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In Their Own Words: 7 Ways to Position Yourself for Success from Procurement Thought Leaders

By May 31, 2016May 29th, 2020No Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I shared 25 different lessons that I have learned from interviewing thought leaders across the first 50 episodes of the Art of Procurement podcast.  I was taken aback at the response, with over 4,000 views to date!

The thought leaders that I interview on the show share a ton of invaluable content across a number of different subject areas.  One topic that frequently comes up is, what even is the role of procurement?  In this post, I wanted to share seven different quotes from interviewees that help stimulate thoughts on what we are here to do, and how can we position ourselves accordingly.

In no particular order:


“Procurement is in a great position to build consensus across an organization”

Tibor Shanto, Prinipal, Renbor Sales Solutions.

Takeaway: are you building consensus or driving compliance to ineffective / unsuitable processes?


“If procurement does its job properly, it makes the rest of the organization run smoothly as it is aligned”

Gerard Chick, Chief Knowledge Officer, Optimum Procurement

Takeaway: are your actions aligned with helping your stakeholders achieve what is important to them, or do you view them as a way for you to meet your objectives?


“Procurement to my mind should be forward thinking with regards to pushing a business towards future success and a lot less about executing historical business more efficiently”

– Tom Derry, CEO, Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

Takeaway: are you focusing enough on helping your company lever supply markets to generate more revenue in the future?


“Over time, hardware and software is going to replace work that was previously done by humans”

– Bill Michels, CEO, Aripart Consulting

Takeaway: are you aware of what portion of your job can be automated, and do you have a plan to take advantage of this trend rather than have it negatively impact you?


“The things that we define as strategic today may change”

– Jason Busch, Founder & Head of Strategy, Spend Matters / Azul Partners

Takeaway: technology has no regard for what we consider strategic vs. transactional.  As you prepare for a future where large parts of our roles can be automated, it is likely that some of those activities we consider strategic today may be considered transactional tomorrow.


“We talk about getting a seat at the executive table. It never stops. The reality is that you don’t ask for permission”

– Jon Hansen, Founder, Procurement Insights

Takeaway: are you doing everything you can to be relevant to your stakeholders and leaders, while demonstrating to them the value that procurement CAN deliver rather than waiting to be asked?


“A lot of procurement professionals do not have the courage to advance the ideas and concepts that need to be advanced for them to do well in the field”

– John P. (Jack) Miles, Managing Partner, MainSpring Advisors

Takeaway: are you ready to stand up and elevate the role of procurement -and help others do the same? 


These quotes really stood out to be – both in helping me better understand the role of procurement, and that if we are to continue pushing our profession forward, change really has to be driven from within – we can’t wait for an invite!

This article was originally published on LinkedIn

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