Events & Conferences

How to level up the impact of procurement: Agility, connectivity, and partnership | SievoFriends 2021

Erkki Paunonen Jun 23, 2021

SievoFriends is our annual event for our customers and partners. SievoFriends 2021 was our 12th consecutive yearly event, and second year as a virtual event. We welcomed 18 guest speakers from companies around the globe and offered 25 unique sessions. If you couldn’t make it to the event: don’t worry. We’ve collected all the talks for on demand viewing. Watch SievoFriends 2021 on Demand Here.

How to increase the impact of procurement

This year, the theme of SievoFriends was “Leveling up the impact of procurement.” Sammeli, CEO and Co-founder of Sievo, gave us his take on the new corporate reality in his talk “Thriving in a Volatile World. He listed 3 mega trends that create opportunities and challenges for procurement:

  • economic volatility
  • increased emphasis on responsibility, and
  • competition for talent.

In order to increase the impact of procurement, these challenges must be addressed. Looking back on the various customer stories, panels discussions, and keynote speeches of SievoFriends 2021, the overriding theme was one of taking action. Overall, three big ideas came up throughout the event--resonant across industries and regions. These ideas are the without a doubt the defining characteristics of the future of procurement: agility, connectivity, and the power of partnership.

Facing volatility with connectivity and agility 

Tuomas Syrjänen, Co-founder of Futurice, explained in his keynote “Connected Company Rises along with Data and AI,” that a data-enabled adaptive strategy aligns data with processes and strategy. With this data-oriented paradigm, organizations can combat the tendency to not “know what they know.” From the procurement point of view, success hinges on connected data with other processes. But in order for this to occur, behaviors must change along with technology.

Tom Singh, Group VP Supply Chain at Barry-Wehmiller, described the key missions they set for their sourcing: see, understand, and optimize. They wanted to promote “data-based decision making” across the organization. The sense of needing agility in procurement was a major factor why they chose Sievo. As Guru Bandekar, CPO of Stanley Black & Decker put it, “we’re moving from a just-in-time world to a resilient world.” During “Risk in Procurement – a CPO panel,” it was discussed how the “make where you buy, buy where you make” strategy is becoming the best defense against uncertainty.

Julio Peironcely, Global Director Insights & Analytics Cycles & Procurement at Danone, told how Danone’s marketing department used Sievo to gain insights into indirect spend on country level. Julio assured that visibility can be gained outside of the IT and procurement departments. The story was the same at Barry-Wehmiller, where Engineering, Leadership, and Product Managers all gain value from Sievo. These examples highlight how an agile strategy is supported by procurement data. There is a major paradigm shift in how we incorporate procurement data cross-functionally in decision making. 

Responsible partnerships 

“Procurement leveling up means becoming a better business partner” said Fabian Lampe, Head of Procurement & Marketing, Archlet. In the roundtable “Best Practices with Sustainable Procurement” with Torsten Naue (Accenture) and Robert Ekqvist (Ecovadis) we heard that sustainability KPIs will mean more to procurement success in the future. Chantale Rouleau, Corporate Procurement Director at Cascades, spoke about their integration of EcoVadis with Sievo spend analytics solution to do their sustainability KPI reporting with “everything in the same place.” 

As procurement becomes more connected and agile, it must also address social impact in environmental sustainability, inclusion, and social risks. During the panel “Women in Procurement,” with Anna Konoplianikova (Head of Procurement at Chalhoub Group) and Amanda Prochaska (Chief Wonder Officer at Wonder Services), it was said we need to move beyond the “seat at the table” conversation, and empower, encourage, and mentor. Supporting women-owned businesses may no longer come down to price competition, but can become an investment into a truly beneficial supplier partnership. 

Talent in Procurement

SievoFriends 2021 also explored what will be the skills of the future procurement professional. During the panel "Getting the Best Talent in Procurement"--with Marianna Zangrillo (Group Head of Procurement at Infront), Ville Halonen (Vice President Corporate Procurement at Fortum), and Teemu Marttinen (Co-founder at Zeal)--we were urged to reassess how we describe the requirements of procurement roles. Procurement is becoming less clerical, and more strategic. Also, on the organizational level, procurement is increasingly "in the driver's seat" of corporate strategy. We need to attract the best and brightest to procurement. 

Christian Alsø, CEO of ISS Denmark, shared his story “From CPO to CEO - Learnings of the Journey.” In his mind, procurement is about providing value to customers. “Buying is selling in reverse”—procurement must look closer at partnerships. Across both roles, he consistently has thought of the supply chain as bringing value to the customer. With this fundamental belief, supplier relationships must be supported and aligned with value for the end customer. Procurement is matching suppliers and customers.

Best is yet to come...

Procurement as a function is going through some major shifts. It’s being seen as more strategic, more impactful, and as a driver of customer value. The future of procurement impact rests on these three trends:

1. Agility in procurement and adaptation to change.

2. Connectivity of data and processes with procurement.

3. Partnerships on the human and network level.

Roy Anderson, a Supply Chain Evangelist, gave an energetic keynote speech, “Procurement: the Best is Yet to Come.” Roy believes the next step in procurement is marketplace innovation. Free technologies, paid for by the funds flowing through the network, will build a more transparent and digital supply chain. He also urged us that outcome driven sourcing can’t be done by procurement alone. It requires significant supplier collaboration, innovation, and solution optimization with 3rd party collaborators.

Sievo updates! 

Alongside the energetic and inspired talks from Sievo customers and partners, Sievonians took the virtual stage to share product announcements, tips and tricks, and company news. Heta Ruikka, VP of Product at Sievo, shared some big product news in her presentation “Global Leader in Procurement Analytics.” Heta announced three new updates coming to Sievo: a new reclassification and request workflow, new savings project lists, a re-build of Materials Forecasting, and SPM Next—a reimagination of Savings Program Management. Heta put it simply: “Sievo’s unique strength is to combine spend data with any data.”

Interested in any of these topics? Watch SievoFriends 2021 on-demand! 

All of the SievoFriends 2021 presentations are available to stream on-demand here. Don’t miss out on over 12 hours of great content and 25 presentations from procurement professionals around the world.

p.s. Pictured here is (some of) the awesome crew that made this event happen! 

The hardworking crew of SievoFriends 2021