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Realising procurement's value beyond savings

Exploring the value procurement can bring beyond savings by utilising technology and collaboration to build sustainable change

Posted by: Zivio Reading time: 93 minutes

With Rob Bonnar, A Global Procurement Director with 20 years experience covering Energy, Automotive, Pharma and FMCG.

00:00:00 - Procurement's relationships across a business and the management of change
00:16:00 - Procurement's role in making strategic value
00:25:30 - Automation and the role of data in visibility
00:30:50 - Procurement with purpose
00:36:20 - Tech leading innovation and transformation
00:50:45 - The maturity of services procurement
01:00:20 - Understanding supplier performance and the CPO's strategic value

Transcript

Jonny Dunning:   
0:00       So recording is now in progress. Rob Bonnar, welcome. Thank you very much for joining me. How you doing? 

Rob Bonnar:        0:06       I’m doing very well. Yeah, thank you very much for having me. 

Jonny Dunning:   0:09       My pleasure. Excellent stuff. So we got a really interesting chat lined up, kind of centering on the loose title of realizing procurements value beyond saving. So there’s loads of cool stuff we can talk about in relation to that. Obviously, as usual, a bit of a slant towards services procurement, specifically. But before we get into that, I’d be very interested to know if you could just give a bit of background on what you do, how you got there, but also how you got into procurement? Because I can see that you started out with a background on the scientific side.

Rob Bonnar:        0:40       Yeah. So yes, I did a chemistry degree. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a chemist. But because obviously, it’s now been 20 years since I was actually even in a lab. Although, well, I have visited labs, but not as a chemist. So I suppose how I got into it was, I started off as doing chemistry in the lab. And I was very lucky to go and work at BP. They started my career and did placement as part of my degree. And I loved it. But at the same time, there was a kind of itch I had to scratch around the more business side of an organization. So I’ve recognized the fact that I wanted to chart a career or a path that involved having a look at lots of different areas of the business and what actually made the business work. Because even in chemistry, obviously, particularly when you’re looking at maybe the application of some of the studies that you’re doing, you’re looking for, perhaps the use of waste materials or the total cost of ownership of a plant or whatever. So you’re really starting to open your eyes to a lot more of the business side. And so I joined Ford on the graduate scheme actually because that seemed like a great way to really have a look at multiple parts of the business. And I started in finance because anyone who’s already done chemistry will be able to tell you, chemistry is basically maths or a lot of it is. So there’s a fair chunk of it that’s maths. Obviously, I started in finance. I really enjoyed it. Then I moved to procurement. And I never left. I never looked at another way to do business, actually. I stopped there, because I really, really enjoyed it. And why did I enjoy it? Because it’s really about relationship building. So I really enjoyed that piece. It’s about talking to people, trying to understand things from their side, and then trying to find the best solution and the best route forward. So a bit of negotiation, obviously. And I really enjoyed that. And I found also in procurement, I kind of scratched my itch that I could see so many parts of the business because in procurement, you’re partnering and you’re building relationships across the whole business. Because everyone wants to spend money. And they all want to get value from it. So I really enjoyed that. Anyway, then, if I had to say about the rest of my career [and] probably summarize it a bit quicker, it’s to say, I’ve done 20 odd years in procurement so far, I break it into three 7-s. So the first seven years really about building strategies and developing and deploying new strategies globally. Then the middle seven, probably really focused on supply enabled innovation. So how you work and partner and collaborate with vendors. And then the last seven, by design and by happy accident, really our own transformation. So either building teams, building capabilities, or divesting, [or] integrating, so you can tell which bits were a happy accident. The divestment and integration. Yeah? But really getting into that management of change within procurement, which is... I mean, it’s similar to the idea of a strategy. It’s still change and innovation is still change that you’re driving, but really about more around the structure and the function. And that kind of transformation I’d say the last seven. And then flippantly, I have before said that I’ve worked in Ford industries. So cars, drugs, booze and energy. But automotive, then pharma and healthcare, and then brewing and FMCG, and then now in oil and gas again. And I think that’s something that I’m also quite... When we talk about values from procurement, that’s something I’m really excited about. It is the fact that people can really bring great strengths from different industries. But that may well come out later as a theme, but it’s really around the idea of how do you make sure you bring out the best practice and you’re open to new ways of doing things and not always that kind of got that not invented here mentality. So being open to that and looking out beyond your horizons. And well, actually, maybe that’s what led me to talking to you. If we talk about social media and LinkedIn, I really see that as being a really strong tool to allow people to look beyond their immediate surroundings. And to really look for that best practice and that thought leadership or whatever it is that you’re trying to tap into best practice that you can really look, and you can see so much in LinkedIn. Particularly, at the minute I’m really excited about the explosion of opportunity on LinkedIn.

Jonny Dunning:   5:24       Well, you’re one of the kind of people within procurement I see do lots of interesting stuff, particularly on LinkedIn. And I do think it’s really important. As you say, expand your horizons, gets you involved in the conversation, you share best practice. Interesting what you were saying about the different industries there, because a particular industry might have a real burning need to solve a particular problem out. It might not be relevant in another industry until 10 years later. 

Rob Bonnar:        5:51       Yes. 

Jonny Dunning:   5:51       But was it, [Unclear 05:54], the Danish philosopher who said, “Need is the mother of invention.”? In certain industries, they’re really having to solve problems, [or] thorny issues, that can be extremely valuable in other areas. So when you’re engaging on LinkedIn, I mean, firstly, do you think that more procurement people should get involved in the conversation or is there an opportunity for them to do that in a meaningful way, that’s not kind of like taking up their time without giving them value?

Rob Bonnar:        6:21       Some of the interesting kind of awareness or understanding of LinkedIn that I’ve developed recently, and why I’ve become more involved and engaged is, so I didn’t understand or recognize the idea that people tell me that the 99% of the people who are actually members of LinkedIn, never post. So they never actually get involved in the conversation, as you say. Now LinkedIn for a lot of people is first off about looking for a job. Which obviously, it’s a great tool for that. It’s important and interesting, but it’s way more than that. I believe in terms of procurement professionals development; it can be way more. And why? There are a couple of pieces, actually, that made me start really posting a lot this year. First was the idea that, as you see, you might be handling something in your industry. It doesn’t have to be at the cutting edge. It’s just a thorny issue that really you see there and you’ve developed something or you’ve understood it in the maybe, a bit more depth. If you’re willing to post about that it will be valuable for someone. The community is so huge that there will be someone else out there... There’s no such thing as a new idea. But you see, well, if you’re going through something, the odds are someone else is doing exactly the same thing at the same point somewhere in the world. So just by posting about it, first off, you might meet up and be able to collaborate with people who can help you and give you some different idea on your side, but you definitely will be offering support to others. And it doesn’t always have to be that cutting edge. It can be any part of the journey. It’s valuable for someone. There will be someone at the same level as you. And the second thing for me was the idea that I used to go on LinkedIn, [and] I used to consume information. So I’d just be scrolling through my feed looking at things. And someone, I can’t remember who it was, said to me, and it kind of struck home is, “If you don’t like comment or share on that post, then you really are just a taker.” You’re not giving anything to the community, because you see that in your feed, [and] you absorb that information, but it doesn’t go, or the reach of that information is reduced. Because LinkedIn is watching to see if you actually value it, before it shows it to more people. So if you see something that you think is good, you must like, comment and share, because otherwise, you’re actually doing a disservice to the individual that was willing to share it in the first place and to your connections. Because you’re connected to those people. You would like them to also see the things that you think are good. You’d like them to see it as well. So obviously people talk about the LinkedIn algorithm, but really, that switched me on to the idea that I really should... If I want to be an active participant and want to get the most out of it, then I should be liking, commenting and sharing to make sure that my connections are also able to see information, otherwise it dies and weathers on the vein.

