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AOP PodcastCategory ManagementProcurement Transformation

Art of Procurement Launches SpendPros, Expert-guided Category and Sourcing Enablement

By March 10, 2024No Comments

“If our experts succeed, if the processes we build succeed, it will train the client’s team in what best in class approaches look like.”Philip Ideson, Founder & Managing Director at Art of Procurement

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. For procurement, we can take this one step further: knowledge is value

Having access to sourcing and category management expertise when you need it is an invaluable differentiator – not just for procurement but for the whole business. Generalists play an important role in procurement operations, strategy, and category management, but sometimes the sheer volume of workload and suppliers means even they are forced to keep the bulk of their attention on the company’s core spend categories. 

Without experienced eyes on those other high-impact categories, procurement is very likely leaving opportunity on the table, and allowing unmitigated risks to persist. 

Access to subject matter expertise and market intelligence for specific categories can be costly, requiring either a full-time internal hire or an engagement with a large consultancy. Many procurement teams simply don’t have the supplemental resources to retain this kind of intensive category support. 

Art of Procurement understands this challenge all too well. For the last several years, we have been helping organizations find the category, learning and development, or transformation support they need through our large network of category experts and SMEs. This time has come to make that support available to everyone in procurement.

AOP Launches SpendPros!

The early response to SpendPros has been overwhelmingly positive, and the need is growing exponentially. I’m excited to announce the official launch of SpendPros, our on-demand category and sourcing enablement consultancy. 

SpendPros operates differently than traditional consulting models.

With SpendPros, we give organizations the opportunity to hire the category experts they need, on demand and for a fixed project or time period. Just enough to unlock the full potential of a category or catalyze a transformation project. It’s about having an expert in your corner that can make critical strategic or tactical recommendations based on their extensive experience with that category for a fraction of the investment required to bring that resource onto your team full-time. 

Education is also another key component of the SpendPros approach. Unlike many traditional consulting models that require (or, let’s say, ‘encourage’) their clients’ ongoing engagement, our objective is empowerment, not dependence. In fact, if we have done our job correctly, our clients will learn the strategies and frameworks they need to stand on their own and successfully manage that category or project in the long run. 

Procurement’s Operating Model of the Future

SpendPros gives procurement teams the opportunity to leverage category experts and market intelligence on demand that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, particularly for high impact spend categories purchased infrequently. The stakes are still high for these categories of spend, but they are often pushed aside and put on ‘auto-pilot’ while procurement is putting out more immediate fires. 

Procurement’s ideal operating model should be based on a whole ecosystem of resources that enables expert-led category management for every high-impact area of spend. 

Within this operating model, procurement teams take on the role of delivery leaders, relationship builders, and strategic business partners that align their value proposition to the goals of the business. Having a resource like SpendPros within procurement’s ecosystem can help them make decisions and create value that they wouldn’t be able to offer on their own. 

About SpendPros: How Does it Work? 

An important part of SpendPros mission is providing the support and high-level of expertise our clients need to support differentiated decision making and make an outsized impact in their organizations. That starts with a robust network of SMEs, each of which has deep category expertise. 

We have over 100 category and subject matter experts in our SpendPros network. They have expertise in the usual direct categories like marketing, IT, logistics, MRO, corporate travel, professional services, and contingent labor. We also offer support for unique or niche categories that are far less common.

Our experts can bring strategic or tactical recommendations for category sourcing, purchasing, or management, but they also can support transformation-based or change management projects as well as focused learning and development or training for procurement. For example, many procurement teams right now are figuring out the best approach to integrating AI within their tech stack or how to build and scale a successful supplier diversity program. SpendPros can help set up those frameworks. 

Elevating Procurement’s Impact with Expertise and Intelligence

Procurement is often misunderstood or even undervalued. The wider business rarely recognizes the full scope of procurement’s ability to make an impact. This has been a common topic of discussion at many of our Art of Procurement events and discussions with procurement leaders. 

We can all agree that this must change. For our part, we’re happy to be introducing a resource like SpendPros to provide the procurement community with the information advantage they need to drive maximum value and results for the business.

Visit SpendPros.com to learn more.

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