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177: How Biogen is Changing the Game for Procurement Performance w/ Walt Charles

My guest on the show today is Walt Charles, the Chief Procurement Officer at Biogen. Walt will be well known to a number of listeners – he is a long time CPO with such illustrious companies as Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Division, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, and now at Biogen.

As you will hear in the interview, Walt is very passionate about the potential power of procurement, but also believes that some of our more traditional approaches – such as the parent principle – may no longer be fit for purpose.

Walt has achieved significant results throughout his career by redesigning processes and investing in enabling tools and technology.

In our interview we talk about the “how”, with a specific focus today on tools and technology. But in the first part of the interview, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Walt’s background, and his philosophies as a leader.

Our conversation is almost an hour long, and it could have gone a lot longer! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

My model for transformation is how do I take the people I’ve got, show them a different set of processes and a different set of approaches and tools and have them use those to deliver fundamentally different increases in savings and outcomes for the business.” – Walt Charles

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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.