The Determine
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Empowering Decisions
May 23, 2017

Procurement’s role: Making it easy for the business to do business.

Procurement’s role: Making it easy for the business to do business.

The podcast series that’s all about minding your business in contract management and source to pay.

When it comes to procurement and technology, getting the practitioner’s perspective first-hand adds considerable practical dimension and insight to our learning and messaging. In that regard, my conversation with Greg Tennyson, CPO at VSP Global (formerly at Salesforce.com and Oracle) was a trove of information and a revealing glimpse into how a CPO thinks about shaping procurement today. Since Greg will be our featured guest in our webinar tomorrow at 11 AM ET with Ardent Partners digging into their new report CPO Rising 2017: Tools of the Trade, this podcast is a great intro to what will be an important webinar.

As Greg points out (and the CPO Rising report elaborates on), procurement needs to be an innovator for the constituents it works with. It’s about continuously focusing on people, process and technology, and looking for ways to improve those interactions. For internal customers, it’s all about the service offering – understanding their needs in order to make the tools easy to use to drive adoption (and ever more self-service focused as time goes on). This process of understanding goes back to something our customer Dave Quillin at Alliant Credit Union said, that listening to business units is a big part of procurement’s job.

For suppliers, innovating can mean making it faster and easier to process orders and payments, or innovating the actual product or solution itself. Working to innovate with technology providers on the other hand, can include input and influence on the product roadmap, ensuring that iterations are meeting specific business needs.

All of these points harken back to enhancing and refining the User Experience (UI/UX), something I am covering in a series of ongoing blogs. As Greg said, whether the we’re talking about smart workflows, machine learning, AI, it’s all about leveraging technology to optimize a better experience.

As an aside, Greg mentions a book by Lisa Bodell called Why Simple Wins. She may be a noted futurist, but the essence of the book – creating simplicity – is what Determine is doing right now and what we’ve been doing for customers: You have to make it easy for the business to do business. Ironically, simplicity is a complicated topic, but as you’ll learn more in our webinar on CPO Rising, helping our customers manage simplicity means making it easy for them to get their processes under management, no matter how difficult they get.

As I noted, this podcast is a prelude to understanding CPO Rising 2017: Tools of the Trade. Please join Andrew Bartolini, Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners, Greg Tennyson and me as we decipher and dissect the report in detail in our webinar on May 24 at 11AM EDT / 8AM PDT. If you can’t make it, register anyway and we’ll send you the link to the on-demand video.

Thanks for listening in.

Have an idea or topic for an episode, or are you interested in being in one? Drop me a line and let’s get the conversation started.

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