Jonny Dunning:   9:17       Yeah, and you mentioned the LinkedIn algorithm there. I mean, ultimately, platform providers like LinkedIn, whether it’s LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, they can only deal with the information. They can only tailor it on the information that they’re given. So within LinkedIn, you’d assume that if you’re liking certain types of information, [and] if you’re sharing certain types of information, it’s going to associate people’s individual accounts with particular hashtags, particular topics, people from particular industries. There should be some clever stuff going on behind the scenes. That if you are liking, you are sharing, you are getting involved, commenting on stuff, etc. and posting, then, theoretically, it would make sense that your feed should become more relevant. There should be more relevant information and hopefully you can get rid of some of the stuff that’s not actually interesting to you, by targeting the stuff that is because that’s where the platform providers should make it more specific to you.

Rob Bonnar:        10:08     Yeah, exactly. So it’s a really good point. You’re right. The idea that you are in charge of curating your own feed. So if you’re not seeing what you actually think is relevant, I’d say that the piece that... The way I approached my kind of posting and engagement in LinkedIn at the minute is, obviously I like and comment on things that I think are interesting, and not all of those will be heavily focused or targeted, but really, the things that I’ve been focusing my posting about, have been about digital and technology, and how that can assist procurement and also the explosion of opportunities there at the moment, about innovation for the obvious reason in partnership and collaboration with vendors, and then about sustainability or procurement with purpose. And so I have, as you see about hashtags, I’ve tried to focus on those kind of hashtags. So supply chain procurement, innovation, sustainability, etc. I’ve been also focused the groups that I’m trying to use around those areas. So hashtags, groups, and posts are all kind of clear. For two things, first off to curate my feed, but also so that if people are connecting with me, they know the messages and the things that I am going to share with them. Because I think, some people have different approaches to connection, [and] some people are only willing to connect with people they know very well. I’m quite open to really growing that network. Not that... I believe that I’m going to have a hugely deep relationship with every connection, but really, that I will be able to see what people are posting and then be able to curate my feed that way by following the things that are posted. And if I see that’s interesting, then it’s to my benefit. And I think, in a lot of my professional development up till now, everyone talks about the 70-20-10. But the interesting thing for me is that we have this LinkedIn fit in that 70-20-10 of learning. Is it 70 on the job, 20 on the job, but less than 10% theoretical, but where does LinkedIn fit? Well, actually, I think it fits almost in each of those buckets. Because you can find things that are really relevant to you on the job. You can network in and talk about either thought leadership or guidance around how you could further develop those areas. And you can do completely theoretical studies, etc. using LinkedIn. So I think adding a couple of hours of LinkedIn to your week should be part of everyone’s professional development, I believe. Because it’s a hugely strong tool.

Jonny Dunning:   12:44     Yeah. And we’re in the information age. All of this stuff is out there. If someone is in a procurement team or they’re heading up a procurement team or in a finance function, looking at procurement issues, there’s so much information out there. There’s so many people out there, and it’s almost like, you’ve got to tap into it to realize how much information is flowing. I mean, I tend to post specifically about stuff related to services procurement, procurement technology [and] innovations, which is where some of our kind of stuff and conversations have crossed over. But it’s like, if someone’s got a dog these days, if your dog’s being a pain, you look it up on YouTube: “How do I stop my dog from chasing cars?” Whatever it might be. And I think some people are much more used to that. But there’s still people that are going to be everyday thinking, “The dog just keeps chasing the car and it’s so annoying. How do I get them to stop?” And they’re not doing that. I think the same is true within a work environment. Maybe it’s less accepted at this point, but it’s rapidly changing at the moment. But, if someone in a procurement team is coming up against a particular issue, they’re struggling with something, [and] they’re trying to work it, there’s all this wealth of knowledge and wealth [Inaudible 0:13:54] out there.

Rob Bonnar:        13:56     Yeah, I totally agree. And I really have been enjoying the content a lot more now that I’ve actually started to actively participate and curate it. Yeah, because, as you see, it’s much more relevant and I see a lot more things now. And then it stimulates a lot of creative thought, because it’s amazing the things that people are coming up with that. I’ve posted recently about, particularly, around AI, because I don’t know your experience or real belief in... 

Jonny Dunning:   14:19     I leave it to our CTO. He’s the AI guy. 

Rob Bonnar:        14:35     If I look at and I see some of the things that people talk about as being AI...

Jonny Dunning:   14:40     But just algorithms.

Rob Bonnar:        14:41     ... Well that’s it the artificial but, maybe not intelligent, or it doesn’t feel like it. So and they say well, maybe it’s automation rather than real AI, but so that the piece for me that I’ve started really consuming a lot of there is to see: “What is it that people are doing that that really shows the way with AI?” Yeah, that really gets you excited in the real intelligence in it, because we’re all... Well, I don’t know, if everyone’s, sometimes, I project a bit. But certainly when I look at AI, I think, “Hey, there’s a huge opportunity. There’s a great opportunity for people to, of course, automate to reduce the workload on the individuals within the team using AI.” But then the bit that gets me excited, because we’ve always been doing that, but the bit gets me excited is looking at beyond that. So what actual opportunities and growth can it bring, and particularly like in sustainability or supplier collaboration, those areas of where we could start to look at risk resilience, wherever using AI, I get really excited by, where the intelligent thought is in the machine, rather than in the human. So, it’s not just providing a whole lot of information. And a human makes a quick decision or a quicker decision, because we’ve automated it. If we can start to make the decisions and get really excited about. So that, in particular, at the moment, I’m getting more and more excited about and there’s loads on LinkedIn, because everyone’s sharing their thoughts on that and really rapidly improving.

Jonny Dunning:   16:08     Yeah, and I think, [inaudible 16:09] what, it’s a great time for procurement to get more involved in the conversation, because procurement have really been brought to the fore during COVID. And I think if you look at the way the supply chain management has had to react to this massive global historical series of events that still going on now, it’s just allowed.... I think the other the other side of it is the importance of procurement, as it has almost never been higher than it is now. And it’s an opportunity for procurement to really seize on that and capture that and push the agenda because I would see procurement as this very much a linchpin particularly around information, external information, internal information. And we’re talking about the AI side of it, that is, [it] has this giant future potentials, incredible potential. But even in the meantime, I mean, I was talking about two services procurement, where there’s generally lack of the basic data. If you capture granular data on all of the projects that you’re running with all of the suppliers you’re working with in services, you can make the intangible, much more tangible. And if procurement have got data, then they can be strategic within the organization. And I think that’s where there’s this huge value.

