Articles

Video – Exploring the value of Talent Intelligence from Edbury Daley

How do you source the very best candidates in such a competitive market when there is a skills shortage?

Hiring in the digital procurement, supply chain technology and sustainability tech markets is really challenging at present.

This short video gives an insight into how we at Edbury Daley ensure we are working with the very best people who are looking for new career opportunities in the European market.

It explains how the various elements of our Talent Intelligence offering combine to give our clients a competitive advantage with their talent acquisition.

Video – How do you solve candidate sourcing problems when there’s a skills shortage?

Is the skills shortage in the digital procurement and supply chain technology markets impacting your growth ambitions?

Are you wondering why you can’t find the people you need for your organisation?

What are your competitors doing about it?

Watch this short video from Andrew to understand how we address these challenges for our customers.

Video – How much did your market value increase in 2021?

Do you know what your true market value is?

Well, this video was the most popular one Andrew made last year by some margin, so it’s clearly a question that people think about.

And the good news for those in the digital procurement and supply chain technology markets is that your value probably went up last year.

If you want to know by how much and why click here to learn more.

Our latest promotions within the Edbury Daley team

We are delighted to announce the promotions of two key members of our team reflecting their outstanding contributions to the business over the past year.

Peter Brophy becomes VP Digital Procurement & Supply Chain and will lead our growth in the North American market in addition to his existing client work in Europe which has been so successful.

Georgia Daley becomes Head of Talent Acquisition reflecting her brilliant efforts in identifying and engaging a raft of fantastic talent that has joined our customers in recent months.

How we chose our charitable donations for Christmas 2021

Throughout our seventeen-year history, we have made a series of donations to support what we consider to be worthy causes.  This year we asked two members of our team to select charities that they feel passionate about for our annual Christmas donations.  This is who we are supporting and why:

Peter Brophy, Associate Director chose Fareshare.  Here’s why:

We decided to support Fareshare this year as the work they undertake in many respects fits the ‘spirit of Christmas’ by redistributing surplus food to charities that turn it into meals so that many people do not go hungry.

It also matches our aspirations around sustainability by helping to reduce food waste which globally has been a major contributor to carbon emissions, as explained on the Fareshare website:

Hidden carbon and water cost of food waste.
If food waste were a country it would be the third-largest emitter of carbon globally, yet the issue has been largely ignored in climate discussions at COP, according to food charity FareShare.

In the UK, food waste accounts for between 6 and 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with an estimated 2m tonnes of perfectly edible food needlessly wasted on UK farms and in factories every year, instead of being sent to charities and community groups.
Why should anyone go hungry (especially at Christmas) and reducing greenhouse gases. Two great reasons to support a worthy cause.

Georgia Daley, Senior Research Consultant chose the NSPCC:

“Following the year anniversary of passing my Childline training to become a volunteer counsellor and being awarded the 140 hours of service milestone, it was time to reflect on what it’s been like to support struggling young people throughout 2021.

It was clear to me that I still want to continue to support Childline and the NSPCC in any way possible, but it feels even more crucial to do this at Christmas. It’s a time that is associated with love and family celebrations, but for many young people in the UK, it will be about facing loneliness, neglect, or even abuse.

The NSPCC exists to fight for every childhood and given the fact that there has been a 29% increase this year in contacts suffering from complex mental health issues, particularly since the effects of the pandemic, we feel they could be benefitting from extra support and donations more than ever.

The NSPCC produces a report to evidence how the money you donate can be spent, and promise to spend 80% of every £1 directly on helping young people, so we were assured our business’ contribution will go towards significant work and research.”

Some thoughts from Andrew Daley, founding Director:

“We are proud of our commitment to supporting such worthy causes and this year our team has chosen especially well.  With Georgia’s admirable commitment to volunteering at Childline throughout the pandemic, a cause she is so passionate about, it seemed right to support the NSPCC for the amazing work they do.

With Pete’s choice, again this resonated with us, not least because so much of our work this year has touched on the vital subjects of ESG and Sustainability.

They are both areas where we really want to grow our market presence so we can make a bigger, long-term impact by helping our clients in this sector hire great people who in turn can make a real difference in the fight to protect our planet.

Thanks to both of you for all your hard work this year and making choices that truly fit with our organisational values.”

