SAP & PwC urge C-suiters to get serious about supply risk

SAP’s Richard Jowers and Andrea Ricciarelli join Tom Woodham of PwC at Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE to discuss risk mitigation

April 2022, Procurement Magazine, Supply Chain Digital and Bizclik Media Group returned to the Tobacco Dock (London) to host our second Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE. 

Dubbed ‘The Risk & Resilience Conference’ the two-day hybrid event featured keynotes, roundtables, Q&As, and 1-2-1s from inspirational and knowledgeable leaders in the procurement and supply chain space.

Risk mitigation in the supply chain 

Richard Jowers, a Director at SAP, Andrea Ricciarelli, SAP Domain Advisor of Supply Chain Logistics and Sustainability, and PwC Partner Tom Woodham took to the main stage to discuss risk mitigation in the supply chain.

The panel was mediated by Scott Birch, Chief Content Officer at BizClik Media Group.

Despite being a critical enabler for many organisations, all three speakers stressed that technology is not a silver bullet. 

Tom Woodham said: “Technology can certainly help with the identification of issues before they exist but people, processes and data are also key to identifying priorities and determining where technology is best integrated."

Modern procurement and its role in mitigating risks

When it comes to mitigating risk, Richard Jowers noted that “procurement plays a key role in taking action to support the organisation”. He added: "Procurement sits on vast quantities of data that can be analysed and acted upon. It is a vital asset for organisations to help suppliers tackle requirement pressures."

Risk mitigation 'moving up C-suite agenda'

Commenting on the understanding of risk at C-suite level, Woodham said: “It is better now than three to four years ago. In the past couple of years, most big companies have thought about whether they have the right kind of supply chain. People have realised that it is part of their business and needs to have visibility.”

He added: "Despite the increase in clarity, Woodham still fears that people will forget the importance of supply chains as the years of COVID-19 become more distant." 

When it comes to investing in risk mitigation, Jowers stressed the importance of starting with data due to the range of risk being so broad in today’s supply chains. 

He said: “But you need to ensure that it is clean data in order to analyse, prioritise, make decisions, communicate with others and act upon. So lead with data first of all." 

Woodham added: “Companies have always invested in resilience. But in the past few years resilience has increased in profile.

“Data is definitely the place to start. Too often people start with the last risk they experienced rather than plan for the next one. Instead, organisations should look at what key capabilities they required that they didn’t have, rather than fixing a single past problem. We need to think broader when we approach risk.”

The next five years

“The next five years are uncertain,” said Andrea Ricciarelli, Domain Advisor of Supply Chain Logistics and Sustainability at SAP. “Everything that has happened in the last three years was unexpected, emphasis will be placed on whether an organisation has enough speed and agility to react to the future challenges.”

Expanding on Ricciarelli’s comments, Jowers expects to see organisations increase their focus on understanding risks relating to ESG. 

“Organisations are looking to and learning from the past,” said Jowers. “Many countries are already implementing legislation such as Germany and the US. There will be an increased focus on human rights, as well as understanding Scope 3 emissions and the actions that will need to be taken.”

Woodham added:  “With technology, it will be easier to get data to gain visibility. This will be crucial to get right in the next five years. However, with connectivity and AI comes a new kind of risk, we will also see an increase in cybersecurity in the next five years.”

To watch any of our other speakers from Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE: The Risk and Resilience Conference, click here


This October, Supply Chain Digital and Procurement Magazine return to London for an all-new event - PROCUREMENT & SUPPLY CHAIN LIVE LONDON 2022.

Click here, to find out how you can attend PROCUREMENT & SUPPLY CHAIN LIVE LONDON 2022.

Held at the QEII Centre between the 12th and 13th of October 2022, BMG’s all-new hybrid event incorporates two zones - SupplyChain LIVE and Procurement LIVE - to create a single EXPO style event. 

PROCUREMENT & SUPPLY CHAIN LIVE LONDON 2022 will give those attending the chance to showcase their values, products and services to partners and customers.

To find out more about PROCUREMENT & SUPPLY CHAIN LIVE LONDON 2022, click here.


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