Spend Matters has had a great time hosting structured procurement debates in the UK this past year (see previous coverage here). We think the format is far more fun and useful for attendees than traditional panels or keynotes. In creating tension on a given issue and driving audience participation (in the Q&A period), they add an entirely new dimension to even those issues that "you've already heard enough about." And for those areas that are highly germane and/or those that your organization might need to come up to speed on, they can greatly accelerate one's learning on an issue.
Whether you're negotiating with a supplier or building a business case for a new initiative internally, the ability to understand and articulate two sides of a story or argument is an invaluable skill set to learn. Even though many of you no doubt watched (or heard) part of the Republican primary debate this week, I'd argue that what we'll be up to next week is far more useful in our everyday procurement lives. Who knows, if you like the format, perhaps you'll even introduce a "lunch and learn" type debate series in your own companies.
In the meantime, if you're planning on attending ProcureCon next week, stop by and say hello after the debate if you can. Here are the details from ProcureCon's site:
12:15 (Tuesday) -- On-stage 'Face-Off' Debate: Ensuring Supply Continuity: Preparing for Uncertainty in Future Supply Chains
Jason Busch, Editor, SpendMatters.com
John Campi, former CPO Chrysler, The Home Depot & DuPont
All falls and stands with supply continuity. Our supply chains have become much more convoluted, complex and demanding to achieve on-time delivery. Continuity of supply is the most critical challenge we face. Yet vulnerabilities lie in wait around every corner and risk takes on many shapes and forms. Risk is often not tangible to boot and so key stakeholders find it difficult to support risk assessment beyond the financial stability of immediate suppliers. Risk then only takes on meaning in context of the question asked. What questions should you be asking? Jason & John each put their stake in the ground and debate a range of concerns.