Theme Discussions taking place during Sourcing Outlook 2018
The short answer is of course – no. Technology cannot override the need for skills in any type organization. Something that is evident every time EBG gather peers. Yet, the opposite is also true – skills alone cannot cover the capabilities technology can offer.
After last years Sourcing Outlook – the second annual – EBG asked a couple of companies what their reflections were after the Theme Discussions (aka round table discussions) they hosted or co-hosted. For EBG it is the best of two worlds – consultants and solution providers learn what challenges and opportunities practitioners have, and practitioners learn from other peers and from that extensive know how the consultants have. All in an open and no-pitch type environment.
Today few question the need to accelerate the use of technology both as part of a business offering and as a way to become more efficient and effective. Few would state it is still really hard to realize the potential possible.
Let’s learn from the Sourcing Outlook 2018 Theme Discussions led by Mia Lewis, CPO at Bonava and Ivalua. EBG asked Niels Hoogkamer about his general reflections over what was discussed, below is his summary segmented into four areas. Of course not placing anyone in the spotlight – but again offering small insights into challenges and opportunities that came up.
During the active discussion many points were brought up that I believe can be helpful for any Procurement organization, old or new, that is looking for inspiration in 2019Niels Hoogkamer, Ivalua
Focus on skills
Having all the procurement knowledge in the world is of little benefit if no one turns to you for help. Excellent communication and being able to talk about how procurement can act as a key differentiator are skills that get you invited to join new projects early, instead of afterwards when suppliers have already been selected.
For a team to be more than just the sum of its parts, you need to have a strong team-culture. This consists of hiring people that will bring more than just their previous experience, and hiring people with diverse backgrounds. This gets you a complimentary team that fosters innovation.
Dare to mix it up
Someone that has experience being a category manager for the interior of trucks might deliver a fresh new take on designing kitchens. And the person that has a background in sales might have valuable contract negotiation skills that were missing from your department. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
2019 is destined to bring us a lot of change as times are more unpredictable than they’ve ever been before. While it’s important to have a bigger picture, you can’t expect to predict the exact demands facing you as a procurement professional 5 years from now. Be sure to have a flexible team that is willing to embrace coming changes and use them to their advantage. Similarly, make sure you have the right digital tools available that can change with you.
With that in mind I hope to see you again at the Source to Pay event in 2019!Niels Hoogkamer, Ivalua
EBG | Network agree and we can clearly see that the people aspect – although technology is in focus – is the most challenging aspect brought up by peers at Source 2 Pay Summit 2019. Both change management, but also skill-sets and considerations how to not only seek efficiency but being able to prove an effect.