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Event takeaways: Putting words into action

Event takeaways: Putting words into action


Must read PL resource

Talent and tech are key to staying ahead

Former Kimberly-Clark CPO Cynthia Dautrich talks about the evolution of procurement from back-office function to strategic partner and the new era of digitalisation


Key actions

  • Advertise the versatility of procurement roles and demonstrate how spending time in the function can help fast-track career development. This makes procurement stand out as a viable career destination – a true general manager of business.

  • Prioritise investing in technology to automate high-volume, low-value tasks. Enabling staff to spend more time on higher-value activities will ultimately enable procurement to deliver greater business impact.

  • Rotate staff to build their business acumen, widen the talent pool and develop the consultative skills procurement professionals require to be strategic business partners. Although many functions have struggled to achieve this, Maersk has demonstrated it is possible.

Procurement can attract more talent by emphasising that the function is on par with sales when it comes to exposing people to commercial influence. These opportunities are highly valued by ambitious professionals

Monique Beersma, head of global procurement indirect materials and services, Givaudan


Must read PL resource

Harness the power of digital

A selection of Procurement Leaders’ resources on digitalisation, highlighting examples of best practice and thought leadership from around the procurement community


Key actions

  • Use data to encourage accountability and drive behavioural change. EY has developed dashboards for staff that highlight compliance with travel policies and present CO2 emissions from journeys so it can reduce travel costs, increase transparency and improve sustainability.

  • Leverage your supply network to access data or sources of innovation when budgets are constrained. Adam Baird, senior EMEA procurement manager at S&P Global, says it is possible to leverage the innovations of suppliers that are working with other customers on exciting projects.

  • Prioritise procurement digitalisation projects that benefit both procurement and the wider business. Marco Romano, procurement data and analytics officer at IBM, says he disregards projects that do not deliver outcomes for both.

The next battleground for organisations is not technology, but talent

Daniel Hulme, CEO, Satalia

Business partnering

Must read PL resource

Automation and innovation – the future of category management

Although strategic category management is one of the foundation stones of procurement, leading CPOs say the process will become more focused, automated and aligned with wider business processes


Key actions

  • Encourage stakeholder engagement by ensuring purchasing processes do not slow time-to-market or stand in the way of innovation. Although cost savings are important, stakeholders may consider R&D support or supplier-enabled innovation to be of greater value.

  • At the start of any project, meet with stakeholders to discuss the details and decide on budgets and expected outcomes. This will ensure procurement staff have a greater understanding of the business’s objectives – both at a category and a functional level.

  • Category managers and buyers must have the courage to challenge stakeholders and question whether what they ask for is truly what they need. Instead, procurement professionals should offer alternatives based on their market intelligence.

Procurement must become a value chain function, where the focus is on winning as a team with business partners and where it orchestrates the wider business’s success – rather than acting as a financial admin organisation

Dietmar Harteveld, head of SCM – EMEA, Siemens

Upcoming Events

Plan ahead and join us at an upcoming event

Agility & Transformation Forum

A two-day event dedicated to improving stakeholder collaboration, delivering business value and creating competitive advantage.

icon location Ritz Carlton, Chicago

Event themes include:

  • Trust: How to change the perception of procurement from a policy enforcer and road blocker to a respected business partner
  • Transparency: Increase visibility with internal business partners and external suppliers, to develop stakeholder trust & clear business partnerships
  • Profitability: Ensuring the procurement function continues to expand its scope to include further revenue enhancing activities
Find out more

Data, Intelligence & Technology Forum

A two-day event focused on improving your end-to-end digital strategy with an emphasis on the talent and skills required leverage data and technology

icon location Code Node, London, UK

Event themes include:

  • Solving the talent and technology conundrum: How you find the right balance between upskilling your existing team while bringing in external expertise to drive digital initiatives forward.
  • Leveraging the big data value chain: The practicalities of embeding big data analytics into your function’s workflow to increase efficiency of spend management and supply chain visibility.
  • Designing a strategy that embraces a fail fast, win faster mindset: How to create a fluid strategy and agile culture that allows you to easily pivot without starting from scratch.
Find out more

Asia Pacific Procurement Congress

A two-day Congress, gathering Asia Pacific procurement executives to discover and discuss the processes, tools and behaviours needed for procurement to deliver value that contributes to top-line business growth.

icon location Singapore, SG

Event themes include:

  • Organisational design, talent and culture: Implementing a structure and culture to develop a world-class procurement team
  • Operating model, processes and delivery mechanisms: Developing partnerships for increased business impact and C-suite trust
  • Technology and access to relevant data sources and insights: Embracing digital opportunities to help reposition procurement as a valued business partner
Find out more