After giving last week’s Procurement Leaders, World Procurement Congress a week to marinate, I have come to the conclusion that you, todays procurement and supply chain leaders, need to step up your game in the talent market. I listened to countless speakers stand up and tell you that the future is going to be challenging. Automation, VUCA and a millennial workforce are just some of the challenges you and your businesses are facing.
As an Associate Director of global executive search firm EO Executives, I also head up the Procurement and Supply Chain Practice. My role means I get the opportunity to meet with the top industry leaders on a frequent basis, whilst continuously keeping up to date with new industry trends and what’s going on in the market.
One reoccurring (and well known) fact that keeps arising in my discussions with industry leaders is that is that MD’s, CEO’s and boards of SME’s are facing huge challenges growing their businesses; in a volatile market that often has more disruptive and aggressive competition than ever before.Continue reading
There aren’t many organisations that I have worked with over the last decade from FTSE 100 to SME’s, that aren’t involved in or planning change. Driven by the current geo-political and economic situation, globalisation agendas, technology advances and mergers or acquisitions, modern leaders can’t hide from change.
It is also widely accepted that people are our greatest asset and yet we seem to forget about them and their needs when we embark on change (and Mr Maslow wouldn’t like that!). For most people change is hard, unwelcome and feared. People are uncomfortable with any uncertainty; especially around change. Consequently, transformation projects can raise concerns, heighten tension and can cause anxiety.
Since joining the world of commerce over 12 years ago, I cannot recall a time in the industry where agility has been as fundamental as it is today. Agility is at the forefront of many successful business agendas and plays a key role in business performance.
Looking closely at the agile businesses I work with on a regular basis, it is clear to see they all have a few things in common that have led them to become highly adaptable, flexible and influential.
Most importantly all of these businesses have overcome obstacles that have now set them up to encounter the new challenges that face the business world in 2017 and beyond.Continue reading
The Finance and Procurement relationship is arguably one of the most controversial within any organisation, as it is one of the most integrated and yet most distant. Executives Online recently surveyed over 300 senior industry leaders finding that only 20% of CPOs and CFOs felt the two functions were aligned on key business initiatives.
To understand this interesting relationship further our team reached out to our strong network of senior leaders and invited them to participate in our thought leadership webinar.Continue reading
It’s still not working...
Our recent survey suggests that procurement and finance executives fundamentally agree on one thing and one thing only… that they are not well aligned!
To the business executives outside of the procurement and finance functions this lack of alignment has always been a bit of a bemusing mystery. “Surely they should collaborate fully?” they cry whilst proclaiming “No wonder we can’t fully get a grip on our cost base”.Continue reading
At Executives Online we recently surveyed 1,000 industry leaders to gain an insight into how Britain’s decision to leave the EU has impacted businesses across the UK and the rest of Europe.
For most businesses the impact has not been as severe as first thought. However, working with procurement and supply chain professionals on a daily basis I decided to take a closer look at how the two functions took the news.Continue reading
In the Procurement industry we face a challenge with our brand – people still don’t fully understand the strategic importance of what we do!
“Brand Procurement” is generally totally misunderstood and built on tactical stereotypes that are holding back the ability of procurement professionals to be truly impactful. It has gotten so bad that some CPOs have dropped the word procurement entirely and now call their team’s commercial managers or alliance specialists!Continue reading
I am often called in by organisations to find interim cover or permanent replacements (or both) as a result of an incumbent procurement leader leaving a business.
Exiting an organisation can be a tricky and emotionally charged time but it is a time that is of upmost importance with regards to maintaining your professional reputation. The Procurement industry is a small world and in our highly networked digital society “informal” referencing and background checking is more accessible than ever.Continue reading
It can be hard to stay abreast of the newest, most disruptive pieces of technology (although my kids don’t seem to have the same problem!) but a recent statistic suggested that a third of market growth and up to two thirds of new hires over the next five years will come from the emerging disruptive technologies. Most suppliers possess these new innovations, so after years of squeezing suppliers and reducing cost how do you then position a proposition that will encourage your suppliers to bring value and innovation to the table?Continue reading