Helping organisations thrive

In these difficult times most interviews are being conducted remotely either over the phone or by video call. So, in this podcast we're joined by David Swift, Global Head of Services Procurement at Novartis.

David is here to share his expert insights about supplier enablement. We also discuss the Pandemic and how it has changed the world of work as we know it for suppliers and those who work with them.


Welcome everyone. My name is Robert Moffat and I am the SVP for Corporate Solutions for Hays Talent Solutions, the recruitment and services outsourcing organization of Hays PLC. Today we're going to be talking about what the pandemic is teaching us about supplier partnerships and joining me for this part of the conversation we have David Swift, the Global Head of Corporate Services Procurement for Novartis and Paul Vincent, the Global Head of Services Procurement for Hays Talent Solutions. 

Going to hand it over to David and Paul for a brief introduction, David welcome. 

David: Thanks Rob, thank you for having me. My name is David Swift working with Novartis in Basel, Switzerland for the last 10 years. Experienced in many parts of procurement, but have a particular interest in the world of work and the coming together of temp and perm and of course, the supplier relationships involved in making all that happen.

Paul: Hi Rob, Paul Vincent. I joined Hays in May last year and very much got a three pronged career. I've been on the buying side, the selling side and the client side, so hopefully those experiences will add value to the conversation today.

Thanks Paul, thanks David. Well the last couple of weeks or months have been quite a turbulent time for us. A number of organizations have been through quite a bit of change and the term supplier partnerships has taken on a whole new depth and meaning during the current COVID-19 crisis. A lot of organizations are actually really understanding how important and how strong, or unfortunately in some cases weak, some of these supplier partnerships are. That's the subject we will be talking through today. 

Paul, starting with yourself, you've obviously worked, as you said there, you worked on both sides, you’ve been on both the supplier and the supplier side with reference to supplier partnerships. Do you think there is enough understanding and appreciation from both sides of those of what makes an important relationship, or what is important to those organizations? 

Paul: I think classically, it’s a depends answer. I do personally think that my approach has definitely been influenced by having had experience of looking through both ends of the telescope. There are a number of pretty regularly experienced blind spots.

I think firstly, that often buying organizations don't always present in a fair enough way. They think they know exactly what they're after. They will often ask for a solution without really defining the problem statement, so when they go out to market and try and get suppliers to really answer their lead in the sort of way that they think is clear enough to make a buy-in decision, often you find that the suppliers have more questions and need that clarity in order to avoid frankly making assumptions around some level of telepathy.

The second thing is that often you don't really know, particularly if you’re working with a brand new customer, you don't really know the rhythm of the organization until you're there. So, a number of assumptions that you might make around how fast you can become productive, what's the quality of information you're going to encounter, what sort of engagement you're going to find in that client organization, are very much things you have to learn and I learned through experience.

Then the third area which is most relevant, is this whole area of negotiation. Suppliers will often oversell because they're trying to differentiate their offering and they're trying to stand out amongst their competition, and buyers can often over negotiate sometimes because they believe it's a privilege to serve. You know, it's always going to be their business it’s always going to be something that suppliers will be very interested and receptive to, so I think it's a depends answer. I think their level of understanding of both sides is really important, but often you don't get there until you've had that experience of a project or a particular initiative within that client organization.

That's actually quite interesting. I mean that's talking about sort of the buy stage of the cycle, we’ll come on to the sustainability of the relationship going on. But interesting, I'd like to open this up to David. You made a good point there Paul, there’s two different ways of purchasing. Sometimes an organization will come to market with the challenge, and what is it? And sometimes it will come with a predefined solution or a request for a predefined solution. David I’ll be interested in your view, as you’re most recently or currently on the purchasing side. What's your preference? I personally sit on the other side, but do you tend to go, “This is the challenge, tell me how to solve it.” or do you like to go to market with a predefined preferred solution that you're asking people to do it in? 

David: Yeah, I think that's a good question, Rob. I think a bit like Paul, it depends. It depends on the mindset of the buyer. If you're the type of buyer that wants to commoditize everything and drive the price to its lowest point, then having a very well defined offering enables you to commoditize and therefore create direct competition and drive cost savings. Which unfortunately many buyers are measured, not uniquely but principally, on that. If you’re a more enlightened buyer, and I'd like to consider myself one of those, when you’re going out, particularly for outsourced services, for example MSP or staffing, I like to think that the reason you're doing it is because you realize that other people can do it better than you can. Or perhaps it's not strategic, but certainly you wouldn't go out to somebody who doesn't do it as well as you to take it over from you. So if they do it better than you, why be over prescriptive?

