On May 13 we revealed Procurious to the world… with a very positive response from a profession that has been in dire need of a makeover.
You may or may not have been reading my little snippets about our stealthy little London-based start up. We had a big, bold idea: to build an online one-stop shop for the procurement profession.
I had been sitting on the idea of improving brand procurement for many years and had developed many offline face-to-face training and networking programs. With the increasing maturity of the digital space, teamed with my changes in my personal circumstances (aka moving to London) I decided last year that it was time to act.
In the early days of designing this business, everything was up for grabs. Among a long list, we considered building a procurement news aggregator, a pure-play training repository called Procurious TV, and a procurement lifestyle magazine.
The three of us in a tight lead team – backed up by our 150+ strong development group, seven web developers and two agencies – have cracked the perfect name, and, after a lengthy negotiation, managed to buy the URL from a strip club owner in San Diego (not a joke).
Seven months later, we have launched Procurious – the online business network for the next generation of procurement professionals. Something we hope will be a game changer for the profession.
We’ve built what is known as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). It’s by no means the site you’ll see in two years, or even six months for that matter. Our product manager, Jack Slade, constantly reminded me throughout the project that if we weren’t embarrassed by our launch site, then we had spent too much time on development without the input of our users.
Our planned public launch for this month was always an ambitious target, but allowed us to start gaining feedback from our users; and to begin to understand exactly what the Procurement community wanted. Fortunately, save for some pesky bugs, there’s not too much embarrassment for us yet!
Many of my non-procurement readers probably have a fairly outdated view of the procurement profession – what we refer to as the brown cardigan brigade.
During my 15 years in procurement I have dramatically seen the quality and calibre of professionals dramatically improve.
Procurement has a new face. It’s now younger, more ambitious and more global than ever before.
Our market research for Procurious revealed that the majority of procurement professionals are highly educated, have large disposable incomes, and have a huge influence on corporate spend. Procurement is one of the fastest growing professions in the world, with 2.5 million global practitioners.
Procurement professionals are in a unique position of strategic influence within their organisations. No other one group of professionals worldwide has as big an impact on how a company goes about its business and how it spends its money.
Corporate supply chains are in the media spotlight every day – but procurement often remains the unsung hero for its role in creating competitive advantage and upholding the reputation and value proposition of businesses and brands.
In fact, those working in procurement are often ahead of the curve, with competitive market intelligence from their supply network that helps them drive product and service innovation.
For all these reasons, the next generation of procurement leaders are at an exciting point in their career – and we believe they need a place to collaborate that empowers them as smart, global, savvy and creative individuals.
Procurious provides the platform for bright and ambitious procurers to begin changing the face of the profession from the inside out. We’ve built a hub for them to advance their careers, develop their skills and expand their professional networks.
We have built a network hub that includes groups and lively discussion forums, news tips and advice, access to online and offline events, plus a range of mobile and desktop accessible e-learning modules – all compatible with a full range of devices, from PCs to mobile.
I have been very fortunate to be on the “leading edge” of procurement during its dramatic growth and maturity of the profession over the last 15 years. I was really lucky to be working in procurement in the US in the late 90’s as a member of one of the world’s first global procurement teams, one of the first to try online reverse auctions and eProcurement.
When I returned to Australia, I established The Faculty as a bespoke management consultancy focused on developing best practice procurement within leading organisations. We were one of the very first consultancies to specialise in procurement. By collaborating with its clients, The Faculty has instituted a series of firsts for the profession… so it’s probably no surprise that we have launched the first online business network for the next generation of procurement professionals.
Procurious, is really a culmination of everything The Faculty and its clients have learnt together to this point in our journey. Our Roundtable has proven that networking and training delivers results. Procurious brings these offline activities online in a format that works for the next generation of procurement professionals; a group that spends a large percentage of their life online. We are offering them the benefits that we have gained over the last decade, with the promise that if they get involved, they will get ahead.
We really have “first mover” status in the online professional network space… there’s only a handful of other professions with their own dedicated network. So we have a real opportunity here to put procurement on the map as a truly innovative profession.
To begin with however, we’re taking baby steps. While this is the first month that the site has been open to the public, we’re holding back on actively promoting Procurious until we can be sure most of the kinks have been ironed out of the system. To do this, we need help.
We are asking as many procurement professionals as possible to sign up to the network at www.procurious.com.
It’s like we have built a town hall for the procurement village, but now we need people to hold meetings, communicate, and socialize. If nobody visits, we will need to pull it down and recycle the materials for other uses within the village… but that’s my worst-case scenario!
Best case is that we create a truly unique community that proves to the next generation of procurement professionals that if they get involved – they can get ahead.
Get online and tell me what you think!
Do you think you would use a professional networking site like Procurious? If so, why?