Rob Bonnar:        17:26     Yeah, got you. And so you’re right to provoke me about services procurement, because the bit that you and I discussed previously, that I think, particularly around services procurement, some of the challenges that a lot of people face are always like stakeholder engagement in the first place. So are people actively or passively avoiding procurement and whether it’s... I’m not suggesting this for the wrong reasons or trying to employ their best friend or whatever, but the people oftentimes build a relationship and they want to maintain that relationship. They don’t see the value that procurement could bring. So, they almost see it as a hindrance. So, there’s the engagement piece. And then there’s doing it right. So the data collection or the data growth piece... And if I look at that piece, one thing I get really excited about in terms of technology and tools that we can assist people with is what we would have called guided buying in the olden days. And so it’s that kind of approach. But it’s to get people to point of view where each of the individuals in the organization who wants to engage your service, understands how they should do that, how they can make sure you don’t lose value or leave value on the table. So they are guided to build a proper Statement of Work with actual deliverables, maybe, some skin in the game, maybe some penalties, maybe some gain share, whatever it is to encourage the right behaviors. However, go about encouraging the right behaviors. Building that statement of work, etc. does not have to be negative impacting on the relationship. It should actually be a positive impact because you understand the value you’re getting from that relationship and the benefit from that supplier. The supplier knows what it is you actually want and how they can go about delivering it. It’s probably built the statement of work with you and you’re all agreed right from the start. You can then measure success and say, “Yes, we’ve been successful” or otherwise you can, of course, correct through the deliverables. And then it should actually strengthen that relationship because it’s just everyone’s clear. And so, services procurement... Well, one thing I didn’t talk about in my intro is, I started out the first half of my career really working on goods and materials on direct procurement. And then I moved into indirect procurement. And I made that kind of calculated move because I said, “Look, I’ve done an awful lot in direct, but people keep talking to me about indirect, about how transferrable skills out about, how you can never come and work in IT procurement or anything like that. It’s such a specialist niche that it would be completely different to buy in a goods or materials.” And so that really intrigued me. And I saw it as a great opportunity to broaden my procurement, both career and skills. And so that’s why I moved into services procurement in particular. And in most organizations, particularly, when I moved into services or indirect procurement was way less mature. For of those exact reasons: first off, stakeholder engagement and buy in. And then secondly, about guiding them to be able to semi-self-serve, in that, they understood how they could get the best out of the procurement interaction and the supplier interaction. Because if the stakeholder doesn’t understand at all, then they might lose value by not setting up the agreement and the way we just doing TMS database with W or those kind of different approaches. And so about building relationships and then growing those relationships into an understanding in the stakeholder of how best to get value, that’s what I see in services procurement as being the kind of key to having a value delivery for the procurement organization. But also now, I see a whole lot of tools and a whole lot of approaches that can help to develop that even further and then use the data in an iterative fashion. So, actually collect and collate that information. And then enable you to make more strategic decisions and gain that understanding and awareness even more.

Jonny Dunning:   21:37     Yeah. And in the way that you describe it there surely procurement should be the stakeholders ally. In the sense that they can look at it and kind of you get... there’s always going to be a problem with rogue spend unless the organization mandates something, which is just doesn’t fit the culture in some organizations. But in terms of what you were talking about how to buy a service, that’s got to help people, because you can help them define the requirement, you can help them with all of the good procurement stuff around the negotiation, the relationship, you can be the bad cop with the supplier, they can maintain a nice clear relationship.

Rob Bonnar:        22:10     Yeah, it’s good when you went straight to bit bad cop, good cop. Because, actually, like so often times, even just that is a hook to get stakeholders on board, so they understand loop. I’ll do the thorny bit of actually talking about the numbers. And you can maintain your great working relationship, etc. Now, the interesting thing for me is if done right, yes, there might be a discussing the thorny subject of money is never as easy, but actually, it doesn’t need to be or you can probably tell from my personal style, even my bad cop is not that bad. So, I always veer towards collaboration and partnership, if at all possible, until it’s really proven to be impossible. And then you just have to. Sometimes, obviously, you always have to. Sometimes have too bad cop. But it’s really about, I wouldn’t say bad cop, good cop, even though I do understand it. I would say it’s kind of more about separating the responsibilities, so that the stakeholder can be guided as to how to make sure they manage the thorny subject of money professionally. And the more they see you doing it and you gave them, they can start to do it themselves and understand that it doesn’t have to be a negative. And it doesn’t have to be adversarial or difficult in the future. It’s really about just finding what’s valuable for both sides and get into that. I mean, not when... But getting to that negotiating position.

Jonny Dunning:   23:41     I think you make a great point. I think you make a really good point. I love the way you just described that. And I think, in terms of separating those two things out, I mean, it takes the pressure off the stakeholder. And it allows that relationship to focus on the things that the stakeholder is really good at, which is they should be understanding what needs to be done, possibly subject matter expertise, etc. And it allows the supplier to focus on that. It’s all about getting the job done. In commercial terms, absolutely. And it can be really collaborative. I’ve seen great conversations within our organization within clients with senior procurement people within large organizations where... Yes, it’s been a significant conversation around negotiation, terms, everything, the whole process, understanding each other, but it’s actually been very fruitful and non-confrontational, just pragmatic business conversation. So, I think you are making a really, really excellent point about that. And that’s where you’re helping the stakeholder. And when we look at things like rogue spend or misclassification, you’ve got IR35 in the UK now, you’ve got similar laws in California, for example, stuff coming in or looks like it might be coming in across various countries in Europe. There isn’t really room for that anymore. And COVID isn’t... People are spending the money. Organizations need to know what it’s for. So I think that whole kind of rogue spend, misclassification, it’s a risk for the organization. It’s not really fair or acceptable for people to be doing that anymore. And therefore, they should be coming into the fold. But this is where I think the role of technology is particularly important. We talked about AI, if you take that back a step to just automation, the use of data is reliant upon having the data. You look at services procurement. Most people don’t really have the... Capturing the data is difficult. It’s not cataloged. It’s not put it in different boxes so easily as you would with goods and materials. And so therefore, you need to go through a process. You need to capture it within software and capture it within technology. But even just that process adds in so much in the sense that you’re standardizing a statement of work contract, you’re ensuring that milestones have been agreed and approved, you’re having then a follow up process where delivery is actually visible because that just helps everybody. It helps the stakeholder. It does help the supplier as you said, because they’re getting transparency on the good work that they’re doing. That might otherwise get lost. And if you have change requests captured and things like that, otherwise the supplier might be victim to being seen as being doing a bad job, where actually, the stakeholders been moving the goalposts every five minutes. 

Rob Bonnar:        26:26     Yeah, totally agree. 

Jonny Dunning:   26:28     It should help everybody. And ultimately, what it’s doing is it’s not a negative on procurement, because it’s just automating the things that should be automated. So I’m quite passionate about the value that procurement brings to an organization. But I see it as the real value for me as a strategic. Transactional is important, but some of that stuff can be automated.