I like to try and say, “Look here's sort of the general thing we're looking to do, but you're the experts, so you tell me the best way to do it.” Then I'm looking to see amongst the potential suppliers who comes up with the best ideas who clearly understands the area we're talking about. Of course, you know there's obviously going to be a commercial element, but before you get to commercial, who's got the wherewithal to present something that you think is going to make sense for your business?

So that's my personal preference. But again, if you're buying widgets and a widget is a widget, I don't need to get into this, “Explain to me a widget, so just give me the best price for that widget as a standardized product.” So that's why I say it depends, but more sophisticated services are rarely widgets and one size fits all. I prefer to engage the supplier to give me their best ideas and not just ideas, but if I engage with them, I want their best people as well because in the business that you are in, it very much depends on the team you get. And not the sales teams. You have great sales people and you get handed over to operations and if the operation people are not great, you're not going to get a good product or service. So I want to make sure that I'm getting the best from whoever I'm dealing with. I don't want to be on the C team.

Paul you’ve obviously done it. You’ve sat on both sides. Obviously working Telecom you’ve bought both services and widgets I imagine as well, so any other thoughts? 

Paul: Well, I mean echoing what David said, I do think that there are buyers who find it very difficult to get into the lens of how their product is being consumed, and I think that's where the question needs to be. It's not what are we buying in terms of what we are paying for, it’s what are we using it for and how best do we consume that and therefore what does the supplier need to do to contribute the best return on investment or the best way of consuming.

Often suppliers don't get the insight that they need on the consumption question because sometimes the procurement organizations are not as close to those consumption experiences as they could be. One of the things that manifests itself then is the idea that you respond to the RFP and you only ask questions of the RFP process. You don't talk to anybody who is really close to the need, until much deeper into the process. And often there's a presumption that by doing that you're going to neutralize the offer. You know, you're going to compare “like with like,” but all it means is you're comparing “assumption with assumption,” and some people have better assumptions than others.

David: I think that's why in the past, particularly outsourcing deals, what I've done is a request for information as a first step to help you form an idea of what's possible. Then, only then, when you've got a clear idea of what suppliers in the market are willing and able to do, then you do a formal RFP with more well defined requests. But the RFI is really a foundational stage that allows you to understand what you can potentially do because you may not know what's possible in the market. You don't know what suppliers are able to do necessarily, or you want to provoke discussion to try and get them to go beyond their traditional model and offer things that they may not offer on an everyday basis.

From the provider side David, I concur and I recognize that is becoming more common, so a multi-stage process with sort of a workshop middle section is now becoming more common. So, you know a request for information and a collaborative design phase – we're still in a commercial world, so you still need to price against it at the end and there is an element of normalization.

But to your point around A and B teams, they’re the processes we commit our A and B teams to as well. So if you're looking at the A team to contribute to, and again if you're coming to market for a service and if you're coming to some specialist providers, there's obviously some recognition that there is some expertise to be brought in. So going back to your conversation earlier about the win-win. We all want the best deal for everyone, so that's the process that we would advocate on our side. 

David: Yeah, and you know what I've observed, certainly in the Pharmaceutical industry and maybe it's the case in others as well. They tend to employ a lot of smart people. Quite a lot of engineers and scientists and they love to engineer and do science, so they tend to be very prescriptive. In some cases you got to fight that because they love to get involved in and redesign everything and we tend to make things overcomplicated. I'm the first to say that, but you know, we never admit that because we’re always right, we’re the customer. Naturally, right, the customer is always right, so we would never own up to the fact that maybe we created some of the complexity. It's always going to be supplier, but in reality it's not. So I think sometimes you can be your own worst enemy and the smarter the people are, often that's the case unfortunately. They just love to be involved and do things.

I've seen the other times as well, when you move from the sales process into operations and things don't go as smoothly as you would have liked. There's an automatic tendency to start to micro manage, and that can be the kiss of death because then you get into a situation where the supplier starts to get frustrated and you’re frustrated because the supplier is not doing quite what you'd like them to do or to the level. When you start to micro manage the supplier gets frustrated because you're micromanaging it. Then you get into this vicious circle of really not going where you need to be.

