Since its inaugural event, we have been known to say of Digital Procurement World that it is “The Best New Procurement Event in Years.” We made this statement based on its ability to “bring together not only procurement organizations and technology (and services) firms in a conversation around digital, but also to engage the start-up community and investors … and do a great job of connecting them with buyers, consultants and others.”
Digital Procurement Word (DPW), now in its third iteration since 2019 (owing to Covid), has continued to enthuse and innovate in the digital tech space, fueled by its appetite for unveiling ground-breaking solutions to the marketplace, introducing new concepts, discussing raw topics and hosting an unprecedented line-up of expert speakers. This recipe for what our founder and CEO Jason Busch once called “a runaway success” is set to serve itself up once again in Amsterdam, Netherlands on September 21 and 22, when he will be taking center stage to share his thoughts, experience and long-accumulated knowledge on the task of identifying, comparing and choosing the right procurement technology for your organization’s needs.
“What I love about DPW,” says Jason, “is that it really is a tech community of so many people with so much in common. And I’m delighted that Spend Matters has been invited to participate in various sessions.”
Jason will be co-leading a mainstage event with colleague Roberto Mastrigli, an operating partner with our partner and investor, Copley Equity, titled “Buy tech better: lessons from private equity on how to assess procurement technology.”
The premise is that many companies harbor the same regrets over choosing and buying technology. They regret having made assumptions about how the tool works; they regret not having uncovered gaps in functionality and capability before implementation; they regret not having carried out proper due diligence.
Roberto, like Jason, has spent a very large portion of his career focused on due diligence, growth strategies and turnarounds for private equity (PE) portfolio companies. The two speakers’ backgrounds complement each other, with Roberto’s focus on finance and operations and Jason’s on technology and strategy. So, as advisors and consultants they are truly excited to be able to tap into a career-lifetime experience of how private equity firms run their due diligence playbooks, and share that to help tech buying become a faster, better informed experience that yields more successful results.
“Throughout my career,” explains Jason, “I’ve seen the same mistakes made over and over again that could be corrected if only buyers could look at tech in the same way that investors look at buying or investing in companies. There are playbooks and checklists for understanding businesses, some of which are very exhaustive. And similar tools exist that can be applied to understanding technology. While we don’t intend to get into all the details of due diligence, we will be sharing how important it is to go into the decision with eyes wide open. And in this session, we’ll be equipping listeners with the ability to do that. I’m not suggesting that issues are inherently a deal breaker (though some certainly are) — you will always find issues when doing diligence. But it’s valuable to see how these issues can become opportunities if you’re fully aware of them, as early as possible. So, I’m really excited to offer up this session, because I believe we have some truly unique advice to share.”
Some of that advice will cover:
- Understanding your current business requirements properly
- Exploring, along with your stakeholders, where you want the investment to take you: what’s the path, hypothesis and investment thesis?
- Identifying the importance of headwinds and tailwinds which could make or break success, and importantly …
- Understanding the optionality of what you are buying
“The final point is key,” says Jason, “because options change depending on, for example, whether you are buying the tech as a platform or as an add-on. The answer to that changes how you approach buying. In my experience, many tech buyers don’t consider that. In our advanced tech world of today, we just expect our solutions to work. But will they work as effectively, and with as much optionality, as we want and need?
“So, we’ll be drawing up mental models and frameworks for how you think about assessing tech investment for your company. And the neat thing about it is that it’s all data-driven. You can forget hunches and replace them with facts, allowing everyone to get on the same ‘good sourcing’ page.
“I don’t believe that historically we’ve applied that to tech buying, mostly because the unknowns have outweighed the knowns. But we believe you can make those unknowns knowns, if you know where to look.”
This is shaping up to be a seriously informative session, which you can join on day two of DPW, at 14.35hrs, Wednesday 21st September.
In further sessions on Wednesday, Jason will be hosting panel discussions covering:
- How to use CLM to drive enterprise-wide value and enhance business impact, with Kai Nowosel, CPO at the ‘Uber of contract management’ Accenture, and Roman Howe, VP Customer Advocacy at CLM experts Icertis, discussing how CLM can drive value organization-wide if used to its full potential, from seamlessly managing 360-degree relationships to driving co-innovation for stakeholders and suppliers.
- How to navigate disruption and become a master of resiliency, with David Simchi-Levi, Business and Supply Chain Analytics at MIT and Pierre-Francois Kaltenbach, Supply Chain and Operations Europe Lead at Accenture. Here, Jason will drill down into one of his passions — supply chain risk — and ask world experts about proactively building resilience where it matters, and how visibility and simulation can uncover hidden risks.
We are super excited to be attending and speaking at DPW once again, because as Jason remarks:
“DPW is a young organization, and that works to its advantage. It has created a conference for 2022. Not only does being completely tech-focused make it unique, it gives us, especially those who’ve been around a while, a chance to learn from young entrepreneurs who are coming up with innovative ideas that we have not before contemplated. It’s truly a privilege to be able to share the stage with them, talk to them and to the more mature companies that are succeeding in this space, to understand what is working for them and for the ecosystem, and advising customers, and investors, on how to get the most from the systems that are being rolled out. So, I think it becomes very important to attend an event like DPW, as it keeps you in the game and on top of your own game.”
To be part of this tech hotspot of information and innovation visit Digital Procurement World.
And to learn more about the innovators that demo at DPW, see our previous coverage here.