Our Customer Advocacy program makes your Supplier Due Diligence simple.

Have you ever engaged a new person or supplier in your business or personal life and regretted not doing your homework on them?  It can be a costly error.

Receiving positive feedback, recommendations and testimonials from friends, colleagues and suppliers is always nice but what really tells you what you need to know about a person are the words from paying customers, particularly in a profession like recruitment where many people have had mixed experiences.

Here are a few examples of what my paying customers, people who have used me to help them hire the best possible talent in the digital procurement and supply chain markets, have said about me: 

  • Andrew is absolutely a key expert when it comes to recruiting in Procurement and Supply Chain.
  • Partnership is about mutual trust, and unique value proposition. Andrew is one of these rare businessmen who accomplishes both, building on his Procurement deep knowledge, unique Talent pooling capabilities, establishing long term relationships.
  • I’ve worked with Andrew for almost a decade to identify and recruit numerous roles into BravoSolution and subsequently JAGGAER across EMEA including Marketing, Pre-Sales, Field Sales and Professional Services. In addition to being fun to work alongside, Andrew has deep expertise and a broad network within the Procurement/ Technology landscape – a rare and valuable combination I’m delighted to recommend!
  • A step above the rest, Andrew is one of the best recruitment agents I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Andrew not only knows the procurement industry well enough to advise, he has great intuition for finding great people. Engaging with Andrew was easy, and allowed me to quickly build trust in him and the candidates as we assessed a number of candidates for various presales rolls across Europe. I look forwards to working closely with Andrew again in the future.
  • Andrew will challenge respectfully and operates with high integrity. A pleasure to work with and has intimate knowledge of the SaaS Procurement, AP and Supply Chain market. Adds great value to any Sales Leader engagement when hiring. He was also very supportive when it came to making what was a big decision for me and unlike many in his industry, he gave space to the process. His knowledge of the procurement tech market is a real asset.
  • I’ve had multiple dealings with Andrew over the last five years and what I’ve been impressed about on both sides of the head-hunting fence, is his commitment to providing the best experience for both clients and candidates. He’s thorough, has vast in-depth knowledge of the S2P space, really tries to understand the needs of the hiring organisation as well as the way in which it operates to ensure the person recruited not only has the requisite skills but also will be the right cultural fit.

Andrew has built quite a reputation over the years and is a valued asset in the procurement technology world.

If these sound too good to be true, you can view the people who left these kind words on my LinkedIn profile here.

Here are some insights into the other side of the equation from senior professionals in the sector who I have helped move roles:

  • Andrew’s industry knowledge and professional attitude is what sets him apart from the rest. Every friend, colleague and partner organisation I work with know and use Andrew, and for very good reason. His professional and client network is exhaustive, he has helped me on many occasions, not just personally but also with colleagues.
  • Throughout the process, he was very supportive and ensured that my expectations and skill set were aligned to the role and client’s expectations, this is where I believe Andrew goes above and beyond to ensure success.
  • Always proactive and ready to support, Andrew is determined to ensure his clients’ next career move is a success. I cannot recommend his services highly enough!
  • I’ve always seen Andrew as an Industry peer and long term coach/advisor. I think that’s the difference between regular recruitment and the experience I’ve had with Edbury Daley.

There are more references on my colleagues and I on our website here.

If this is the standard of service you need for your business or to further your own career, please do get in touch with me via andrew@edburydaley.com

Andrew Daley

Director – Procurement & Spend Management

Video – 4 keys to hiring in today’s market

If you are struggling to hire the talent you need, you are not alone. Vacancies are increasing sharply and the supply of candidates is diminishing.

This two-minute video below by Simon Edbury highlights four keys areas to focus on to improve your chances of getting the right people into your company.

Procurement & Supply Chain Technology Trends – Supply Chain Resilience, Risk and Visibility

We interviewed a series of business leaders from the procurement technology sector earlier this year about the key trends impacting the procurement and supply chain professions. Everyone we spoke to for our Insider report emphasized that supply chain risk and resilience have been the key areas of focus in 2020/1.

Franck Lheureux of Ivalua told us: “The increased focus on supply chain risk and resilience had moved direct spend to the top of the agenda for many companies across the various manufacturing verticals.”

