By Bertrand Maltaverne

“Autonomous Procurement” Is A Really Dumb Idea by Forrester

In the 1st part of these two series, I explored why autonomous Procurement is a dumb idea when looking at it as if it meant that machines should be replacing people.

In this 2nd part, I want to focus on another potential aspect of autonomous Procurement by looking at it through the “isolationism” lens.

Anyone who has worked or working in Procurement knows that the job requires daily interactions with many business partners within or outside of the organization/company. B2B is H2H (Human-to-Human).

However, the experience of interacting with Procurement is not always a great one. Internal…


By Bertrand Maltaverne

“Autonomous Procurement” Is A Really Dumb Idea by Forrester

An article inspired by a recent Linkedin post from the excellent Matthias Gutzmann…

TL;DR

For sure, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and the latest advances in AI (among other ones) are transforming and will deeply transform work (for Procurement & Supply Chain professionals and beyond). Artificial intelligence (AI) is now “blind to the color of the collar,” be it white or blue. It is making its way into the knowledge worker’s workplace, and the stakes are getting high.

However, the perspective (objective?) …


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Photo by Natalie Rhea Riggs on Unsplash

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the side effects that poorly designed KPIs could have:

And, I have also written numerous articles about the need for Procurement to look beyond just cost savings; here is one of the latest one:

The unfolding Coronavirus crisis and its impact on supply chains is a “perfect” illustration of the combined effect described in these stories.

As stated in one of the articles above, buying decisions, at home or at work, shape supply chains, and, therefore, the world. …


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

“The Supply Chain stuff is tricky!” — Elon Musk at Code Conference in 2016.

When someone like Elon Musk says that something is tricky, it means something! The examples that Musk mentions in the video show that modern supply chains are becoming more global and more complex. This complexity also leaves organizations exposed to more risks because the current business environment is characterized by VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity).

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit aside, other recent events, like growing tensions with China and Iran, are daily reminders that today’s global business ecosystems are precarious. And…


If there is one topic in business literature that has been covered exhaustively, it is Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But if you’re not careful, the indicators you set might inadvertently encourage behaviors that can be dramatically damaging…

By Bertrand Maltaverne

Snake Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

“In 19th-century India, the city of Delhi had a snake problem. A rather large population of cobras slithered the streets with impunity. The British government decided to get rid of the snakes through crowdsourcing. Officials offered a bounty for every dead snake that locals brought in. But something unexpected happened. …


By Bertrand Maltaverne

The year was 1983. This was the year that the Internet was created. Bill Gates unleashed Microsoft World on the market. Star Wars Return of the Jedi was playing in the cinema. I was nine. And a director at McKinsey in Dusseldorf wrote an article that would change Procurement forever. The author was Dr. Peter Kraljic. The article, published in the Harvard Business Review, stated “Purchasing Must Become Supply Management”.

A Procurement Transformation

Kraljic recognized that the world was changing fast. He saw that if Procurement continued business as usual, it would expose itself to competitive pressure. If it was…


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I recently attended a procurement event, and, over lunch, I had an interesting discussion with other procurement practitioners about supply chain risk management (SCRM). One of the people at the table stated that his organization was not looking into increasing its SCRM capabilities because technology cannot help in preventing issues to happen. To reinforce his theory, he told us what had recently happened to his company. The factory of one of his key suppliers was reduced to ashes by fire. …


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Source: Pixabay

August 1, 2019: this could be when we reach the “Earth Overshoot Day” this year. For the rest of the year, we will be living on credit. When it comes to natural resources, that is.

“Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.” Source: OverShootDay.org

At the time of writing of this article, the actual date for Earth Overshoot Day is still unknown, but for several years in a row, we have reached the limit in early August. Based…


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Is Blockchain coming of age in 2019?

Judging by the first half of 2019, it seems that the blockchain hype is finally deflating and there is an overall consensus that it will not save the world (at least not this year…). The growing trend towards pragmatism, which is now beginning to temper people’s expectations, is the best thing that could happen to blockchain. . . A more down-to-earth approach is welcome because, like any technology, blockchain is not perfect, nor the solution to all problems. It is important to be realistic about its potential and limitations.

In particular, blockchain has limitations that threaten to…


By Bertrand Maltaverne

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

2001: a space odyssey… Terminator… The Matrix…

If you were to believe some of the sci-fi blockbusters, you’d think our future as humans is pretty bleak. They all offer a dystopian view of the future where, if the machines don’t kill us, they enslave us.

The battle of “human vs. machine” also seems to be raging outside of Hollywood, and we, humans, seem to be losing more and more ground to machines each year. Some of this ground has been lost in the world of gaming. Over the past decade, machines have been beating us at increasingly…

Bertrand Maltaverne

Procurement Digitalist. 👤: http://bmaltaverne.me

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