At the senior levels where Odgers Berndtson operates,  whilst candidates may be found via sources such as LinkedIn, social media is a useful tool for candidates to use to research those they are going to meet during their interview process. As a senior leader looking to hire, it’s important that you use social media as an attraction tool about you as an individual leader that top talent would want to work with.

A word of caution also. All search firms and employers themselves will conduct online media checks on potential candidates, therefore it’s important to ensure that all information on line about you is suitable and professional.

Lucy Harding talk about these topics in more detail during one of our panel discussions at the Big Ideas Summit on April 21st.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Showcasing Your Big Ideas – Tackling Maverick Spend

Ahead of the Big Ideas Summit 2016 on April 21st, we’re on the hunt for your Big Ideas. Stuart Brocklehurst discusses how procurement can elevate its role by tackling maverick spend.

At the Big Ideas Summit 2016, which takes place on 21st April,  we will be asking our speakers and attendees to record their ‘Big Ideas’ live on camera for the whole of our Procurious community to see.

But we also believe that every single procurement and supply chain professional has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. You have been submitting your Big Ideas to us, and so far, we think they have been great!

Stuart Brocklehurst, Chief Executive at Applegate Marketplace

According to a survey by KPMG, on average 40 per cent of organisational spend happens without any input from procurement. At a time where procurement needs to be delivering value to the business, tackling maverick spend in the organisation is a good place to start.

Stuart’s Big Idea is exactly that. He believes that for procurement to be valued for its strategic role, it needs to demonstrate its impact on the whole organisation.

Stuart goes on to say that this can only happen through giving access to user-friendly solutions, and demonstrate the benefits of doing this across the organisation.

How to Submit Your Big Idea

We don’t mind if you film your submission on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. However, to help you out we’ve compiled a list of some of our recommended methods for reaching out.

Once you’ve completed your film, you can reach us by email ([email protected]); on Twitter (@procurious_) or via Google Drive or Dropbox (using [email protected]).

You can find all the information you need on recording and submitting your Big Idea here.

Want to know more about Big Ideas 2016? Then visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Who Are Procurement’s Most Influential Thinkers?

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 brings together some of procurement’s most influential thinkers to discuss the future of the profession.

Influential Thinkers

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 will take place in London on the 21st of April. Procurious have invited around 50 the most influential thinkers from the world of procurement, supply chain, media and technology to discuss the future of the profession.

Just in case you’ve missed all the announcements (where have you been?!), you can catch up on all the details you need here.

Our influential thinkers and thought leaders will be tackling a number of Big Ideas, including unthinkable events, social and sustainable procurement, technological megatrends, and many more, during a packed day full of interviews, debates and panel sessions. 

The good news for all of our Procurious members is that we’ll be capturing all of the day’s events on video. This means you’ll be able to watch all the discussions as they unfolded on the day, and make sure that you don’t miss a single minute.

Taking Part

The Big Ideas Summit is open to all Procurious members. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we want you to help shape the agenda. Register your attendance in our Procurious Big Ideas 2016 Group.

On Twitter? You can also submit your questions by tweeting us @procurious_ using the hashtag: #BigIdeas2016

For more information about the day head on over to our bespoke event site at www.bigideassummit.com.

Who are some of the 2016 Influential Thinkers?

Tom Derry – Institute for Supply Management

Tom DerryTom Derry is CEO of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in Arizona. Prior to this, he spent nine years as COO with the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a US$23 million professional association serving 17,000 corporate treasury and finance professionals.

Tom is chairman and president of ISM Services, the for-profit consulting arm of ISM, a member of the Dean’s Council for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and is a member of the board of directors of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Chris Sawchuk – The Hackett Group

Chris SawchukChris Sawchuk is Principal & Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. He has nearly 20 years of experience in supply management, working directly with Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies around the globe and in a variety of industries to improve all aspects of procurement, including process redesign, technology enablement, operations strategy planning, organisational change and strategic sourcing.

Gabe Perez – Coupa

Gabe PerezGabe Perez is Vice President of Strategy and Market Development at Coupa. He is responsible for emerging market development and analyst relations, and evangelising for Coupa across the globe. Prior to his five years at Coupa,  he worked at Ariba where he participated in many global rollouts of their software.

