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Amazon Business Exchange: ‘Digital-First’ – Interact with Amazon Business and its customers in a free-to-attend event

09/09/2020 By

Next month, October 6-7, sees the return of Amazon Business Exchange (ABX) – a free-to-attend event for procurement, finance and supply chain leaders. Amazon for business is designed to bring the same convenience, efficiency and value to the B2B buying world as it does to B2C customers, and this event will bring together that community not only to connect and collaborate, but to share the experiences and learnings from heads of procurement from some of largest organizations in Europe.

Last year saw a very successful inaugural event where hundreds of business leaders from across diverse industries gathered for a day of networking, presentations, dedicated breakout sessions, and Q&A interaction with Amazon Business experts, partners and customers. They heard about the personal experiences, success stories and best practices from some of Amazon Business’s most well-known end users, and gained first-hand intelligence to help them transform their business buying processes.

As one delegate noted: “ABX has been an eye-opener. I’ve identified myself as a dinosaur regarding digitalization and recognized the need to change” – Michelle Palfrey, University of Birmingham.

This year looks to be another well designed event, with focus areas tailored to the needs of today, including: how to reduce costs through digitalization initiatives while managing organizational change and disruption; how to reshape business strategies at scale; and, of very immediate relevance in relation to current events, how to enable an agile workforce. The presentation topics and speaker lineup appear to be every bit as impressive as last year, except of course, it will all be conducted virtually. This means you get access to all the pearls of wisdom from the industry, online face-to-face networking and interaction with Amazon Business leaders and partners, from the comfort of your desk.

The virtual world of Amazon Business Exchange will be brought to life via an interactive online platform that will mirror a physical event, even including a virtual expo, workshops, interactive “small talks,” training labs and panel discussions, along with a selection of case studies demonstrating ways to tackle procurement challenges in the “new normal.” And to make life even easier, they have split the event into two mornings, recognizing that full-day online attention spans can wane — but that’s the only difference you’ll encounter.

You can expect to hear from a cross-sector selection of heads of procurement and IT, business services leads, industry analysts, company directors and professors of purchasing and supply as they share their learnings from driving transformation in their own areas, addressing:

  • How COVID-19 can disrupt (or accelerate) your digitalization strategy
  • What to do (and what not to do) when implementing Amazon Business
  • How procurement can foster sustainability and drive CSR goals in a disrupted world
  • How to enable reliable, convenient purchasing in a time of disruption

One of the highlights “How to build a digital-first procurement function” is central to all themes and will be discussed by Peter Sowrey, who is CPO of international energy services and solutions company Centrica. Peter explains why a “digital first” strategy is important to Centrica and to business generally:

How to build a digital-first procurement function

“We are driving radical changes to accelerate our journey from complexity to simplicity, utilizing technology. Building a digital-first procurement function, is not so important in itself, but for us, digitization is an enabler to so much of what we want to do in the future whilst also allowing us to optimize the return on investment on what we do today.

“Many processes within Procurement require interactions with multiple applications, platforms and people, potentially making the shift from analogue to digital slow and complex. Often, as the saying goes, ‘you are only as strong as your weakest link’ so it is important to ensure you have transparency and consistency across all pieces otherwise adoption, process adherence, insight and ultimately value will be lost.

“Nowadays, most, if not all, organizations understand that leveraging technology is important and can bring benefit to their teams and businesses, but often, complexity is introduced by focusing on just one pillar or area where value is identified leading to a rapidly diminishing benefits case when the realization hits that so many things are interconnected! We believe that to realize exponential outcomes, a digital-first answer should be the preference across all activities.”

This looks to be a very popular session, with a topic that will be front of mind for most CPOs today. The beauty of a virtual event of course is that spaces don’t run out, but it’s still worth registering in advance so that you can choose your events and allot the time to them.

As well as hearing from the industry, it will be good to hear from Amazon Business itself. Given Amazon Business has attracted millions of business customers worldwide in the few years since its launch, each having transformed their business buying processes, and hundreds of thousands of sellers giving access to millions of products, it will be interesting to hear what Amazon Business has in store for its customers in the next 12 months.

A full agenda will be released soon, so do check the information page for updates, in the meantime, if you are keen to learn how to innovate quickly for your function, business or sector, hold the date for the mornings of October 6 and 7.

And look out for news of a new ABX award, The Procurement Hero Award, in recognition of everyday procurement heroes.

More information on the event be found here Help Procurement Leaders Succeed in the ‘New Normal’

And you can register here.