Pierre Mitchell in ‘Year-End’ Talks with Philip Ideson

We don't often like to 'blow our own trumpets,' but as it's nearly Christmas, we thought we owed ourselves a little over indulgence. We're talking about a rather good interview our US colleague carried out recently with Philip Ideson of The Art of Procurement. As well as managing a very good website and publishing some interesting blog posts on everything procurement, Philip has been running a series of  recorded 'Fireside Chats' with leading procurement experts on various subjects, and they are well worth listening to.

It is fitting that for his last episode of the year, he saves the best 'til last, and talks to our Chief Research Officer, Pierre Mitchell, who has 25 years of procurement and supply chain industry and consulting expertise under his belt. He is also a recognised expert specialising in supply processes, practices, metrics, and enabling tools and services. Philip has an informal chat with Pierre, picking his brains on the types of conversation CPOs are having at this time of year, like:

  • Has procurement evolved over 2016 or are we still in the same position, with the same challenges and questions, as we were 12 months ago?

Philip asks Pierre, as we enter 2017, with regard to all the predictions that were made last year, what has the past 12 months actually meant to him. Have there been major changes? Have we evolved as a profession? or have we just stood still?

Pierre thinks that procurement evolution is ongoing, but no giant changes have occurred this year, aside the noticeable changes there have inevitably been in technology: the internet, and what that means for social interaction, mobile and cloud-based computing, and applications that we can utilise.

But, he stresses, we are on the cusp of still many changes to come. A lot of evolutionary things have happened over the past year, and we have some really disruptive events on the horizon. Some, which we hear about all the time -- cognitive and digital -- are buzzwords that will die down -- others, like AI, are here to stay. Which leads them on to Pierre unscrambling what 'digital' really means in a procurement and supply chain context.

Anyway, if you'd like to listen to the recording, it is here. And if you'd like specifically to listen to this part of the conversation, it starts at about 8 minutes in.

They also discuss whether, as a profession, we are ready to embrace challenges such as the need to facilitate increased supplier-led innovation, and how we can differentiate marketing hype with reality when it comes to potentially game-changing technologies.

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