Lucy Siegle – The Observer

Lucy Siegle - True CostLucy Siegle is a journalist and broadcaster. In her written work she specialises in environmental and social justice issues and ethical consumerism, and is devoted to widening their appeal. She joined The Observer in 2000 and created the Observer Ethical Awards (OEAs), dubbed the Green Oscars. Now in their eighth year, Lucy chairs and presents the final awards.

Lucy was also Executive Producer on The True Cost, a film highlighting the major in sustainability and worker rights issues in the global fashion supply chain.

Peter Holbrook – Social Enterprise

Peter HolbrookPeter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise and a membership organisation supporting social enterprise advocacy and development within the UK and across the world. Under Peter’s leadership SEUK was a critical proposer, supporter and advocate of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, a private members bill which was entered onto statute in 2012.

Peter was recognised for services to social enterprise with a CBE in the 2015 New Year honours list.

Dapo Ajayi – AstraZeneca

Dapo AjayiDapo has enjoyed a long career with AstraZeneca, holding a variety of senior Operations and Commercial roles. In April 2014 Dapo assumed the role of AZ Chief Procurement Officer accountable for the company’s external spend and supplier base across the end to end value chain. She has a pharmacy degree and is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Martin Chilcott – 2degrees

Martin ChilcottMartin is the founder and CEO of 2degrees – the world’s leading collaboration platform and service. He helps business leaders in major global brands including Unilever, Asda Walmart, GSK and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to think differently about how to adopt the principles of sustainable business and use collaboration to transform the resilience, profitability and competitiveness of their operations and whole value chain.

Lucy Harding – Odgers Berndston

Lucy HardingLucy Harding is a Partner and Head of the Global Procurement & Supply Chain Practice at Odgers Berndtson based in London. Lucy has significant experience operating in the procurement and supply chain search environment following 10 years operating in a leading boutique firm. Lucy is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Supply Chain Faculty at Cranfield University.

Elizabeth Linder – Facebook EMEA

Elizabeth LinderElizabeth Linder is Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist and brand ambassador for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. As the founder and head of her division in EMEA, Elizabeth trains and advises politicians, government officials, civil society leaders, and diplomats on using Facebook to effectively communicate with citizens.

Tania Seary – Procurious

Tania SearyTania is the Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession – The Faculty, The Source and Procurious.

Four years ago, Tania founded The Source, a specialist recruitment firm for the procurement profession. In 2013 she moved to London and founded Procurious, the world’s first online community for procurement professionals to connect, share and learn. Since it’s launch in May 2014, Procurious has already attracted more than 12,500 members from 140+ countries worldwide.

These are just a selection of the influential thinkers from the world of procurement and supply chain who will be appearing at Big Ideas 2016.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Big Ideas Summit 2016 FAQs

Procurious want to arm you with all the information you need and want ahead of next week’s Big Ideas Summit. We’ve gathered together your Big Ideas FAQs and answered them here.

Big Ideas FAQs

What is it?

The Big Ideas Summit is a unique online event uniting procurement and supply chain professionals from around the globe to drive innovation and inspire change.   

When is it?

21st April 2016. But a lively conversation has already begun on Procurious!

Expect to see most of the action between 09.00 – 17.00 (GMT) as we share video insights, quotes, photos and summary articles direct from London.

If you can’t join the action live, not to worry.  The thought-provoking discussions and debate will continue long after, and we’ll be sharing video footage of all our Influencers Big Ideas throughout April and May on Procurious.

Where is it?

Although our Top Influencers will be meeting in central London, due to its digital nature Procurious members across the world can get involved from the comfort of their office, armchair or even from the beach!

And brand new in 2016, Procurious members can now also use our iOS App to follow the action. It’s already available in the Apple iTunes store and is free to download. 

How can I join in?

You’ll need to be a registered member of Procurious – join here for free if you haven’t already. Then simply access the Big Ideas Summit Group (which can be found here) to soak-up thoughtful opinions, participate in insightful discussion, connect with our Influencers and share your own Big Ideas with the Procurious community.

We’ll also be live tweeting throughout the day, so make sure you’re following @procurious_ to share and respond to our tweets. 

Do I have to be a member of Procurious?

Yes. Participation as a digital delegate at Big Ideas Summit is free and open to all members of Procurious.

