Tuesday, 22 September 2015

eWorld30 Procurement & Supply: Celebration or a cause for concern?

Today it was Happy Birthday to eWorld Procurement & Supply - the free to attend conference. Always worth attending in these days when so little is allocated to training budgets.  Anyway, here's my selected view of the day which overall represents a good day.

Way back in 2006 I delivered a presentation on 'Selling Procurement Internally'.  I was amazed to hear the Keynote address from the Hackett Group's, Chris Sawchuk, still found it appropriate to deliver similar messages - okay, my presentation was to a public sector group but is it really okay for the profession to still struggle gaining internal ownership? That should be a cause for concern!

I then attended an excellent presentation from Simon Dadswell of Proactis. Now some headline statistics were revealed which are also a cause for concern:

  • Only 28% of organisations are using Contract Management eProcurement solutions;
  • 13% of organisations are using supplier management procurement solutions;
  • 51% have P2P;
  • 61% feel constrained by Policy!
Do you not find that startling? How long have we known about the business justification for eProcurement solutions - is it less than 15 years? What's the obstacle?

You can make our own judgement on Sawchuk talking about the need to adopt internal marketing approaches and Dadswell's eProcurement implementation statistics. Some may find it a wake-up call, others may find it reassuring that they're in amongst the laggards, while others may just let it all pass them by.  I think we really need to say that by this 30th eWorld Procurement & Supply should be a line in the sand and that by this time next year there has to be a transformational improvement. If not what are the real benefits delivered through attending eWorld?

Don't consider me to have a negative view of eWorld. I did actually attend other more encouraging presentations. For example, Conor Mullaney from exceleratedS2P shared some excellent lessons learnt on the need for an integrated approach to S2P - I think his credentials shone and he presented a compelling case. In a nutshell, lot's of interfacing of solutions within Source-to-Contract and Purchase-to-Pay but the future requires more integration.

Sam De Silva seemed to have had too many quadruple espressos as he raced through Legal Matters. His content is always first class but perhaps he would benefit from trying to say less and making the audience feel as if they are in the Dock. I noticed many using mobile phones to take pics of his slides. This is a man who certainly knows his subject and his enthusasim shines like the Pharos of Alexandria.

Finally I attended a double session workshop led by Lisa Malone of Procurious on '5 ways procurement should start to use social media'. I detected a lot of honesty among the attendees and an enthusiasm for moving forward - I even witnessed one delegate signing up to Twitter during the workshop. Digital Procurement Strategy, I think, will deliver a paradigm shift in procurement - hopefully eWorld will ensure that eWorld31 helps accelerate that shift and that Procurious continue their leadership.

1 comment:

  1. I attended several of the same sessions as you Gordon and found them all very interesting. It's fascinating to see the different messages coming from the various speakers as they seek to position their businesses. I think it reflects the vast differences that exist from one organisation to another in terms of the maturity of procurement and their use of technology.