It’s the digital event of the year that everyone’s been talking about and recommending – so how do you make the most of it? Here’s 7 ways you can maximise every avenue of opportunity the Big Ideas Summit has in store.
You all know what we’re talking about when we describe this. You registered for the biggest procurement event of the year; the one that every industry expert out there says you simply can’t miss. You’re determined to get the most out of it.
But it’s virtual. Your day is still packed with meetings. You plan to login from home (with all the distractions that come with it.) And your to-do list is a hundred items long.
For anyone out there who has ever felt a little intimidated by events, this year’s online Big Ideas Summit will provide you with unparalleled (and many would say, easier!) opportunities to learn, grow and network. But it will also be different.
Over 1,100 of your peers have signed up alongside you. We have an action-packed agenda including sessions on how to think the unthinkable, understand the new risk landscape, protect your career and much more.
To get the most out of the event, you need to prepare. But don’t worry, the prep is quick and easy.
Here’s how to get the most out of Big Ideas 2020:
1. Register for the Event
Once you’ve registered (if you haven’t, do so here), you’ll receive an email inviting you to the Event Hub. To accept this invitation, you’ll need to click on the link and enter your first and last name, and email address you registered with. You’ll then receive an event code, which you can use to enter the event (note that this code is only valid for 24 hours).
2. Block off your calendar
Let your team, boss, family and internal stakeholders know what you’re up to. The best way to benefit from the conference is to give it your time and attention.
3. Explore the Event Hub
You’ll find all of our great sessions in the Event Hub. Each session has its own unique link, and when you click it, it will open a new viewing screen on your browser (or phone/tablet etc.). Take time to review the sessions in advance to ensure you don’t miss the one you most want to attend.
4. Partner networking
Within the Event Hub, there are also Partner Virtual booths. These information-rich booths enable you to network and get to know our partners (online!) Simply click the booths to enter.
5. Live networking sessions
There are 2 live 20-minute facilitated networking sessions, to cover all of your networking needs.
6. Share ideas and ask questions
Have you ever had a burning question during a presentation, only to have forgotten it by the time the session ended? Cue another benefit of a digital event! This year, you’ll be able to comment on each session while it’s happening, so you never forget a question or forgo an opportunity to have your say.
7. Bring it home
Okay, this is more of a post-event action. Take notes, share ideas and make a concrete plan to bring your learnings back home.
And as always, we’ll be with you every step of the way. If at any point you need any help, reach out to [email protected]
This year, we need more Big Ideas more than ever. We can’t wait to see all of your virtual smiling faces and help you dream big.
At the end of a year when all our plans fell through, the Big Ideas Summit sets the tone, agenda and cements the possibilities for 2021. Here’s how.
Back in 2010, when you were making your ten year plan, what did you say your end game was? Multiple promotions? An overseas secondment? Perhaps a holiday home? Whatever you put on your plan, we’re pretty sure it didn’t include a pandemic, and we’re almost 100% sure that if asked if the last decade prepared you for this, you’d say a loud and clear no.
But that’s exactly why our Big Ideas Summit is more important than ever. Back in February, we knew that COVID-19 would represent a watershed moment for procurement professionals everywhere when 94% of the world’s supply chains were interrupted. And what we predicted (if you could even call it that!) has come true: procurement and supply chain management has irrevocably changed, and so has our world. This year’s Big Ideas Summit is dedicated to that very transformation, so here’s four reasons you simply can’t miss it:
We’ll learn to think the unthinkable
The global pandemic has been described as ‘unthinkable’ by many, but the truth is that world leaders had, in fact, planned for a pandemic, even if their response in reality was a little different. So this begs the question, was COVID really as unthinkable as we all initially thought?
While the jury is out on the answer to that, it’s clear that we’re living in increasingly uncertain and volatile times which require a vastly different set of skills than before. One person that knows this better than anyone is Nik Gowing, TV presenter and journalist. He recently completed an in-depth study into global leadership, and he has some truly fascinating insights into what attributes are now required to lead businesses into the future.
