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On September 23, an audience of over 500 people enjoyed a look at the future of procurement technology at DPW’s DEMO Virtual Grand Finale. As sponsors of the event, we were delighted to watch nine great startups present their cutting-edge procurement tech solutions, and hear thought-provoking and tangible insights around the future of procurement.

Watch the Orpheus Keynote

Resilience at the core

Our colleagues from McKinsey, partner Björn-Uwe Mercker, and associate partner Tobias Anger delivered a keynote speech in which they pointed out the importance of resilience in procurement – which goes way beyond the ubiquitous COVID-19 pandemic. They started their session with outlining trends around global growth shifting, accelerating industry disruption, and a new social deal.

New narrative of progress by McKinsey

With that in mind, the McKinsey procurement leaders highlighted the crucial role of resilience and innovation in uncertain times, and as we move into the next normal. Foresight, flexibility, sustainability, and the ability to rebalance are at the core of procurement’s response, and companies need to start embracing the changing role of procurement and see change as an opportunity to thrive.

Björn-Uwe Mercker and Tobias Anger suggest three actions that ensure a smooth transition into the next normal:

  • Redefined operating model:
    Enrich existing operating models with automation (acceleration) and skills (capabilities) for greater impact.

  • New data mindset:
    Start thinking beyond procurement data and let data challenge you (benchmarks, data sources) to identify and overcome challenges.

  • Diverse eco system:
    Establish a diverse solution portfolio and embrace partnerships and collaboration for additional benefits and added value.

Triad of impact by McKinsey

The winners

In this year’s DEMO Virtual, nine finalist startups competed to win in three categories: Source-to-Pay, Networks & Platforms, and Enterprise. In a four-minute pitch each of the finalists had to convince the jury – staffed with senior level procurement professionals from the industry and consulting space – of their innovative solution. In an additional two-minute Q&A, led by three judges including Spend Matters founder Jason Busch, the startups’ representatives were asked to answer detailed questions around their solutions’ abilities, functionalities, and target audience.

Bosten-based Fairmarkit won the award for the first category of the night: Source-to-Pay. Their sourcing platform enables organizations to purchase goods and services more efficiently and enhances the bidding process by equipping procurement teams with data-driven automation.

IntegrityNext took home even two awards: beside winning in the Networks and Platforms category, IntegrityNext, represented by co-founder Simon Jaehnig, also won the audience award. IntegrityNext is a provider for supplier monitoring, compliance, and sustainability solutions based in Munich.

Procurement Leaders founder Mark Perera took home the award in the Enterprise category for his cloud-based supplier collaboration and innovation platform Vizibl.

Again, congratulations to all winners!

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In this blog you will find expert knowledge about initiative management and project management in strategic procurement. InitiativeTracker is a software for planning and monitoring your sourcing initiatives, controlling your procurement organization and measuring your procurement performance.

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