“The show must go on,” said Eva Milko, Procurement Leaders Americas managing director, at the Americas Congress 2017 kicked-off in Miami as Storms Eugene and Stella hit the rest of the US East Coast.
The weather may have been a disruptive force to those delegates travelling to the Sunshine State, but it wasn’t that kind of disruption that was the focus of attention.
Robert Guest, foreign editor at The Economist, spoke about geopolitical disruption and the risks this is presenting across the globe.
“Politics is no longer simply a case of left and right. It has become much more complex,” he said.
While guest spoke about the threat to free trade, he pointed out that there will be opportunities. India, he said, would be one of the fastest growing markets over the coming years, which will present a whole host of new trade opportunities for businesses to take advantage of.
However, while disruption will happen in terms of trade, many speakers said that that new technologies were actually a bigger change.
Cindy Elliott, VP of global strategic sourcing at Clorox, said that social media was one of the biggest disruptors for procurement simple because of the power it has to hurt a brands reputation overnight.
Meanwhile, it was argued that the data revolution could be used to help the function build closer relationships more collaborative relationships with suppliers.
Ultimately, procurement needs to be more agile so they can develop cross-functional relationships and be disruptors themselves. Only then will they be able to serve the organisations they work for in the new age.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.