We’ll decipher today’s risk landscape
This year, new risks have emerged so fast that many of us have barely been able to update our management plan before we’ve had to throw it out the window and start again. In 2020 (and likely, in the years to come), risk management is going to look vastly different to what it does today.
At this year’s Big Ideas, we’ll hear from prominent CEO Dawn Tiura on how we should approach risk, especially from a third-party relationship perspective.
We’ll ask the important questions about business continuity
When it comes to global business, we always thought where there was a will, there was a way. And thankfully, in the face of harsh lockdowns and enormous supply chain disruptions, many of the world’s industries have found a way to continue in some form, even if everything is done virtually.
For businesses like this, how does business continuity work? And does it even apply? One thing that the inspirational Kelly Barner, MD of Buyer’s Meeting Point, knows is that you need to be prepared for surprises. We’ll delve into exactly how we can all do that from a business continuity perspective plus much more.
We’ll discuss how we can all protect our careers
While many of our colleagues may have been furloughed or laid off altogether, procurement and supply chain professionals have fared increasingly well career-wise throughout the pandemic. But while we may still have our jobs, how are our careers going in this increasingly uncertain landscape? It’s fair to say that while there may have been many opportunities, there may also have been various reasons why we couldn’t or didn’t take them.
But in good news, 2020 isn’t finished yet. There is ample time to analyse the year that has been, and decide how to best protect – and grow – your career. We’ll discuss this at length in a panel at Big Ideas with four of the globe’s best procurement and supply chain recruiters. The catch phrase of the year is staying apart keeps us together. Now, it’s time to get together for real (virtually!), learn from those who have managed best, and plan for whatever 2021 may hold. Join us at The Big Ideas Summit here.
Here at Procurious, we saved the best for last. Register today to reflect, re-energise and refresh for another year of innovation at the most inspiring supply chain and procurement conference of the year.
We’ve (finally) entered the homestretch. However, before we can bid farewell to 2020 – the year that quite literally turned our world upside down – we still have quite a bit of planning and ideation left to do. That’s why now, more than ever, you deserve a distraction.
But do not head for the couch and sign into Netflix just yet. Instead, step back from the day-to-day chaos and join us virtually for the 2020 Big Ideas Summit (BIS). Reflect on the year that was and the opportunities ahead; represent your organisation and all its accomplishments despite the pandemic; regroup and re-energise among like-minded professionals.
Procurious itself is proof that great things can happen when we come together. As a community of 42,000-plus supply chain and procurement professionals, we adapted to survive and thrive under the conditions of the “new normal”.
BIS 2020 takes us a step further. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve gone above and beyond what was asked of us. Now, together, we’ll welcome 2021 stronger than ever – both individually and as a community.
Take, for example, our response to the challenges McKinsey & Company presented us with earlier this year:
We redefined the procurement mandate and fostered a culture of innovation to evolve beyond the traditional, transactional stereotype.
We made investments in digital and analytics, integrating automation and digitisation to optimize performance and leverage untapped data that enhanced productivity across the board.
We future-proofed our organisations by making proactive investments that develop existing talent and enable a more agile workforce.
Somehow, we were able to find the silver lining, increase our influence and succeed against all odds, positioning our function for a watershed 2021. So, together, let’s make next year full of innovation and shared success. That journey starts at BIS 2020.
Big Ideas: Make a Difference and Get Ahead
All it takes is one idea. A single idea can change the trajectory of your company and your career. A single idea can make a difference. A single idea can solve problems for people and businesses across the world.
But good ideas don’t always come easy.
You need time to think, create, learn and share. We’ll provide this in a BIG way at BIS 2020 – and give you everything you need to ignite your passion, fuel your creativity and THINK BIG.
BIS 2020 will have dedicated sessions on everything that’s top of mind for you right now: leadership, supply chain threats, supplier management, digital transformation, supply chain continuity and more.
Together, our community will present and share hundreds of ideas and best practices to help you make a difference, advance your career and get ahead in 2021. But remember, you only need one.