Rob Bonnar:        26:49     Yeah, I totally agree. So the bit that... Actually, what is interesting to me is if we look at the pandemic impact, so, if we talk about unprecedented events here, so we’ve got the pandemic, then we’ve got *Suez*, then we’ve got the chip crisis, and I think the main thing we got... I saw someone posted a cartoon, when I read the newspapers the other day, basically saying, “Look, how many of these have to happen that can quit before none of them can actually be unprecedented again.” It does get to that kind of stage where you look, what we do know is that, I mean, there’s always been challenges in procurement. But right now, it’s very visible to people, particularly around goods, that are major challenges. So when people start thinking about risk and resilience, it’s very easy to just automatically think of goods like or what happens if we’ve got these blockages or problems with materials. So to say, “Well, actually, in services, it’s almost the same. Procurement had a great opportunity to really come to the fore, as you say, to be able to demonstrate and discuss with people that look, actually when it’s a pandemic, its actually taking people. It’s taking individuals out of this. We mustn’t lose the opportunity now and get too focused on goods. We must make people aware that in services procurement, we also need information, we need visibility, we need to build risk and resilience.” So if I say about SOW data gathering, one of the interesting things for me is like traditionally in an SOW or a service agreement, you might have put key individuals. So you might put key individuals. Well, how’s that affected by pandemic? I mean, you’ve got to look at a lot of different ways to make sure that if that key individual suddenly wiped out or that whole group are wiped out, you know, disappear off for two weeks to self-isolate, how are you going to still deliver? What are you going to do? You then, as you say, if you focus on deliverables and if you focus on how you can get to those deliverables and how you’re going to measure those deliverables realistically and capture the data, then you can build the relationship and structure that relationship in a slightly different fashion. And so the visibility piece, you mentioned about IR35. If you look at the IR35 or you look at the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Law, I think, we will see much more of a tightening and a changing in services globally, which really rely on understanding the supply chain. So yes, you’ve got a vendor, do they have any subcontracting? Who are their vendors? What’s going on in their tiers? Even in goods, it’s obvious. Everyone talks about the tiers of a supply chain. But in services, oftentimes, people don’t think of it immediately. So you see, we’ve got this key vendor, they’re going to deliver for us. But actually what software are they using? Where does that software created? Where’s the IP and the knowledge on that software and the implementation of software? Because I’ve seen some great examples through the years where we had provision of a service that was reliant on a one-man band software. And you see, well, particularly in pandemic, you want to be getting through those tiers to see, well, if that guy wasn’t there for two weeks and God forbid the software also wasn’t there at the same time, what are we doing? Yeah, if there’s no backup plan, there’s no knowledge about a building the resilience. And so it’s easy for procurement, particularly, in the pandemic to come to the affording goods and materials, talking about risk and resilience. And I think we mustn’t forget about services. Because there will be still a significant impact on your business through service provision reduction.

Jonny Dunning:   30:45     Yeah, and I think it ties into some of the work and the commentary and involvement you have around procurement with purpose. And the case, if you just look at that supply chain, part of the conversation, when you’re digging into the supply chain, if you’re looking to deal with sustainable suppliers, and your organization is focused as part of their core values, that sustainability or diversity and inclusion is particularly important, then how do you make sure that’s happening within your supply chain or how do you make sure the right things are happening throughout their supply chain? If you look at, for example, diversity and inclusion, there’s the fairness aspect and then there’s the pragmatic aspect of get different opinions, get cognitive diversity, which comes from different backgrounds, different cultures, different places, different experiences. And if an organization wants to truly harness that, they need to make sure it’s not limited within the whole supply chain. So, I think you’re right. That visibility just allows an organization to up the level. But also, then you’ve got the resilience and the risk side of it, which is hugely apparent at the moment. Yeah, you’re right. People need to be addressing that.

Rob Bonnar:        31:58     Yeah, you’re right. So focus there on risk and resilience. But I totally agree about the idea of a resilient supply chain or a sustainable supply chain to me. And what I understand or how I understand that does obviously include risk and resilience. Yes, we’re making sure that your supply chain and your strategy to the provision or goods or services as backups. Okay, that are disaster recovery. Yeah, that’s all right. But actually, as you see, there’s a whole load of things that studies and results that I’ve seen from, let’s see previous and global challenges to whether it’s 2008 or those different pieces, where there’s a whole lot of studies that show that. So first off, organizations that innovate through those challenges, see results during the pandemic or during the downtown, but they also see like a 30% growth opportunity coming out of those downtowns. So actually, there’s a piece there, where you say, “Well, look, the time to innovate is right now when it’s dusty and ugly.” And you feel like you don’t have time for it. Now is actually the time to innovate. How would you make sure you can innovate? First off, it’s about collaboration with vendors and being open and understanding with them. But really, it’s about diversity of thought in your own organization. And how do you get diversity of thought, I entirely agree, its by not having everyone be exactly identical. So it is possible, of course, to innovate very well and to be very creative if everyone’s exactly the same. But it’s possible, but less likely, shall I say here. So some of the great strengths through the [inaudible 33:41] is, I have been lucky that most of the organizations that I’ve worked in, it’s been really diverse. And so whether that’s by design or good fortune, it’s a different discussion. But actually, where you seem to be able to benefit from the thoughts of someone who’s coming at it from a slightly different viewpoint, is really beneficial for you as an individual, but it’s really beneficial for your team. I love the idea of diversity and inclusion as being really strong, a really strong message for sustainability. Because that’s something that we can affect in our own team straight away. So actually, when you’re building your team, when you’re growing your team and looking at that, look at diversity, look at diversity of thought, as you see. And it might be actually diversity of location now in the new Zoom World, where we’re all ..., we can be in different locations, we can have depth, you can maybe be broader in the geographic spread that we have in the team and that might help with diversity inclusion as well. But I think that if you focus on that piece, then when you start to go outside into the supply chain and the supply base, you will already have built in some of those different things. And there’s different approaches. And then diversity and inclusion aren’t only about making sure that you’ve ticked the box or you’ve met the criteria for a minority business in the US or even forgotten how many *Zs and how many Bs* but that was a [inaudible 35:25] that we had in Africa at the time when we were working at SAB, but it’s not a box, they can exercise some boots, starting freeing yourself from your own self, are you open to different ideas and looking at different things, then in your team? How are you building that thought? And that diversity of thought and then you will gain the benefits in the supply chain and the collaborations, I believe.

Jonny Dunning:   35:45     Yeah, I totally agree. And I think you make a great point of linking that to the innovation side of it. And that’s the approach that can feed innovation. And just so on that topic of innovation there’s the innovation of just how you’re working with your suppliers. So but also to tie it back to your work and transformation. How have you seen procurement organizations utilize innovation when it comes to technology, when it comes to transforming their own functions and how they work?

