It doesn’t take long at a procurement conference in Asia before the subject of talent raises its head, and so it was in Singapore at the latest Procurement Leaders conference where Luc Broussaud delivered the first presentation of the day, ‘Successfully attracting & retaining the talent pool’.
In 2008, Marc Engel was appointed CPO of Unilever, taking over one of the biggest roles in procurement following stints running one of the company’s ice cream businesses in South America as MD; and, later, the supply chain for its European spreads and olive oil business.
In early June, a consortium of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and private-equity firm 3G completed the $28bn acquisition of US food-giant Heinz, in a move that was roundly supported by market watchers and investors. But what about employees of the 150-year-old business?
At the 2013 Procurement Leaders Awards dinner in May, John Paterson, IBM CPO and winner of our inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, told the audience that procurement must become relevant to the wider business in order to be truly successful.
As I write this, delegates at the Procurement Leaders Forum, Singapore, are gathered in groups to discuss some of the main issues facing procurement today; from outsourcing and talent management to supplier relationships and performance management.
We're thirty days into the second quarter of the calendar year, and it seems that many of the predictions for the health of the US economy for 2012 were right. Despite some bumps, the economy continues to grow. But the growth is painfully slow. And so, observers can choose between viewing the glass as half empty or half full. How should CPOs view the glass? As opaque. They should reflect instead on how to improve and leverage their supplier relationships. That’s a strategy that will improve their competitive position no matter what the glass looks like.
Any procurement executive interested in where the function is headed - and what executive isn't interested in that? - must read deputy editor Steve Hall's cover story in the current issue of Procurement Leaders. In the article, Steve asks whether there will be a need for a CPO in the future.
Every CPO would vouch for the importance of getting on their CEO's agenda and TD Bank CPO Caroline Booth gave those attending the Procurement Leaders Forum, Chicago yesterday four important tips for accomplishing just that.
Another week passes, and yet more stories about procurement coming to the rescue of struggling companies. Of course, it's not quite as dramatic as this, but news that Kingfisher and Anglo American both held up procurement as a key component of its current or future strategy bodes well for the procurement teams in those two organisations.
I had dinner last night with the guys from Proxima. Nothing particularly newsworthy in that, granted, but the topic of discussion certainly provided food for thought - the branding of procurement and how to gain the attention of key stakeholders.
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