Think the Unthinkable and Prepare for Anything
Those that have joined us at Big Ideas in the past have learned the importance of thinking the unthinkable. Never has this lesson been more true than in 2020.
We’re in the midst of a transformational journey that is changing business and life as we know it.
The good news: our digital-first network is designed to change the face of the profession from the inside out, starting with each individual member of the community. The BIS and our Procurious community will help you think differently: we provide big ideas, first-hand experiences and lessons learned – from the best and brightest from across the world – to help you navigate through this unchartered territory and stand out from the rest of the pack.
Trust me, events don’t have to be in-person to be inspiring. Come ready to share what you are proud of and encourage others to do the same. The more you put in, the more you get out. It’s time to lead, thrive and take back control of your professional development. Rest assured; you’ll leave with everything you need to do just that.
What do these thought leaders think about covid-19 when we asked them recently at Big Ideas Summit London 2020?
As of yesterday, the number of coronavirus cases topped 500,000 worldwide – doubling in just over a week.
While we can all do our part to stop the virus spreading, there is an added pressure on procurement & supply chain professionals with the business world on our shoulders.
So, we seized the opportunity recently at our Big Ideas Summit London to ask some of our favourite thought leaders what we can do when it comes to coronavirus.
This is what Group Procurement Director at Just Eat, John Butcher had to say when we asked him ‘What’s been your #1 risk with the coronavirus and how are you mitigating it?’…
Procurement Digital Transformation Lead at Diageo, Amit Sheth had a slightly different response when asked the same question…
Strategic Supply Chain Risk Expert and Professor of Supply Chain Management, Omera Khan had this brilliant bit of advice when we asked her ‘How can companies manage supply chain risk in times of crisis?’…
We’re living in extremely uncertain business and economic times at the moment with many sources indicating that a deep global recession is coming. So, what should procurement be most worried about? This is what Rachel Stretch, Consultant at John Lewis & Partners suggests…
Pressure is something that procurement & supply chain professionals everywhere would be feeling right now. So, last, but certainly not least, we asked legendary Rugby coach, Sir Clive Woodward ‘How do you work under pressure?’
Want to stay ahead of the curve with all things coronavirus and supply chain? Join our exclusive Supply Chain Crisis: Covid-19 group. We’ve gathered together the world’s foremost experts on all things supply chain, risk, business and people, and we’ll be presenting their insights and daily industry-relevant news via the group. You’ll also have the support of thousands of your procurement peers, world-wide.
Companies today are facing a rising tide of regulations and an
increased awareness among consumers around the sustainability of the goods they
buy. With an average of 65% of a company’s added value being generated by its
suppliers, consumers and regulators today hold companies responsible not only
for their own practices, but also for those of their suppliers. To meet the
demands of regulators and consumers, procurement chiefs must be prepared for a
drastic increase in transparency regarding the sustainability of their
suppliers – a tricky task that can only be mastered with the help of modern
An increasing number of regulations require companies to monitor
and even report on the sustainability practices of their suppliers. Adding to
existing standards such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Ten
Principles of the UN Global Compact, many new laws have been passed in recent
years. This includes the EU CSR Reporting Duty that came into effect in 2017,
the French Duty of Care Act (2017), the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015), the UK
Bribery Act (2010) and various regulations around things such as the sourcing
of conflict minerals.
Increasing consumer awareness
Consumers today are well-informed and increasingly aware of
sustainability aspects. This reflects strongly in their buying behavior,
creating a demand for products that come from ethically-sound value chains.
With the increased transparency enabled by social media, companies often come
under scrutiny if they turn a blind eye to unethical practices in their supply
For instance, when a spate of suicides among workers at Foxconn
plants occurred, there was pressure on Apple, one of its customers, to take
action over the working conditions at those plants. The textile industry was
similarly affected when more than 1,000 workers died in the 2013 Rana Plaza
accident in Bangladesh. For companies to stay competitive and meet consumer
demands, procurement needs full visibility so it can identify and react swiftly
to such issues.
