Welcome to the Working (Procurement) Week* – Webinar and Wales

Two last minute reminders. On Wednesday, we have a live Real World Procurement webinar with BravoSolution titled Next Generation Supplier Management. It is on at 10am and then repeated (live) at 4pm, UK time. That is to give some choice to folk in different time zones, although if you want to listen twice you will be very welcome!

I'm going to talk about the principles which will define supplier management over the next few years; fundamental issues such as data and value, and then more specific issues such as corporate social responsibility with an emphasis on some of the latest thinking in areas such as the "circular economy".  We'll also touch on everything from blockchain to why procurement cannot hope to be the "gatekeepers" of supplier / buyer relationships any longer, and we'll make sure there is plenty of time for questions, the more challenging the better please. You can sign up here.

As much of the traditional procurement role gets automated away, we need to re-define how we can bring benefits to our organisations - or procurement will disappear. Achieving value (including management of risk under that heading) from key suppliers through the whole lifecycle of our engagement with them is a wider goal that we think procurement needs to embrace.

After the webinar, I will be jumping on the train to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff for the Procurex Wales Live event. It looks like a very strong agenda, with a core plenary programme then a range of different sessions in parallel streams, as well as a supplier exhibition and then the inaugural GO Awards for Welsh Procurement on the Thursday evening.

I'm chairing a panel discussion with Jane Lynch from Cardiff Business school and Johnathan Hopkins from the Welsh Government procurement team around "policy through procurement" issues, such as supporting smaller or local firms. Wales is taking a lead on this, but whilst we can all applaud the intent, some big questions remain. We'll get into those tricky issues and suspect this might be quite a lively, perhaps even controversial session!

It's not too late to sign up for the event. Tickets are free for public sector delegates and only £95 for private sector, which sounds like a bargain for supply side folk too. We look forward to seeing our friends from Wales and perhaps beyond at the event.

* as Elvis Costello once said ...

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