The programme features high-level keynote presentations, numerous case studies in the multi-stream seminars programme and round-table discussion sessions, providing both buyers and suppliers with the best learning and networking opportunities of the year.
The theme for the 2018 Premier ConfeX series is ‘Improving Customer Experience’.
In defining ‘Customer Experience’ we first need to identify who our customers are. I would argue that as a service function, which it is, all stakeholders that procurement comes into contact with could be regarded as customers – even our suppliers. While this may sound odd, we are providing services to both the buy and supply sides of the equation. Therefore, should we not treat our suppliers just as well as we do our internal customers?
And by serve, I do not mean we should be subservient. Rather, we should look to make the experience of working with procurement, with our business or government department, better for all.
So what are these issues that I see the theme addressing?
‘Procurement agility’ or ‘agile procurement’ are terms that have been increasingly used in recent years. How do we become more responsive to the needs of our customers/stakeholders? How do we increase the speed at which we serve while still ensuring appropriate governance and best commercial outcomes? Becoming more agile is all about improving our customer’s experience.
‘Digitisation’ is another hot issue. How can we use technology to improve our customer’s experience; whether by making it easier for them to buy, interact with suppliers, or by facilitating faster process and decision-making by procurement?
‘Innovation’ has been on PASA’s radar for some time now; specifically procurement’s role in driving innovation through the supply base. We use phrases such as ‘becoming a customer of choice’ to our suppliers. Improving our supplier’s experience of how they interact with us and our business is essential to achieving this status. For instance, SME’s are widely recognised as being the most likely source of innovation for larger organisations. How friendly are our procurement practices to SME’s?
Finally – and frankly – procurement has a brand problem! Issues around stakeholder/customer understanding of the procurement value proposition are always high on the agenda.
Too often procurement is seen as a roadblock; a function to be bypassed or avoided. We will only change these perceptions by making the experience of dealing with procurement more positive. Complaining isn’t going to help.
We need to better understand what our customer’s value. Plus, we need to ensure we are delivering it in a way that makes them see us as the trusted advisors we believe we should be.
I am sure there will be other issues that we will identify through the year, but in the meantime there is plenty there to work on.
• Understand why ‘Improving customer experience’ is critical to the future of procurement
• Learn how to analyse your customers/stakeholders in order to properly understand how you should engage with them
• Hear case studies from leading practitioners who are already putting these principles into practice
• Gain insights into how you can deliver improved customer experience through use of technology and social procurement
• Acquire practical tools to equip you to achieve remarkable results in the workplace
• Network and learn with and from your peers at Auckland’s premier procurement gathering
PASA Conferences attract a broad spectrum of procurement professionals, from Chief Procurement Officers to category and contracts managers. The programme for the PASA Confex should have wide appeal, with content that should be vital to:
• CPO’s, Heads of Procurement/Commercial, General Managers – essentially whoever is responsible for the managing of the procurement function
• Procurement managers/officers, category managers, vendor managers, contracts officers/managers, supplier relationship managers, commercial managers, procurement analysts, sourcing managers, procurement/sourcing specialists etc.
• C-suite Executives with responsibility for procurement – Come along and see what other organisations are doing and gain ideas as to how to draw more value from your procurement function
• Suppliers – If you work in sales, business development or account management, dealing with procurement, then you should not miss this opportunity to learn more about where procurement is heading and how this impacts on how you relate.