The Conferences Category

‘Best of the Best’ 10 Years On: APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi on the Past, Present and Future of the Procurement Profession

Sales and operations planning hardly seems sexy on paper. Yet as more than 200 cross-functional professionals poured into the grand ballroom of the Chicago Marriott O’Hare for the 10th annual Best of the Best S&OP Conference Thursday, the participants seemed excited to tackle this essential business process, as well as learn from an impressive lineup of senior supply chain leaders. To learn more about the topics the presenters chose to speak on this year, I sat down with APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, who provided a fascinating perspective on how the conference has developed over the last decade.

ISM 2017: Talent, Procurement Zen and a CPO’s Warning About Technology

I attended a Q&A session with a handful of the “30 under 30” winners in supply management at ISM 2017, and all I can say is that these young professionals from firms like GE, Johnson & Johnson and Coach are indeed impressive (see some of our interviews in the links below). The competition for the designation is increasing, and the winners are increasingly interested in supply management from the get-go. In the first year of the program, only 17% of the winners came into the industry proactively with a supply (chain) management degree, but 40% of winners this year (the third year) were supply management graduates and practitioners.

ISM 2017: The Spend Slayer

At a big procurement conference, how do you get a procurement manager into your booth? The answer is simple (and somewhat sexist, I might add). Find an attractive female — maybe we’ll see a guy one of these years — and a gimmick. In the past, AECSoft, a former vendor in the space, was one that was successful in driving traffic by bringing a model — I think she was Miss Lebanon — to the conference and having her circulate around the floor and hang out at the booth. This year, Jaggaer continued this tradition with the “Spend Slayer,” an archer — or ”archerette,” if you will — who circulated around the exhibit hall with a bow.

ISM 2017: Technology Crosses the Curiosity Chasm

Aside from the provider/solutions expo, technology has always been something of an afterthought for attendees at ISM’s annual conference, at least as I’ve seen it. While a handful of sessions have addressed technology, it’s safe to say that for many of the delegates and ISM members over the years, it has been on the lower end of the priority spectrum, at least from what they plan to get out of the show. But this year something changed.

David Cameron at ISM: Heartfelt, Candid and Relevant

Earlier Tuesday, former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave the keynote address at ISM. I tried to live tweet some of his more memorable statements (see the highlights below or the full summary @jasondbusch). Cameron’s was a heartfelt, candid and relevant talk — his first since leaving office to such a crowd, apparently — by a still young politician with a deft rhetorical touch.

ISM 2017: Highlights from David Cameron’s Keynote

The Tuesday session of ISM’s annual event kicked off with a keynote from David Cameron, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. In a speech covering various geopolitical and public policy issues, Cameron explored how the forces of globalization, automation and the environment are changing global business and the supply chain. Missed the speech? Check out some of the more quotable quotes Cameron’s keynote below, including his advice for U.S. President Donald Trump.

ISM 2017: Initial Impressions? Great!

Eved

The Spend Matters team has descended on Orlando for the ISM 2017 conference. This year’s event is shaping up to be a great one. I got in Sunday but didn’t get a chance to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World, which looked fascinating. There’s a metaphor for supply management here, I think: “How is procurement able to generate 10X returns on investment in the function? It must be magic!” Well, like Disney, it’s a lot of hard work, customer focus, innovation, creativity and technology.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Product Impressions and Dissecting R18 [PRO]

VMS

Today’s coverage of Coupa Inspire 2017 will go deeper than our first dispatch, as we we zero in on product. The biggest news to come out of Coupa’s customer conference Thursday was the general availability release of R18. Although “just a scheduled release” may seem boring, procurement transformations are inherently evolutionary, and the 50 major new features and capabilities were well received by the customers — and generally by us, too.

There’s more than just “evolution” to the product set in R18. In this PRO brief, we discuss the good as well as the gaps in Coupa’s latest release as we unpack the latest from the cloud spend management provider. We’ll also point to the future and explore some areas where Coupa may head later in 2017 and 2018 based on what we’ve heard from customer needs (external) and signposts around product innovation (internal), as well.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Pulling the String on Steve Wozniak

Pull the string and let him go. That’s pretty much all Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn had to do this morning. Following a fully scripted product marketing update (and its announcement of Release 18) delivered by Raja Hammoud, Coupa’s vice president of product management, Steve Wozniak sat down with Rob and off he went.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Keeping it Cool

Eved

Walking the hallways and meeting with several of Coupa’s customers yesterday, it was hard not to notice a kind of positive speculation in the air. After many months of making data acquisition a priority, resulting in a cool trillion in spend data, Coupa is using this year’s customer conference to motivate specific discussion around using those data to “unleash value.”

Coupa Inspire 2017: A Provocative Keynote

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Coupa Inspire 2017 kicked-off yesterday with CEO Rob Bernshteyn delivering the keynote. Rob’s speech was plain spoken and detailed in terms of Coupa’s product and market vision, as my colleague Pierre Mitchell wrote in an earlier dispatch. The tone of the room was reminiscent of a rock concert. Bottom line: folks were excited. The audience of more than 1,500 was engaged and Coupa’s CEO had command of the room.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Spelling Out the Post-IPO Strategy

Eved

CEO Rob Bernshteyn kicked off Coupa Inspire 2017 by, of course, highlighting Coupa’s traction: $360 billion spend under management, 535 customers, 3 million suppliers on the network, 150 countries, $1.36 trillion in spend analyzed (via Spend360) and 80 million API calls, to name a few metrics. More important, he used the letters in COUPA to highlight the firm’s focus going forward. Let’s spell this out.