The 2013 Procurement Leaders Forum Chicago got underway today in the illustrious surroundings of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. One of the early presentations was delivered by Harry Moser, founder and president of the not-for-profit Reshoring Initiative, who passionately believes in the need to rescue the US manufacturing sector from ill-advised offshoring.
A panel debate at the Procurement Leaders Forum in Vienna today, delved into some of the more crucial issues procurement leaders are having to deal with today. Titled Orchestrating change: Strategies to maximise the potential of procurement, the session focused on three key areas - capturing supplier innovation, generating revenue and preparing for the future.
Procurement, as a function, is in the enviable position of being almost central to an organisation. It has direct links to all business functions as well as the supply base, and as a result, is in a good position to influence a large portion of corporate activity.
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.
Everyone knows that commodity-price volatility is a major financial risk to every organisation which, directly or indirectly, relies on raw materials to bring product to market. Or so we thought. According to this article in the Financial Times (registration required), some of those who should be all over commodity-price risk are, well, alarmingly ignorant about the whole subject.
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.
It's been another interesting week in procurement, with stories affecting all industries and all four corners of the world - from an escalation of commodity volatility, to advice about taming emerging economies.
The past couple of years have been littered with incidents beyond the control of boardrooms, yet which have a significant impact on business. Events such as the Thai floods and Japanese earthquakes, along with the Arab Spring and other civil unrest, have persuaded many organisations to look for safer, more stable, harbour for critical nodes of their supply chains.
Surprising it may be, but a huge number of multinational organisations continue to struggle to manage their indirect spend in a professional manner and, as a result, opportunities to save millions are being routinely ignored.
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