Meeting 6 - South Hants IT group - Procurement

17 July 2019

I was very excited about the joint CIPS and South Hants IT meeting, as a bit of an experiment to see how different audiences would interact, and I was not disappointed. We managed about 35 attendees, broadly split 50/50 between Procurement and Channel Sales people, and lots of interesting dialogue was had. No fights broke out, no-one got injured. Result!

I delivered an hour and a half of content explaining my views on Technology Procurement and how the interface between Sales and Procurement could be improved. From the front of the room I didn’t see anyone dozing off, which is always a good sign, and a big thank you to large percentage of the audience who participated with questions and debate, many of whom got free CIPS stress balls. For a relatively dry topic, it was really engaging and we still didn’t manage to conclude whether RFP’s were a good or a bad thing…..

The core conclusions from the presentation were:

  • CIPS South of England branch is a useful forum for Procurement professionals to network and learn new stuff.
  • South Hants IT group is a useful forum for Technology professionals to network and learn new stuff.
  • Combined these two forums and the networking benefits are exponentially improved.
  • The Technology Supply Chain has a long and complicated history. Fifty years of compounding, and conflicting, business models has made it very difficult to navigate.
  • Cloud has changed everything, and the commercial models surrounding this are about as complex as it can get. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
  • To simplify the Tech Supply Chain, you can split it into Clients (buy things), Vendors (make things) and the Channel (resell Vendor things to Clients).
  • Everything is a “service” these days, combining Vendor Product and Vendor or Channel Services. Even cloud is this. 
  • Risks of Technology Supply Chain are numerous and varied. 
  • Procurement and Sales could work better together by simply listening to each other. Sales guys need to engage Procurement early to avoid any hiccups in process, and Procurement guys need to be open with Sales guys to get to the right end result early.
  • South Hants IT group are looking to develop some “buying guides” for technology to help Procurement ask the right questions and develop good specifications.
  • The future of Procurement looks interesting, a lot of the mundane will be automated and that should make the role more engaging
  • The future of Technology looks busy, with no let up in the pace of change or new developments – keeping us all gainfully employed!

With a few more subscribers after this session the South Hants IT group continue to operate at a small profit, all of which will be donated to charity towards the end of this year. We have a number of suggestions for the charity and I will confirm in January 2020’s meeting. For paid members, I have made the slides from the session available on our Slack channel (#general).

Next meeting will be after summer in September and I’m open to ideas for topic. I’m thinking 5G would be interesting (use cases, rollout plans etc) but open to suggestions. General logistics will be:

  • Thursday 12th September, 5:30pm for a 6pm-7pm meeting.
  • Boozer thereafter will continue be the Parsons Collar,
  • Everyone is welcome who work in IT in the South Hants and surrounding areas. Please spread the word.

More and more people from the group are starting to see some benefit, with reports of new relationships / partnerships forming coming at each meeting. I’m really pleased with how this forum is going, just need to work out where to take it next to keep it fresh. Open to ideas for people who have a problem that could be solved by a team of technology professionals…..

As ever, any questions, comments or feedback, please get in touch.

Phil (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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