BravoSolution BravoCymru event – Risk, Emotion and New Developments

While our Editor, Nancy Clinton, was living it up in London last Thursday, I was in the beautiful surroundings of Cardiff Bay at the BravoSolution “BravoCymru” event. The firm has a very strong market position in the Welsh public sector, as well as some private sector clients in the country, evidenced by the fact that they had over 100 registrations and around 80-90 folk who showed up for the day at the St David’s Spa and Hotel.

Public procurement in Wales has some strong achievements to shout about too, with very strong collaboration and initiatives in certain areas that are stronger than anything we’ve seen in England. And in the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies at Bangor University, Wales has a European leader in terms of the academic contribution to procurement practice and thinking, so it was good to have a chance to meet Professor Dermot Cahill and Gary Clifford from ICPS at the event too.

Modesty stops me commenting on how good (or not) the keynote speech was, you’ll have to ask someone else who was there for a comment. After that, we had a session led by Sarah Kingdom-Evans of Bravo on risk management. It pulled together a number of elements to demonstrate how using spend analytics, sourcing and contract management capability can together help with risk mitigation and management.

That was thought-provoking – we sometimes define “risk management” as a standalone entity, whereas actually it runs through every aspect of what we do. So the point really is that it’s not a case of addressing it through one “system,” rather that smart use of different components of procurement technology can all add up to an improved risk picture.

After lunch, we had a customer presentation from the Children's Commissioning Consortium Cymru, looking at how they have used sourcing and contract management software to greatly improve the procurement and monitoring process for children’s placements. It is an emotive subject, and a very powerful case study of how procurement can go way beyond cost savings into real value improvement in the most fundamental sense - literally making children's lives and future outlook better. We'll feature this at greater length shortly, but you can request the written case study here in the meantime. It’s an uplifting and interesting read, whether or not you are interested in the software angle.

The BravoSolution technical update was content rich and we can't cover it all here, and again we will come back another day to some of the key points. A couple of highlights for now though. The firm is making a significant move with their first “designed for mobile” application. It supports viewing and approving requests and viewing response statuses within the sourcing process, with some additional aspects such as an update on contracts expiring in next 30 days (linked to the contract management module).

Outside mobile, there is a new Datamart reporting tool - a library of 26 standard reports which you can run in real time. Users can build their own report, set frequency, and decide who can access the report. Apparently Bravo get a lot of requests for customized reports - this tool this should answer many of these. There are also a whole range of relatively minor improvements, all aimed at simplifying options, reducing number of key strokes and similar sensible changes.  We’re also promised more “Google like" searching within the platform.

On a more strategic note, there are developments that taking the platform further into strategic supplier management areas, starting with supplier segmentation tools, and also going into supplier risk assessment and management. That supports the comments from new CEO, Jim Wetekamp, who told us that this area was going to be a prime focus for the firm. As we say, that is definitely something we will look at further here.

 

So a successful event, demonstrating BravoSolution’s strength in Wales, and indeed the strength and achievements of the procurement community in Wales.

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