Rob Bonnar:        36:20     And so it’s interesting, because well, when you start talking about 20 years doesn’t it didn’t seem like a long time that I’ve been working in procurement when I was doing it. But now when you start, you get an interesting question like this, and you start reflecting on it. Then you see, well, look, when I first started, of course, we were talking about really automation and optimization as being a tweak in the processes automate as much as you possibly could, particularly P2P, for example, then we all started looking at offshoring. And how could we actually move everything to..., we outsourced our offshore and everything to India and then when we actually started to pull some of that back maybe to Poland, or whatever, but so there’s been all of those different waves that have happened in the procurement journey, the bit that I’m kind of most excited about now that I see a lot of, or that is really interesting to me. And that probably will guide some of my thoughts about the next steps that I take around procurement automation and optimization, let’s see, rather than pure automation, is this whole idea of tech, where previously what we looked at is we looked at enterprise weighed or which are still good or not any challenge, but we looked at enterprise wide implementations of a tool, which would help us with the data, it would help us with the optimization, it would give standardization of processes, etc. And then also potentially enable that offshoring or outsourcing or service provision in that activity. The bit I’m most excited about now is the fact that because, as you say, procurements been a bit more visible with all these challenges that we’ve had, there’s a real explosion of investment in best of breed or specific tools. And because there’s an explosion of that, as well as giving different opportunities, the other piece that I see is really key to it is all of these different best of breeds and new developments are actually looking at their integrations. So it’s not like we can take this big enterprise plus this big enterprise, and we can spend the next two years integrating them all. It’s really quick and easily some of the guys that have shown me tools, where through API, you almost manage the integrations yourself, so and when I see you, I don’t mean your organization, so you’re getting an IT man, I mean, your actual procurement team can almost manage the integrations themselves, I mean, depending on the skill. So you see, actually those integrations and being able to build a hybrid network or a best of breed network, however you want to describe it. I think that’s a huge development for us in procurement. So you, if you take sustainability, and you see right, here’s what we’re going to do with sustainability. Most organizations then run a materiality assessment. Yeah, this year, right, what our business, what are the key areas that we really believe we could have an impact in and that are important to us under maybe our customers, stakeholders, etc. Translate that maybe, into the Sustainable Development Goals and see right here that there’s science based targets against each of those that we’re going to set ourselves for the long term, and then also the kind of key stages to get there. If you take that approach, and you see right, based on that materiality assessment, what are the key interventions or changes that we need to make in the way in which we go about procuring? Now you look at the landscape, there might be like 10, 12, different tools that you could actually look at, which could have an impact on those different areas that are really important to you. So yes, you could see and we have., there are a number of certification providers around sustainability that people we turn to, to see, right that’s our approach to sustainability. I don’t think it’s like that anymore. That will be part of it. But there will be a number of different vendors and providers who could help you with if it’s specific to greenhouse gases, if it’s specific to collaboration with vendors, if it’s specific to the actual implementation of projects within those, all of these different tools. It’s even just as simple as data capture and SOW we talked about service version. The tooling that are available around data capture SOW and implementation with vendors, of course, will have an impact on the what’s materially important to you and sustainability. And so you can build a really interesting hybrid, or best of breed tool solution that focuses on what’s important to you, you don’t have to just take, let’s see, one size fits all, you can really tailor. And that is something I’m really excited about being able to build in it for the future, because I see it as being not a dramatic change, but an evolution of what it is we’ve been doing up till now. 

Jonny Dunning:   41:16     Yeah, I think it’s a really interesting point. And it’s it kind of ties in with just how the world works. There’s this choice, and there’s flexibility. And like you say, it’s not a one size fits all. So you could just buy a giant piece of tech and you could try and make it do everything. And you could, and that might be very expensive, it might be very difficult, certainly very difficult for the giant tech vendor, because it’s very difficult to be brilliant at everything. And now, obviously, the kind of top level procurement systems, there’s some really good systems out there, or they’re very good at supporting that overarching process. But when you drill into the detail, as we found, certainly with the management of services procurement, if you’re trying to manage goods, and you’re trying to manage services at the same time, that throws up a whole world of problems, in terms of the way that you need to manage services, it needs to be different, because it is different, it’s got different criteria, there’s different problems to solve. It’s you can’t just put it in a catalog. And so those challenges require best of breed solutions, in my opinion. I think when you talk about integrations and things like that, companies, tech providers have to just get better at it. And something that we’re really heavily focused on, we’ve got great capacity around integrations, there’s also great tools out there where you can integrate with them, like Zapier, you integrate with them and you’re automatically it’s much easier to integrate with thousands of other technology vendors. So there’s great solutions out there, but also, the tech vendors, certainly our approach is we do the heavy lifting, if the client needs integrations, either they’re already there. It’s a simple API, or we do the work and make it easy for them. But the other side of it, I think is really interesting is just the scale and breadth of what’s now available to procurement nationals where it wasn’t before. I mean, I love that post that you put out on LinkedIn, I think you shared some research that Kenny put out around the kind of technology ecosystem within procurement. I think you refer to it as “A Plate of Spaghetti” when we were talking about it before, but it’s really interesting to see how that’s grown. Because, yes, surely over your career, I mean, the choice must have changed significantly in terms of just availability of choice.

Rob Bonnar:        43:23     Yeah, I think that’s ..., so that M Kenny Research, I really enjoyed it. And maybe, I don’t know if that says too much about my personality. But I really says, me personally, but I really loved it. And I’ll tell you why, because in that article, the they brought you on the journey. So I think in the research they showed you like the evolution of tech, and that really, I think, as you see, it’s changed so much in procurement, the procurement supply chain world of tech has really changed so much over even though the short period I’ve currently been working in it, that, as you see, we had major groundswell shifts and changes already. But right now, it feels it does feel like an explosion. So yeah, I kind of could describe it as “A Plate of Spaghetti”. But I suppose you could also describe it as like a fireball or a firework. It’s to see if there’s such an expansion and a proliferation of different options. But I don’t see that as a negative because I think there’s also an understanding and an awareness of integration. And as you see, maybe the heavy lifting who’s actually doing what, how are we making sure that this is, everyone else is not just sitting back and saying, Well, if you’ve got one of the big enterprise guys get them to do all the integrations. Now that’s not going to work here. It has to be much more fluid and much more dynamic. And people are doing that, people are offering that now. And integration and the approved integrations become a bit easier and a bit more straightforward. Well, a bit more understandable for those of us who have maybe not been doing pure integrations for a number of years, we can get our heads around to understand how things are going to fit and how we’re going to build the landscape. And but yeah, see that explosion definitely, right now, I see, I’m really excited by that change that opportunity. The bit on the plate of spaghetti, that I see as kind of the next step for me, in my understanding and what I’m searching out on LinkedIn, and talking to people about is really like the best use cases that we’ve got for people putting that together. So I know, well, I am starting to try and build some in the background. But I know we’re not, it’s not going to be provided to me on a plate yet. But someone will get there. But around like some really great use cases, all right, if you’re in maybe an oil and gas or whatever energy provision that I’ve been in disarray, if you need energy, here’s some great examples of what people have done. It’s almost like a filter overlay on that plate of spaghetti that says, right, here’s a kind of best of breed or best in class. Energy overlay at the moment. And so that’s why I’m really searching and looking, that’s where I found LinkedIn to be so strong, is that I can network with individuals who can tell me what it is they’re up to, sort of what info to spend what they’ve put in for SOW, what they’ve put in for maybe goods and services, or a supplier collaboration, or the maybe the management of the innovation pipeline, those kind of things, so you can see. If this is what’s important to me, this is how I could bolt it together. And that’s the next stage of evolution for me and there is whether it’s partnerships or groupings, but not maybe to that extent, there’s kind of that filter that overlay to see, here’s some ways in which it could work such that it triggers your thought quint and opens your eyes to the possibility because that clear spaghetti is pretty daunting. 

