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Proactis’ flagship event to focus on the future of Finance and Procurement and their ever-evolving journey of growth and maturity

10/21/2021 By

For two-and-a-half decades Proactis has been helping organizations from all over the world and from all industries and sectors to control their spend and transform their procurement and finance operations. With all that experience behind it, the spend management specialist designs an annual flagship event to help Procurement, Finance and IT senior professionals literally rethink their course of action to reach the maximum value they can for their organizations through optimizing their procurement and finance processes.

Over the course of three days – from 9th to 11th November – ReThink ’21 will bring together spend management professionals from across public and private sectors in an all-online event to enjoy dynamic thought leadership presentations, hear about customer transformational journeys and best practice applications, network with their peers, and gain new insights into Proactis solutions.

Centred around the topical themes of evolution, growth and maturity in Procurement and Finance, the event has been designed specifically to help senior Procurement and Finance professionals ‘rethink’ their strategies, process, and mindsets to drive maximum value for their organisations.

All three days are packed with topics covering procurement, purchase-to-pay, accounts payable and supplier engagement from a great line-up of speakers — so plenty of sessions to choose from depending on your mission.

What to expect — some top picks from the agenda

Tackling change

The opening keynote will be delivered by Sir Clive Woodward OBE who, among other accolades, is known as England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup Winning Head Coach; Director of Sport Team GB: London 2012, Vancouver 2010, Beijing 2008; Founding Partner and Chairman of Hive Learning and Director of Sport, Apex2100 International Ski Academy. He is going to be sharing what his many leadership roles have taught him about tackling change: to rethink the status quo and find newer and more innovative ways of operating – very pertinent for procurement and finance functions now as they seek out new markets, suppliers and processes.

A New Procurement Trinity

We’re also delighted that our friend and ex-colleague, Peter Smith, Managing Director of Procurement Excellence, business author and previous MD of Spend Matters Europe, will be taking the stage to talk about … well, we’ll let Peter explain that himself:

“As part of Proactis ReThink’21 I’ll be speaking about three of the issues that I believe will be high on the agenda as we move into the  post-pandemic era – or maybe it will be seen as the ‘living with Covid’ era. The session is rather grandly titled ‘A New Procurement Trinity: Revenue, Resilience and Purpose.’

“Resilience is of course high on the priority list for many organizations right now, but it’s interesting to note that there are two aspects to resilience: it is certainly about toughness and resistance when things get difficult, but it is also about flexibility and ‘elasticity.’ So how can procurement help organizations improve on both of those dimensions?

“The second topic is ‘Purpose’ – obviously with my new book (Procurement with Purpose) coming out around the end of November there is much I could say on that! For this event, I’ll focus on some practical ideas relating to how you can support ‘purpose’ throughout the various stages of the procurement lifecycle. Finally, ‘revenue’ is perhaps less common as a core topic or objective for procurement. But in the private sector there is often more the function could do to help grow the top line, as well as contributing to the bottom line via cost management.”

University of Essex digital transformation journey

Proactis is also excited that Carol Saward, Head of Income and Payments and Philip Sweeting, Head of Procurement, both from the University of Essex will be sharing how they transformed from manual to fully automated purchasing and invoicing processes. They will explain how, in doing so, they also improved the transparency of financial commitments and supplier relations.

They’ll describe what purchasing and invoicing looked like before they embarked on their project and how this defined clear objectives, including how they approached internal buy-in as they moved from manual to automated processes and how they delivered the project following the onset of the pandemic, highlighting the importance of a strong working relationship with their vendor. We’ll also get insight into the tangible impact their digital transformation made and hear about plans for the future. These practical, real-life stories always general valuable takeaways for anyone embarking on a similar journey.

This is just a sample of the many different sessions taking place. We’ll hear other customer success stories, including how Caerphilly County Borough Council created an award-winning procurement function and how Four Seasons Health Care, one of the UK’s largest independent health care providers, achieved a rapid, full source-to-pay implementation. There is also be a panel session titled “Beyond Technology: Unlocking Success in Digital Transformation,” where Proactis will welcome  industry experts Darryl Bannon, Founder of Darryl Bannon Consulting Ltd, Brian Mahon, Director at Moore Insight, Jennifer Moran, Head of Procurement at Bright Horizons, and Elizabeth Lucas, Head of Customer and Digital Services at Caerphilly County Borough Council to discuss the premise that while technology makes innovation possible, it’s an organization’s capacity to embrace that innovation that will make all the difference.

All speaking sessions will provide new ways of thinking about procurement and finance to drive value and agility for organizations.

ReThink ‘21 is geared toward stimulating debate, sharing ideas and knowledge, providing best practice, uncovering new ideas, and getting discussions started on how to rethink procurement and finance. There will also be the opportunity to network with fellow Procurement and Finance peers and to meet specially selected Proactis Partners in the virtual exhibition.

Learn more about the event and register your place here.