Sustainable investing on the rise
Investors are increasingly integrating sustainability aspects into
their investment strategy. Over $30 trillion of assets are now being invested
according to the premise that environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
factors can materially affect a company’s performance and market value. And
after Larry Finks 2020 letter to CEOs we can
all be certain that this trend is here to stay.
With trust, revenue and funds at stake, sustainability will become
the key for businesses to maintaining their license to operate. For companies to
succeed at this, they must leverage the unique position of procurement to
foster their sustainability agenda. Ensuring sustainability in the supply chain
is not only a mandatory legal requirement, but an opportunity to transform
procurement into a value-adding function.
Making a smart bet on tech
However, monitoring the sustainability of thousands of suppliers
is a complex and difficult task. Traditional methods, such as supplier audits,
are resource-heavy. Many companies therefore focus on just a few strategically
important suppliers. Medium-sized and smaller companies often shy away from the
effort completely, which leaves them dangerously exposed to undetected risks
lurking in the supply chain. Advanced technology can pick up the slack here and
help CPOs gain greater insight into their supply chains. A standardised,
scalable approach is necessary: one that can be applied to 100% of a company’s
suppliers, not just the strategic ones. With this technology in place,
procurement functions can then determine where risk lies and use their
resources effectively to investigate further and take action.
Big new ideas don’t always meet with universal approval – but sometimes the most controversial ideas are the most useful.
Last week Procurious had the pleasure of spending the day dreaming big with some of the brightest minds and expert thinkers from inside and outside our profession.
Yes, it was the time of year for Big Ideas London – and what a day it was!
Our speakers delivered keynotes across a huge range of topics, from social media and procurement technology to smart pills and why winning at IT tended to make you the winner in the long run. Each session brought its own insights into the current and future state of the procurement profession – providing, as ever, tangible ideas for our audience of senior procurement professionals to take back to their organisations.
Bu there wasn’t always agreement. Discussion abounded, both inside the room and outside on social media, as to what procurement needs to do to evolve and what the next 10 years will look like.
Some ideas proved far more controversial than others. But every single one was useful for the audience.
We’ve picked out 5 of the most controversial, but still useful, ideas from the day.
And you know we’ve had some great discussions when the use of smart pills to ‘hack’ your brain isn’t one of the most controversial concepts from the day!
1. If you’re going to be boring on social media, you might as well not bother!
Social media is disrupting everything it touches. And social selling lies at the very heart of the business model. This doesn’t mean everyone is selling a product, but social media platforms can be vital tools for procurement when it comes to finding what they are looking for.
According to Tim Hughes, CEO and Co-Founder at DLA Ignite, 92 per cent of B2B buyers start their search online. And by using social media 78 per cent of salespeople are outselling their peers.
But the idea on which Tim focused was how people are perceived on social media when they appear in searches.
Social selling products is one thing. But social selling can also mean promoting yourself on social media as a professional, an expert thinker, an influencer – or even the next manager young professionals want to work with.
For too many professionals and experts, the perception of them on social media isn’t good. You’ll find profiles lacking key information and not providing any evidence to back up claims of experience and knowledge. And, for many, profiles that are downright boring!
Tim’s view is that if your profile is boring then it’s not even worth your time getting involved. Tim used the example of two global experts in a niche market – one with a wealth of information across all of his profiles and the other with barely their name on the page.
Who, as a user, are you going to approach for advice? Even if the person with no information is the global expert, you’re going to look elsewhere.
Social media is absolutely the way to go, but you need to commit to it and share all the right information in order to make an impact.
2. Technology solutions providers have failed procurement
Eighty-one per cent of firms who have invested in technology solutions for risk management aren’t satisfied with the results. What are we all doing and why would we accept this, asked Justin Sadler-Smith, General Manager at Basware.
But Justin wasn’t finished there. In what was a bold and controversial statement from the general manager of a major player in the technology solutions market, he argued that technology solutions providers have failed procurement. Failed in their software, failed in their support, failed to provide what was required beyond a one-size-fits-all approach.
But, according to Justin, this failure was a two-way street. Procurement teams had to share a measure of the blame because they had accepted these solutions (with a shrug) as ‘good enough’.
