Skip to content
Stock Transport Orders
2 min read

Unveiling the Power of Customer-Centric Procurement in the Age of AI

In the fast-paced world of procurement and supply chain management, the need for effective communication, shared terminology, and a customer-centric approach has never been more crucial. In a recent episode of "The Never-Ending Climb for a Stronger Supply Chain and Procurement for Companies Running SAP," we had the privilege of hosting Greg Tennyson, one of the OGs of procurement, who shared valuable insights on the evolving landscape of procurement, the role of artificial intelligence (AI), and the importance of a customer-focused philosophy.

Breaking Down Barriers:

The conversation kicked off with a powerful metaphor – "taking down the veil, the curtain, and seeing what's behind it." Greg emphasized the importance of transparency, understanding, and effective communication in procurement. Speaking the customer's language and aligning with their terminology emerged as critical elements in fostering collaboration.

Equalizing the Playing Field with AI:

As the dialogue unfolded, the spotlight turned to the transformative role of artificial intelligence. Greg highlighted AI's potential to equalize the playing field by providing universal access to a shared knowledge base. He stressed the importance of strategic AI deployment, considering data privacy concerns and ensuring that information made available to large language models is well thought out.

Overcoming Language Barriers:

Greg reflected on the perennial challenge of language diversity within different business units, especially between IT and procurement. To overcome this hurdle, he shared his experience of putting teams through sourcing training together, fostering a common language that extends to customers and suppliers. This emphasis on shared communication proved essential in building effective collaborations.

AI as the Catalyst for Directionally Correct Insights:

The conversation delved into the practical application of AI, particularly in the realm of spend analytics. Greg highlighted the significance of leveraging AI to provide directionally correct insights. He emphasized that AI's power lies in its ability to reduce human bias and deliver guidance that evolves towards precision over time.

Customer-Centric Procurement Philosophy:

A pivotal moment in the discussion centered around Greg's transformative philosophy: "What's in it for them?" He shared how this customer-centric approach, learned during his tenure at BSP, significantly impacted his perspective. Shifting the focus from "what's in it for me" to "what's in it for them" proved instrumental in driving value, adoption, and customer satisfaction.

Navigating the Procure Tech Landscape:

When it comes to procure tech solutions, Greg offered a nuanced perspective. While acknowledging the value of suite offerings like SAP, he cautioned against a myopic approach. Greg advocated for a best-of-breed strategy, aligning with the customer's needs rather than solely serving IT. He underscored the importance of solving specific pain points and criticized sales approaches that pitch suites as panaceas.


In this insightful episode, Greg Tennyson provided a roadmap for a customer-centric revolution in procurement, fueled by effective communication, strategic AI deployment, and a commitment to value-driven solutions. As the procurement landscape continues to evolve, embracing transparency, breaking down language barriers, and prioritizing customer needs will undoubtedly be the keys to success. Stay tuned for more thought-provoking discussions on "The Never-Ending Climb" as we navigate the ever-changing world of supply chain and procurement.