The Future of “Work” and of Procurement – Webinar Next Week

It feels like there are seismic shifts going on in the world of work that maybe haven’t really hit procurement professionals yet – but surely will before too long.

The growth of self-employment, and more recently the gig economy; the Uberisation of whole industries, which has been highly disruptive to incumbent market leaders; the huge growth in highly educated workforces in developing countries, willing to work for a fraction of western European or US wages; “cloud” and digitisation in the IT world and beyond; all of this and more will inevitably change how procurement works too, but I don’t think yet it is quite clear just how that will happen.

Might organisations get rid of most of their internal staff including their procurement teams and use some externalised, automated service to find most of their suppliers and put contracts in place? Will firms become even more “hollowed out” than now, ending up with just a core of top executive supported by “super-programme managers” who will put together teams to deliver work on a project-by-project basis?

We don’t claim to have all the answers, but reading our US colleague Andrew Karpie’s excellent articles on the range of “work intermediation platforms” and similar that support these new ideas of “work” can’t help but make you wonder where all this is going. (Download this to get some sense of the issues from Karpie’s perspective). But we can be sure it will change the way procurement activities are delivered in major organisations.

So next Tuesday, on March 7th, I will be speaking about some of these issues in our webinar titled  “The Evolution of Procurement – Alignment, Flexibility and Procurement-as-a-Service”.  Along with Jon Milton of managed service provider Comensura, I’ll be looking at how procurement might adapt to this changing world. Is “procurement as a service” a feasible option? How can we make sure “the profession” does have some future? And Jon will touch on the changes happening in the contingent labour market – that is one of the biggest spend categories for most organisations now, and is affected more than most by current developments.

The format will be two short presentations, then some discussion between Jon and me which we will open up to Q&A from the audience – all packed into 45 minutes max. Do sign up now for March 7th; at 4pm in the UK, 5pm in western Europe, 11am in New York …

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