“With planning made much more difficult by increased volatility, it’s very difficult for organisations to make predictions with any confidence. So with CFOs and CPOs facing the challenge of balancing costs versus supply chain resilience when making decisions about offshoring and nearshoring, the 20/80 model that often relies on a small number of large suppliers etcetera, there are significant risks impacting on production capability, cash flow and investment.”

Ivalua’s capability across these areas of spend and their ability to provide their customers with a single source of truth in their data has been vital in aiding the decision making as clients balance the variables in these complex equations. This is a key reason why Ivalua enjoyed a very successful year in 2020.

When people talk about events like Covid accelerating digital transformation, it’s examples like this where Ivalua has made a real difference across its customer base that should be celebrated across the market.

As one widely respected source from Coupa told us: “The industry needs strong competition as it pushes us all to get better and we respect the likes of Ivalua and Ariba for the part they play in that.” The focus on this area was echoed by many that we spoke to.

One consulting leader told us: “What we’ve seen in response to the Covid Pandemic is a much greater focus on managing supplier risk, particularly for those that were exposed by a reliance on business critical suppliers overseas.

Clearly the obvious example of that is those using international suppliers who had major problems earlier in 2020, but focusing on more local supply chains is also a factor for UK based organisations with concerns about the impact of Brexit.”

For solution providers able to offer greater visibility across the supply chain 2020 has seen the market move in their direction with increased demand for their services. Tealbook, a US based specialist providing a ‘Trusted Source of Supplier Data’ has experienced spectacular growth in 2020.

HICX founder Costas Xyloyiannis told his LinkedIn followers that the business had grown fivefold over the year. One of their hires was Steve Cobley, a hugely experienced sales specialist who has spent time at both Ivalua and Coupa.

Steve told us: “We saw companies realise just how vulnerable they are in their supply chains in 2020, particularly those in manufacturing sectors with international supplier bases. For example, if you are sourcing 60% of your materials from China and it effectively shuts down as it did in early 2020 that leaves you in a very difficult situation. That was an alarm call for a lot of organisations and the result of it is driving major transformation.”

In fact, Dun & Bradstreet found that five million companies, including 938 of the Fortune 1000, had tier two suppliers in the Wuhan region in China, where Covid first appeared. Steve Cobley continues: “As a result companies are looking at the diversification of their supplier communities as part of addressing how they mitigate against future global problems like the pandemic. They are also looking at how they get better information to help manage that situation.

For some companies, they may have already invested in cloud based procurement solutions which have helped them enormously but what if their production and planning systems are still on premise and key staff are home based? How do you get full visibility across your operations in that situation? So problems like this are driving the move to cloud, better interoperability between solutions and moving high onto the supply chain agenda alongside sustainability, visibility and risk management.”

There are many more who have told us similar stories. At the heart of all this is a reliance on accurate information to inform decision making. In very simple terms, those manufacturing businesses who have accurate supplier data have benefitted hugely from that in their response to what for many has been a crisis in their supply chains.

It’s clear that firms providing best of breed tools around supplier data saw a significant, in some cases drastic, increase in demand for their solutions in the second half of 2020 and this is driving more hiring in this particular niche of the procurement technology sector.

This article is an excerpt from our Spring 2021 Procurement & Spend Management Insider report. 

Skills Implications – The Rise of Digital and Sustainable Procurement

In our bi-annual Procurement and Spend Management Insider report we have consistently talked about the skills needed for the future of procurement, particularly digital procurement. 2020 saw the rapid rise of the ESG agenda in supply chain and further acceleration of the adoption of digital procurement tools.

Both trends had been around for a while, and are now more interconnected than ever with the rise of businesses like Circulor and Ecovadis, but the pace of change has materially changed in the past year as we’ve seen in this research.

So we are no longer talking about the future of procurement when we discuss digital or ESG because the future is here, and it’s called the present. This is procurement in 2021. You, your teams and your colleagues can either get on board or you and your employer can get left behind as the more agile, digitally enhanced businesses with a clear environmental and social purpose thrive.

