That indirect spend is a complex area, with a great deal of opportunity to reduce costs and increase value is well known. But a discussion at today’s Procurement Leaders Masterclass in Vienna put the focus on what could be seen as a secondary benefit of thinking more strategically about these categories of spend.
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.
First impressions last, Ton Guerts, CPO of AkzoNobel, told attendees at the Procurement Leaders Forum in Chicago this morning. He was referring to the impression procurement executives get immediately upon meeting job candidates, and the audience at the panel discussion on increasing shareholder value agreed.
ATTRACT. With that acronym, Joseph Sandor, professor of supply management at Michigan State University and chairman of the Procurement Leaders Forum in Chicago, summarized the major points of the first three presentations of the day today. The Forum - Accelerating procurement's performance to increase shareholder value - is being held in Chicago at the historic Union League Club.
There has been much written and spoken about the best backgrounds for success as a procurement chief. There has been less written about the kinds of other careers a background in procurement could lead to. There have been some stunning examples in the past, such as the elevation at Chrysler in the late 1990s of CPO Thomas Stallkamp to the positions of company president and vice chairman of the board. His promotion showed the respect a thoroughly professional procurement executive could command even in the roughest of companies. I was thinking of that when I read in the newspaper, TheBoston Globe, recentlyof the elevation of another procurement executive to a somewhat less lofty but nevertheless important position in a very competitive organization.
Whenever I travel to Asia, I hear a huge amount about the talent challenges that procurement executives operating there face. CPOs are being forced to pay premium salaries for talent which, to put it bluntly, is below par. And when I say premium, I mean higher - much higher - than western standards.
For all the angst that has been part of the nearly four years of economic misery many businesses in the West have suffered, one comforting development has been the increasing stature of and reliance on procurement as the corporate function best positioned to help companies survive. From finding hidden savings and efficiencies to digging deeper into supplier financial health as a risk-management strategy, CPOs and their staff have met the expectations CEOs and directors have set, and then some. And, as the economic crisis lingers, there is opportunity to do more to improve corporate balance sheets, as Procurement Leaders editor David Rae has pointed out.
If there is any CPO out there who doesn’t believe that fostering innovation is an important activity for procurement, please raise your hand. Seeing no hands in the air (of course, I’m all alone writing on a laptop!), I can safely assume that innovation is an accepted responsibility of procurement. In fact, most CPOs probably feel as Rio Tinto CPO Scott Singer does. In a recent conversation, he told me, “If you don’t believe innovation is your responsibility, you’re limiting yourself.”
Sigaria accepts no responsibility for advice or information contained on this site although every effort is made to ensure its accuracy. Users are advised to seek independent advice from qualified persons before acting upon any such information.