Recently the Singapore and Hong Kong teams attended the Asia Pacific Procurement Congress, the two-day conference which took place in Singapore on the 8th & 9th November.  

The must-attend event for CPO’s and senior procurement professionals showcased leading examples of how businesses could translate their quest for value into impact and provided attendees with the actions they needed to understand how recent events had changed organizational strategy and what this meant for procurement.  

During day 2 of the congress, we led an interactive workshop as one of the CPO Challenger sessions. Participants joined us as we explored the critical topic of “3rd party risk management: Could procurement take the lead?” hosted by Andrea Carnino, Principal Consultant at Argon & Co Singapore. The interactive discussion delved into the following key areas:  

  • What are the main types of risk procurement teams are focusing on? 
  • How does procurement collaborate with enterprise risk and finance functions and what other functions are involved? 
  • Should procurement own 3PRM, and if so, how do we get there? 
  • How should teams prepare? What is most important to focus on?

Key takeaways from the event: 

  • COVID taught us a lesson by catching us unprepared in our supply chain and procurement strategies, but most organisations are still not embedding risk management practices in the relationship with 3rd-parties. 
  • As much as we learn about risk basics in our procurement studies (from CIPS or other organisations), we still struggle to apply those tools in our daily tasks and tend to be reactive rather than proactive. 
  • Procurement is the natural “keeper” of supplier relationships – in fact we’re blamed for every issue, from delays to non-conformances! – and we should get ownership of 3PRM by communicating and selling our value internally. 
  • China’s economic growth is slowing down; emerging Asia and South-East Asia (SEA) in particular are growing fast again and can benefit from the China-US trade war due to the need to diversify and de-risk the supplier base.  
  • We need to change the way the CPO is seen by the organisation: from Chief Procurement Officer to Chief Partnership Officer, from business enablement to acceleration, from optimisation to maximisation. 
  • The number one key lever in Procurement is to “retain external advisory/consultants to harness expertise” 
  • Procurement is not meant to be a roadblock; we should not prevent our stakeholders from spending their budget, but we should make every single dollar spent work as hard as ten!


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