6 Things Every CPO Should Know

Tarek Alaruri
COO & Co-Founder
Fairmarkit
5-minute read

Fairmarkit recently spent some time talking with one of our CPO advisors , Michael Cadieux. Michael spent 10 years leading the procurement organization at Publicis Groupe, the oldest and one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world based on revenue. Most recently he started his own procurement consulting firm, Spend Logic Group.

As an expert in the field, we asked him about the five things he thought every CPO should know and he had some great advice:

  1. Approach indirect spend differently than direct spend. Direct spend is a commodity chain, whereas indirect is unstable in demand, complex in acquisition, and heavily diversified in supplier base.  
  2. Be savvy about your data spend. If you don’t have a solid hold on what your spending is how can you even attempt to get it under control and “manage” it? If you haven’t thought about hiring a data scientist yet, you are already behind.  
  3. Know the financial goals, objectives and direction of your company. If your CFO and/or private equity investor group are not interested in asset acquisition, as a CPO, you need to know that. Understand what drives their success in order to be successful in your procurement objectives.
  4. Tools, Tools, Tools.  There have never been more technology tools available to CPOs and procurement teams than there are today. They will not replace your people, but they will enhance their power. If you aren’t reviewing the technologies that are available to you and giving them to your teams, you will eventually be behind, and most likely without a team. The FairMarkIT platform is a great example of a technology that empowers procurement organizations, by increasing, efficiency, transparency and savings.
  5. Understand your stakeholders and their business. Spend time to build the necessary relationships and you will earn a place at the front of the solution decision process and the elusive seat at the leadership table.
  6. If you made it this far we’ll give you one bonus...do yourself a favor and google “smart contracts.” It’s likely that you will only understand about 30-50% of it. So find someone in IT that knows blockchain, get on a whiteboard and have them explain it.  Your future in procurement (within the next 5-7 years) depends on this. A great comparison in terms of the level of disruption done by a technology is to think about what iTunes did to record store owners in the early 2000s.

If you have any questions or thoughts on this for the Fairmarkit team, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you to get your perspective and share what we’re doing over at Fairmarkit.



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