23 May 2016

Innovation in procurement: CIPS Queensland

The CIPS QLD Branch held its May event at the Novotel Brisbane where procurement professionals heard from an experienced start-up mentor and advisor, Brett Geoghegan from the Blue Chill Group, followed by some Queensland-based start-ups that are offering new approaches to the traditional corporate procurement world.

Steve Mardon, co-founder of procurement start-up Unscrabble, and also Vice-Chairman of the Queensland Regional Committee of CIPS, hosted the evening. The event saw a record number of attendees turn out to join the debate on disruption in the area of supply and procurement.

Brett Geoghegan from Blue Chilli Group spoke on how start-ups can help the procurement and supply function to deliver on efficiency and effectiveness through their innovative ideas and technologies. Brett also bunked some of the myths of start-up professionals and shared key tips on how to engage start-ups successfully.

Sujata Karandikar is the co-founder of procurement start-up Unscrabble, and also has a strong background in the procurement profession. She presented the background to the business idea and the unique proposition which focuses on the use of technology and processes to create efficiencies in engaging new suppliers and their associated information so it can be better utilised throughout the sourcing and procurement processes and streamlined with corporate systems.

Alan Haynes, from startup Plant Dispatch, also a long term member of the procurement profession, shared his journey from in-house procurement to founder of his own start-up and the challenges and benefits this creates. Alan’s SaaS (software as a service) start-up has developed a solution that delivers a more effective 3 way match process to improve efficiencies. Along with comprehensive and intelligent reporting and analytics to assist organisations with their document processing.

Finally, Warwick Walsh from legal services procurement start-up Lawcadia, shared that while legal services procurement is a relatively new trend in Australia it has been growing dramatically in Europe and the USA over the past 5 years. Lawcadia offers a new way for General Counsels and procurement professionals to find, engage and manage law firms. The solution promotes accurate, transparent pricing without compromising service or quality. Although only launching a couple of months ago, Lawcadia counts a Queensland government body and local start-ups among their first customers and is receiving strong support from local companies and law firms.

Arguably the best part of the evening was the insightful Q&A forum that followed the presentations, where CIPS members and guests constructively engaged the panel in debate and strategic discussions on innovation and the role of start-ups. One of the most interesting topics that arose was the recognition that Queensland start-ups can bring innovation, diversity and sustainability into the Queensland business environment. Furthermore, there was a push for the Queensland government to also start to use local Queensland innovators and lead by example.

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