Career Boot Camp 2017 launches on 4th September, featuring podcasts with 5 global CPOs. Sign up here (It’s FREE!)
When you’re the CPO of a global business, it certainly helps to be passionate about procurement! Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for Vodafone’s CPO, Ninian Wilson.
He’s passionate about his people, the digital revolution and innovation and he’s got some invaluable advice for Procurious members on fostering all three in big companies.
He might be managing a spend of €22bn, but he’s still found the time to partake in this week’s Career Boot Camp, sharing his words of wisdom with the next generation of procurement superstars.
Five days, five CPOs, five fifteen-minute podcasts to help you upgrade your procurement career.
Featuring tips and guidance from the best in the business, each of our CPOs will dedicate their week to coaching you on becoming the best procurement leader you can be!
On Day 2 of Career Boot Camp we turn our attentions to Vodafone’s CPO, Ninian Wilson.
Need a little convinving before you sign up? Check out our teaser trailer below to hear what Ninian had to say in reponse to our quick-fire questions.
Lock up your data scientists
Procurious was interested to learn how Ninian has seen procurement skill-sets evolve over time. One thing’s for sure, when it comes to valuing procurement skills in his new hires, Ninian knows exactly what he’s looking for.
“I think it’s constantly evolving. I think one very common skill from when I joined; we were looking for just super great negotiators.
“I think that’s changing now and I think as we move more and more digital, we’ll even be trying to hire some data rockstars, which we call them, and people that aren’t quite data scientists, but very close to it. Those who understand how data is structured and understand how to manipulate it, how to present it, how to get insights from data and information. That skill base is changing a little.”
Businesses are gaining access to more and more data than we could ever have imagined and, as Ninian explained, procurement needs to be able to structure it, stream it and gain insights from it.
“We’ve got one of our young staff here, he’s absolutely fantastic, and he is a data scientist.” Ninian continues. “He’s helping us on our process analytics, pointing out where we’ve got poor process, which is impacting how people work with the Supply Chain and the business. He’s a very valuable asset and there’s not many of them around so I’m not going to say his name!”
110 per cent behind cross-cultural working
Perhaps one of the reasons Ninian is able to innovate so readily at Vodafone is the incredible diversity within the business. “We’ve got tremendous cultural diversity in our business. I absolutely love working in a diverse company. We’ve got 50 different nationalities here in the Vodafone procurement company. And obviously with 26 operating companies throughout the world, the opportunity to experience different cultures and to work with people from different cultures is always there at Vodafone and one of the key strengths that we have, not just a multinational corporation, but we’ve got real local roots and local perspectives in terms of how we do business. I think there’s a lot of value in that for a lot of large organisations.”
How does he feel about members of his team heading off to experience working around the globe? Pretty good, it seems!
“You’d find me 100 per cent, 110 per cent if I’m allowed to go over the 100, supportive of that. We’ve brought a number of people from our Indian business to the Luxembourg office to try and sort of move people around. We are also very keen on rotating staff in and out of the procurement company into different operating companies so that they can learn a little bit more about the culture, a little more about how things get done around here. Because we think it enriches the individual.
Already a member of Procurious? You’re automatically enrolled for Career Boot Camp! Click here to listen to Ninian’s podcast in full.