I’ve spent the past 17 years of my professional career focused on driving the procurement profession forward. I have been and continue to be very personally invested in this cause too (just ask my wife). In this period of time, we have collectively seen the procurement profession take many great strides forward, but also a few steps back or to the side; we’ve even seen a few stumbles. Nonetheless, when business historians reflect on this period, the transformation of procurement and supply management will have its own chapter.
As someone who’s been a first-hand participant, researcher, and advisor in, of, or to this industry over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have many wonderful and great experiences and memories. For example:
- I remember the first time I sat in a conference room as an entire procurement team and the company CFO of a multi-billion dollar company watched an eSourcing event that I designed and managed save 31%. I remember dozens of similar events for very different companies.
- I remember going to audacious company parties in the B2B Internet Boom ‘hey day.’
- I remember helping Microsoft save millions of dollars on its digital media spend and then identifying how a change in its buying behavior could save millions more.
- I remember reading Tim Minahan’s 2005 CPO’s Agenda research report and realizing the great value of insightful and progressive market research.
- I remember Scott Singer telling me how pumped he was about his job as a CPO after reading the intro to one of my “CPO reports”
- I remember the WSJ’s front page article about procurement and Manitowoc Company.
- I remember Tom Linton explaining his amazing approach to his first six months at LG.
- I remember marveling at Shelley Stewart as he described (in a keynote at an event I had organized) how his office at Tyco was located between the CEO and the CFO.
- I remember the leader of a multi-billion dollar global sourcing program telling an audience that his company adopted a strategy that Ardent Partners developed and that it led to phenomenal results (more on this in a future article).
I could go on for days. But, above all else, it has been the conversations that I have had and the relationships that I have developed over this time that stand as the most important and memorable of my experiences. One day I will write a series covering some of these older stories and reflections; but not today. Today, I want to kick off a series designed to share some of the great ‘memories’ or takeaways from our CPO Rising 2016 Summit held last week.
In many ways, our CPO Rising 2016 Summit was the culmination the past two decades that my team has spent working in and researching procurement. When I founded Ardent Partners, I knew that I wanted to host an annual CPO summit, but I also knew that we should wait until we could pull it off on our own and without event partners so that we could clearly establish our level of engagement and influence in the market.
Having organized events of this nature, I can tell you that it is no small undertaking to attempt to bring an inaugural event to market, much less one with so many moving parts focused on an executive audience. So, it is with great pride that I can tell you that across all aspects, CPO Rising 2016 surpassed my extremely high expectations – the speakers, the audience, the sponsors, the venue, and the overall production. In sports parlance, it was an “instant classic” and it is an event that I will never forget. That does not mean it was a perfect event – in fact, we have many lessons learned… and our CPO Rising 2017 Summit will be that much stronger as a result. But, this is an event that is very significant for Ardent Partners as marks the beginning of the next phase in our development and growth. We will work doubly hard to ensure that next year’s event is a very significant one for CPOs and the entirety of this site’s readership. We have many great memories to share with you so, if you missed the CPO Rising 2016 Summit, you are in luck because in the days (and weeks) ahead, we will be sharing key highlights from it.
If you can’t wait that long, the easiest and quickest way to get up to speed on all of the event’s great presentations and discussions is to register for our webinar next week: Voice of the CPO: Highlights from the CPO Rising 2016 Summit – April 12, 2016 at 2 pm ET (click to register).