Procurement in Financial Services – remember our webinar tomorrow

Don’t forget our webinar tomorrow titled “A Sector in Turmoil? Challenges for Procurement in the Financial Services Industry” , sponsored by procurement software and solutions provider SciQuest.  That’s on Thursday, May 8th at 3pm UK time, 4pm most of Western Europe. You can register here.

Along with Lindsay Sloan of procurement software firm  SciQuest, I’ll be looking at the issues and challenges for procurement in the sector, and proposing some steps procurement professionals might want to consider.

One point that struck me as I put together some slides for this, and talked to some friends still working in the sector (which I haven’t done for a while), is just the breadth of the challenges facing procurement.

At one extreme, parts of the industry are moving as fast as any business sector anywhere, with the emergence of digital, mobile and social media technologies revolutionizing  much of the financial service industry.  (Think of payday loan firms, where technology has legitimized what used to be a very niche element of the market. Or price comparison apps, or peer to peer lending propositions …  Or even Paypal! )

So how does procurement respond to that, when colleagues in business areas desperately want to engage and contract with small, innovative, dynamic suppliers or partners – often through non-traditional commercial vehicles? A 6-month tendering process followed by the organization’s standard contract just isn’t going to cut the mustard.

Then, on the other hand, we have a legacy, more ‘utility” aspect to some of the financial services world, where regulation is strong and cost management is likely to be key. Here, procurement people may be faced with a different challenge – that of major, even monopoly suppliers, who may be tempted to treat them and the industry as cash cows. So smart procurement operators understand that this divergence of market situations means very different procurement strategies are needed in order to succeed in the sector.

Anyway, more on this and other interesting topics tomorrow. Hope to see / hear some of you then!


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