ProcureCon Europe – Just Two Weeks Until Procurement Big-Hitters Gather in Berlin

Just two weeks now to one of the big procurement events of the season, the ProcureCon Europe event at the Hotel Palace, Berlin from Monday, November 3rd through to Wednesday the 5th. If you’re still debating whether or not to go, and you don’t know Berlin, it’s worth saying that it is without a doubt one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, certainly in my top half dozen. Impressive, surprisingly “hip” these days, and of course with more history than you can possibly take in over a short time

berlin-51058_1280I’ll be far too busy of course on this trip to visit the Reichstag, (pictured here), Brandenburger Tor, some great art museums, Checkpoint Charlie, the Wall, the Jewish Museum, an excellent Zoo, the Schloss Charlottenburg (Royal Palace)... and so on. A great city for a long weekend anyway. I got very reasonable prices on my EasyJet flights the other day too, and hotels are a whole lot cheaper than many other cities too.

But of course, it is the content of the conference that matters, and the line up certainly looks impressive, with big-hitters such as Rick Hughes , CPO of Procter and Gamble - not a regular on the European conference circuit certainly. Indeed, P&G keep their light well hidden under the proverbial bushel much of the time, but we know, for example, that they use procurement and supply chain technology in as smart a manner as any business around.

Other highlights could be Professor Tim Cullen, who leads the Negotiation course at the Said Business School, Oxford (one of the best in Europe now), the always interesting Thibaut Eissautier, Chief Procurement Officer of Diageo, talking about doing business in Africa, and Marcell Vollmer, CPO of SAP with his “visionary speech” titled “what will procurement look like in the future?” As I’ve just been speaking about similar matters at an event, it will be good to see if he agrees. But the big question of course is this - what procurement software does he uses in his firm?

The whole event has a blend of plenary sessions, round table discussions, and break-out smaller streams offering alternative content. You can even attend (by appointment only) one to one “transformation clinics” with our friend Guy Allen, ex CPO of several huge organisations.

I’m also looking forward to meeting the two people we interviewed as part of our preview of the event. John Henke (see our interview here) has done ground-breaking work over more than a decade, identifying the link between supplier relationship and company performance / profitability in the automotive industry. It is genuinely ground-breaking and seminal work in our opinion.

Our interview with Christian Linhart, of Russian telecoms firm MTS covered a great example of innovative partnership working between his firm and Vodafone.  Both he and Henke are both performing on day 3 of the event, I’ve just realised, so no sneaking off early then!

So I hope to see some Spend Matters friends and readers there, you can still book here, and of course we will be reporting extensively from the event.

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