CPOs’ Evolved View of Their Transformation Priorities

We wrote an introduction to this year’s ProcureCon Europe event a couple of weeks ago. It was an overview and a look at the inspirational speaker, but we’d like to take a look at what else to look out for over the next few weeks.

As we know, a plethora of senior procurement people will be sharing their experiences, good and bad, of their transformational journeys, their latest strategies, for example on how to make the most of supplier relationships, and how they have successfully driven innovation and expanded their procurement functions to deliver more value. So there’s plenty, we are sure, of real-life material to learn from, argue with, challenge, consume and take back to your organisations, or simply listen to, according to your inclination and reason for being there.

But the ProcureCon team who expertly put together this event (along with the CIPS Supply Management Awards) also do other things too. For example, they happen to produce some very good material to support their events. We wonder how many people, or attendees, actually know that and get around to downloading it before they go. Here’s one to have a look at over the next few weeks …

Supporting this year’s theme of procurement transformation – in all its guises – is a benchmarking report put together from questioning 100 CPOs around Europe about their main challenges. The report presents the findings and contains some in-depth contributions from three participants: Rowan Lemley, Head of Product Marketing, OpusCapita, Monish Darda, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Icertis, and Florian Eineder, Head of Procurement, ERDINGER Weißbräu.

Procurement transformation is nothing new and many of the CPOs interviewed have been travelling the road for some time. What this report gives is an evolved view of their priorities. The report shows that ‘efficiency’ is taking over ‘cost reduction’ as a main driver for procurement success. “Perhaps vendors have spent too many years over-selling cost reduction as a benefit, and CPOs are getting wise to where value can be found,” offers Rowan Lemley.

Other results show that 43% of CPOs believe budget for eProcurement transformation can be found if ROI can be demonstrated. “But where do they feel ROI and value come from?” he continues. “If you ask CPOs about the future (as the report does), they will point to a wide variety of hyped-up technologies – but AI and data analytics appear to be the big winners. This isn’t really surprising these days, considering the maturity of both. However, what did surprise us was 45% of respondents expressing significant interest in joining a marketplace where basic commodities were available at pre-negotiated prices. What does this signify when CPOs are willing to outsource the basics of procurement (i.e. sourcing and negotiation)?”

So the report, which is very well put together, gives us lots to think about, and reveals some somewhat surprising numbers (like 36% of CPOs say they do not have eCatalogues from their key suppliers) demanding some interesting questions, all of which you could bring up at the event of course!

Other areas it focuses on are the key selection factors used when choosing a procurement automation solution (something like SolutionMap can help with that), and to what extent implementation is hampered by budget constraints. The main perceived benefits of automation are discussed along with the amount of automation already in place. It also tackles future relationships with suppliers and how that will change, alongside talent management and the structure of the department.

So definitely worth downloading and glancing through before the event, or even just for general interest. ProcureCon Europe takes place 9-11 October at the Corinthia Hotel, Prague. You can register here, and there's a special discount for our readers using the code - SM15

The report can be downloaded here – free of charge 

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