By joining Procurious, you will not only have access to all the Big Ideas Summit content, but join a community of over 13,000 like minded procurement peers and gain access to all Procurious’ free resources, including being able to:

  • Upskill on the move with 80+ eLearning modules
  • Get your procurement questions answered by experts
  • Find out about relevant professional events around the globe
  • Become a digital delegate in the global think-tank, Big Ideas Summit 2016

Will Big Ideas be live-streamed?

Procurious boasts a global audience of 13,000+ procurement professionals, from more than 140 countries. If we were to cater to all of these time zones, it would be a tough job – so rather than live-streaming (and keeping you awake at awkward hours), we’ll share video with those who have registered.

We will be using Periscope to live stream short videos from the day, but these videos – and all the Big Ideas videos – will be made available to you in the days that follow.

Is there an App for Procurious?

Sure is! Because we know you want to stay connected on-the-go, we’ve just launched our first Procurious App.  It’s now available (free, of course!) on the Apple iTunes Store.

The Procurious App will make it easier than ever to access procurement news and eLearning, take part in discussions and invite your colleagues to get involved with The Big Ideas Summit.

I’m on the fence – why should I take part?

Here are five compelling reasons to join your fellow Procurians and stake your claim to the wealth of knowledge on offer:

  1. An Audience With 50 of the World’s Top Procurement Influencers
  2. Get Your Questions Answered By World-Class Experts
  3. Make Powerful New Contacts Around The Globe
  4. Share Your Own Big Idea and make your voice heard
  5. Access Exclusive Content & Learnings 

Who are the ‘Influencers’?

The term ‘influencers’ refers to the invited thought-leaders who will be sharing their Big Ideas with the room and you – the Procurious community.

Our experts span the worlds of procurement, technology, social media, journalism and academia. There will be CPOs from organisations including:  AstraZeneca, RBS, Crown Commercial Services, The World Bank..and many more.

Who are the sponsors and media partners?

The Big Ideas Summit is made possible by our partners IBM, ISM, The Hackett Group, and Coupa.

We’re also pleased to welcome Spend Matters UK as our official Media Partners.

I’ve got a Big Idea of my own…

Great to hear! You can Tweet us your Big Ideas @procurious_ remembering to use the hashtag #BigIdeas2016.

Leave your Big Idea on Facebook – you can find us at www.facebook.com/procurious

And of course you can tell the Procurious community all about it by joining the Big Ideas Group page and posting it to the community feed.

Who is behind Procurious?

You can read all about us in Our Story.

Where can I learn more?

We’ve created a special website to promote the Big Ideas event, visit it at right here.

Plus you might be interested in the following stories:

And many more on the Procurious blog.

Big Ideas for Procurement – Identifying Suppliers

Identifying suppliers and gathering good information on them is critical to successful procurement. What if there was a better way to do it?

Identifying Suppliers

When I received an email from Procurious asking me to share my Big Idea, I was thrilled but wasn’t quite sure where to start. There are so many! Launching my own company, tealbook, is a big idea in itself.

Providing companies with their own trusted, collective supplier intelligence is changing the way procurement and sourcing access and share supplier information. That’s BIG! Spending time focusing on the front-end challenges that come with the cost of time spent identifying suppliers, is changing the paradigm, and accelerating the process all together.

So I tried to think about where we see the most pupils dilate when we talk about identifying suppliers and supplier information. Where do I see the most head nods from more progressive procurement thinkers? As a result, I chose to focus my BIG idea on two important questions:

1. What if we shifted the focus from reducing the number of suppliers to ensuring that teams have the right suppliers?

2. What would happen if procurement empowered their internal stakeholders by making supplier intelligence a two-way stream?

The above are paradigm shifts from procurement’s ‘olden days’. They support new, progressive procurement, and sourcing professionals who are focused on having positive top line impact in their organisation.

Focusing on the Best Suppliers

For many years, we have heard about the need to centralise and reduce the supplier base. I agree that several suppliers with similar products or services can be bundled. Healthy competition is good but there is also an opportunity to leverage economies of scale.

But when it comes to teams that require unique partners or innovative solutions, reducing the supplier base can have significant impact on productivity and meeting goals. Without an intuitive procurement process, internal stakeholders will tend to do their own due diligence, and either have limited involvement with, or completely avoid procurement, altogether.

