Walgreens CPO Jim Townsend to speak at Procurement LIVE

Walgreens Boots Alliance Chief Procurement Officer Jim Townsend believes every procurement professional "should be bold, brave, and ready to take the right road rather than the easy road".
Walgreens Boots Alliance Chief Procurement Officer Jim Townsend believes every procurement professional "should be bold, brave, and ready to take the right road rather than the easy road".
Walgreens Boots Alliance Chief Procurement Officer Jim Townsend will be speaking at Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE London on 13 October

BizClik is gearing up for its latest sector-leading event -- Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE London -- where some of the industry's biggest names will be sharing insight and advice in a series of must-see keynotes.

The event takes place from 12-13 October at London's Queen Elizabeth II Centre. Those attending in person will be able to network with an audience of top-line supply chain and procurement influencers. All keynotes and discussions will also be available as a live stream to a remote audience.

In a new approach, LIVE London -- brought to you by Supply Chain Digital and Procurement Magazine -- will incorporates two zones: Supply Chain LIVE and Procurement LIVE, to create a single Expo-style experience. 

Headline speakers include Jim Townsend, who is the outgoing Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance (see below). For a full itinerary of speakers, click here

About Jim Townsend 

NameJim Townsend

Job title: Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance

Company: Walgreens Boots Alliance 

When speaking: (Day 1, 12.00-12.25pm, Procurement LIVE)

Keynote subject: Procurement strategy

In his role as Chief Procurement Officer, Jim Townsend is an influential leader at Walgreens Boots Alliance. He has deep experience, naturally, but says that just as important as this is boldness and surety of action. "I believe that every procurement professional should be bold, brave, and ready to take the right road rather than the easy road." he says.

Townsend adds that having "an honest, straightforward approach lends itself well to the role of CPO", adding: "This is particularly true when liaising with other organisations and making tough calls."

He reveals that this approach has also informed the way he managed not only WBA's digital procurement transformation but also its overall transformation process.

Of WBA's digital procurement programme, he says: “Retail and healthcare has revolutionised over the past five years, and the pandemic further accelerated development within these sectors. Customers and patients expect increased convenience through digital omnichannel experiences, as well as greater value, transparency, sustainability, and diversity.

“We recognised that strategic supply partnerships are crucial to delivering a new, sustainable customer-offering, and that the investment for this needed to be funded through operating efficiencies. We were charged with jointly identifying, structuring and developing these partnerships.”

To achieve this Townsend had to ensure WBA's procurement function attracted and retained talent. "We needed to reposition ourselves within the organisation, as well as rethink our ambition,” he says.

He adds: “The executive leadership team supported and sponsored the new procurement model, which in turn aligned with the wider organisation. Policies were overhauled and embedded."

About Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

WBA is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. It serves millions of customers and patients every day. It dispenses medicines, improves access to a wide range of health services, provides high-quality health and beauty products and offers any-time, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms.

It has retail outlets in 13,000 locations across the US, Europe and Latin America, and plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem of these regions. The company says it is "reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of our purpose", and that it wants to "create more joyful lives through better health".

WBA has a payroll of around 315,000, and a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides (Mexico) and Ahumada (Chile).

Townsend adds that having "an honest, straightforward approach lends itself well to the role of CPO", adding: "This is particularly true when liaising with other organisations and making tough calls."

Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE London takes place from 12-13 October at London's Queen Elizabeth II Centre. Those attending in person will be able to network with an audience of top-line supply chain and procurement influencers. All keynotes and discussions will also be available as a live stream to a remote audience.

To attend, register here. Once you have registered we will send you login instructions to easy-to-use virtual platform, Brella. You can use this to craft a personalised itinerary of keynotes and -- for those attending in person -- also pre-arrange networking opportunities during the many networking breaks across the two days.  

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