This led to a great opportunity for our first keynote hashtag of the day (#goodenoughisnolongergoodenough) and a healthy discussion on exactly what the profession needed to be doing in the future.
3. It’s time to rethink the Triple Bottom Line
You’ve heard of product recalls – Toyota; Samsung; Pfizer; Mattel – but how about recalling an idea? It might sound strange but that’s exactly what John Elkington, the founder of the concept of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), has done.
The thinking behind the recall was outlined by Professor Omera Khan, a strategic supply chain risk expert and champion for sustainability in business. The concept of the TBL is still sound, according to Omera. But as sustainability becomes even more critical the TBL needs to be stronger to challenge existing concepts and really make supply chains sustainable.
Supply chains need exponential or fundamental, rather than incremental, change – and to stop marching to the drumbeat of old ideas and concepts. Omera talked about creating regenerative supply webs that will help prepare procurement for the future and the ‘green swans’ that are inevitably heading our way.
4. CPO to CVO
If there was one idea that lit the blue touchpaper in the room and on social media, it was this controversial suggestion by Diego De La Garza, Director, and Philippe de Grossouvre, Business Development Director, both at Corcentric.
The duo discussed what the procurement profession was going to look like in 20, 30, 40 and 50 years’ time. Even with this long-term view, Diego and Philippe emphasised the importance of procurement understanding where it came from in order to better understand its future.
It was the idea that procurement will become recognised as a part of finance in the future that really got discussion going. The movement from CPO to CVO (Chief Value Officer) would give a wider-ranging strategic role, but could it also take procurement thinking back 20 years to when this idea was first espoused?
The audience was split on whether this was the correct approach. Does procurement need to go backwards to go forwards? You decide.
5. RIP the RFP?
The final controversial idea was one that had the most experienced professionals in the room recoiling in horror. OK, not really, but it was a theme that was brought up time and again over the rest of that day.
Once again we return to Justin Sadler-Smith’s keynote and the idea that procurement is too wedded to traditional concepts to really evolve.
The biggest cause of this was the continuing use of RFP/RFQ/RFx in sourcing activities. Justin argued that in a world of big data that can be analysed almost instantly by technology and AI, why would businesses continue to use valuable time and resources on an RFP?
Could the same answer not be found from stored supplier data, compared and reviewed as required?
Or could there be a balance? Rather than taking RFP/RFQ/RFx away altogether, organisations should be looking to use them in the appropriate settings.
Think tenders for multiple millions or billions of pounds/dollars. Or follow Chris Fielden at Innocent, for whom going to market can help provide genuinely innovative solutions to problems that raw data analytics just couldn’t provide.
Whether you’re a traditionalist or a futurist, this debate is not going away any time soon.
Dream big – like a champion
So there you have it. We dreamed big and created some great, new, big ideas for you to take away to think about and discuss in your organisation. You may not agree with all of the ideas and you might not agree with our list, either.
But the important thing, as our final speaker Sir Clive Woodward, England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning head coach, noted: ‘Do not underestimate where new ideas can come from, so always keep yourself open. Practice “Relentless Learning” and you too can develop the DNA of a champion.’
Whether or not your business is prioritising sustainability right now, there’s no doubt that it will be the focus for many of us in 2020 and beyond.
As we all well know, executing on sustainability can be challenging. Is it even possible to have full supply chain transparency? How do we manage the requirement to be sustainable against risk and cost savings? Almost all sustainability initiatives, while well-intentioned, can be fraught with complexity.
While this may be the case for many of us, one person who believes that sustainability isn’t as complex as it seems is Chris Fielden, Group Supply Chain Director for Innocent Drinks. Innocent Drinks is a revolutionary health drinks company that gives an incredible 10% of their profits to charity. Beyond this, Innocent focuses on sustainability throughout every part of their supply chain, from creating a plastic bottle that’s made from 100% renewable material to developing a carbon neutral factory.
