The inspiring stories of the panelists and the top organization of the event confirmed that the Procurement Conference in Portorož is the right meeting place for all procurement experts who want to share their knowledge and experience. The conference gathered about 150 procurement experts, mostly from Slovenian companies, but we also met with procurement professionals from Croatia, Serbia, and Italy.
About the pandemic experience in procurement and other shocks
The Procurement Conference in Portorož is known as an event with a primary focus on procurement improvement and current events. Given that in the past the experience of a pandemic has most marked each, including procurement activity, most of the time is devoted to this experience. Judging by the experiences of procurement experts, procurement departments have coped quickly and well in an unprecedented global situation. Agile and well-organized teams were crucial.
As interesting topics, the so-called neglected shocks like Brexit, U.S.-China relations, labor costs, stagnation in the Suez Canal, monetary policy of states, inflation, and interest rates. It encompassed a series of events that affected global supply chain bursts. Vis maior or force majeure became the word of the day in business, and all previous attitudes were instantly brought into doubt and thoroughly reconsidered.
JIT (just-in-time) became a thing of the past, and new circumstances had to be overcome by fuller warehouses because no one knew how it would all unfold. We have heard interesting testimonies of how procurement teams have reorganized, remained, or become more agile despite the separation, thus showing responsible behavior.
The digital transformation of procurement is a way of life and doing business
Despite all the shocks and coping in unforeseen situations, there were organizations that carried out successful reforms of procurement processes and activities, thus helping their organizations to mitigate the consequences of the new business circumstances. Thus, in addition to the topics of more recent date, the conference also dealt with an old-new topic: the digital transformation of procurement, which the panelists touched on more or less in each presentation.
We have given special emphasis on this topic with our presentation, from which we conclude that after 20 years of ups and downs of the digital transformation of procurement, it is necessary to approach it individually, intuitively, and E2E.
We have raised E2E (end-to-end) in exposure to a higher level than the procurement processes themselves because E2E is a constant with which Procurement wants to get visibility of everything it does in real time, to meet the challenges of the circular economy. E2E is not only achieved with S2C and P2P, with ML, AI, and Blockchain.
E2E represents the collaboration of everyone in the organization, outside of it,
and technology as a tool and one that allows digital transformation to be a (continuous) way (as it is done) and not just a (one-time) act.
Finally, we emphasized that digital transformation is a lifestyle in which we change our way of life, work, and play in order to get rid of repetitive and boring activities in order to deal with what is inherent in us – creativity.
In the next post, read all about the Copernican turns in procurement, the path that procurement had to take to E2E, and the direction it took in the future.