The Robots Are Coming – Save the Date for Our Pub Debate, July 13th!

We are delighted to announce another of our very popular Pub Debates on Thursday July 13th at 6pm, an end of term treat just before the start of the school holidays. We’re back at the Clarence pub where we held the last debate – a very pleasant location in a private room overlooking London’s famous Whitehall.

Our last debate this Spring went very well, and pretty much everyone there wanted to know when the next one was going to be, so make sure you register for this quickly – the room does have a capacity limit. This time, we’re delighted to say our partner in the event is SAP Ariba, a firm who I’m sure will need no introduction as giants of the procurement and supply chain technology landscape. We’re grateful for their support (and their food and drink on the evening)!

And the motion for debate is this.

“This House Believes that Robots will Run (and Rule) Procurement by 2020”.

That should provoke plenty of debate! We will have four engaging speakers, two supporting the proposition and two against. Each speaks for just 8 minutes, no slides, a bit of rubbishing the opposition, some persuasive arguments, a bit of passion … then we have Q & A from the audience, and a vote to decide whether the motion is carried.

Those in favour will (we suspect) argue that with artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning, procurement tasks from the mundane to the strategic will need little or no human intervention. Ordering, analytics, even choosing suppliers and risk analysis – the robots (and computers) can do all that.

Or is that argument nonsense – for instance, how can you automate negotiation between parties with differing interests, or strategic relationship management? How can robots drive competitive advantage in the supply chain?

Anyway, we look forward to a stimulating, enlightening and fun debate, all packed into an hour or so with a good chance for networking after that too. We are just finalising our speakers and will be back with news on that next week, that will include me, but we have some other excellent people lined up too!

You can register here for free now 

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