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.

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This Week in Procurement

This Week in Procurement: You Appointed WHO As The New CPO?


Today’s “Must Read” is about a topic that I am hearing more and more anecdotally, and seeing with my own eyes – that the next generation of CPO’s is coming from outside of procurement.

This has a tremendous impact on the future of the procurement career. I know when I first mapped out my career – and the decisions I took over the first 12 or 13 years – were all based on getting as diverse a range of experiences across procurement so that I could position myself as a CPO candidate. But is that now enough? While the majority of CPO roles are still being provided by procurement professionals, the trend is clear… and should be seen as a call to action.

Today’s “Must Read” gives some pointers on where to start:

You Appointed WHO As The New CPO? | Procurious

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This Month in Procurement: Supply Risk, Procurement Press & More

Welcome to the second This Month in Procurement show, a monthly collaboration with my good friend Mark Perera.

This month, we focused on three key areas – the health of the procurement press, the Deloitte CPO Survey findings, and supply chain risk.

The show is a conversation – no fancy editing, just Mark and I sharing our thoughts on the world of procurement, and some of the topics impacting our profession. And for the first time, you can now listen to the Directors Cut, or watch our conversation in full on video.

As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can continue to improve and evolve the format of the show!

Tania Seary

123: The Big Idea: Are You Ready for Procurement 4.0? w/ Tania Seary

I am joined for the second time today by Tania Seary, Founder at Procurious.  We focus on a couple of topics that both intertwine with each other.  First, I ask Tania for an update on how things are going at Procurious, and we both share our own motivations for following the paths that we have – in fact Tania turns the table on me by asking a couple of questions on why I started the Art of Procurement.

We then talk about the notion of Procurement 4.0, which will be the focus of the Big Idea Summit, and the impact it is set to have on the way that procurement organizations of the future will operate.

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This Week in Procurement: Supply Chain Risk Reaches All-Time High


Supply chain risk is at the forefront of my mind, with the current geopolitical uncertainty, and so I was not surprised to read this week that global supply chain risk is at an all time high – as measured by the CIPS Dun & Bradstreet Index.

For those procurement organizations who are not playing an active role in the identification, management and mitigation of supply chain risks, this should be a wake-up call. I believe that proactively mitigating supply chain risks is a key value lever that procurement can pull in today’s environment. Check out the article:

Supply Chain Risk Reaches All-Time High
| Jacki Buist, Supply Management Magazine.

On this topic, I had the opportunity this week to interview former BBC World News presenter and Visiting Professor at Kings College, Nik Gowing. Nik provided some fascinating insights into a research study that he has led called “Thinking the Unthinkable”.

The podcast will be published next week to digital delegates of the Procurious Big Idea Summit. Check out the “Other Stuff” section of This Week in Procurement for more details.

Deloitte CPO Survey

122: Beyond the Numbers: A Deep Dive into the Deloitte 2017 CPO Survey w/ Lance Younger

I have always sought out the Deloitte CPO Survey as a leading indicator on the health of the procurement function and just a couple of days ago, Deloitte published the results of their 2017 Survey.

Today on the Art of Procurement, I am joined by Lance Younger. Lance is the Head of Procurement and Sourcing Consulting in the UK, a Partner of Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations Practice, and a co-author of the report that accompanies this year’s survey findings. In today’s conversation, we go beyond the numbers to identify some of the trends, challenges and opportunities that look set to shape the procurement profession in 2017.

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This Week in Procurement: Procurement’s New Dawn


Today’s “Must Read” is a post by Art of Procurement alumni Alex Short of Old St Labs. Alex pens a passionate piece where he shares his perspective that procurement-led innovation is “the future”:

“The best CPO’s out there are interested in value creation, innovation and competitive advantage. And guess what, procurement is perfectly positioned as the conduit to both the inside and outside world. Simply put, procurement touches every part of the business and could if positioned right not only re-connect our internal silos that so often hinder us, but also nurture and develop the supplier relationships to bring innovation and a wealth of knowledge into the business through seamless collaboration”.


121: How to Reduce Your Wireless Spend Without Switching Suppliers, w/ Drew Polin

My guest today is Drew Polin.  Drew is the president of OpDecision, a company that helps organizations reduce their wireless spend, specifically without having to go through the upheaval of switching out their service providers.

Our conversation today is split into two parts.  First, we talk about gainsharing.  It’s a commercial model that I have been very skeptical about in the past, as I think it can incent the wrong behaviors, and can become a way for service providers to take advantage of less sophisticated buyers. OpDecision uses a gainsharing model, but with a twist. I think that if you are considering any time of gainsharing engagement, you should listen in to Drew’s lessons learned.

We then move into wireless, where Drew shares some of the tips and strategies that you can use to make an impact on your wireless spend here in 2017.

120: Be Prepared: Why Digitization Will Transform What, and How, We Buy w/ Bill Huber

Today’s Art of Procurement interview is a real treat. It is chock full of actionable insights on how we can position our careers, and our organizations, to fully take advantage of digitization and its impact on what, and how, we buy.

My guest is Bill Huber. Bill is an active participant in the procurement community and I have followed his career for some time. Bill has worked as a practitioner – most recently as Chief Procurement Officer of Wachovia – as a service provider as head of IBM’s procurement outsourcing offering – and as a consultant and advisor. Today, Bill is a Partner at Information Services Group (ISG), responsible for Digital Platforms and Solutions.

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119: How Anthem Procurement Became a Trusted Advisor to their Marketing Stakeholders w/ Greg Antoniono

Today on the show, I am joined by Greg Antoniono. Greg is the Sourcing Director for Marketing at Anthem, one of the giants of the US Health Care industry

Over the course of the last eight years, Greg has taken his marketing procurement group on a journey from having very limited influence to being a key partner with a direct line to the Chief Marketing Officer.

In today’s show, Greg and I discuss the key steps and learnings that he, and Anthem, took on that journey.


This Week in Procurement: Rhetoric of “Business Partnerships”


Australian procurement consultancy firm The Faculty recently researched the latest perceptions that suppliers have when working with their clients procurement teams. I always find it interesting to hear the suppliers perspective – what can we do better to help them help us?

Of course, some of the comments from suppliers will be based on sour grapes! However, check out the list and see if there is anything that you can do to break down some of these barriers for your most important supplier partners.

Here is a comment from the article:

“One recurring comment was that talk of “Business Partnerships” does not always live up to the rhetoric. Procurement frequently uses language about partnerships. However, in a cost-constrained environment, every consideration but cost “goes out the window”, and the relationship falls back to a transactional nature”

Perception vs. Reality: What Your Suppliers Really Think of You | The Faculty