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Supply chain digitization

LeaderSpeak : Unlocking value with digital procurement featuring Richard Hesse

Learn how Inspire Brands is redefining the paradigm on procurement in the fast-food restaurant and retail industry. 

by Durga Pratiha | February 23, 2024 | 4 mins read

Learn how Inspire Brands is redefining the paradigm on procurement in the fast-food restaurant and retail industry. 

In the ever-changing landscape of supply chain management and software procurement, embracing innovation is paramount. Join us in this illuminating conversation with Richard Hesse, a trailblazer in procurement and supply chain technology. From his journey into the challenging realm of software procurement to his pivotal role at Inspire Brands, Richard shares invaluable insights on navigating vendor evaluations and leveraging emerging tech trends. Whether you're a seasoned supply chain leader or an aspiring professional in the industry, this Q&A blog is sure to provide valuable perspectives on driving strategic impact and adopting innovative technologies in the world of procurement and beyond.

Collaboration and breaking silos 

In the first part of our exploration with Richard Hesse, we delved into the intricacies of collaboration and the imperative task of breaking down territorial silos within organizations. Richard provided invaluable insights into the challenges posed by these silos and the critical role collaboration plays in driving effective decision-making processes between procurement and other functional groups within the organization 

He emphasized the need for organizations to understand the nuances of territorial silos, which can impede collaboration and hinder organizational growth. He underscored the importance of fostering a culture of collaboration, where individuals are encouraged to break down silos and work together towards common goals. "It's part of my job to be really one, understand what we already have in-house... You can't do that if everyone is very strong in their ownership of their tools." 

A key point underscored by Richard was the imperative need for cultural transformations within organizations to enable fruitful collaboration. He highlighted the importance of embracing change and fostering openness to establish an environment conducive to collaboration across teams and departments.  

Drawing from real-world experiences, Richard shared a compelling case study involving multiple retail brands within an organization. He shed light on the complexities associated with collaboration in such diverse environments, particularly when dealing with varied tech stacks. Richard emphasized the need for organizations to understand each brand's unique journey and tech infrastructure to foster effective collaboration. "Our journey is very unique... six different brands with six different tech stacks..."

Procurement strategy aligned to business goals

Embracing innovation in software procurement processes is crucial, particularly as organizations aim to maintain relevance in a swiftly evolving technological environment. Adopting innovative approaches to sourcing and evaluating software solutions becomes imperative to stay ahead. 

Richard underscored the importance of cross-functional collaboration to bridge the gap between procurement efforts and overarching business goals. This ensures software acquisitions align with strategic objectives in alignment with cross-functional goals maximizing their impact. 

He emphasized the significance of strategic procurement practices in achieving optimal return on investment (ROI). Organizations must evaluate solutions not just on initial cost but also on long-term value proposition, ensuring alignment with broader business objectives. 

Richard advocated for flexible and adaptive procurement frameworks in recognition of the software landscape's dynamic nature. Rigid structures hinder agility, and organizations must embrace adaptable approaches to navigate these changing environments effectively. "I found if I have a rubric or a framework for something, it's going to change in six months...." 

Addressing data security and compliance concerns throughout the procurement lifecycle was identified as a critical aspect. Prioritizing data privacy and security mitigates risks effectively and ensures responsible software acquisition practices.

Data, sustainability and talent building in procurement

Richard underscores the importance of embracing technological advancements to future-proof procurement strategies. In an era marked by rapid digital transformation, leveraging emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, and automation can enhance efficiency and decision-making processes within procurement functions. "The automation around cooking process is incredible to see... There's so much opportunity." 

"Making decisions based on data is important for the future of procurement”, according to Richard. He says we should use data analysis to make our buying, managing suppliers, and negotiating contracts better, so we get the most out of our procurement activities. 

Being able to move quickly and change easily is super important for how we set up our procurement systems for the future. Richard thinks we should use flexible methods that let us adapt fast to what's happening in the market, with new technology, and what our stakeholders need. 

Addressing sustainability and ethical considerations is integral to future-ready procurement strategies. He also emphasizes the importance of incorporating sustainability criteria and ethical sourcing practices into procurement processes to mitigate environmental impact, promote social responsibility, and enhance brand reputation. 

Investing in talent development and skill enhancement emerges as a strategic imperative for building future-ready procurement teams. He finally stresses the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning, upskilling, and knowledge sharing to equip procurement professionals with the competencies needed to navigate evolving procurement landscapes effectively. 

Richard Hesse's insights provide invaluable guidance for navigating the complexities of collaboration and software sourcing in modern organizations. By embracing cultural shifts, fostering collaboration, and staying curious about emerging trends, organizations can drive success in their procurement initiatives. Let's apply these insights to our own organizations and continue to innovate in the dynamic realm of procurement and software sourcing.