Three key themes: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023

Host at Procurement and Supply Chain LIVE London 2023 Neil Perry picks his three key themes from the event

I had the pleasure of hosting stage two at Procurement and Supply Chain LIVE London 2023 at the Business Design Centre in front of a consistently engaged live and virtual audience.

After fronting 16 sessions across the two days, there are certain key trends and threads that consistently emerged from our speakers, panels, and audience questions.  

Balance in procurement and supply chain 

A word that came up time and time again was balance.  This could be the balance between adopting a sustainable supply chain or procurement strategy, and how it could exist alongside cost reduction and profitability, or how to balance the use of technology with human experience. 

Another focal point was the importance of balancing internal expertise with knowing when a business needs to bring in additional support from consultants or other experts to try and increase the likelihood of a transformation or digital initiative being successful.  

Smart technology selection

The value and advancements of procurement and supply technology under-pinned many of the discussions, and featured in many audience questions too.  With so many exciting technological developments, solutions and ideas in the market it was discussed how to go about partnering with the right suppliers to get the best outcomes.  

The key advice was knowing the intended outcome of the technological transformation, and having a clear set of principles the technology partner needs to adhere to.  This can help make sure the solution being brought in isn’t simply digital for the sake of digital, but a valuable addition that brings tangible benefits to the business.  

Procurement and Supply Chain LIVE 2023

The value of people in supply chain and procurement operations 

With all the talk of competitive advantage, digital progress and even AI, a regular touchpoint was the critical importance of not overlooking the value of people within an organisation.  

This manifested itself in different ways.  In the conversations regarding digital transformation, it was regularly referenced that there has to be support for both your staff and partners to make sure there is full adoption and implementation across your ecosystem.  You can have the most advanced and well designed procurement programme or supply chain management solution in place, but if it is not implemented with the people who have to interact with it, then the strategy will never reach full potential.

The relationship between your people and AI technology was also a key talking point, with the general agreement that the ‘A’ is often better translated into ‘augmentation’ as it can add to human abilities rather than looking to replace it.  


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Other magazines that may be of interest - Supply Chain Magazine | Sustainability Magazine


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