Finding Hidden In-Year Savings – Webinar With Guy Allen

Time ticks on relentlessly and we’re into June already, so this month sees our friend Guy Allen giving the latest BravoSolution Real World Procurement webinar on June 20th. The 12 noon session is designed for European delegates (or US friends who get up very early) then he will repeat it at 7pm UK time for the Americas.

Guy’s topic is “Finding Hidden In-Year Savings”. This is what he says …

“Most procurement plans establish targets to be delivered over a number of years, and indeed most of the effort in the current year will not achieve maximum returns until future years. But there is still a target to deliver this year, and due to unforeseen circumstances you many need find benefits that will count towards this year’s targets”.

This is a topic that is not at the leading edge of high-powered procurement thinking – it is not all about machine learning, AI, complex risk management or SRM mythologies. Yet it is a situation and a challenge that will resonate we suspect with many procurement practitioners. Whether the driver is a new CFO or CEO, a downturn in business, an unexpected take-over bid, or a change in the economic environment, the request (or demand) for procurement to come up with some quick cash is far from unusual.

I can remember several times in my career I was faced with the CFO or similar calling me in and hitting me with the old “we need to save x million by the end of the year. What can procurement do to help”? And actually, this can be a big and positive moment for procurement if you embrace it and respond successfully. Equally, it can all go horribly wrong and lead to the end of the CPO’s career. I’ve seen that too …

We suspect Guy has seen this sort of initiative as well many times, working as he did for some of the biggest names in business - Ford, IBM, Abbey National / Santander, Fujitsu. So we’ll be interested to hear his ideas.

In my view, the trick is to balance the legitimate demands from your stakeholders without making yourself and the organisation look totally stupid in the eyes of the supply base. In my last full-time CPO role, I remember trying to explain to a top executive (now a Lord and Chair of a top UK company) why demanding an immediate 10% price cut from our largest suppliers such as Microsoft, IBM, Ford, Oracle etc was unlikely to succeed.

The other dilemma is that if you can find some “instant” savings, the obvious question is “why hasn’t procurement done this already”? And that is a fair question too. If Guy doesn’t cover that, we might just be asking how he would handle that in the Q & A session after his presentation! Anyway, I’m sure it will be a useful and interesting 45 minutes, and you can book here.

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