Professor Andrew Cox at the Spend Matters sourcing debate

Here is the second video from our recent sourcing event. Professor Andrew Cox of the International Institute of Advanced Purchasing and Supply opposes the motion "Cost reduction should not be the CPOs main priority" (with apologies for the confusing double negative!)

He argued that 'it depends'! It is a problem of what the situation 'should be' against what it 'is'.  Of course you can reduce cost and drive innovation through strategic action; but what does senior management want procurement to deliver?  While we would like to be able to focus on other aspects of procurement, cost reduction is at the core of what procurement people are expected to do.

If we want to be positioned at Board level, what do we bring if we work at that level? Our special skill is managing costs, and most procurement people are measured purely on cost reduction.  So we ought to have a broader agenda; but often we have to focus on cost because it is what our organisations want from us. And many CPOs get found out because they can't deliver the one thing their organisations insist on - cost reduction. You don't get to the table if you can't do that.

Professor Cox is as provoking and interesting as ever - it is an excellent 7 minutes, and you can watch it here.

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