In terms of further evidence to support this theory, management consultancy Hackett Group asked Procurement leaders if they recognise a need for more tech-centric roles in their teams. Here are the results:

It is clear from this that roles such as that of Digital transformation program manager are recognised by the leadership community as being important. For many, this function is effectively run by their advisory partners, but on the evidence of those that have specialist in house roles in this area, their management of the advisory businesses, specialist contractors or internal resources are vital to the successful adoption of procurement tools, whether they be full suite solutions or a range of best of breed, specialist tools.

There is now a significant talent pool of people who have undertaken this role on behalf of end users. There are also consultants who would like to go into this sort of position so they could see projects through to completion and ideally push for ongoing pursuit of best practice.

The frustration for the people we know in this space is that there are so few organisations who currently have dedicated in house roles. There is growth in this space but it has been slow so far. We hope and expect that will really start to change now.

The other roles that score heavily in this research like RPA or AI/ cognitive specialists, and data architects are also on the rise but again at a disappointing pace. There is a much smaller talent pool of people who can point to experience in this area dedicated to procurement and supply chain but they do exist.

In each of these areas we hope to see accelerated growth in demand for the skills but it will be constrained by the availability of skills. The answer to that question lies in the ability of CPOs to attract sought after external talent and/or train and develop these skills in house.

The best examples we see involve hiring an expert who has been down this path already in their career who can then influence those around them in a new organisation to become a catalyst for upskilling colleagues and ultimately the function as a whole.

The key is to know who the early adopters are, the companies who have got it right and then understand who their trailblazers are. If you can find a way to attract them into your organisation you can do great things.

It’s a similar story when it comes to identifying people who have been at the heart of innovative projects that have materially changed the impact procurement and supply chain teams can have on environmental and sustainability initiatives. Many of them have joined the wonderful Sustainable Procurement Pledge initiative created by a group of visionary leaders, the growth of which tells its own story.

Looking at the achievements of some of the members of this initiative supports our belief that great hires in these areas can be a catalyst for raising the contribution of procurement and supply chain teams, raising the bar across the function and helping leaders to position their functions at the heart of the sustainability agenda.

If you know which companies are already at the forefront of these initiatives, you can identify the people who can make a real difference to your organisation. It’s all about prioritising your objectives and attracting the talent that will enable you to deliver on those aims.

Procurement Leaders – if this resonates with you then Edbury Daley can help you make real progress when it comes to identifying, attracting and ultimately hiring high performing specialists in these areas.  Please contact Andrew Daley via andrew@edburydaley.com or Peter Brophy – peter@edburydaley.com

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, perhaps you might be interested in Fairmarkit’s piece that raises some relevant points on this topic –  The hidden threats COVID-19 poses to procurement sustainability

Procurement & Supply Chain Technology Trends – Accelerated Digital Transformation

When the Covid crisis first hit Europe everyone was faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances. Understandably there was an initial move away from major transformation projects as more short terms measures were prioritized.

Franck Lheureux, General Manager EMEA at Ivalua told us that: “2020 saw CPOs have two dominant areas to manage as the focus shifted towards a short term emphasis on savings and analysis of where and why you spend.”

That latter point was echoed by Nadia Law, Client Director at Rosslyn. She said: “The major issues for our clients last year centred around cash flow. There was a shift from ‘what are we spending and from whom? ’ to ‘what and when are we paying?’

Fundamentally, the objective is to understand the future commitments of the business and to prioritise supplier payments to maintain the integrity of the supply chain. For example, some SME suppliers may need more urgent support than others and our solution is able to provide vital insights to support business critical decisions in this area.”

So, it’s clear that companies who had already adopted some of these tools successfully had an advantage through the efficiency in their systems and/or the value of having accurate data to support their decision making. This is supported by Deloitte’s recent CPO flash survey where they reported that “organisations that are thriving (in the pandemic) had higher visibility into both tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers and were twice as likely to prioritize digitization in their day-to-day operations.”

For those that didn’t have the data that gave them the supplier visibility, the events were acting as a potential catalyst for change within their organisations and this resulted in the market becoming much more active in the third quarter of the year as conversations about how to solve these problems with better use of technology really started to increase with customers.

We asked Mo Ahmad, Vice President, Alliances and Channel, EMEA/MEE, at SAP Ariba & Fieldglass what he’d seen change in 2020 from a customer perspective. He told us: “We have seen two particular trends in our market develop over the course of 2020. Firstly some CIOs have taken the view that they need to embrace the transformation agenda more than ever and this has accelerated the process.