Prior to his keynote at Procurious’ Big Ideas Summit, we sat down with
Chris to see how he helps drive such incredible sustainability achievements at
Live your values – and incorporate them into your
Have you ever looked at a corporate values chart
and thought to yourself, ‘those don’t really seem to matter here?’ Many of us
feel the tension between aspirational values and lived values, but one of the
reasons Chris thinks that Innocent is so successful in sustainability is
because they don’t do this.
Chris believes that sustainability can’t simply be
a ‘tick box’ but it needs to be front and centre of a business’s genuine value
set if they want to achieve it. On this, Chris says:
‘Innocent drinks is a values-led business,
absolutely. We believe in [and live by] sustainable capitalism. We hire people
against those values.’
‘Often the right way [to do things] might not be the easy way, but we do things the right way anyway because we truly live our values.’
Even beyond this, Chris says that sustainability
needs to be incorporated throughout an organisation’s entire business
‘Here at Innocent, we’ve incorporated sustainability
into our entire business model through becoming a B-Corp.’
Give your people freedom
Sustainability is often about pushing boundaries
and doing things that haven’t been done before. So, in order to achieve that,
Chris thinks you need to give your people creative freedom – and this is
exactly what’s happened at Innocent.
‘[The carbon-neutral factory idea] came about
primarily because we told our people not to accept no. We told them “don’t accept
it when someone says it can’t be done.” In all aspects, we try not to constrain
Not limiting people also applies to the suppliers
you work with, says Chris. In fact, when you don’t give suppliers limitations,
you can sometimes achieve things you never would have imagined. When planning
Innocent’s carbon-neutral factory, Chris gave his suppliers an unusual
challenge – which yielded an unusual (yet highly beneficial) result:
‘With the carbon-neutral factory, we said to the contractors
we employed – just geek out and tell us what you would do if you had unlimited
funds and no restrictions.’
‘Doing so meant that it actually turned out cheaper
than we budgeted and the solution is ever better!’
Giving their people and suppliers freedom has meant
that Innocent’s new carbon-neutral factory, to open in Rotterdam in 2021, is truly one of
a kind. Costing over $250 million, it will incorporate
initiatives such renewable energy, sustainable water use, and resource-based
waste management. Its Rotterdam location will also mean considerable C02 is
saved, as the drinks are produced close to where ingredients arrive, saving
trucks over 13,000 trips a year.
Not being afraid to fail
Despite Innocent Drinks being a relatively large
company (it recently surpassed £10 million in donations alone), everyone works
hard to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit, says Chris. And a big part of this
is not being afraid to fail.
‘Failure is a big part of what we do. We only have
to be 70% sure of what we’re doing. And failure has led us to where we are –
we’ve doubled in size because we’re not afraid to fail.’
This can sometimes be hard to stomach as a
procurement professional, Chris thinks, as we’re trained to mitigate risks. But
Chris insists that Innocent still do this:
‘We do have risk registers so it’s not as if we’re
Where to from here?
With Innocent being at the forefront of all things
sustainability, it’s hard to imagine what Chris might still want to achieve.
But there’s always more, says Chris, and ultimately, he’d like to see more
businesses taking an active role in helping the environment:
‘I would love to see more businesses doing more –
but we can’t wait for politicians to mandate this. The impetus needs to come
Ultimately, Chris has an important message for all
procurement professionals out there:
‘If you put sustainability at the heart of your
agenda, then know this: you can make a difference very quickly.’
What are you doing to drive the sustainability
agenda at your business? Let us know below.
Want to learn more about exactly how Chris is
driving the sustainability agenda at Innocent, and how you can do the same?
Chris is speaking at the 2020 Procurious Big Ideas Summit on March 11, and you
can hear all of his insights through becoming a Digital Delegate. Grab your free pass
And if that isn’t enough to entice you to watch along, we’ll leave the final words to those from some past events.
Big Ideas Sydney 2018 – Live from the sidelines
Question: What does it take to be an influencer in an organisation?
Big Ideas Chicago 2019
Question: What’s the most exciting social or environmental change you’ve been able to drive in your career?
Have we enticed you enough already?
