Advanced Analytics Center of Excellence

144: How Newell Brands Makes Procurement Analytics a Competitive Advantage, w/ Jonathan Grant & Ben Szostek

Today I have a really insightful interview to share with Jonathan Grant and Ben Szostek, two senior leaders within the procurement group at Newell Brands.

Jonathan and Ben have been on a journey to bring advanced analytics capabilities to Newell Brands, delivered through a center of excellence model.

In today’s discussion, we talk about some of the tactics they use, from clean sheet costing and cost modelling to negotiation fact packs which is a concept I really like.

You will also hear examples of different sources of data used, the skill sets necessary to build out a team like this, and how advanced analytics are being applied to both Direct and Indirect areas of spend.

If you have an interest in understanding how you can build an advanced analytics capability, this is a must listen!

“Over time we’ve tried to remove redundant capabilities and ensure that everyone’s got a unique purpose for being, to enhance the value that procurement can deliver. It’s not a matter of who does what or who does more, who saves what. We’re a team. If we deliver we win, if we fail we lose.” – Jonathan Grant, Newell Brands

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How both Ben and Jon apply their experiences in Marketing to their roles in procurement – including building the procurement brand.
  • The complexity and diversity of Newell Brands, and the challenges and opportunities that that presents to building a relevant procurement organization.
  • Why certain categories do not lend themselves to being leveraged by a central group, or as a cross-brand strategy.
  • Why Newell Brands decided to build a Procurement Center of Excellence (CoE), and what the key responsibilities for the CoE are.
  • Why building an advanced analytics team has been a key objective of the CoE.
  • How Newell Brands approached hiring for an advanced analytics team, and what kind of skill sets they looked for.
  • Examples of analytics techniques used by Newell Brands such as regression analysis, should cost modelling, open book costing and negotiation fact packs – and how they are applied to both Direct and Indirect categories.
  • What sources of data do the team look for, and under what circumstances do they buy external data or intelligence.
  • How the team determines when to involve their analytics experts in a project vs. when not to.

Links and Resources:

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.