ProcureCon Europe – a Strong Line-Up and Getting Close!

As well as the Basware event coming up soon, we have ProcureCon Europe even more imminently – November 3rd to 5th to be precise, in Berlin.

We’ve been looking at the agenda in more detail, and it looks strong across the three days, with a very good line up of CPOs speaking, although we note that two of them (we understand ... ) are no longer in the jobs that they were when the schedule was put together! That says something about the shelf-life of top procurement folk these days.

As well as the CPOs, from firms such as Nestle, Covea, KLM, Kellogg’s, ING and Ericsson, we have academics and gurus such as John Henke, whose work on the value of supplier relationships is fascinating and one might even say seminal. Then we have Professor Arjan van Weele, from Eindhoven University, who I haven’t seen for some years but is one of those rare creatures; an academic who also absolutely understands the reality of procurement life.

I’m also interested to see how Christian Langg chairs the first day. The founder and CEO of Tradeshift, I’ve heard him described as passionate, creative, maybe even a genius; on the other hand, some see him as eccentric, controversial and irritating! So not your normal conference chair then, and I suspect he will have plenty to say himself during that day, which should make it a lively experience for everyone.

On the sponsor side, it’s interesting to see not just Tradeshift but Taulia featuring as well. They are very much competitors in the booming areas of eInvoicing and supply chain finance, and although they have different approaches, they’ve both been broadening their offerings and have been successful as disruptive young firms challenging the status quo across that whole purchase to pay field.

Nelsonhall are another sponsor, and their CEO John Willmott has a session titled “Delivering Incremental Value through the use of Robotic Process Automation” which sounds like it could be stunningly interesting or stunningly tedious. I’ve been thinking about robots more than usual, having seen the excellent and troubling film Ex Machina recently,

The only problem with ProcureCon is when we have to decide between different “streams” in the afternoons each day. The second day is a real problem. Do I go for Prof. Henke on “Increasing Business Profitability”? Or the roundtables on “Value Delivery” which include really good people like Richard Beaumont and Andy Windsor of Kimberley-Clark (the most impressive CPO on the topic of supplier innovation that I’ve heard)? Or the third choice; the session on “Negotiation Best Practice – Be persuasive Inside and Outside your Business” – another hot topic. Decisions, decisions!

Anyway, hope to see friends old and new in Berlin and we will of course be reporting on the event through that week. You can still get more details and book here.

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