Jonny Dunning:   46:59     Yeah, that’s, I love the way you put that because navigating it, navigating that spaghetti junction of all these different firework explosions all these different technologies that are spread out in different areas where there’s genuinely a need for specific solutions. You’re going to get the kind of the big procurement analysts looking at this sort of stuff. I see some of the stuff that people like spend matters, for example, do where they’re looking at case studies and things like that. But as you say, the real, the kind of on the ground results shouldn’t be underestimated, either. I’ve just what people can say that they’ve done and how procurement can work together as a community, navigate that giant plate of spaghetti.

Rob Bonnar:        47:45     Yeah, so definitely, spend matters, procurement leaders, all those guys will give great case studies. And I’m sure people we tapped into and as well, obviously, everyone, but I really think the interesting thing for me is now particularly whether it’s just because I’m so excited by it, but I imagine a lot of people are, is that things are really open, and you have a great opportunity to build your own knowledge without just sitting back and relying on someone else to do it for you. So those overlays, I see I’m trying to build, that’s what I’m trying to build in the background myself is to see right, “okay, hey,” with everyone that I talked to, what is it you’re looking at here and what do you think’s exciting? And do you believe that AI is really intelligent? Or is it merely RPA? What is it you’re actually doing to try and build my own filters? Yeah. And I think most people could, most procurement practitioners can start to do that themselves now and build a real eclectic mix of knowledge bases and sources. And LinkedIn will be able to help them do that.

Jonny Dunning:   48:47     Yeah. And I think where when we talked about integration before that would have been something that’s really daunting for people. Yeah, as I say, it’s kind of like, it’s the problem of the tech vendor. Now, to a large extent, and particularly the smaller newer tech vendors. It’s a problem that they’ve got to be invested in solving. They’ve got to be good at integrating. And I think a lot of them are I mean, to be honest, you I don’t believe it would be sustainable to have this proliferation of specialist providers, if they couldn’t integrate. From my own personal experience, you just couldn’t survive, if you couldn’t, if you weren’t good at integrating. You can solve a specific problem. But a company’s still going to be individual and unique. So the way that they need to solve that problem and the way that it needs to fit in with the rest of their infrastructure, their processes could be done on an industry, company culture, just the way they do things. That is, you need to be good at your best of breed specialism. You need to be good at making it work for different organizations as well.

Rob Bonnar:        49:51     Yes, in different landscapes. I think I entirely agree. Sorry to interrupt you. But the thing that really resonated there is that idea that proliferation to me is not about a proliferation now that will consolidate down into four or five future state technologies, that’s one thing I’m really excited about is. I actually see a lot of those as having some legs. So it might not be the full plate of spaghetti. But actually, I think with a different approach to integration and the, and the opportunity for people to understand that hybrids can really support and help them. I think a lot of those options that are there will have, longevity. And so and it’s because of that focus on integration. I really agree. Hey, by the way, we were talking there, I wrote one thing down because you were talking about services procurement, and you said, “Hey, you can’t catalog it.” One thing that triggered me ... 

Jonny Dunning:   50:16     Might be in future. 

Rob Bonnar:        50:48     No, one thing it triggered for me was, it was not pure cat., actual I agree in a lot of relationships to do SOW, it’s not really catalogable, I mean, a lot of the data will help you to derive like, should cost etc., which will help you to understand a bit more about you know, cost drivers and what it is that your deliverables are actually building in. But some of the use cases, you’re talking about the backstory, so we’re doing all the experiences I’ve had, we will look at services, a lot of the time, what is being put in there, the services is almost catalogable because it’s maybe, it’s some installation service, or things like that, where I see those as kind of like almost a hybrid. And it just when you mentioned the word catalog, it triggered me to see there are some of the things which we are much more towards a good than a real service that really almost can be 90% catalogable. And that piece, I still see as being sort of still service, it’s still on an SOW. But it’s about focusing the intelligence where it needs to be. So, if you’ve got I read like a price list, if it’s almost like a price list that you’re shopping from, that’s still not a catalog, but it’s about automating and making that as clear as it possibly can be, which means that you’re only spending time on the rate what’s different in this particular case to the norm. What is it about this, that’s really a value to us, is it we need to compress the timing, we need to really focus on giving this I mean, all customers get the gold star service. But this particular one is an area that we really want to, a customer that we really want to grow for the future. So we want to make sure that it comes off without a hitch and we’re focused time on that. But so what is the value and the outcome that you really want? You can add the intelligence there and automate the price list. So that when you say to catalogs, one thing that it triggered me, and it was a while ago, you said it, but I wrote it down because it really did resonate with me was the idea of, even in services, using intelligence where you require it. And automating as much and making as much as let’s see, streamlined as you possibly can. And that’s the people will understand that if you talk about a price list, rather than the catalog but it is a kind of, it’s at the borders for me between catalog and price list. So, where you can catalog it, go ahead and do it. Where it’s price list but there’s also some intelligence, that’s the bit that you want to focus on that intelligence and automate the price list.

Jonny Dunning:   53:25     Exactly. And I’m seeing organizations starting to look at this, where they’re a bit more mature in their services, spend management. And it’s quite difficult in some ways to categorize services procurement, but I always thought the simplest way I always used to define it is, is just to use the statement of work as a kind of leveler to say, if it’s being delivered under a statement of work, then there’s certain information you can capture, if you can capture that information, if you have a process that captures information, organizations can learn, they can develop, they can see patterns, procurement. You know, one of the things that I find fascinating about the fact you came from a scientific background, and only got as far as chemistry A level where I was in danger of kind of burning down the lab most of the time, but it is very analytical, it’s quite mathematical, a lot of statistical analysis and stuff like that. So, actually, procurement people who and one of the things I was gonna say is, where you bring skills over from that sort of thing, you brought analytical skills, you then went into a finance route, again, analytical numbers based, and but I think maybe, you also have some inherent natural characteristics in terms of relationship building, you’re very good communicator, you’re obviously bringing throughout your career, you can do negotiation and collaboration. So you maybe more personal characteristics, but those attributes of being able to analyze data and make inferences, that’s the strategic value, and where organizations are capturing that data on services, they will see patterns. I mean, we see standardization starting to come in even just standardize the Statement of Work template you’re using or different types of sacred work templates for different divisions, different locations, different types of engagement, but having some standardization, you can start to see the signs, we even see things like, template statement works being used. Yes, template, kind of requirements capture, sorry. So, where someone is creating a requirement, for example, in our system, they go through a kind of project creation form, they can use a template. So procurement might create some of those templates. Procurement can help stakeholders make it easier to write the requirement, which then forms the statement of work, obviously, in collaboration with the supplier. But you start seeing patterns, you start seeing underlying things, when you’re buying this type of service. Typically, these things will be required, these things need to be considered. So, I totally agree, it’s something that the more data you’ve got, the more you can see these patterns, and there will be patterns that can be harnessed to make things simpler and more effective. 