“At the other end of the spectrum, you have companies that are fearful of such a big commitment whilst they are fighting for survival. In this community the tendency has been to start small with a solution that can deliver real value, effectively pay for itself and help build the business case to go to the next level.”

SAP has had success offering solutions like Ariba Discovery and Start Sourcing for free or significantly reduced cost to help organisations out and show what they can achieve when they adopt these solutions.

Other solution providers who offer a full suite solution like Ivalua have also had success with the “land and expand” philosophy encouraging customers to start small and build the business case to take the next step by delivering meaningful return on the investment. Mo told us: “In 2021 we expect the market to talk more about this philosophy and SAP will be driving this model as a core part of our business strategy going forward. This will mean agile solutions, delivered faster with a quicker ROI but at the same time connected into the Intelligent Enterprise which gives you the room to expand your operations in the areas where you need business transformation the most.”

Much of Mo Ahmad’s role focuses on working closely with SAP’s key partners who support the implementation and adoption of tools like Ariba. When we asked him what the partner organisations were experiencing, he said: “In terms of Partners, companies need more help. They are leaning on the advisory businesses more than ever to get the results they need. So it’s not just about the solution, they need the advice and experience to reap the benefits and deliver the value that justifies the investment.”

This is a view shared by consultancies themselves. Speaking to a senior leader from one of Coupa’s key transformation partners, we were told that companies generally fall into two brackets when it comes to adoption: “There are those willing to embrace the full transformation agenda and adopt a full suite solution like Coupa and others that are more risk averse, or possibly have smaller budgets, who are adopting the solutions module by module, ideally justifying the investment by demonstrating value before moving to the next step. Either way, there is certainly some stimulation to digital procurement and supply chain from the events of 2020.”

Fred Akuffo of specialist Supply Chain planning consultancy Olivehorse offered a similar view. “What we’ve seen in 2020 is an acceleration in organisations moving to the cloud, particularly for solutions that support integrated business planning (IBP). One reason is the simple practical problem of employees accessing old, clunky on premise systems from home but the others are more around speed, agility, efficiency and opportunity to drive profitability from superior systems.”

Covid hit at a time when there’s been a revolution in the capability of systems to address issues around supply chain maturity and resilience in a more proactive fashion enabling people to ask, ‘how can we do this better?’

That thinking has pushed more companies to explore alternatives to their current systems and whilst they probably would have gone this way eventually, the unique problems caused by Covid have accelerated the process for many organisations.”

Besides the practical benefits of cloud over on premise, what has driven this? In some cases it’s fear of getting caught out by this sort of crisis again in the future. For others it’s the need to stay competitive in the face of changing market conditions and possibly more agile competitors gaining competitive advantage over them. As Fred Akuffo said: “Procurement and supply chain leaders can’t wait days to make decisions whilst planners evaluate hundreds of lines of Excel information and different potential scenarios. They need accurate information that can be interpreted quickly to support better decision making and this is what IBP solutions can offer.”

At the other end of the market, Paul Heron of specialist vendor Claritum offered the view that the trend was away from ‘static’ ERP packages or those difficult to customise to those with high levels of functionality.

His clients want to see value and real benefit so off the shelf solutions are not enough and many customers want a tailored solution that is flexible and adaptable. They also need a partner whose strengths are a willingness to listen with the capability to adapt their solution to their needs.

Recently he has found clients are approaching them, often from old projects that never progressed beyond the RFP stage.

They also have created a new BRIGHT by Claritum solution which is aimed specifically at SMEs and provides capabilities that to date have only been available to larger enterprises, usually at a higher cost.

Regardless of scale, their clients want to know if their software solution can help them do more with either fewer people or with constrained headcount and enable them to work smarter with transactional work done automatically and easily.

It is our view that these events have driven an increase in demand for both solution providers and transformation consultants’ services. That has resulted in greater demand for people in client facing roles for both sectors late in 2020 and already in 2021. This is driving relatively buoyant job market conditions compared to many other sectors and particularly compared to the second and third quarters of 2020.

This article is an excerpt from our Procurement & Spend Management Insider Report for Spring 2021.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised, please email andrew@edburydaley.com.