CPOstrategy met with procurement leaders from banking, utilities, consulting, solutions providers and financial services. Taking the temperature on the latest trends and predictions for the future we spoke with Barclaycard, Enel, Bain, Coupa and Legal & General.
Rob Tuckwell, Director of Partnerships & B2B
Barclaycard is building an ecosystem of P2P software providers (including Coupa and Amadeus) with the aim of bringing payments and procurement closer together for B2B. “We’ve got to make sure that our payment products are embedded within those ecosystems,” says Tuckwell who is keen for Barclaycard to tackle “horrendous inefficiencies” for its customers… “Digital payment products work in the consumer space. Why is that not filtering through to business? Our strategy is to go from Procure-to-Pay to ‘Procure-and-Pay’. It’s a really key difference that they’re not separate processes anymore and the future for payments and procurement is going to be the convergence of these areas.”
Salvatore Bernabei, Head of Global Procurement
Enel is among the world’s leading integrated private utilities with a presence in over 40 countries and more than 70 million retail customers. Bernabei is focused on developing relationships to enhance flexibility, minimise time to market and add value. “We welcome innovation by vendors,” he says. “We say: I have a challenge here, I am not capable, with my knowledge, to solve it. It’s a very precise case study. I invite suppliers, offer a case with one month to provide a solution before I select the best idea. We offer the possibility to experiment, on our plans and assets before a contract is awarded.” To support this approach Enel has an agreement with crowdsourcing platform Innocentive.
Bain & Company
Borja Tramazaygues, Procurement Leader EMEA & Gerry Mattios, EVP, APAC
Consulting firm Bain & Company’s Performance Improvement Practice advocates targeted solutions for immediate impact combined with broad transformation programmes to redefine how work gets done. “Once we have helped implement technology to optimise tactical processes in procurement, such as invoicing and purchase orders, we have to address the broader digital struggles of an organisation,” explains Mattios. “Procurement tends to be a back-office activity linked to savings,” agrees Tramazaygues. “There’s a big opportunity for procurement to be a real part of the business; it can play a big role in rebuilding the supply chain to make it more agile, opening the best markets and bringing innovation through from suppliers.” Tramazaygues and Mattios believe new approaches are vital in the current inflationary environment.
Rajiv Ramachandran, Product Strategy Management
Coupa offers an all-in-one, end to end, business spend management platform. “Coupa provides users the richness of insights, based not just on their own data but truly normalised, and anonymised data across all the buyer, supplier relationship that exist on our cloud-based platform,” says Ramachandran who cites the need to be able to use consolidated data to chart the efficiencies and risks of suppliers. It’s a “game changer” he sees customers greatly benefiting from when analysing B2B data on a platform holding approximately one trillion dollars of spend. Coupa believe the ability to match your progress against the community of the platform, and take efficiencies from it, points to the future for agile procurement as part of an ecosystem.
Legal & General
Maarten Ectors, Chief Innovation Officer
Legal & General is focused on disrupting procurement from the inside out. Ectors stresses the importance of allowing ecosystems to generate innovative solutions for its customers. “You need to get everybody at your organisation excited about innovation,” he advises. “You can’t innovate on your own and if you don’t collaborate with the challengers in the market they can only disrupt you, but not in a positive way.” Ectors highlights an important trend, the need to optimise the cost of failure: “Our Beta programme runs four-week trials with new companies to assess potential new partners,” he explains of a process which allows L&G to remain agile in its approach to innovations that can speed up claims handling from days to minutes.