2018 sees a significant change to the PASA events programme, with the PASA Premier ConfeX becoming one of a series of three major procurement conferences, all exploring a common theme; ‘Improving our Customers Experience’.
This will see the traditional Melbourne Conference in November complemented by similar events in Auckland, in August, and Sydney in October.
Our 2018 theme ‘Improving our Customers Experience’ will seek to address many of the issues and challenges that I continue to hear from procurement professionals throughout the year, either at our conferences or during round-table discussions with the PASA CONNECT membership.
Broadly speaking our customers fall into two areas:
- Our internal stakeholders
- Our external suppliers
The single biggest issue that I can guarantee will raise its head in almost every procurement discussion I participate in is stakeholder management. Usually this is in the form of complaints such as:
- They don’t value us or recognize the value we bring them and the organisation.
- They resist the changes we want to make.
- If only our stakeholders would do as we wanted and would appreciate what we do for them.
- Why don’t they recognize the value we bring to them?
- Etc etc.
And on it goes in a never-ending circle. I have been producing procurement conferences for nearly 20 years and the same issue still keeps coming around.
But what might happen if we viewed these internal stakeholders as our customers and examined what their experience is of dealing with us?
As our ‘customers’, do we really understand their needs, wants, drivers etc? What are their ‘hot buttons’? Do we make their lives easier or harder? Do we slow the process down for them or do we make it quicker and easier?
What can we in procurement do to improve their experience of dealing with us, so that we shifted the conversation on so many of these traditional complaints?
And let’s not forget our second customer group, our suppliers. For too long, many in procurement have been perceived as conducting a ‘master-slave’ relationship with suppliers. The power has been in the hand of the purchaser. Yet these days the conversation is increasingly becoming about partnering with suppliers. We now (apparently) want to work with our suppliers to drive out waste, seek new innovations and gain competitive advantage. Do our behaviours lend themselves to this new paradigm? What is our suppliers experience like of dealing with us in procurement? (Ask many corporate salespeople their opinion of the way they are treated by procurement and the answers would be pretty ugly!)
At the 2018 PASA Confex series in Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne we will be aiming to provide insights, analysis and practical tips to enable procurement to deliver better customer experience to each of these customer groups.
Do you have an example of good or improved customer experience in action that you would be prepared to share? Or perhaps you have strong views regarding how we go improving our customers experiences?
You may get further ideas by reading the piece we published about the theme is January this year: please click here to read more.
If you have an idea you would like to put forward for a session, please drop us a line at the email address below and we can tee up a time to discuss.
Thanks and regards,