Best Of Catalysts

Summing it Up and Moving it Forward

Making Choices, Leaving a Mark, and Generating Fulfillment

Much like red blood cells carry oxygen to all the other cells in the body, Procurement is primed and perfectly placed to aid in the transfer and sharing of knowledge across the entire organization. No other group of professionals touch every other aspect of an organization and is central to its effective and sustainable functioning.

We started Art of Procurement back in November 2015 to help “elevate the role of procurement.” Your generous feedback suggests we are on a productive path. Yet, as we reflect on the last two years, we realized that we had not understood something critical: Procurement is not so much a function, as it is a way of being

Procurement is actualization of value: the value of strategy and vision, the value of relationship; the value of coherence and execution

Procurement is process, consistency and scalability

Procurement is responsibility and competence

Procurement is integrity and creative expression

Procurement is boldness, contribution and professionalism

Procurement is the power of the individual to transform a challenge into an asset and give expression to a company’s mission across all points of contact, internal and external

Procurement is continuing, and never-ending development and innovation

Procurement is being an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action

Procurement is about being a catalyst

Procurement’s most important asset? Its people. Indeed, all great companies work to generate value in ever more particular, scalable and sustainable ways and that is only accomplished through the efforts of individuals and team.

We are massively creative, wonderfully diverse and intelligent. We are also likely often overwhelmed to the point of effective inaction by all the conflicting and confusing information regarding our profession, personal development and careers.

So, when we say we want to “elevate the role of procurement” what we mean is we want to clarify, curate and coalescence the wisdom of leaders and acknowledged catalysts. We do this to help ourselves be in action generating fulfillment and experience our lives as an opportunity to make a difference.

Let’s tap into our individuality and strength.

Art of Procurement is a space for those willing to challenge the status quo and believe in the power of their own choices. It is the place for professionals who aspire to be catalysts.

No judgements, just juice.

The power of two: you and us.

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2017

Like many Procurement professionals, we love analyzing data. So, with a little “downtime” on our hands last week, we crunched a few numbers…what follows are some highlights from our various conversations during 2017. 

The team and I trust you will find a nugget or two that will help you advance your own conversations and catalytic way of being. 

Posts:

Procurement Transformation: A CPO’s “To-Do” List for the First 100 Days: VSP Global CPO Greg Tennyson shares his checklist on the activities a CPO should focus on in the first 100 days of their new job to maximize their impact.

What’s the Story…(Procurement): Gordon Donovan provides his advice for using the art of storytelling to influence our internal and external stakeholders.

Evolving from Procurement Managers to Innovation Enablers: Mark Davis provides actionable tips based on first hand experiences on how procurement professionals can facilitate supplier enabled innovation.

What’s Next?: Gordon Donovan returns with a call to action for us all to consider what we can do within our organizations to take our impact to the next level.

The Increasing Gap Between Business Strategy and Procurement Results: Are we doing everything we can to connect procurement impact with business results? In this article, I dug into the numbers of an Altify study and considered the impact of procurement not being aligned with our business stakeholders.

Podcasts:

How Google is Moving the Procurement Sphere of Influence w/ David Natoff & Bernd Huber: Hear how Google Procurement continues on their journey to become a trusted business partner in a complex and agile organization, while ensuring that they remain strong corporate guardians.

A Procurement Leaders Guide to Spend Analysis w/ David Bush: I invited David Bush of Spend HQ on to the show to hear his advice on the steps that procurement leaders can take to gain greater visibility into supplier spend as the foundation of robust procurement strategies.

Why Global Buying Strategies Are Often Doomed to Fail & What You Can Do About It, w/ Brian Bancroft: Long time procurement executive and CPO Brian Bancroft shared his perspective on a wide range of topics, from how to be successful moving between Indirect and Direct procurement, why global sourcing strategies are often setting buyers up for failure, and how working with procurement as a stakeholder shaped Brian’s approach as a CPO.

Building a Procurement Function from the Ground Up, w/ Dave Quillin: Dave built a procurement organization by first listening to the needs of the business, and by focusing more broadly on value rather than cost savings alone. In our chat, Dave shares the importance of balancing process with agility, particularly in regulated industries such as financial services, along with lessons he learned along the way.

How CPO’s and Academia Combined to Set the Indirect Procurement Standard w/ Sime Curkovic: Sime is Professor of Supply Chain Management at Western Michigan University, and joined me on the show to share details about the Indirect Procurement Standard – a performance management system developed specifically for indirect procurement operations in conjunction with COPC and private companies such as Microsoft.

TWIP Articles:

Procurement as an Engine of Innovation: Bradley Stewart, Head of Growth and Partnerships at DPSA (Delivering Procurement Services for Aid), explains how procurement can foster innovation, resulting in significant benefits for aid and development programs.

Writing Good Contracts Matters a LOT!: Rob Handfield of North Carolina State University shares a checklist of the key elements of a good contract. Do your contracts include all these elements…?

5 Global CPOs Answer Your Top 5 Procurement Questions:  This article summarizes the five podcasts that I recorded earlier in the year for Procurious as part of their Career Boot Camp with the CPO’s of Vodafone, Rio Tinto, Barclays, AstraZeneca and The Co-Operative Group.

How Big is YOUR Procurement Team – and Can You Really Justify It?: Procurement consultant Adrian Brown asks is the trend towards building larger procurement teams is leading to a misalignment between procurement and business objectives.

Developing Procurement Skills – Without Spending a Penny Part 1 | Part 2: In this two part series, Peter Smith of Spend Matters (UK) shares a number of free resources that procurement professionals can tap into to develop their skills – without it costing a penny.

Happy New Year!

Phil, and the AOP team.

P.S. We spent a lot of time over the holiday thinking about what Procurement means to us. What do you think of our perspective? What does Procurement mean to you? Please share anything that comes to mind by simply sending me an email. I read every mail and am eager to read yours.

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.