Rob Bonnar:        56:02     Yeah, hey, you’re talking about them, maybe, well, I don’t know, whether it’s nature and nurture, or whether it’s ..., as uses some of the skills that I see often in [inaudible 56:13] people, obviously, data and analytics, yes, is particularly now when we move into a world where hopefully, we’ll have way more and more data. It’s a real skill set that we need in procurement. But the other piece, that is the word that you didn’t mention that I always like to use his curiosity. Because actually, if you’ve got the data, you’ll be curious enough to find the patterns to look at what is driving you were to dig down into it, and use it. And also, if you’re willing to go, whether it’s a cross category, cross industry, whatever, and look at look at blueprint. If you’re curious enough to Luke, then, as you said, right at the very start, you said it was a good bookend as we get towards the end, but it’s to see them people who will be able to see something that has been a thorny issue elsewhere, people that are maybe a bit more mature in, whether it’s, I don’t know temp labor here, or if it’s temporary labor or if it’s insurance, if it’s whichever consultancy. Actually, if I look, one, actually, that we’ve I don’t think we talked about before but was in legal services. Legal services, if you see and legal services that they, you would imagine that historically, it’s a law built on relationships. So we use this particular law firm, because they know us inside and out. And then moving that relationship, I’ve seen some great examples. Yeah, in the buying of legal services, where people are getting all the way through to actually e-auctions.  Now, if you see it, e-auctions are not right for everybody on all legal services, but that where I see, you don’t always have to be at the cutting edge. If you just take it from being right, we’ve got this relationship with this vendor, we always use them because they know us, and we know them really well. And I can always pick up the phone to whichever double or triple barreled, legal firm I use. But then you actually implement proper detail around what why is it we’re using these guys? And when are we using them? And what are we using them for? Then you get past that into the creation and the proper building of statements of work and deliverables. I always see that as a maturity curve. And then it might be that just through building that maturity, not understanding, you might get all the way to having a PSL and a panel and iterative requirements capture and then an e-auction at the end. Geez that said, that’s something that most of us, if you start talking to your legal team, though, they get a little bit excited when they shy away from it. But open their eyes to that possibility that you say, look, I understand that legal is an area of legal services in a lot of organizations and near there where people are not looking at pushing the needle towards optioning. Yeah, they can understand let’s do a proper statements of work, let’s actually start to harvest the data and harness the data, where it’s not just, you know, if we figured out that the procurement guys are sucking in, you know, a huge amount of legal spend, just checking contracts and templates of work and etc., that that our students are actually that could be template. And once we’ve built the template, it might be a bit more effort to get all of the vendors to accept a template rather than just using everyone’s paper. But actually, we can see straight away from the data, this is the improvement we should make. Yeah, and we can see maybe spend an extra 1% or 2% of effort in procurement by actually it saves us X on legal and you know, X amount of time is probably the most important thing for the organization. But you once you’ve got the data, you can guide the people, you can show them what’s going on and if you’re curious enough to understand what other people are being able to do, your eyes might be opened to those categories or subcategories, where you maybe haven’t been, you haven’t been thinking and you’ve, you’ve said, I’ll come back to that another day or the juice is not worth the squeeze. So I’ve not bothered. But actually, there might be a business case that someone else cannot be nice to. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:00:20  Yeah. No, I really, really interesting. So when you’re looking at the data, and when you’re looking at the patterns, there’s, there’s clearly some exciting stuff that can come from that. Yeah. And I think for me, personally, probably the most exciting thing on our kind of, or my certainly my long term vision, is being able to understand supplier performance as services. And that is that I’ve had people say to me, Well, that’s something that you can’t measure, and you can’t capture because every, everything’s so unique, and it’s so specific, but actually, there are things you can capture, if you’re capturing the process, you can understand where the suppliers are doing what they said they do. Yeah, are they on time? Are they on budget, are there to scope, and you can also start layering on the so that’s the quantitative side of it. And if you’re processing a requirement on a project and a statement of work through a system from end to end, you’re capturing loads of data signals that you can use, that’s where AI can come in and start getting pulling that data together. If you’ve got enough data in a meaningful amount, you can genuinely use machine learning and AI to then give inferences, trends, etc. Yeah, that’s great. But then you’ve got the qualitative side of it, where stakeholders are giving their feedback on how well that supplier has done. And it could be against a range of qualitative criteria that could be communication, innovation, sustainability, whatever is whatever is necessary. But then you’re getting a matrix score that allows you to compare a supplier against another supplier, yes, and allows you to meaningfully say, this supplier is better at doing what they said they do and giving a good outcome, then this supplier. So that is the thing that I find incredibly exciting, because that’s where you can follow the patterns. And you can start using that predictively. Because it’s it might vary from organization to organization. It’s certainly vary across industries. Yeah, even if you look at if you look at Big, big industries, and then big consultancies, some of them are going to perform better in certain areas, because they got more of a heritage in that area. Yes. And that, for me is the super exciting bit for the for the long return, where this sort of information once it started to be captured, once it started to be analyzed, then pushes forward to say, Okay, we’ve got a project coming up procurement can start saying you should consider these five vendors. Yes. Yeah, that I find that so exciting.

Rob Bonnar:        1:02:44  Well, what’s interesting is, as you’re talking there, yes. So I’m on board, I started to think about the idea. So all the organizations that I’ve worked with at some point you have, if you look at procurement best practice, you’re trying to look at weighted scoring, for vendors, particular sourcing, yeah. But then in maturity, or in more mature organizations through supplier relationship management as well. Right. So and, and I have joked, I’ve previously joked with their colleagues about the fact that everywhere you go, everyone’s got a slightly different acronym. I mean, there’s always so an EQ s. Ci, was the one that started off with him. We’ve had risky, and, you know, all but basically, it boils down to assurances, supply, service, quality, cost, innovation, sustainability, etc., right? So you can, you can do whichever acronym you want. But really having the maturity to collect data on that thru at sourcing, so you decide on which vendor you’re going to source or vendor or vendors, you’re going to source based on that criteria. carrying that through the lifecycle of that vendor through supplier relationship management, or however, wherever your approach vendor management, you may call it, vendor management, supplier management, or supplier relationship management, whoever, but the knowledge that okay, we sourced did we maintain and retain that value? That’s a maturity step straightaway. Now, that’s pretty easy. As you see if you’ve got a good receipt, and there’s a trigger for the guy in the delivery of the goods is sitting in the warehouse, you know, when he receives that goods, it’s going to see, is it on time? Is it in full? We’re going to take a sample; we’re going to quality test it. So for goods, of course, it’s quite easy to collect data. Yeah, cuz you’ve got a trigger. And you know that there’s data that can be collected. It’s not a bit more binary, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s not, it’s not always that easy to actually get the, you know, the feedback and integrate it all in and have it all delivered into the right SRM vehicle. So you can have the conversation but it should be there. Yeah. For services, I agree with you. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same, both quantitative and qualitative. So like, did this. So quantitative and qualitative, maybe the too many again, but if you look at Yes, there are pieces of real data that you can collect to see, how much did we actually how much did we? What was the contract? What was the actual w? Any change controls, etc.? And then what do we actually spend? Yeah. So what was invoiced? What was paid? And people will do that on service agreements? Yes, we’ll understand that piece. When you get into, you know, the discussion about if there’s a delay, what triggered the delay? I’m hesitancy whose fault? Was it here? Because you’re not it’s not a blame. But oftentimes, that’s the point at which, whoops, it’s gone wrong. That’s the first point that people get turned on to the idea of what’s caused this? What’s the, you know, what, who’s to blame? Let’s go after them, you know, let’s go after these buggers, and get them to give us some, whatever it is. And I say, well, you’re missing a trick if you’re always just doing it reactively. So proactively building in that balanced scorecard for vendors into the supplier relationship management is really important to me. But the challenge that everyone’s always got is, what’s the trigger? So what’s going to encourage the individual like, or notify the individual that you want it? to do it? So is it a Stage Gate? Is it a deliverable? Is it a check in a routine check in? Is it triggered by the tool? Is it what is it triggered by a discussion, whatever? And then, so what’s the trigger? And then what’s the how do you actually capture it? Is it you know, I scored at a five score at a 10? Is it a thumbs up, thumbs down? Is it whatever those pieces that when I think about service procurement, how you make sure that happens, I’ve done it whereby we had a cadence of meetings. And before the meeting, we’ve got both sides, the relevant stakeholders on both sides and the supplier. And in our organization, we sent a like a survey. But then you always know if you’re sending people surveys, you get you depending on the individuals and the time, and etc., and how much they really bought in you get responses. But it might not be a full response. It might be a partial response, and partial coverage and all that kind of thing. People will undoubtedly respond if something’s gone really badly wrong, but you want the triggers, you want the data to be able to see the trend building before you’ve got to it’s gone wrong. So I think in services, procurement, that’s, as you see data, the data and the collection, and the triggering of the point, the moment and the collection of the data that people are willing to give before something’s gone wrong. That’s the future of that proper supplier relationship management for me.