They will find ways to engage suppliers even though the process is complex, inefficient, and time consuming because it is critical to their business. Providing a faster and better way to access and identify the right suppliers can be indispensable to these business functions.

Ensuring that these teams have access to the very best suppliers – the ones that can provide the most value – will enable these teams to achieve their goals without roadblocks (whether real or perceived) set by procurement.

In order to keep up with these internal stakeholders’ requirements, there is a need for procurement to turn to trusted sources of supplier intelligence, in order to speed up the process of identifying suppliers. If this can be accomplished, I believe that procurement will have the ability to increase their internal credibility as business partners, and keep up with their fast-paced internal teams. With increased speed and visibility, the number of suppliers won’t matter nearly as much as the ROI.

Increasing Two-Way Supplier Intelligence

I often ask procurement who in their company can access supplier information, and how experience is shared between procurement and internal stakeholders? The response is usually just a smile. For most, it means they simply don’t share – or at least they could do a much better job.

Meanwhile, in a recent ProcureCon survey, over 70 per cent of procurement professionals responded that the most trusted supplier recommendations come from internal peers and business partners.

Internal stakeholders have direct experience with many suppliers from their current and past companies. However, their supplier experience usually sits in their head, or in a pile of business cards stuffed in a drawer. Procurement has very little ability to capitalise on this wealth of intelligence outside of hallway conversation and email exchanges.

Worse, there is very little legacy, which inevitably forces procurement to go back to the well for each new supplier requirement. With new and smart technologies, there is a way to capture this incredible knowledge by allowing internal stakeholders to:

  • Share their supplier connections and experience internally.
  • Allow them to access company-wide supplier intel that can help them better understand supplier relationships and get more visibility into their available supplier base.

Building a Supplier Network

When I talk to procurement about making the tealbook app available to internal stakeholders, I often see an eye twitch. The thought of allowing internal stakeholders to build their own supplier network and add their own intelligence to their company’s supplier base is a thought provoking idea for many.

Of course, I am sensitive to the fact that not all procurement teams will be comfortable with this idea, and so tealbook can also be used just within procurement. But, my BIG idea and hope is that by starting to build their own tealbook and sharing valuable intelligence among their team, procurement will:

  • Significantly reduce the time spent searching for and identifying suppliers.
  • Spend less time on tactical initiatives and have the ability to be more strategic.
  • Support more initiatives and business requirements.
  • Bring immediate value to their internal stakeholders and build stronger internal partnerships.

By opening these lines of communication, procurement stands to gain invaluable insights and knowledge from a wider set of experiences, allow internal stakeholders to add rich intelligence on well known and new suppliers, engage at the point of need with their internal teams, and raise procurement/internal stakeholder collaboration to an entirely new level.

I don’t think my BIG ideas are unrealistic. I have reached the ‘10,000 hours’ of procurement discussions milestone and can safely say that procurement as a function is going through a transformation. Although savings is still an important metric, leadership teams are expecting more strategic, innovative solutions and process compliance.

With new user friendly and social media inspired technologies (that are easily implemented, configured and integrated) there will be big changes in how we build, and share, valuable intelligence within companies and across our industries.

What are your Big Ideas for the future of procurement? Share them with us before April 21st and we could be discussing them with our influencers.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.

Big Ideas 2015 Flashback: Investing in People

We’re looking back at some of the most popular ideas from Big Ideas 2015. Dapo Ajayi talks about the benefits of investing in people’s capabilities.

Dapo Ajayi, Chief Procurement Officer at AstraZeneca, a delegate in 2015, and returning again as a panel speaker in 2016, discusses her idea that procurement organisations need to invest in the capabilities of its people.

According to Dapo, procurement has the expectation of delivering exceptional results, but without investing in people, then the profession cannot be successful, either now or in the future.

The starting point for this is creating a different mindset in the procurement profession. This will help people see they can be the leaders the profession needs. However, this needs to start with the current crop of leaders.

 

 

Dapo also believes that platforms such as Procurious help this investment, as it provides connections in procurement on a global scale. By opening the minds of procurement professionals to what is happening across the broader business environment, in other industries and sectors, there are huge opportunities for development.

See more Big Ideas from our 40 influencers from the Big Ideas Summit 2015 on Procurious.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Big Ideas Summit 2016, visit www.bigideassummit.com. You can also join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.