What I learned from the conference season

An aside: Is conference “season” a North American thing? Or is a global phenomenon. I will readily admit to not being a conference junky. I only tend to go to conferences at which TradingPartners is exhibiting.

I’ve only been to one conference this “season” so far: eWorld Purchasing & Supply in Feb. I will be at Procurement Solutions next week, again speaking about eAuctions.

So what did I learn from eWorld Purchasing & Supply?

Briefly:

1. Hackett’s keynote fascinated me. It made the case that procurement as we know it (strategic sourcing, supply chain management etc) can only add so much value to the organisation. In order to advance beyond this then procurement will need to re-invent itself.

2. There seems to be a renaissance in eSourcing providers out there these days. I think we were in double digit identikit eSourcing software vendors exhibiting – many of whom I had never heard of before. How can vendors stand out in this kind of marketplace? Focus on key competencies.

3. But the real topic of conversation amongst the delegates, and the real reason most went, was to learn something about “green” and “sustainability”. And many felt let down by the advice that “you can be green and save money by using less packaging”. There is obviously a large gap in the market here. This is encouraging. But at the same time it’s worrying because the pent-up demand for green solutions of some shape or form is going to be an irresistible tempation for hucksters. Buyer of green solutions, beware. As ever.

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One thought on “What I learned from the conference season

  1. Hi Alan,

    You may want to consider the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) EMEA Conference, “Making Sense of Opportunity & Risk: The Journey To Contracting Excellence”, September 22 – 24, 2008 in London.

    http://www.iaccm.com/emea

    Looks like quite a good line up of speakers.

    Andy.

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