If you’re ready to hear Woodward’s electrifying keynote speech plus much more then register here now.
The let us do the leg work while you gather intel and new ways of
thinking to drive your business forward this year.
Make 2020 the year of the new idea. We are.
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It might have started with dollars and cents, but what should procurement really be saving now? It’s time to shift the dial.
For years, procurement was stuck in the old ways of doing business. It was the role of the profession to beat down suppliers and the only consideration was cost, but the proponents of this methodology are fast becoming extinct as procurement undergoes a new evolution. While savings will always be an important element in what we do, the important question we now need to address is: what are really trying to save?
I’ve previously spoken about how strategic sourcing in procurement can help us to change the world, but it’s easy to believe that issues like modern slavery and environmental pollution are still beyond our reach. They’re buzz words or problems too big to solve, they’re issues that are unlikely to find a solution within a single career.
But that’s not true. Every day we’re seeing political mandates, new regulations and social pressures that are driving change at an unprecedented pace. However, the window for change to actually solve environmental issues is closing just as fast – meaning we can’t sit back and focus on cost alone if we’re really committed to making change.
Saving vs the Social Good
When we talk about optimising our supply chains, there will never be a time where cost doesn’t form part of the conversation. Even if you’re not solely focussed on cost-cutting measures, there needs to be the ability to invest in solutions that will drive positive outcomes in the years that follow – and that can’t come without the budget to back it up.
In fact, when we look at how much money we’re able to save through strategic sourcing for large multi-million dollar companies, compared with how much their net value can fluctuate on the stock market from day to day, the savings are actually negligible.
What we’re really able to do when
we’re effectively reducing costs within our supply chain is reinvest that money
back into the organisation. This macro-level approach to cost-saving lets you
support the needs, beliefs or even employees of your company to help bring
about changes that will actually have an impact. Whether you’re looking for
widespread industry reform or to bolster your own company initiatives, cost
will always join the conversation.
Saving and the Successful Supply Chain
At Source One, a Corcentric company, we counsel our customers to constantly be improving and optimising the way their companies develop relationship with suppliers. To get the best results and a positive, long-lasting supplier relationship, there needs to be an element of a partnership between procurement professionals and their supply chain.
Good supplier relationships help to create value for both sides of the agreement – whether it’s a new product, process or an improvement that can make everything more efficient. The key piece of supplier and vendor management that is often overlooked is the ability to be creative and innovative to help challenge the status quo.
We’ve seen that by following and developing procurement best practice, and encouraging our suppliers to think about the problem we’re trying to solve together, we can enable these things to have a bigger impact in a tangible and evident way.
What changes the way a company acts?
Not all companies are started with a social responsibility guidebook in place. The organisational stance on environmental, social or political issues usually develops with time and as such, there is rarely a budget set aside for supporting global issues. New regulations or social pressure can both have an impact on the way a company acts.
Its reaction to these pressures is either going to change the way the company is perceived – in market share or reputation – or it will change how the company will need to do business going forward.
For example, a new worldwide mandate will come into effect on 1 January 2020, where all ships and vessels operating anywhere in the world will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content of less than 0.5 per cent, compared with the current regulation of 3.5 per cent.
While those operating in the shipping industry can change to a cleaner type of fuel, they’ll now find these are more expensive due to increased worldwide demand, likewise they could utilise ‘scrubbers’ to essentially clean their current fuel source, but this will come with its own ongoing investment.
Those who don’t comply with these new regulations will face hefty fines – so no matter which solution each company implements we’re looking at $30 billion dollars worth of investment across the industry.
What We’re Really Saving
This type of regulation will fundamentally change how that company does business as they’ll now have to factor in the increased cost of fuel to operate once it comes into effect. This also presents an opportunity for procurement to support the ability for shipping companies to comply, which will present its own positive solutions to environmental issues, while also absorbing some of the cost or finding other ways to mitigate, diversity or reduce their exposure and help lead the way to a more sustainable future.
Procurement really can make a difference, but these outcomes are best achieved when they’re working with and are supported by our cost saving measures rather than being seen as the antithesis to an optimised supply chain. Sure, you can have one without the other, but by reinvesting in the future of the world around us we’ll find the best way forward.