It's an interesting tension. Working from our side, around what one of our clients might want and what is of our clients best interest, And the two of them don't necessarily always align, so it's an interesting dynamic trying to encourage towards the “what they need” rather than the “what they might want.” Bringing up what you said, moving into operations, we've talked sort about the purchasing cycle, and again, we see the same thing from our side. Sometimes the parties do change. There may not be the continuity. But David, moving on to the sustainability, what do you think are the key ingredients to success when we're talking about long term, successful and sustainable supplier partnerships? 

David: I think you know, like in all walks of life – relationships, good relationships, are built on a few fundamental, foundational elements. Whether it's with your wife, your friends, or in business, it’s the same thing. For me, one of the most fundamental things is trust. You have got to trust each other. If you don't trust each other, and if I have in the back of my mind, “Will they screw me?” “If I open up and show them everything, will that be used against me one day?” On both the supply side and the buyer side. So how do you get to a stage where you can trust the other party and it’s reciprocated? That, to me, is really important. You've got to be credible, you got to show that you know what you're doing. Otherwise the trust won't be there. I think that's natural. You know, if I'm bringing a partner, I want to make sure that they're going to do an excellent job.

Now, we all know even the very best suppliers can sometimes hit bumps in the road that happens, right? It's part of life. It's how they deal with that, and if they become very defensive or not. Or they say, “Hey look, we have a problem we’re going to fix it and we learn from those problems.” So they're kind of like attitude tests I guess.

This thing, we talked about it a little bit earlier, the negotiation process, winning and losing. I was lucky enough to spend a week in this Harvard University negotiation training and what I learned there, which was remarkable, was the basis of the negotiation was trying to grow the size of the pie. Not assume the pie was a certain size and get the biggest slice of that pie. That's just a mindset change, because if you're trying to grow the size of the pie, automatically you have to collaborate. If you say that the pie is a set size, I'm going to fight you to get the bigger slice, right? I'm going to win and you're going to lose, or vice versa. I think some people struggle with that because it's a very different way of thinking. They’re used to a certain style of negotiation. And then of course, the way people are incentivized as well also drives behaviors, unfortunately, in the wrong sense it can get to be destructive behavior. So sometimes you got to step aside from that. I would say to my team, “Yes you have savings targets, you got to do those, you're going to get your bonus paid on it, but get them out of the way quickly and then get down to the real work, ie., creating value for the business.”

Paul: Yeah, I have just a couple of thoughts on that as well, Rob. I think authenticity in the relationship is so crucial. If you embark on a sales process and you say, “We want you to be our partner.” And then as soon as you hit a bump in the road, you default to, “Well actually you’re a vendor.” You’re going to lose that authenticity and trust really quickly. I often characterize goodwill in the relationship with almost being like hot air balloon. It takes both parties to keep the balloon inflated. It’s very easy to pop the balloon. Both parties have got to keep that balloon inflated. I think that's so important and it's so easy to miss, particularly in the sort of situation we're in, you know, with COVID within the last six to eight weeks. Now, how suppliers have been managed in the last five years will be proving how strong they are in the last six to eight weeks and people will find out things they never realized positively or negatively.

David: Yeah, I think you're right, Paul. And you know, it's a bit like things are going fine until they’re no longer going fine. Until they are tested, you don't know. I recall another major crisis back in ’08-’09, financial crisis. I was in a different industry,  but it was in the chemical business and the company I worked for lost 75 percent of its business over one quarter. The prices of all chemicals are driven by hydrocarbons and if you remember, the oil spiked to 147 dollars and then it crashed down to about 30 or 40 dollars. But I do recall certain suppliers really standing up to be counted. You know we were in a crisis and there were certain suppliers that stood up and were counted. I think it was because we treated them in a way, way before the crisis came, they knew that we were a good partner that we treated them fairly and when they saw that we were in a crisis they stood up and they came in and they helped us. They wouldn't do that otherwise, so you know, carry on the normal business relationship, but when you need a helping hand and you're drowning, they're going to pull you out of the water. They won't give you that hand if you've been stomping on them all the time. But you only realize that when you hit a crisis.

Following that through around supplier relationships in a crisis – so Hays Talent Solutions is a managed service provider or managed service program supplier. We act as an effective broker in between our end clients. But there's two other parties within our relationships as well where we effectively have supplier relationships. So we have our end customer, but we work with staffing suppliers or services providers, and also we’re unique in a way in the fact that our product, if you could call it that, is a human, so our product has a decision. We mentioned widgets earlier, widgets very rarely change their mind or have an off day, so it's a slightly more complex relationship. To both of you, bringing that in – there's more parties in the relationship here. How does that increase either more simplicity or complexity probably? And what are some of the other techniques or how could we or how does Hays address that or how does Novartis address that? How do we incorporate that within a, we said win, win, how do we create the win, win, win, win relationship for those parties? 

