Procurement Reimagined

May 22-23
Miami, FL

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Welcome to the #loveprocurement podcast, where we bring you a fresh and lighthearted take on all things procurement. We’ll dive into this fascinating world with a twist of humor and a sprinkle of fun. Each episode explores a different topic, inviting industry experts and special guests to share their insights, experiences, and stories.

For those that #loveprocurement or are curious why others do.

Season 1 – Episode 1

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Ep 1: Introducing the #LoveProcurement podcast feat. Vishal Patel

RELEASED 2/13/2024

A few years ago, Ivalua was trying to invest in the procurement community. They realized that whenever procurement professionals talk about their work, they genuinely enjoy what they do and they take pride in their work. 

The team started asking procurement professionals they met one simple question: Why do YOU love procurement?

The rest is history. 

In this inaugural episode of the #LoveProcurement podcast, Kelly Barner speaks with Vishal Patel, Vice President of Product Marketing at Ivalua, to discuss what this podcast will be about.

Vishal’s answers set the stage for what listeners can expect from this show:

  • Why the professional bonds in the procurement community are so strong
  • The topics and speakers listeners can expect in upcoming episodes
  • And of course… why he loves procurement! 

Links: Vishal Patel on LinkedIn

Kelly Barner: (00:04)
Hello, and welcome to the inaugural episode of the Love Procurement Podcast. My name is Kelly Barner, and I’ll be your host for this conversation today. I’m glad to welcome Vishal Patel, VP of Product Marketing at eua to the show to not only share more about what this podcast will be about, but also to introduce some of the core questions we’re gonna be asking all of our guests going forward. So, hi Vhel. Thank you so much for being here with me to kick off the show.

Vishal Patel: (00:34)
Hi, Kelly. Thank you. Thanks for, thanks for having me. And, uh, wonderful to finally be able to launch this podcast.

Kelly Barner: (00:41)
Absolutely. Now, for anybody in procurement that has not already met you, maybe we should start off by giving you an opportunity to share a little bit more about your background and experience.

Vishal Patel: (00:51)
Yeah, sure. So, I, I’ve, uh, been in the procurement technology space for probably the last 15 to 16 years. Um, most of that has been with the technology providers, so I value it for six years and others for, for a bit. But before that I act, I was on the analyst side of things, basically writing about, um, analyzing, assessing all the different vendors in the space. Um, and I remember starting with, uh, being an analyst covering contract lifecycle management, um, back in, uh, around 2005. So when that was a technology category that was very small and now, you know, the things have, things have certainly changed there.

Kelly Barner: (01:33)
Now it’s huge. Yeah, absolutely. Now, in terms of the, sort of the backstory on this podcast, I see you’ve chosen what to wear very wisely. Uh, this is sort of a, a trademark thing. We always see this when you’re on screen. Talk to me a little bit about the idea to have a podcast and maybe the role that that shirt you’re wearing right now might’ve might’ve played in it.

Vishal Patel: (01:55)
Yeah, so this kind of began, uh, I think about four years ago. Um, you know, we were trying to figure out like how can we, uh, build a little bit of a, a procurement community? Um, and, and what I’d realized in, in all the time I’ve been in this space is like whenever people talk about procurement, like they really, uh, you know, there’s something very genuine about how they see their, see their roles, and, uh, people really enjoy what they do, it seems. So it kind of came about, uh, as specifically around one of our events where we had the idea to kind of just ask people the question, why do you love procurement? And the responses that we got were pretty overwhelming and some really great quotes about why people love procurement, right? Like that, um, it’s, it’s sort of a, a backbone for a, a company’s strategy and it’s, it involves innovation and a lot of collaboration with different parts of the business.

Vishal Patel: (02:53)
And like, there was a lot of really great quotes. And so it kind of started from there. Um, and so we, we turned it into, uh, this, this hashtag and it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. Um, and then the, you know, the, the, the, the next natural move, I guess was to, was to have a podcast and, uh, um, you know, just talk about the, the same, same kind of topics, right? Like, so why, why is it that people love procurement? What’s exciting about this world now, um, have some interesting speakers on, um, and, you know, just do it in a like, fun way where we can, uh, hopefully share some good insights.

