Business has never been more complex, driven by a number of trends, including:

  • New sources of competition which are disrupting entire industries, whether it be technology upstarts or emerging market companies expanding into developed economies
  • An increasingly complex and uncertain regulatory environment
  • New sources of geopolitical risk
  • Increasing dependence on suppliers and customers
  • The unstoppable march of globalization


To compete, companies must rethink their approach to business.  Business as usual, even if one sharpens one’s pencils, is not enough.


Which makes the need for true business transformation all the more critical. Yet, I often cringe when I hear of another business “transformation” story.  The term is highly overused, frequently describing cases of marginal improvement.


I find this to be particularly true in cases of procurement transformation.  To truly help organizations thrive in today’s environment, procurement has to move far beyond its traditional spend management focus.  Procurement is uniquely positioned to drive transformative value, coordinating between the supply base and various internal functions.  Yet most procurement transformation stories fall far short of that.


That is why I am particularly excited about the plenary sessions at this year’s Ariba LIVE in Munich on 8-10 June.  The event theme is “The Future of Business Commerce” and business transformation figures prominently on mainstage.  The approaches taken are refreshing and the stories are of true transformation. 


  • Mark Gallagher, who held executive roles at various Formula One teams, will discuss how that industry radically (and quite successfully) transformed itself in the face of major regulatory developments that disrupted their traditional business model.  The lessons apply far beyond racing.
  • Pascal Delval, Groupe Auchan’s Indirect CPO & Managing Director, who has assumed P&L responsibility.  His views on the future of retail (the industry one could argue has been most upset in recent years), and how procurement must change to support it are highly insightful.
  • A.P. Moeller-Maersk Group.  Henrik Larsen, VP Group Procurement, will discuss the creative approaches taken in his department to truly challenge their traditional ways of doing business.  Given Maersk’s well known procurement excellence, this is a story worth hearing.
  • Nedbank Limited.  Shiraz Sarang, CPO, and Ian Fuller, Executive General Manager of Business Transformation, will discuss the cross-functional transformation underway at Nedbank and how they tackled each key element: People, Processes, and Technology.


Transformation is critical within procurement today.  Yet there is far too much use of the term and far too few success stories.  Ariba LIVE presents you with an opportunity to hear true success stories spanning diverse industries and regions.


Stay tuned to the latest news and conversations about Ariba LIVE by following the hashtag #AribaLIVE on Twitter.


This Blog post originally appeared in SCN Business Trends