On Thursday of this week (March 28th) at 11:00 AM EDT, I’ll be participating in a webinar with Emptoris/IBM that is tackling the topic of the future of procurement transformation. One topic that I’ll be addressing is what sets transformational leaders apart from the rest of the pack. Here are five traits:
- A rigorous focus on data, analytics and managing active performance
- An emphasis on supplier management and engagement that goes beyond focusing on spend management and compliance
- A focus on information discovery and managing knowledge with suppliers and internally – not only process rigor (e.g., strategic sourcing alone)
- The importance of empathy and business stakeholder engagement (especially in areas such as services categories)
- The evolution of the CPO role: how CPOs of the future will be measured – and what career steps they can expect next
Among these areas, by far the most interesting to us from a technology angle is the importance of data, analytics and active performance management to the future of the procurement function. The combination of different datasets combining spend, supplier and related information, as well as the ability to peer into multi-tier levels of supply chain data , is becoming essential in order for procurement to orchestrate global activities, from implementing new suppliers to meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
How this dovetails with supplier management initiatives – and supplier management and master data initiatives – is also fascinating and will be a topic we explore in detail in the webinar. Commodity management, forecasting and market intelligence play a major role here as well.
None of this is necessarily controversial. But what is controversial, and what I hope attendees will take away, is that traditional procurement transformation programs alone (e.g., wave-based savings/sourcing initiatives combined with compliance/tracking programs) simply won’t cut it in the future. Transformations that go down this path are doomed to the same cycle of so many past efforts that start with the best of intentions and organizational support but ultimately fail to deliver.
There’s still time to register for the webinar! We hope you can make it.