ProcureCon Europe – Special Discount for Spend Matters Readers

OK, back to work everyone! Summer’s over, certainly in the UK where the “Summer” Bank Holiday was marked by floods, night time temperatures in the single (centigrade) figures, and reports of exposure amongst Reading and Leeds festival goers. But hey, the good news is we’re into the autumn conference season with lots of exciting events – and some less than exciting – to look forward to.

One of the genuine highlights is ProcureCon Europe, held in the fascinating city of Berlin on November 3rd – 5th. Speakers tend to be of genuine CPO level, with a range of generally relevant firms as sponsors but that element is fairly unobtrusive to delegates. Berlin is a great venue too, lots to see if you have time, and with good value hotels and restaurants.

In recent years, we get the sense that ProcureCon has gone from being really a “bottoms on seats” sales driven organisation to one that is increasingly keen to be seen as part of the procurement community and interested in contributing to IP and professional development.

As an example of that approach, and in advance of ProcureCon Europe, their latest benchmarking survey “which identifies the challenges and opportunities which are driving change in the procurement industry” has some interesting data, although one wonders how many respondents replied through rose-tinted glasses.

I find it hard to believe for example that 20% of firms have procurement represented on the Board; I know some pretty senior procurement folk, and very few of them genuinely sit at Board level. I’d love to do a sense check of the folk who claimed that here! But nonetheless this is a worthwhile survey, certainly worth a look. You can get a copy of that here.

Back to the Berlin conference itself. The three days are themed around Value Creation, Value Delivery and Operational Excellence, and the strength of the event is reflected in the speakers announced so far. Just as a quick sample, we have Chief Procurement Officer level people from Nestle, Kimberley-Clark, Mars, Erber Group, Diageo, M&S, ING, the Co-operative Group, Shell, AstraZeneca ... it is an impressive list.

On the academic side, Professor John Henke is there again, talking about his fascinating work on long-term value creation. Then two people I haven't seen for years - Gordon Crichton, who used to run the biggest procurement MBA programme in Europe at Bordeaux University and is now at Kedge Business School. And finally, the legendary Professor Arjan van Weele, one of the most influential procurement academics of the last 30 years.

We’ve left it a bit late to tell you this but the organisers say “If you book to attend online by Friday, 4th September you will get up to €200 off the full price to attend and secure your seat at the roundtable discussions”.

You can also receive a special Spend Matters discount of 15% when you book (at any time) simply by using the code SMUK15. Thanks to ProcureCon for offering that – much appreciated – and we will see you in Berlin!

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