CPO Series Content

Providers Take Note: A Look Inside the Brain of a CPO [Plus+]

Talking to a friend over the holidays who still has the sort of large organization Procurement Director/CPO role I held some years back, I was remembering both the delights and pressures of that type of role. This also got me thinking about the people who had to try and sell to me. That applies to firms selling goods and services for general organisational use – everything from IT to packaging, milk powder to legal services in my time as a practitioner – but also more specifically to those who were trying to sell me goods or services aimed at procurement directly. That included recruitment firms, software or solutions providers, consultants, and the like.

What Keeps CPOs Awake at Night: How CPOs are Measured (Part 2) [Plus+]

Today we’ll look at what other measures may be used to assess and reward procurement directors, CPOs and similar. This is obviously relevant for those individuals: if you can have some input into designing the measurement parameters for yourself and the function, then that gives you the opportunity to come up with a balanced approach that reflects the contribution you make to the organisation. But it is also something we believe solution providers should understand. If you are selling to a CPO, understanding how (s)he may be measured can be an important factor in terms of how you position your offering. If your product can directly address a key area of measurement, that’s an obvious benefit to the CPO client.

How should CPOs react to economic turbulence? [Plus+]

The problem for the CPO looking at the future is that these options all have a reasonable likelihood in Europe right now, but could mean very different economic outcomes. And that in turn means different consequences for the issues that are of interest to procurement executives and their organisations. Which way are commodity prices going to go? And currencies? Will the Euro survive? What are the implications for existing contracts if it falls apart? Where are the biggest supply chain risks if the worst does happen?

What Keeps CPOs Awake at Night: How CPOs are Measured [Plus+]

One of the paradoxes of procurement is that it is clearly so important to the success of most organisations, yet it is so hard to measure exactly what contribution it is making. Every procurement consultant or senior executive can wheel out an analysis that shows taking 10% out of the cost base, through effective procurement, will make more difference to bottom line profit than a 20 or even 30% sales growth. So the theoretical benefits of procurement are clear, but actually measuring whether that effectiveness is being delivered is an altogether more difficult task.

What Keeps CPOs Awake At Night? (Series Introduction) [Plus+]

I spent around ten years as a CPO in three very different large organisations, I’ve talked to countless senior procurement professionals over the years, and indeed still do. But I won’t get everything right! So we also hope that we can provoke some discussion – if you don’t feel like we’re representing the CPO viewpoint accurately, then please let us know. Debate, even argument, is good in our book. Later today, we’ll start with the first in our series, looking at how the performance of senior procurement executives (including CPOs) is measured. There’s an interesting topic to start with!