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058: How Using Procurement BPO Allowed Staples to Put Stakeholder Relationships First, with Mike Jacobs, Staples CPO

How organizations use third party procurement services like outsourcing is evolving rapidly.  While only a short time ago, procurement outsourcing was synonymous with job losses, it is now being used as an enabler for growth.

In this episode of the Art of Procurement, Mike Jacobs, Chief Procurement Officer of Staples, explains how Staples uses procurement BPO to enable his internal team to focus on providing value to their stakeholders and elevating the role of procurement.

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“You have to have the vision that it’s going to work, you have to have the trusted partner who you can sit down over that pint of beer at night, and figure out what do we do differently, and who are willing to maybe even over invest with you until you get it going.” 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The three stages of Staples’ multi-year procurement transformation.
  • The importance of identifying a burning platform to justify investment in procurement capabilities.
  • The role of procurement BPO / outsourcing in Staples’ transformation.
  • The procurement BPO / outsourcing delivery models that Staples considered.
  • Why Staples selected a hybrid delivery model.
  • The factors that Staples considered when selecting a supplier partner.
  • The difficulty that Mike faced in turning his own team from being skeptics to advocates.
  • How Staples now uses procurement BPO / outsourcing to enable his own category experts to focus on what they do best.
  • Lessons learned from the outsourcing process.
  • Mike’s advise to procurement professionals who may be impacted by their companies decision to outsource part of the procurement function.
  • Career advice – what can you do as a procurement professional to stand out from the crowd and be noticed by your CPO?

Episode Transcript (PDF):

  • Click here to download a copy of today’s episode transcript (PDF).

Links and Resources:

Thanks for Listening!

About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.