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PODCAST: Embracing Disruption to Spur Procurement Innovation

Guest: Cyril Pourrat

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Many procurement organizations pay lip service to innovation, but few are taking the steps required to make it a reality. Part of this has to do with the difficulty overcoming the paralysis of the unknown and part of it has to do with an unwillingness on procurement’s part to risk failure. Ironically, facing the unknown and pushing past the fear of failure makes it far more likely that disruptive innovation will be achieved.

I’m joined today by Cyril Pourrat, Chief Procurement Officer at Sprint. They are three years into their transformation journey, one that has a new purpose in the context of Sprint’s pending merger with T-Mobile. If the merger goes ahead, procurement will be expected to drive significant synergy-based savings. If it does not, achieving cost savings will become even more critical for Sprint to thrive as a stand-alone company.

In preparation, Cyril and his team have launched a number of innovative programs. One of them is ‘Procurement Digital Labs’ – an initiative that is empowering a multi-generational team to identify and experiment with a broad range of technologies. The objective is to provide buyers with far deeper insights used in the development of their sourcing and category strategies. Another is enabling the use of predictive analytics in negotiations.

In this podcast, Cyril talks about:

  • The enabling technologies being evaluated by Sprint to help break the mold of traditional procurement thinking
  • How design thinking has changed their procurement value proposition and attitude towards disruptive change
  • The potential of hands-free procurement, made possible by digital assistant technology
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