I recently came across a 2004 article imploring meeting planners to accept—“even embrace”—the role played by their procurement departments.
How things have changed in six years!
“Measuring the value to the organization had been lacking, and strategic procurement has helped this change by raising the level of discipline. Meeting groups tend to think more tactically; procurement helps them think more strategically,” said Dick Zeller, now vice president,, at Maxvantage.
These days, not only are meeting managers thinking strategically, they have become the champions of maximizing spend. Many of our 20 Changemakers (our annual list of the most forward-thinking meeting professionals in our industry) have begun and/or led their companies’ SMMPs, in some cases globally.
As far as embracing procurement, three of this year’s Changemakers are from procurement. Take Chris Hunnes, global category lead, travel and meetings, for Accenture Procurement Services. Her accomplishments include helping to outsource much of the meetings management function and managing the bid process for vendors, and her focus has been on policy, approvals, and data. Though she couldn’t disclose the amount, she and her team have saved her company a lot of money. She is the face of a new breed of meeting professional who is all about sourcing and spend management and not at all about logistics.
OUR 20 CHANGEMAKERS were chosen by a series of online focus groups, our editors, and an outstanding advisory board: LouAnn Cashill, CMP, CMM, meeting services manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.; Joan Eisenstodt, chief strategist, Eisenstodt Associates LLC; Tamara Gordon, global travel services manager, Cargill; Kari Kesler, chief strategist, KK Strategic Solutions; and Todd Zint, CMP, CMM, vice president, meetings and, National Financial Partners. Many thanks to them for all their efforts in making our 20 Changemakers the go-to list of thought leaders in our industry.
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