The past, present and future met in Helsinki yesterday in the friendliest procurement event of the year. Customers, partners and Sievonians from across the world gathered in Teurastamo, a former slaughterhouse turned event space, for SievoFriends 2018.
Our fearless leader, CEO and Sievo co-founder Matti Sillanpää opened the day with a rousing take on why Sievo is driven to be global leaders in procurement analytics. While he highlighted the strong traction we've experienced with 47% year-on-year revenue growth and international expansion, Matti acknowledged that we've still got some way to go before we're universally acknowledged as leaders in our niche.
Johan-Peter "JP" Teppala next took the baton to go through Sievo's recent news from the United States. Overseeing the establishment and expansion of our offices in Chicago, JP gave a number of personal anecdotes of what it is like moving a life, family and office over-the-pond, and how Chicago and Helsinki have more in common than what you may think. Participants took note that the first ever SievoFriends Americas will take place 20 September in Chicago.
And then for the case examples...
Karolis Sella from Coty was the first on stage, sharing insights from an fast-evolving procurement organization. He reflected on how procurement analytics can be used in the aftermath of major corporate acquisitions, and how dependable cost forecasting is a important strategic activity for stock-listed companies. At the heart of change, Karolis put "aligned savings processes, the backbone that keeps the team together in a savings journey."
Then you needed to be there to see Evert Karsen and Jordi Rubies from Cimpress tackle the challenge of achieving buy-in for procurement transformation in a decentralized organization. Needing to balance the preferences of fully independent subsidiaries with various ERP and technical landscapes, Evert and Jordi combined diplomatic and persuasive techniques to win over allies in many non-procurement functions such as finance, marketing and even treasury.
Afterwards, it was Sievo's specialists back on stage, with Perttu Paarma and Roni Koskinen revealing new peer benchmarking opportunities. Participating Sievo customers got early access on some very exciting new insights that will only revealed publicly when the time is right.
Tuomo Vierros and Jereme Pineda continued to show new innovations. Tuomo shared some concrete machine learning automatic classification examples already in use by our customers, and Jereme showcased latest user interface updates bringing Sievo Procurement Analytics in your pocket.
A man very familiar to the big stage, Sievo co-founder Sammeli Sammalkorpi gave his view on Sievo's vision and the roadmap to opportunities ahead. With immense opportunities in combining human and machine collaboration and predictive analytics, Sammeli also highlighted opportunities in procurement decision automation, where automation of less-strategic sourcing relationships can be tackled at scale by data partners like Sievo.
Jean-Yves Rotté-Geoffroy was next to give the keynote view from the top. As former CPO of both GlaxoSmithKline and Cadbury, as well as a number of other strategic senior roles, Jean-Yves challenged procurement to stop dreaming about a seat at the boardroom table, and instead acknowledge that procurement is already there. In addition, Jean-Yves gave a number of examples where he has accelerated innovation in a corporate environment by partnering with emerging, external talent.
As cream on the case study cake, Christopher Smolyn from Becton Dickinson took the stage as the second last speaker of the day, sharing unique insights into how they have transformed raw material forecasting from a tedious and unreliable exercise in excel to forward-looking and efficient processes. Christopher summarized the vital need for reliable procurement analytics "bad data allows for excuses, it's full transparency what we have here today."
Bringing tasty, fresh ideas from outside of the procurement sector, Maija Itkonen was given the last word, sharing some key observations from her entrepreneurial journey from creating PowerKiss wireless mobile phone chargers to Nyhtökaura, the viral vegetarian food phenomenon taking Finland by storm.
Like all great events, they were better experienced by being there.
Participants to SievoFriends 2018 continued the evening with a tour of the nearby Helsinki Gin Distillery, and laughter and good banter could be heard until late in the sunny summer night.