Jonny Dunning:   1:07:39  Yeah, exactly. And, you know, if you’re collecting the data, and you’re collecting an intelligent system, then you can see what’s happening in real time. So you can see if a project is off track, you can see if a milestone after I mean, we got we’ve got clients who are putting specific risks and dependencies against milestone or the milestone level, never mind the project level. Yeah. So if procurement can see what’s happening, they can see what’s off track where milestones are late, they can see change requests happening, that’s just enables proper procurement to take place in a strategic approach to happen. Whereas what we typically see in services, because it’s so hard for people to capture the data, if they’re trying to do it manually, or they’re trying to use the wrong type of system. You just it’s always retrospective. It’s always going back and saying, so anyway, that piece of work, what was it? Where’s the contract I was initiated for, I have to go and look at that and dig through it. That’s just, you know, that’s just an impossible task. And that’s why a lot of procurement people can end up spending an unsuitably, heavily weighted amount of time transacting rather than being strategic. I mean, it’s like, did you see that Deloitte CPO report that came out? Yes. Really interesting, interesting stuff in that one of the one of the key points that I took from that was that the proportion of CEOs that that are still spending the majority of their time transacting rather than being the strategic effort, it was like 70 plus percent.

Rob Bonnar:        1:09:01  Yeah. It well, that whole report was slightly terrifying. Yeah. It and saw the spin that I whether it’s my rose colored spectacles, but it’s been I put on it is though, I really hope everyone out there because cops tend to be hard markers anyway. Yeah. So I hope they were really marking themselves hard. Yeah. Rather than, like, as you see if only 30% of CEOs actually believe they spend the majority of time being strategic. We’re in a we’re in trouble. I mean, we’re, we it’s maybe always been that way, but you would hope. Worst case scenario, they’re just verging on the 30%. Yeah, we’re right at the top. Yeah. Not knowing where we used to be. I don’t know. But, but Yeah, I am. 49% 4951 balance. Yeah, hopefully. Yeah. So we’re just about to make a breakthrough. But yeah, definitely. One thing I find interesting when you talk about people getting stuck in tactical is if as part of your SRM discussion, you’re always having to manually trigger, manually collect the data do all that that’s just tactical. Yeah, then you get into the strategic discussion with the vendor, but you’ve had to do a hell of a lot of digging to get them for. Yeah. And the other bit that blew my mind off is that iterative loop. So why do we have a balanced scorecard. And a weighted scorecard when we’re actually sourcing is to avoid people being able to influence the decision, just based on the fact that they’re a bit ticked off with a supplier or, you know, they didn’t like the way they did. I mean, that is relevant data. But it’s not the only data. So we have a weighted scorecard for sourcing, then if we lose that data in that loop, then what we what it means is, next time we come back to sourcing, we potentially have done weighted or excluded all of that relevant, qualitative feedback. So actually, we need to find a that’s why I think that there’s a lot of opportunity for us in SRM to really build in that data, quantitative and qualitative, where we see if we need the loop all the way back to all of that data doesn’t get lost next time you source. So you continue to make the same mistake. And the good stuff that you’ve done around sourcing and strategy at the start is maintained through so you keep the value. Yeah. And so those are the points, as you were talking that really triggered for me is, is what are the outcomes and the behaviors we want? And are we encouraging them by having a weekly scorecard and then potentially dropping it through SRM? No, we’re not we need to have that iterative loop.

Jonny Dunning:   1:11:35  Yeah, it kind of quite neatly, brings us back round in a circle to what we’re discussing early on about the scientific and analytical elements of it. Because if you’re if you’re creating those balanced scorecards, and you don’t follow them through delivery, you’re losing the real data. It’s like with COVID, you know, COVID treatments and stuff like that, where there’s been studies, they’ve had to be heard, but then you’ve got real usage, where you’ve got Real Usage that data is, you know, should be in theory more valuable than the than the clinical studies. Yeah. But yeah, I think it’s a fascinating area. And ultimately, it comes down to all of the elements that procurement bring, and being supported by the right tools, the right data, the right approach, and the freedom to use all that information to help a company make decisions. But I think it’s going to be, you know, it’s a hugely exciting time as a procurement technology, and just the expansion of how procurement are viewed and how they’re looking at the world. And, but I really enjoyed that conversation. Thank you.

Rob Bonnar:        1:12:41  So thank you. Yeah, it was good. Thank you for having me. And then, Hey, I know we went through a number of different avenues. But I’m pleased that coincidentally we ended up back at the start again. Yeah, but I think I wholeheartedly agree with you. There’s a whole lot of excitement around procurement, and particularly in tech and tools. And obviously, you and I will continue talking. But then I hope that you know, anyone who’s watching or joining in, I’ll give us, either of us, or both of us to show if there’s, there’s things we’d really like to talk about more in there, I’d definitely be happy, because that’s that really for me is the power of LinkedIn is that opportunity to broaden my horizons. And so I hope other people grab on to that and do the same.

Jonny Dunning:   1:13:21  Yeah, I totally agree. And I’ll certainly be keeping and keeping an eye out for your latest activity. And, yeah, there’s a lot for everyone to learn. And there’s a lot for everyone to share. And I think it’s, you know, that whole thing of giving a bit back and being part of it. You know, that’s certainly more rewarding than just using a tool like that to just cynically, you know, be just looking out for your next job every now and again. Yes, entirely. I really enjoyed that. Thank you so much, Rob. Really appreciate it. And yeah, I look forward to hopefully catching up again soon. 

Rob Bonnar:        1:13:51  Yeah, great. Thank you very much. All the very best. 

Jonny Dunning:   1:13:53  Take care

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