Procurement has come a long way. Ok, so sure there are those (myself included) who from time to time argue for the profession to be pushing for greater things and to be more honest about its failings, but it’s credit to the work of some outstanding individuals that today we can legitimately come together and discuss how best to impact shareholder value.
The Brewery in London, sighing after the exertions of the Procurement Leaders Awards the night before, will, for a day at least, house people that are genuinely pushing to become difference makers in their organisations.
Eva Wimmers’ Keynote Address
Deutsche Telekom’s SVP procurement has a great story to tell when it comes to transformation. Especially when you think of how important transformation is to just about every function and how much opportunity is missed if the process isn’t managed carefully right from conception, there’s real value in getting under the skin of something like Wimmers’ ‘one procurement’ approach, which has had great success for DT.
Put the tough questions to the panel
In my experience, events in general across industries often struggle to get people standing up and making a point to their speakers (trust me, journalism is no exception here). But what issue could be more provocative than shareholder return? Procurement needs to have that in its sights and conversations I’ve had with procurement chiefs lead to me frequently being told how important they find it to keep adding to their capabilities and looking at new techniques and tools.
Perhaps then, this is a chance to get the real deal from CPOs from across manufacturing, financial services, telecoms and chemicals industries.
The modern problem
Cost-vs-value, whether sustainability is important, the question of how much to focus on business alignment – some ideas have hung around procurement for years. Today, there’s no room for confusion or ignorance on some of these basic premises; the problem now is how to develop a function that is, on every level, focused on delivering value to stakeholders.
This Forum is a platform to bring out that kind of concern, to bring the more advanced challenges to light, to understand the sophisticated solutions. With the scope of innovative individuals and ideas that will be circulating round the Brewery, the modern questions are getting modern answers.
Knowledge Groups Roundtables
Procurement outsourcing, SRM...even social media, the final session gives delegates the chance to air some ideas on their pet subjects and engage with the likes of Kimberly-Clark’s global B2B procurement leader or the former Nokia procurement chief.
Lots to look out for - see you there.
The Procurement Leaders Forum 2012: London takes place on 22nd May at the Brewery in London. For more details click here. Keep up with the event on twitter, using the hashtag #plnforum
Steve Hall is deputy editor for Procurement Leaders Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @thestephenhall.