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014: Learn How Google’s Strategic Sourcing Team Became a Trusted Business Partner, with Tim Jones of Google.

By January 12, 2016 January 4th, 2019 4 Comments

From the start of Art of Procurement, I have planned on recording a series of “how-to” or case studies that highlight the steps that leading companies are taking to tackle their most difficult procurement challenges. I’m excited to share with you the first in this series.

Today’s guest is Tim Jones, the Head of Strategic Sourcing at Google.

Google’s Strategic Sourcing organization have been on a journey to become a trusted advisor supporting key strategic stakeholders that represent the most strategic supplier spend and initiatives. In today’s show, Tim will share Google’s journey to date, along with what I think are some really interesting approaches to drive stakeholder engagement.

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“We started to build a program around key individuals. We started calling them platinum stakeholders. It’s really about trying to prioritize and focus the resources on where we can have the most impact.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The challenge that Google faced in positioning procurement as a trusted business advisor in a fast growing company.
  • How Google outsourced the administrative and transactional tasks associated with each Buyer’s role to free up space to focus on strategic, value generating activities.
  • How Google levered stakeholder segmentation as a key driver of their transition to become a trusted business advisor.
  • The program that Google created to drive engagement with their most important stakeholders.
  • The innovative technology driven approach that Google took to planning, executing and reporting stakeholder engagement.
  • The number 1 action that you can take today to begin the journey to become a trusted business advisor.

Episode Transcript (PDF):

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

Links and Resources:

Thanks for Listening!

 

Philip Ideson

About Philip Ideson

Philip founded Art of Procurement in 2015 as a way to empower procurement professionals at all levels to deliver change with confidence; whether from the inspiration of the popular weekly podcast that he hosts, or with targeted solution offerings that guide clients on their journey to transform the impact of procurement.

4 Comments

  • Wayne A Smith says:

    Tim, your comments are spot on. It is amazing to see the Sourcing and Procurement discipline evolve from primarily transactional activities to one of significant strategic value where the true organizational value drivers are key levers in the decision making process.

  • I am very happy to see that smart purchasers spontaneously do what comes out from applying Value(s) thinking to Purchasing :
    > Purchasers (category managers, not procurement) are there to create value for their stakeholders, which are their ‘internal clients”, by understanding what they need and asking them what they want (there may b a difference !) . I would just point out that Suppliers are also Purchasers’ stakeholders, at that asking them what they want is also very efficient to create value for both !
    > choosing the stakeholders to work with (from their importance * willingess to collaborate) enables to put the effort where it’s worth !
    Why not push every Purchaser to ask the 2 Value(s) questions :
    1° better understand their (internal and external) stakeholders needs (just ask them “what for do you need us ?” : probably enhancing their own KPIs !) ,
    2° focus on “What is enough ?” to achieve the required outcome with limited resources ?
    By te way, it works not only with Purchasers, but with every company actor !!!

    • Philip Ideson says:

      Thanks for the comment, Olaf. I think one thing you mentioned is very important to note – that suppliers are also stakeholders, if they are core to the operations or value proposition of your company. Too often, we look at supplier relationships as a one-way transaction: what can we do to get the most from our supplier. But thinking of them as two-way relationships – what can we both do to help each other – is where the magic really happens.

  • […] colleague Philip Ideson manages the Art of Procurement blog where he recently published a quite long but very interesting interview with Tim Jones, Head of […]

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