Key Learnings From ProcureCon Indirect Europe

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Back by popular demand at ProcureCon Indirect, which took place in Copenhagen earlier this month, were the Mimosa roundtables, an opportunity for delegates to compare approaches to stakeholder engagement and share experiences and advice. With more than ten concurrent discussions covering some of the key indirect categories and procurement strategies, here are the key takeaways from the individual tables as summarised by CASME.
 

1) AGILE PROCUREMENT

  • What does the term agile procurement actually mean to your organisation? Procurement needs to clearly define this and unlock the values to alter the mindset
  • Governance and collaboration is needed to run Procurement processes and support agile methodology
  • Procurement should seek executive support rather than trying to develop alone.
     

2) BIG DATA

  • Aggregation of data from the often numerous ERP systems across the business is key
  • Integrate data with other external market feeds and share it with other internal departments
  • Remember the 6Vs which define big data: Value, Velocity, Volume, Variety, Variability, Veracity.
     

3) E-SOURCING

  • There is frequently a decentralised buying approach to e-sourcing eg RFP/RFX and different strategies for e-auctions
  • Which one you use depends on your objectives.
     

4) HR PROCUREMENT

  • The benefits of Procurement’s role are the proximity to the team and the value it provides - it’s not about savings first
  • A range of varied sub categories are included within the HR remit such as temporary staff, recruitment, healthcare, modern slavery, ethical and financial checks.

 

5) INFLUENCERS AND PERSUASION

  • Stakeholders must see Procurement as a trusted partner
  • Aim to understand your stakeholders and adapt and tailor the message to each audience
  • Identify the added value that Procurement brings
  • A consulting mind-set/approach leads people to be close to the top stakeholders to bring value and think outside of the box.

 

6) STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

  • Joint business targets are helpful to demonstrate added value and convince internal partners to work together
  • Early involvement with internal partners is key to help build relationships
  • ‘Lunch and learn’ sessions and socialising with stakeholders is also recommended.

 

7) TELECOMS

  • The issue of price erosion means that cost savings are still the main KPIs for procurement, however, it can still add value
  • Digital procurement is the trend – what does this mean for your organisation?
  • Companies should adjust and embrace a millennial culture.

 

8) RETAIL

  • In retail, Procurement should ideally report to the COO/CEO to avoid being constrained to supporting other functions’ targets
  • A finance reporting line tends to always require cost savings filtering down to the bottom line or P&L rather than allowing the savings to be reinvested in the business, which the stakeholders prefer.

 

9) SUPPLIER DIVERSITY

  • Aim to build the business case with stakeholders that goes beyond questionnaires and box ticking. Diversity must be a business strategy, it cannot be a procurement strategy
  • Differentiate your company by doing good for the community
  • Remember, small businesses bring fresh ideas and innovation – don’t miss out!

 

10) TRAVEL

  • To reduce expenditure you need a burning platform, a challenge to instigate change eg sales or profit downturn, and a top-down commitment
  • Pre-trip approval is key to controlling demand and spend
  • Procurement shouldn’t need to personally incentivise travellers to take lower cost options – employees should “do the right thing.”

 

ProcureCon Indirect Europe will move to Berlin in 2020 and will take place between 31 March and 1 April. CASME members and friends can gain discounted tickets at ProcureCon conferences. To see the list of available conferences view our partnerships page. 

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