Kelly Barner: (03:29)
Well, and this is really funny too, and I can, I can share sort of a different perspective on this. So for anybody that’s just listening to the audio, Vishal has this shirt on and it says hashtag love procurement in big bold letters right across the front. And I’ve had the opportunity with my, my business partner, Philip Ien, to host many, many onscreen webinars with Vishal. And as an event moderator, I just learned over time right out of the gate, acknowledge the T-shirt because we would get into the event, and of course we like to run engaging audience, participation based conversations. It never failed. Nine out of the first 10 questions we got in the event were, how do I get the shirt? Everybody was very focused on getting the shirt. Procurement loves their merch. Yeah. So I, you know, you went from inspiration at an event to merch, which is super trendy to podcast. And so you’re definitely sort of visually representing that today. Like I said, now we just open the events by saying, yep, we all know we love the shirt, let’s just talk about the shirt and then we can move on and talk about procurement. Yeah. Um, so given all that background, it seems only fitting for me to be the first person to ask you before anybody else, Vishal, why do you love procurement?

Vishal Patel: (04:46)
Yeah. You know, I was thinking about that and, um, I think when, where it first, uh, sort of came to me was actually one of a college professor, uh, if I, if I go back that far, um, where the question was more about, it was a, it was just a question that kind of, uh, led to the exploration of this whole area, I guess. But it was a very, um, uh, sort of abstract question. I think it was something around like, what does the sun in New Zealand have to do with, um, the sweater you just bought at the mall in California? Uh, and, and so it just kind of started with that. And as you might guess, right, the the reasons for that are largely the value chain and, and how you, you know, you’re buying wool from New Zealand. Sheep in New Zealand are like a big, a big, uh, produce, right? Like wool, um, and obviously sheep eat grass and grass needs sun. So that was the thing that connected the dots, but it was all, it was like a very, um, uh, it was like kind of a bit of a aha moment, I guess, where I’m like, yeah, okay, so every business does have to do this, and they’re relying on a supply chain and there’s someone that has to, you know, be be there to manage and build relationships with suppliers. And, and that’s how, that’s how we, that’s how I got into procurement.

Kelly Barner: (06:06)
Well, I can almost one up you. So you went back to college, I’m gonna go back to kindergarten, . So I think my love for procurement is actually, thanks to Mr. Rogers, anybody that grew up in my generation watched Mr. Rogers and he would do the factory tours. How do they make trumpets? How do they make crayons? Yeah. What is a sugar bean? And what do they do with it? And I remember being in an early corporate role and recognizing that this is the team that sort of has to take it apart so they can buy it or make it and put it back together again. It’s sort of the ultimate peak behind the scenes. And that goes for products as well as services. Uh, finding out how does a grocery store run, how does that food get from the distribution center to the warehouse, to the location, to the floor where you can buy it?

Kelly Barner: (06:57)
What are all the different technologies that are involved in, in making that work? So from my perspective, I’m right with you. I also love procurement, but to me it’s, you can’t truly appreciate how complex and magnificent any kind of business it is. And it doesn’t matter if you are pest control or if you’re making the very latest type of responsive technology. Every single business is unique and complicated and fascinating. And I think procurement’s one of the only teams that gets to stop and really focus in on the details or the secret sauce of what makes that business tick.

Vishal Patel: (07:33)
Yeah, no, I think you, you’re, you’re super right there. Um, even earlier on in my, in my career, like, so I was, I, earlier on I was working more in an emerging market, right? So in Kenya, but in places like that, actually what you are, you’re competi advantage is actually from how you buy better. Yes. Not, not so much, it’s not so focused on like the selling component, right? Because you’re reliant on global suppliers and such. So your advantage is on how you buy better.

Kelly Barner: (08:04)
Now, you talked a little bit about recognizing the importance of community and in sort of coming up with the initial concept for love procurement, but in a corporate setting, you know, we’re all very careful and very respectful. Love isn’t necessarily something that we always talk about. So I’m interested in your perspective on the connection between the work that procurement does and the idea of community and a force as strong as Lovey. It’s not the like procurement podcast. It’s not the procurement is okay, or pretty good podcast. We’re talking love and community and coming together. Where is the connection for you in that?

