CPO Priorities Heading into 2018

The CPO Rising conference that was held in Boston earlier this month gave me the opportunity to discuss the big priorities CPOs are focused on heading into 2018.

As I wrote last week, everything is moving faster and having the right information and tools at the time of decision is critical.

My takeaways from the conversations and presentations are that talent, innovation and process simplification head the list of priorities for most organizations.

Tom Linton of Flex described technology his team created that translates data into visual images on a wall that stretches about 100 feet. They now have nine of these in place. He told me that it took about 100 days to set the first one up. They did have to create algorithms for some of the screens. Most of the information was available but not in the same place or at the same time.

His approach is innovative, and the concept is worth considering on a scale that fits your organization.

Attendees at the conference represented organizations that are very modest in size to giant corporations and cities. Budgets ranged from 5 figures to 8 figures.

Although it would be nice to have a wall that had all the critical information available in real-time but that isn’t realistic or necessary for most of us.

Here is an idea for consideration. Use multiple computer screens and feeds to create your own “information wall” that fits your information requirements.

We can learn from traders in stocks and commodities who have been doing this for years. Big data, analytics and decision speed make their approach the only way to operate in that business.

Your organization may not need information and analytics instantly all day but the ability to access the data when you need it will provide you with a competitive advantage.

You may be thinking that this is going to make things more complicated, but I believe it will make your process simpler.

Your staff probably spent money online during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.


The online retailers are making the process easier and far more convenient then going to the mall.

Now you may not be able to recreate the Amazon experience using the systems you have in place now.

However, just imagine if you could provide your stakeholders with better information and a process that is easier to execute.

Wouldn’t greater system utilization follow?

Wouldn’t rogue spend decline?

The CPOs I spoke with said yes but there is still much to be done.


Action Step: If you are uncertain where to start the process of change, a procurement professional like myself can provide guidance and expertise to help your organization achieve the results you want.

If you want to go explore this topic in greater detail, please contact me. I invite you to request 30-minute discovery conversation. In my experience the next step will be apparent at the end of the call. I never assume that what I have to offer will be right for everyone, so don’t expect a sales pitch. You can reach me at 973-936-9672.

If you would like to know more ways to reduce costs without changing the way you do business, simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

You Won’t Drift to Success©

Commit to taking the next step.

Until Next Time, I Wish You Great Success in Your Business and in Your Life

Mike Jeffries