Paul: I mean, I think in this concept, you're either enabling your supply chain or you're controlling your supply chain. So for enabling it, their mindset is how can we set you up for success? How do we make sure that the way we go about it is going to deliver an end-to-end solution that everybody gets benefit from? If you come at it from a controlling mentality, then it's very much around process, lowest cost win. You cannot avoid it becoming more transactional if you have a controlling mindset rather than more of a strategic ballistic approach.

If you are more enabling what we do is we try to wrap that into an overall framework and we guide our clients and our supply chain through that framework. So, at the front end it’s, how do we create a strategy that’s probably tailored to the needs of our client business, how they want to deploy resources, back to this idea of consumption being really clear about that. How do we then map the suppliers against that strategy that's going to be the right fit? And how do we make sure that we are supporting them in the program so that they are set up for success? How do we continually measure and track what they're doing and then help develop? And then, how do we effectively run an engagement process and an audit process throughout the entirety of the program that has the spirit of continuous improvement at its heart? You're never one and done. If you create a preferred supplier list, the last thing you want to do is say, “Here are suppliers for next three years.” You know, you got to think about it. Agile companies are only as good as the last thing they deliver, the last thing they supply, so you got to have that agility and constant review in the process.

But by the same token, you got to judge people on realistic objectives and realistic challenges. And so that's where this whole end to end process and having something that is a very easy to articulate framework, you know, I think has a massive benefit not just in our industry, but for generally in terms of how you manage effective supplier relationships.

David: Yeah, my personal view on this is, I think you know procurement’s job in in this area is to provide a supply chain of talent into the business and we do that, obviously in partnership with staffing companies in MSP's and the outcome for the business is we get the best talent, when we need it, and we have a process that is hassle free, it’s easy. That to me is really what all hiring managers are looking for. However, I would say, I mean the recruitment business certainly maybe on the permanent side I think is completely dysfunctional and the human element is very often forgotten. I do think if I compare it with let's call it the contingent side, I think the contingent side works a lot better because I think the processes are a lot clearer, a lot more professional in most cases and I think people are treated better in that process because they know what to expect. Where is on the permanent sides, it’s literally a mess and I'm shocked at how companies allow their recruitment to go, and I think that the impact on their brands they don't realize how bad it is. So I think there's two different worlds here between temp and perm. I do think the non-perm part is much better.

I would agree. There's more structure around sort of the temporary recruitment and in fairness at the moment there isn't a lot of permanent hiring going on in a lot of organizations. What I'd be interested in, Paul I’ll come to you first and then David you second, is we've talked about relationships with suppliers and how us working with them has increased their… having suppliers that are committed to you and you committed to them, it creates those better relationships. 

Over the last couple of months, I suppose two of the things that were most affected in our world are the Life Sciences or Pharmaceutical Industry and people. So Paul, in the MSP industry or the recruitment industry, people are a key bit there and therefore working with suppliers is key to keep them involved and them engaged therefore their workers and the same on the other side, David. So I'll be interested in your relative industry. Sort of the people industry, if I can call it that and then the Pharmaceutical industry. Are there any specific initiatives or additional things you've done to support them enabling those suppliers in those areas that have reached rewards for you? 

Paul: Well I think very specifically, we know that the recruitment market as you say in the last six to eight weeks has absolutely transformed and we've been very significantly affected in terms of the overall size and shape of our managed programs, the suppliers who service those programs have all been massively affected. I think the big thing that we've tried to do, is be transparent and be proactive in going to literally the entirety of our supply base, which is roughly two and half thousand globally and really saying to them, “Let’s have a conversation now. How are you dealing with this? And do you feel confident if this last for three to six months, your organization can continue to maintain itself and maintain its continuity of supply to these programs? And if you don't feel confident, then let's have a conversation about how we can help.”

That's been very positively received by both our clients and by the supply chain, and it's really bred some really interesting conversations because not only have we got direct feedback from them, but it's also meant that we've had a need to refresh. What suppliers were dealing with what programs. What programs are perhaps in need of some fundamental rethinking? So the insights and intelligence we've got just from being proactive and asking that question will pay dividends for the next months ahead. We feel that from our supplier side perspective, they feel it's a very positive move from our point of view.

