Last week brought the DocuSign Procurement team to ProcureCon Indirect West Conference in Phoenix.  Over 250 Procurement practitioners came together to tap into key trends and the best-in-class Procurement practices. Time very well spent!!

Love them or loath them, conferences always offer me a fresh adrenaline rush of inspiration to make some strategic waves.

Case in point, every conference session serves up a bevy of competitive advantages to apply into my practice. I was specifically motivated by one of the sessions centered on innovation co-paneled by four Procurement leaders. Here are some key sound bites from the session

Chuck out the Old-School Way of Thinking: follow the revenue trail. Work backwards towards the Procurement cycle. Unearth every Royalty, Gain Share, Revenue Share, Commission based contract on the way and develop alternate business & cost models. You are in for a pleasant surprise in regards to deriving additional value from the existing sacred agreements.  In addition, you will be able to deliver a mapped out process of the end to end value chain, which is often elusive at most corporations.

Simplify The Process (You Know you Want to!) Streamline Procurement’s internal processes with quick and intuitive technology solutions to gain the trust of business partners. Time for long journeys is over and short road trips are better suited on the digital super highway as quoted by Shaz Khan, co-panelist and Chief Strategy Officer at Vroozi, Inc.  

Take it to the Cloud: Many corporations are already running most functions on cloud-based technologies. Anu Gardiner, co-panelist and Head of Procurement at DocuSign, went on to comment that in next 5 years all enterprise solutions will run in the cloud. Procurement needs to be on the forefront to bring these trends to business partners so their company can focus on its core competencies better.

Go Forth and Socialize: It’s imperative to intertwine Social in the business environment effectively.  If you’re not, then you’re already behind. We are a fiercely mobile workforce. Our smartphone and tablet apps hook us into fresh methods to communicate and collaborate with peers and partners. Just as consumers tap into social networks to keep tabs on their relatives and friends, procurement needs to get better at leveraging business networks to manage trading relationships, contracting activities, and commerce activities.

It all comes to show that everything that can go digital will go digital; it’s just a matter of moments. Again, we’re a fiercely mobile society. More than a billion of us participate in social networks. Over 15 billion web-enabled devices connect us to the people and information we need to manage our daily lives. Logically, paper based processes are already history. Once you go paperless, you never go back!

Innovation Panel at ProcureCon Indirect West

Shaz Khan, Chief Strategy Officer at Vroozi, Inc.

Carlos Dones, Head of Indirect Procurement at Applied Materials

Anu Gardiner, Head of Procurement at DocuSign Inc.

Frank Scharadin, Executive Director at MGM Resorts

Riddle me this: would your group be the first ones to adopt the paperless transformation or wait ‘till there is no other way of doing business?