Procurement organizations often note one pursuit above all else: getting a seat at the table. I think we have coined this phrase more than any other in the procurement space in the last decade. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it is the desire for procurement to been viewed as a valued asset in strategy building and decision making by its customers: the broader organization. Put simply, procurement wants to be heard early and clearly by their internal peers.
Believe it or not, this is likely to be the last week of webinars for 2015. Another year come and gone. Take a look at my recommendations below to sneak in one last opportunity to learn before the year slips away altogether. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.
“Although procurement has certainly evolved from its early roots, it still faces challenges in terms of executive recognition, talent management and organizational challenges. Modern enterprises are faced with a massive set of new challenges, including the forces of globalization, increased risk, complex supply chains, and the spread of government regulation on decision making, not to mention the tremendous strain of man’s presence on the earth’s natural resources.” (p. 1)
The Procurement Value Proposition (Kogan Page, December 2014) takes on some of the most pressing challenges facing procurement today and makes them seem both more comprehensible and realistically addressable. As acknowledged in the quote above, taken from the book’s introduction, procurement has evolved significantly since the early days when we got our start in the railroad industry. The problem we must own today is that the organizations we support have evolved faster and more dramatically than we have. What procurement needs is a better understanding of how to fuel our development.
Change makes people anxious and frustrated. When a grocery store decides to move their aisles around, the consumer can’t find things easily until they get accustomed to the new system in place. Sometimes, the marketing team also changes the packaging. That favorite cookie or cereal is now hiding on the shelf, similar to the game of “Where’s Waldo”.
In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we will see a clip on preparing for negotiation from Positive Purchasing, a firm that specializes in providing education & training, consultancy support, a best practice purchasing toolkit, and online learning resources.
This week’s featured webinar was presented by IASTA, with speakers from Spend Matters and Cushman Wakefield (a global real estate and facilities management firm). Together they provided a fair balance of general recommendations and practitioner perspective. You can view the slides (with audio) on Slideshare.
This week’s featured event was presented by Procurian, the new name for ICG Commerce. They officially changed their name in February of this year, at the same time as they launched a philosophy the call “New Procurement”. New Procurement is based on six principles, ranging from leveraging market intelligence to identifying and fueling new sources of growth.
I have a background in services, both professional and otherwise, and this is always an interesting topic. In my opinion, the most important take-away from the event is that more companies are breaking down the wall and not only addressing services spend but having success. Although there are complexities with services like legal and marketing that don’t exist with straightforward services like facilities maintenance or contingent (temporary) labor, procurement groups are more than capable of handling those complexities just like they have done with complex materials spend.
Last week I attended a great webinar (sponsored by the Next Level Purchasing Association) on Procurement Innovation where Peter Nero from Denali Group discussed just how critical a customer service orientation is to the future of procurement within the organization. While I listened to him discuss some of the changes procurement will need to make to improve the status quo, I couldn’t help but think about how sales reps deal with demanding customers on a regular basis. And for them, not satisfying those customers often means not getting a sale.
This week, our webinar notes are on ‘What’s Next for Procurement”, the monthly Next Level Purchasing Association member call featuring Peter Nero from Denali Group. If you are not a member of the NLPA, I encourage you to join – it is easy and free. Click here for more information.
While this presentation is not available as a recording, you can read a whitepaper by Denali Group on their Procurement Innovation Research for 2011.