It's quite interesting, it's quite a controversial question, “How confident are you?” So there's an element of commercial and pride involved in that of course. It’s interesting that you said it’s greeted well and we got some good feedback there. 

David, the whole world is looking to your industry for the answers in this. But there's a complex ecosystem that supports the pharmacies for the Life Sciences industry. You mentioned the hydrocarbons, the chemicals, the similar kind of supply chains are fitting in as well, so within, what you can share, are there any sort of additional initiatives or things that have bred the commitment of those suppliers during this challenging time? 

David: Yeah, look. I think you know the nature of drug development in our industry. In particular, the length of time it takes a molecule to work its way from the lab to the patient. These are processes that are by definition called long. So we have to take, as an industry, we have to take the long view. There is nothing that happens quickly and performs super well. Paul knows this very well. I've said this time and time again to suppliers. “If you want to work in the Life Sciences industry you got to remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be no quick wins. You are going to have to be tenacious, you’re going to have to be in for long haul and if you're not willing to do that don't even start.”

So that's something that hasn't changed at all I. I think what we're seeing with COVID is supply chains have been tested. Certainly physical supply chains. You may or may not know, but 80% of the drugs sold in United States, their APIs or active pharmaceutical ingredients are sourced out of China. The American government and the American people in general have suddenly woken up to this fact. That's a very high degree of dependency, and whether it's China or somewhere else, it doesn't matter. Nobody wants to be overly dependent on an entity, country or region or whatever, and then sort of the whole geopolitical stuff that's going on, it doesn't help things. So I think the industry has said, OK, we, you know, we may have gone too far in some cases with this local sourcing. We need to reexamine this. How strong are supply chains now that they're being tested? We need to really go back and have a look at that.

You could say the same with services as well. A lot of effort goes into checking if our suppliers are going to go under or not. Are we going to have problems in supply? The Pharmaceutical industry hasn't been, at least for now, impacted. In fact, they've seen sales grow probably as a result of people panic buying, but certainly haven't seen any negative impact on their sales. So we're not one of those industries that’s scrambling just to survive. I think if you're in that situation where you're scrambling to survive it’s going to obviously be quite different than the Pharmaceutical Industry. So we can take the long view.

We're looking to make sure the suppliers that are working with us still have a heartbeat and they could still deliver whatever it may be that we are buying. I tend to think in the industry that Hays is in, we will see Novartis has not put in place a hiring man, but it's almost similar to one. They’re just saying, “Hey look, we're only going to hire where it's absolutely necessary, but in general we’re not hiring permanent hires,” and I think lots of businesses are doing the same. It's kind of just wait and see, and I anticipate there will be a sharp increase in temporary labor because the work doesn't go away. If you can't hire, you got to find another way of doing it. So I think we'll see a shift.

I think this whole idea of the future of work, something I was starting in Novartis, the coming together of temp and perm to manage it in a more strategic way. We're getting traction now in Novartis on this whole idea. And that's largely, I think, because of the timing. Right now, people are waking up to this. So I think the Pharmaceutical Industry will change as a result. We're going to have a lot less working from offices, and I think a lot of the tourism that people were doing traveling around the world, there will be a lot less of that too. I think we’ll be more open to alternative models of work than we were in the past. The Pharmaceutical Industry is quite conservative and highly regulated, so it's kind of in the jeans. I think we'll see, if not immediately, but in the medium term, some significant changes.

You mentioned earlier the 2008, 2009 crisis and that it lent the balance for purchasing a little bit more towards cost? It'll be interesting to see if the current situation leads it potentially in a slightly different direction.

David: I'd really like to think that, and again I think it depends on the city. You know, if you're in a situation where your business is potentially going to go bust. The most important thing for you is cash, and you're going to grab at cash whatever way you can, and you're going to think in quite short term ways. That's just survival, right? You can't blame businesses that do that. However, I think if what I referred to earlier about supply chain and having API sourced from Southeast Asia or China in particular, why? Because they're cheaper. European and American producers can’t compete with the prices that China can do it at. So if you focused on the price of the cost, you put yourself at risk in terms of your supply chain resilience.

I think there was a realization that we need to now shift somewhat away from the cost and look more at resilience and guaranteeing of supply, and therefore there will be increasing cost. It's inevitable, but the industry is more than able to absorb that. The margins are healthy, so it shouldn't be a problem. We're lucky that way. Some other industries are in different situations, so I would anticipate that there would be a shift. But you know, lots of companies are run by accountants and they tend to look at only the bottom line. They're not supply chain people. They don't necessarily think too much about some of the other considerations.

