Make 2016 the year of innovation
Although CPOs have a lot to contend with, in 2016, innovation should top their list of priorities.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say this because I’m not a CPO – nor do I have a CFO or CEO demanding savings and cash from me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, what I do have is the privilege to speak to CPOs on a daily basis about the challenges they face and the opportunities they see.
What has become clear from these conversations is that a shift has taken place. Forward-thinking companies realised some time ago that the real opportunity for procurement lies in supplier innovation, and have invested in order to systemise and formalise their approach.
But equally important is that companies that have yet to invest are realising they risk being left behind if they do not. They have woken up to the fact that their competitors may be more attractive to do business with; that leading suppliers might prefer to go elsewhere; and that innovation is everywhere in the upstream supply chain and cannot be prescribed.
This is a crucial shift, and, as the saying goes, time and tide waits for no-one. Or, to put it another way, procurement is changing and if your function does not react and make the decision to change, you will soon be left behind.
At Procurement Leaders’ Ovation gathering last summer, much of the talk revolved around Supplier-enabled innovation (SEI). Some of the CPOs in attendance had an SEI programme in place, others were embarking on the journey and others still committed to doing so after debating it over the course of the two days.
A few months on from that particular event, and momentum continues to build. One of the attendees who spoke on the topic of SEI is increasing the size of their team from 12 to 16; another guest has built up a team of five from scratch, while others are taking their first tentative steps.
In addition, we see an opportunity and a need in this space, so this year Procurement Leaders will open the doors of its Supplier-Enabled Innovation Centre (SEIC) – a networking and content- driven community and knowledge platform for organisations looking to accelerate their success in SEI.
We are speaking to a number of organisations about helping them to develop their capabilities, and in the second quarter of 2016 we will be launching our first SEI programmes to that effect. If you are interested in finding out more about the programmes, or the SEI Centre in general, please get in touch.
David’s latest column appears in the January/February issue of Procurement Leaders Magazine, published this week.
Find more blogs on Supplier-Enabled Innovation (SEI) at our Ovation site. To register your interest or to find out more about our Supplier-Enabled Innovation Compass, contact us here.
by David Rae
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