Andrew Daley, Director of Edbury Daley, specialist recruiters in procurement and spend management has recently published an article aimed at helping professionals in both sectors develop their skills to suit the new era of digital procurement. With a clear emphasis on self-education, Andrew intends to share advice, tips and valuable online resources in a series of articles over the coming months.
Procurement Technology recruitment specialists Edbury Daley have just published their latest research and commentary on the procurement and spend management sectors. The report covers both the UK and Europe and includes:
- All the latest news from the procurement technology sector
- Observations on recruitment market trends including procurement leadership, the interim market, procurement technology and consulting
- The impact of Brexit on the job market and procurement profession
- Views on the recent Procurement Technology events and the subjects discussed
- Thoughts on the future of the procurement skill set
- Advice on how to progress your career in an automated world
You can download the report for free here: The Procurement & Spend Management Insider Autumn 2018
The Future of Procurement is a subject that has attracted a lot of column inches from thought leaders in the past couple of years, but the debate has picked up some real momentum in the past few months resulting in it being a central theme at several of this autumn’s procurement events.
Following on from our feature on The Future Of Procurement, taken from our most recent Procurement & Spend Management Insider report where we examined the opportunities that exist for the function to evolve from a savings dominated agenda, I was asked to speak at two such events to give a recruiters’ perspective and some insight into how these factors are influencing market conditions.
At both Basware Connect and SAP Ariba’s “Procurement Summit” I was fortunate enough to see some great presentations from several respected procurement leaders. The discussions centred around the future skill set, the use of technology as a catalyst for change and the implications for professional development, staff retention and talent attraction, subjects which are of course close to my heart.
Starting at the SAP Ariba Procurement Summit on the 10th October, an event which was sponsored by Deloitte, there were excellent presentations from Guy Hubball (ex CPO of BP), Marcell Vollmer (SAP Ariba’s Chief Digital Officer) and Graham Wright of IBM, all of whom touched upon the skills debate to some extent.
Some excellent examples were given of best practice use of the latest generation of procurement solutions including enhanced visibility in the supply chain (seven tiers for one automotive business), opportunities to take CSR to another level, the use of AI and other exciting tools.
It was a very enjoyable event with no obvious hard sell, more of an education for the audience supporting a theme which was effectively a challenge to the profession to embrace the opportunities available and carve out a new iteration of procurement supported by the use of technology.
A week later Basware Connect offered a slightly different emphasis but an equally enjoyable range of topics to consider. The common theme was, as you would expect, the prospects that exist for procurement and finance professionals to embrace the digital transformation opportunity.
However, for me, a highlight of Basware events is that they have speakers from outside the immediate procurement and finance world to give a different perspective from many of the other technology vendors. They give the attendees something of a broader education and a great deal of food for thought.
Last year it was Matthew Syed (The Times journalist and “Ping-pong guy” from the BBC podcast) who gave the audience a fascinating presentation entitled “Black Box Thinking.” This time it was Rohit Talwar, noted Futurist, Author & Advisor.
His presentation “AI And The Next Frontiers Of Business” outlined a vision of some mind-boggling possibilities underpinned by the development of AI that is potentially closer than we think. He also explained several examples where AI is already infiltrating our lives in many ways we don’t realise.
I’ll be reading his book “The Future of Business” just as soon as I get through what is an incredibly busy period for us at Edbury Daley at the moment – significant demand from several of our procurement tech clients across Europe is keeping us really busy, along with finalising the next edition of The Procurement & Spend Management Insider due for publication in early November as outlined here. Of course, we’ll be expanding on several of the themes mentioned here so be sure to check it out.
Since the end of the summer holidays, we’ve seen a significant spike in demand for people with experience of implementing cloud base procurement solutions, particularly SAP Ariba. Typically we are being asked to recruit for people who can combine some technical skills with subject matter expertise in procurement technology and ideally the sort of experience that would enable them to thrive in a client facing role.
Strong communication skills and a good Project Management background are typically valued in such roles and would be a prerequisite for anyone seeking to move the spend management world from other areas like finance or supply chain solutions.