Paul: If I could be a bit philosophical for a moment. I think one of the things that I'm seeing through the lock down around the world and experiencing it myself is, the importance of personal interaction. So I think actually the question of technology, you know, how and what you use technology for, what you don’t use technology for. If you think about the heroes, the heroes are now the people who deliver and do the weekly shopping. They’re the ones that collect your bins, they're the ones that they help bring medicines around from the pharmacy, and I think it's maybe a bit of a reconfiguration of how we do view technology as part of the buying and delivery process. But as I said, that’s me being philosophical.

The other one David said is the world of work. I would concur with your view of the Life Sciences. It’s always been a bit conservative on what it could or shouldn't do. What it does and what it could haven't always been the same, and I think there's been a loosening in the regulating environment of what is possible, and it’s going to be very interesting to see the world of work over the next year. 

David: Yeah, absolutely agree.

Just sort of bringing this to a nice close – the two of you have worked in many different industries and many different roles. I won’t say how many years we’ve all done it. But for our listeners, we're talking here about supplier partnerships, both in the current situation and long term, it could be at either the purchasing or the sustainability. What are your key bits of advice or messages that you'd like to leave with everyone? Paul, if I could go to yourself first. 

Paul: It’s a big question, Rob. I think number one is you reap what you sow. So the investment you place into a supplier discussion, a supplier partnership. You will get where you will naturally get depending on how you orchestrate that at the beginning.

So that means things like, be mindful of cost of sale. You know suppliers, there is a cost to doing business. If you minimize that cost, then you're giving them a reason to view you as a client of choice. So I think that whole concept of how do you want to be perceived as a buying organization? And as a good customer? I think will be very worthwhile having more front of mind. I think for a buying perspective. I think it's all about thinking about what you're getting back rather than what you're paying. You know the argument of that the less you pay, the more value you get. Doesn't always ring true, so it's just being bold enough to answer that question.

Then the third thing, and I don't know if you remember David, when we first met, we had this conversation around admission. And it wasn't, you know, here's a solution. Here's our portfolio. It was, how ambitious do you want to be and how can we help you to get there? I think that type of conversation is so important to really deepen a relationship into what we've been talking about, which is much more collegiate and much more forward thinking.

David: Yeah no, you’re right Paul and I think on that note I would say as a procurement professional, I encourage all procurement professionals to really go beyond the transactional relationship. We have a relationship with you. We have KPIs that are operational. All that works fine, but that's just the bread and butter. I think a good procurement will look to extract the maximum amount of value out of any relationship. Now, you can't do it for all suppliers, there are just too many and you would need an army of people to do that. You have to pick and choose. That's just to qualify that. So if you’re one of those suppliers you’re not doing it with, you got maybe say, well maybe it's because I'm not considered strategic, but you just can't do it. So you've got to choose those ones and then do it well.

For me it's about looking to unlock value and I'm assuming the operations are working well. I don't really want to talk about that because that's just, you know, day-to-day stuff. Now what else can we do? How much more value can we get? You got to collaborate. It's not about “Oh I’ll drop your price, so I can make some savings.” That's going to hurt your margin, because that's not in the interest for you as a supplier. But if I ask the question, “Paul, how can we take cost out of the supply chain?” It's a different dynamic because that assumes that both of us have a role to play in that. It also assumes that if we can do that there is benefit on both sides.

So again, it's about growing the pie rather than trying to fight over a given size of the pie. I think not all procurement functions do that. Some tend to think short-term and they think about their savings, and maybe you know, they get a kick out of that. I don't know. But for me, the biggest kick I get is out of trying to create something that maybe other people haven't done. And my success, I measure my own success based on what business tells me that we are delivering to them in terms of value. Not any kind of savings, but in terms of business value. So when they're happy and they're giving kudos out to the procurement group, then I'm happy.

Well we all work in roles where we effectively have a number of customers both internally and externally, so it's delivering value to those that's important. It's interesting the number of times that word was used in that summary there. And again David and Paul, like you, it's what excites us. We don't go to work just to do a job, we want to achieve something, achieve something and do something a bit new and I think that's something that will happen. 

Well, I'd like to thank the two of you and those listening. I hope it’s been as enjoyable for you as it has myself and hopefully beneficial for the others. I’d like to thank you, Paul and I’d like to thank you, David and I look forward to seeing you two in future versions of The Conversation. Thanks everyone. 


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