Vishal Patel: (08:45)
Yeah, so it’s probably, uh, a few different things there. So I think, I mean, I think it all starts basically with the fact that I do think many people in procurement do love what they do, right? And, uh, but it also, on the flip side, I think it’s a little bit to do with, you know, how procurement wants to be more appreciated by, uh, the people they, they they serve and, and the business partners that they work, you know, in collaboration with and the suppliers that, you know. So there’s a lot of, there’s a lot there in terms of procurement and relationships with internal departments, external suppliers, um, and I think it’s both to do with, you know, people actually enjoying what they do and loving procurement and why, and why it is they do love procurement, but also the fact that, uh, yeah, there’s, there’s, there is a need and there’s, there’s this desire to, to kind of be recognized, right? For, for what you’re doing. And, um, I think that’s what that what maybe people, uh, sort of, uh, held onto with this hashtag love procurement thing, right?

Kelly Barner: (09:53)
Yeah. Now the show is gonna be coming out every other Tuesday, so officially everybody pause right now. Mark that in your calendars every other Tuesday. You now have a commitment. You’re part of this loving community. Uh, what would you say are some of the reasons that people should tune in regularly? What’s, what’s sort of gonna be the tone, the format, the type of content that we’re gonna create?

Vishal Patel: (10:14)
Yeah, yeah. So we are looking forward to, to keep this light and fun. You know, this isn’t about I valuer at all, really. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s about the community, right? Like the procurement community, our, our partners, our customers, you know, generally anyone in in procurement, right? And that has something unique to share some insights, um, is willing to jump on a podcast and, and, and, you know, talk about, uh, something fun about procurement or, or, uh, share, share anything. And we have some really good, um, uh, podcast guests, uh, coming up. So, um, an exciting start to this for sure.

Kelly Barner: (10:50)
Are there any we can tease, are we sure enough that we can tease any of the people or topics? Yes, that’ll be covered in upcoming episodes?

Vishal Patel: (10:57)
Absolutely. Uh, so I can tell you, uh, we will have our chief product officer on talking about generative ai. Um, we’ll have our CEO on talking about the, I value a story. That one’s probably the only one that’s a little bit about us because I feel like it is a good story. Um, but then we have others, uh, we have, uh, Oliver Hurry from the Sustainable Procurement Prep pledge. Um, we have a Women in Procurement podcast, which is focusing just basically on that topic, right? Like women and procurement, uh, women in procurement, sorry. Um, and, uh, a few others, uh, that we’re still planning. Yeah,

Kelly Barner: (11:34)
Well, I’m certainly looking forward to all of those, and I’m very lucky because I’m gonna get to participate in a lot of them. Uh, so certainly we want people to tune in and hear those episodes. But vhel, now that we’ve shared what the show is going to be, what the background is, what people can expect to hear, let’s wrap by maybe going through a little exercise of sharing the love. Is there a piece of advice or a thought that you’d like to leave viewers and listeners with?

Vishal Patel: (12:00)
Yeah, um, I think, you know, overall, um, I would go back to the community aspect, really, right? So, uh, you know, it is, it is sort of a community effort, right? To, to appreciate procurement, recognize procurement, improve procurement, um, and, and just do, do better, right? Like in all the things that we’re doing. And that’s, that’s what we are about. And I’d say, you know, not so much advice, but you know, if, if, if you have something to share and you’d like people to hear it and you’d like to share with the community, then uh, we’re, we’re definitely open to having you on the podcast.

Kelly Barner: (12:36)
Now, if people are listening and watching and they would like to get in touch with you specifically, maybe to ask about the shirt, I’m just gonna make a guess. Somebody’s gonna ask about the shirt. What is the best way for people to get in touch?

Vishal Patel: (12:47)
Uh, LinkedIn is probably the best, the best way, yeah.

Kelly Barner: (12:51)
Excellent. And we will share a link to Vishal’s LinkedIn profile in today’s show notes. So regardless of where you found this episode, scroll down and it’ll be right there. Vishal, I think this is very exciting. We’re thrilled to be kicking off this show. Thank you so much for being with me.

Vishal Patel: (13:05)
Yeah, super excited about it. Uh, cannot wait for this to launch, uh, very soon. So thank you.

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