Learn from Procurement Experts

Thought leaders share the trends, strategies and tactics that you can use to elevate the role of procurement and your career.

Listen in to the latest episode of the Art of Procurement:

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Also on the Art of Procurement…

AEP procurement transformation

112: How a Procurement Outsider Powered Transformation at AEP w/ Matt Curtis & Marcia Ayacaba

Matt Curtis had never worked in procurement, but was enjoying a successful career across U.S. utility company American Electric Power (AEP).  The procurement department at AEP was considered a largely transactional organization, and suffered from a challenging reputation among Matt and his peers.

AEP leadership realized that they needed to think differently about how they levered procurement, and set about building a strategic organization to drive out cost and increase the value achieved from their supply base.  Matt – a procurement outsider – was asked to help lead the transformation.

Today’s show charts AEP’s transformation journey.

procurement sins

111: Procurement Math & More: 10 Sins of Day-to-Day Procurement

I will be in Las Vegas this week at the ISM Indirect Conference, and with Las Vegas also known as Sin City, I thought it would be fun to look back at some old Art of Procurement episodes and come up with a list of 10 sins of procurement!

Now, frankly, there are a lot more than 10! However, I had to stop somewhere! These are inspired by my own experiences, and the guests that we have had on the show. I kept them to what I think are our day to day dealings with suppliers and stakeholders rather than looking at it from an organizational design perspective.

gordon donovan

110: The Art & Science of Influence, w/ Gordon Donovan

This week I welcome Gordon Donovan on to the Art of Procurement. Gordon is a presently a member of the procurement leadership team at Metro Trains Melbourne, and he has a broad range of experiences as a practitioner including Head of Procurement roles, consultant and training spanning both the UK and Australia

Our conversation focuses on influence – both functional influence and influencing skills, and I’m willing to say that there are few, if any, who have studied the topic of influence and procurement as thoroughly as Gordon. He wrote a 20,000 word dissertation for his Masters Degree on the topic of the development of influencing skills within the Australian procurement community, and he frequently weaves the topic into his procurement learning and development programs.


This Week in Procurement: The Advent Calendar Challenge


Over the next couple of weeks, we will be hit with a deluge of Christmas and procurement stories. However, I’ll put me neck on the line and say that none will be as imaginative and action orientated as today’s “must read”.Friend of the show Chris Cliffe first suggested the concept behind his article a couple of weeks ago and I loved it! It is so simple, but a great way to engage with suppliers – whether you use them today or not – over this holiday season.

Supplier Engagement – The Advent Calendar Challenge!

(if you accept the challenge, let Chris know in the comments…)

Procurement mindset

109: The Importance of Mindset in Challenging the Status Quo w/ Elisabeth Schlag Lawrence

More and more, I believe the mindset is a key enabler or roadblock in our efforts to think differently and elevate the procurement value proposition.  Without that change in mindset, it makes the other necessities – such as competency development – almost irrelevant. And so I wanted to focus today in the topic of mindset.

Today’s episode is a submission from Elisabeth Schlag Lawrence that was originally a part of The Procurement Revolution. Elisabeth is a long time procurement executive who shortly after recording todays piece joined a leading materials company to lead and grow their Category Management Center of Excellence.

Scott Gillespie Travel Procurement

108: How to Procure Travel More Strategically by Measuring Outcomes, Not Savings w/ Scott Gillespie

Scott Gillespie is an expert in procurement, and corporate travel. He was an original member of the AT Kearney team that launched the 7-step sourcing process in the 1990’s, and has since founded a number of companies with a focus on helping organizations better understand, benchmark and measure the performance of their corporate travel programs. Scott also authors the popular blog Gillespie’s Guide to Travel & Procurement.

Scott passionately believes that corporate travel programs should be managed on outcomes, and value, rather than cost alone. In today’s Art of Procurement, Scott and I discuss innovative ways in which procurement leaders can manage the success of their travel program over and above the traditional cost-focused metrics.

procurement industry 4.0

This Week in Procurement: Procurement & the Fourth Industrial Revolution


The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be a driver of a number of disruptions to hit procurement as a profession – but also the stakeholders that we support. So how can we prepare, and be ready to lead our organizations as they embrace these changes?

That is the topic of this week’s “must read”:

Procurement & the Fourth Industrial Revolution | Dan Bartel, Group VP, Head of Supply Chain Management, Electrification Products Division, ABB

For a good primer, check out The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What is Means, How to Respond by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Difficult Negotiation

107: 5 Tips to Maintaining Your Supplier Relationship after a Tough Negotiation

Today’s episode is in response to a listener question. I was recently asked for guidance on how to maintain supplier relationships following a tough incumbent negotiation – particularly one that occurs mid-contract.

Listen in to hear my share five considerations that I have used both as a practitioner and service provider to maintain relationships with my suppliers and clients following difficult negotiations.


106: Eight Steps to Post-Award Strategic Cost Management w/ Jimmy Anklesaria

Today’s episode of the Art of Procurement is the second in a two-part series with Jimmy Anklesaria focusing on the strategic management of cost.

Back in episode 102, Jimmy shared his tips for understanding cost and cost drivers to enable fact based sourcing negotiations. Today, we shift focus, and discuss eight key steps that procurement professionals can take to manage and optimize costs once the contract has been signed.

procurement storytelling

This Week in Procurement: Take a Disney Approach to Procurement


This week is a blockbuster edition of This Week in Procurement.  I came across a number of articles this week that piqued my interest – it feels like the pre-election nerves / post election euphoria/depression inspired a number of people to put pen to paper!There was one article however that stood out, and is this week’s “must read”.  Titled, “Take the Disney Approach to Procurement”, Tania Seary of Procurious explored how storytelling is at the heart of every successful change program.

I wholeheartedly agree with Tania on this topic. Whether your are involved in a transformation program, or are attempting to change the hearts of minds of your stakeholders, I recommend acting on Tania’s advice.