The best insights in the world are no good if nobody acts on them. Time for procurement to follow through with some great, Big Ideas.
Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a room full of some of the top procurement professionals in the country. This wasn’t just any old networking event though, it was the Chicago Big Ideas Summit. Not only were we inundated with interesting speakers and lively discussions that inspired us to keep pushing the boundaries of what procurement can do, but we were able to make new connections and let our hair down with our peers.
While we expected to be challenged and excited by the ideas shared, nothing could have prepared us for how much fun the day turned out to be.
As procurement professionals, we have an important role in driving change in the world around us – both locally and globally – and these changes are about so much more than saving money.
While I have enough notes from the day to fill a book, here are three of my biggest takeaways from the Chicago Big Ideas Summit:
Procurement must become the knowledge centre of an organisation
reach of procurement growing every year, defining where it sits within an organisation
can be a challenge. Strong cases can be made for both operations and finance,
but as risk management rises as a crucial pillar for the profession,
procurement is increasingly becoming known as the knowledge centre of an organisation.
As Justin Crump, CEO of Sibylline said, “The best insight in the world is no
good, if nobody acts on it.”
With unique insight into potential and emerging threats including environmental, political and social issues, it’s the procurement professional’s responsibility to not only understand how to navigate these risks, but to share them with the rest of their organisation to ensure swift action can be taken.
Pat McCarthy, SVP & GM for SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass, agreed that harnessing this information network is crucial to the future of procurement. “Information and insights light the way for procurement to add value.”
With oversight of risk, slavery and cost to data and solutions, we need to be able to share and integrate this knowledge into our organisations to truly demonstrate the value of effective procurement.
How do we invest in the future of procurement?
The war for talent is underway and with many coming to the profession through alternative channels, we need to be constantly thinking about how we can attract and retain the right type of talent. As Professor Moran Cerf told us, “We might be the last versions of humans that will train the brain to think differently due to technology.”
That means that not only do we need to ensure we’re hiring people who understand and can develop alongside the evolving technologies, but we need to be conscious of emerging soft skills and emotional intelligence to help the next generation of procurement professionals succeed.
We have top talent in the United States, but we need to help unleash them from “inside the box” thinking to ensure we’re working together to innovate and solve emerging issues of the future.
Our panel discussion lead by Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, Sourcing Industry Group, discussed how the procurement professionals who prefer the ‘beat up and buy’ sourcing mentality have become irrelevant, and we’re now more interested in talent who can demonstrate their Adaptability Quotient (AQ). The ability to demonstrate agility, be naturally curious and respond to change will all be crucial going forward.
Supplier and Stakeholder Partnerships are Key
This might not be the most mind-blowing concept in procurement, given that maintaining relationships with stakeholders is at the core of what we do, but how we work with our suppliers in the future is going to be the key to success.
Diego de la Garza, Director of Source One, said, “We need to know the problem we are trying to solve, then facilitate the process between stakeholders and suppliers to create ideas that will solve that problem.” That means that we must let go of the idea that contract negotiations and supplier relationships are about beating down the price and embrace the partnership style of working.
“Reliable supply chains give you control over the unknown,” said Bradley Paster, VP North American Sales, riskmethods during his presentation. The most effective way you can ensure you have a reliable supply chain is by working with your suppliers and stakeholders to add value, solve problems and innovate to find a better way forward.
Value will always drive buying decisions, but the true value of procurement can be measured beyond cost and working with our stakeholders can ensure we’re adding value not just to our bottom line, but to the improvement of our global community.
As Jamila Gordon reminded us in her closing speech of the day, there is hope. The future is bright and procurement is the key for driving great changes in our world.
Feel like you’re late to the party? Or did you just get swamped and weren’t able to tune in on the day? Well, fear not, you can still access all the great content, videos, keynotes, presentations and all the discussion in the Big Ideas Summit Chicago 2019 Group! By clicking here, you can join the group and catch up when it suits you.