Event Overview 

“Challenging Procurement Behaviours to Optimize Outcomes”

The theme for the 8th PASA CPO Exchange – Challenging Procurement Behaviours to Optimize Outcomes – is the result of a number of conversations that I have participated in this year with CPO’s and some of the regions leading procurement consultants about fundamentally important challenges faced by procurement leaders. In my humble opinion many of these challenges require changes in behaviours to change outcomes. While some of the views may not sit entirely comfortably with all attendees, I do believe they will generate valuable debate. The three keynote presentations will therefore all come from leading consultants, exploring issues that are essential to delivering greater procurement effectiveness.

The first of these – Why Procurement Often Fails to Engage the C-suite and What It Can Do About It – addresses the thorny issue of engagement with the C-suite, something that many procurement leaders find challenging. In discussion with the AT Kearney Leadership Team earlier this year, the idea was raised that the language procurement traditionally uses just does not cut through with the C-suite. This session, based on AT Kearney’s experience of engaging with CEO’s and CFO’s, from whom they are dependent to obtain work, will explore where and why procurement struggles with this and what it can do about it.

Our second keynote, at the end of day one – ‘Optimizing Use of Resources to Drive Procurement Effectiveness’ – will explore the relationship between consultants and the CPO and put forward ideas around how CPO’s can utilise consultants to boost effectiveness instead of seeing them as a threat.

Our final keynote, early on day two – The Dynamics of Trust and How it Plays out in Buyer Supplier Relationships – addresses an issue that I have been talking to CPO’s about for a few years. Without Trust there is no Collaboration and with no Collaboration there is no Innovation. Robert Pease, the presenter is currently undertaking a masters on This session will draw on work that Robert is currently doing for a masters degree on organisational dynamics.

The majority of your time at the CPO Exchange will be spent in round-table discussions. As with previous CPO Exchanges, I will liaise with attendees prior to the event to develop the agenda for the discussions. This provides you with the opportunity to ensure that your key challenges are included in the program, enabling you to draw on the wisdom, insights and experience of your peers in the search for answers.

Of course, the exchange format dictates that CPOs attending must commit to a minimum of six half-hour meetings with sponsoring supplier partners. Our previous experience
with this has revealed that CPOs actually find the opportunity to meet with suppliers who they may not usually meet, a valuable experience. Conducted in a very relaxed and informal way, the meetings provide an opportunity for both parties to learn more about each other explore whether or not there might be value in working together.

The final element of the event, and one that always receives extremely positive feedback, is the opportunity for informal networking throughout the event. Whether it be with
fellow CPOs or participating speakers, facilitators or suppliers, there is plenty of time scheduled within the programme to build real connections that deliver real value.

I trust you find this of interest and look forward to welcoming you to the Gold Coast,

Nigel Wardropper
Managing Director