Greetings from the Sonoran Desert: Exploring Global Procurement Market Trends at ProcureCon


By the time you read this, I’ll be presenting at the ProcureCon West event, located just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. I got in late last night after a couple of days at Oracle OpenWorld (which included a side trip yesterday – more of a pilgrimage – with some old colleagues at Oracle to procure what is perhaps the rarest and best brew one can find anywhere in the world at one of the most “hop-fully” discriminating public houses). We’ll continue our coverage from OpenWorld the rest of the week on Spend Matters (my colleagues Thomas Kase and Pierre Mitchell are still there), but I’ll drop in a few words in the coming days about the experience at ProcureCon as well.

My keynote today is on “Global Market Trends and What They Mean For Procurement.” I know, it’s a catch-all topic (and one of the few that is possible to write a presentation on at the last minute at 35,000 feet while working off a 100 IBU double IPA – kidding, OK?). Seriously, the state of affairs in the world market – including economics, trade, and the rapid evolution of foreign policy – is as dynamic as it’s ever been. And procurement needs to be on the forefront of filtering into the organization what is happening in the outside world.

I’m addressing numerous topics during my talk, which I’ll elaborate on in more detail in the coming days. These include:

  • A macroeconomic update and procurement impact (e.g., can the ISM data and unemployment numbers really be that good?) What’s really happening in the US and world economies?
  • The importance of realizing our increasing relevance. It’s only growing as we spend more externally and as organizational competencies shift (Proxima’s latest research into external spending provides some great insights around this point)
  • Perspectives on integrating the physical and financial supply chains – follow both the goods and the money, I say!
  • Linking services procurement initiatives and the human supply chain to broader procurement initiatives
  • Paying close attention to changing expectations and requirements to support manufacturing and direct procurement
  • Thinking of ourselves as architects who focus on innovation, assembly, and the provisioning of what “goes in” – rather than simply as “catching things” as they’re tossed over the wall to purchasing
  • Suggestions on how to avoid becoming a relic – and recognizing the pace of procurement change thanks to outside influence and new expectations (with a hat-tip to Deloitte for their Procurement in 2020 glimpse into the future)

Stay tuned as we explore these topics on Spend Matters after I give my talk.


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