Besides SAP Ariba, experience of implementing solutions like Ivalua, Proactis, Coupa and other tools is also sought after by our clients.
We’ve got a host of opportunities in Europe including the UK, France, Benelux, Germany and the Nordics as well as overseas markets like Saudi Arabia. Most are advertised on the jobs page of this site, so you can click the menu section above or here to take a closer look.
If you don’t see anything quite right but you have these skills then it is still worth getting in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be offering our usual in-depth analysis of the wider market trends in our next Insider report which is currently in production and due for publication at the end of October. If you missed the last one it’s well worth reading judging by the feedback we’ve received from the market – download it here.
We are very much into conference season now in the procurement technology sector and next week sees the return of one of the best events on the calendar from SAP Ariba.
Graham Wright of IBM is amongst the headline presenters as he offers a presentation entitled “Step up or step out: A Procurement leadership masterclass.”
We’re delighted to confirm that Andrew Daley, founding Director of Edbury Daley will share the stage with Graham, and will offer his thoughts on what he sees and hears from the broader market on issues like the use of procurement technology, its impact of the future of the procurement skill set, and what the implications are for procurement leaders who want to hire for such skills.
It should be a great event and as Justin Sadler Smith (Head of United Kingdom & Ireland, Ariba Cloud Procurement at SAP) said it’s personal and about you as a procurement professional, 5-10-15 years what will you be doing and are you ready?” Justin has lined up a fantastic agenda with Patrick McCarthy, Guy Hubball, FCIPS, Paul Bray, Graham Wright, Andrew Daley, Martine Booth, Timo Worrall, James Marland and many more.
You can register to attend here: https://lnkd.in/eSicpEu
There’s a lot of talk these days about the future of work and robots taking over. It’s been covered in a number of recent articles on the future of procurement by the likes of Spend Matters. I thought I’d give my view, as a recruiter, on how I’m seeing things change as the world of Procurement becomes further automated.
We are increasingly observing terminology like spend analytics, process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning creeping into job descriptions.
And CPOs asking for us to find candidates that can “understand and agree our analytics vision” or “provide a step-change in the way we use data to inform our decision making and problem solving”.
Others have asked us to find people with experience of “delivering procurement technology projects in the context of broader procurement transformation initiatives”.
As a result we are seeing CVs that list key skills like:
- Solution design and implementation
- Process evolution and mapping
- Data gathering and analysis
- Planning and delivering transformational training workshops.
But we’re finding that it’s adaptability and a willingness to learn new skills that are the key differentiator in today’s market. Attitudes to automation and new technology seem to vary dramatically, from people who see it as something that will put them out of work, to people who embrace the change and are actively developing new skill sets such as those mentioned above that will set them up for the future.
This is something that we’ll be exploring in more detail during a workshop I’m hosting at Basware Connect in London on 17th October. I’m hoping for a lively discussion where I’ll be sharing my own experiences and inviting outside perspectives on how people are climbing the career ladder in an increasingly automated world.
Connect is one of my top picks when it comes to conferences, it was a great event last year with excellent guest speakers and insightful content. You can sign up for free here.
After a relatively quiet period on the merger and acquisition front in the procurement technology market so far in 2018, Proactis have announced the addition of Dutch spend management firm Esize into the group.
This follows a pattern of growth by acquisition by Proactis who have previously bought the likes of Due North, EGS and Intelligent Capture. Last year they made a significant step in what was an effectively a reverse takeover of Perfect Commerce and this is the first acquisition by the group since then.
As usual there’s some good analysis of the deal by our friends at Spend Matters which you can read here:
This is a subject that has promoted some very interesting comments and debate in recent times, not least because of the impact of the impressive range of spend management solutions available to procurement functions.
Our colleagues at Edbury Daley have been talking about this for some time and offer some insight from a skills, recruitment and development angle. They talk about three opportunities for procurement to move on from its current agenda. They are:
As usual the excellent Spend Matters website has offered some fascinating thoughts from a different perspective. Here are there most recent articles:
We welcome your thoughts on the subject. Why not join the debate via Twitter or Linked In or email us at email@example.com