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Interview with Barry Manning

Interview with Barry Manning

Barry joined FourPL in 2018 and is a valued mentor in the Procurement business, bringing experience and expertise from working across multiple industries in supply chain/procurement in Asia Pacific and Japan. A keen surfer, Barry summarises his work ethic with Jimmy Buffets song: Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”.

What industry are you currently working in and what is your role?

My role is Procurement Account Manager which involves managing existing procurement customers and identifying and closing new business.  Procurement solutions apply across industries.  I am currently working with customers in Manufacturing, Aged Care, Health, Oil&Gas, Travel, and Distribution.

What are the key challenges your clients are facing?

Procurement customers in general are facing challenges in reducing costs through better sourcing or more efficient processing, they are challenged by their executives to leverage cloud based solutions to better service their end user and suppliers, and increasingly they are challenged by pressure from regulators for improved transparency and compliance.

What are the things you are working on to help your clients overcome these challenges?

We work with our customers initially to help them develop their procurement transformation strategy together with a business case that will demonstrate the value to the business and secure funding for their project.  We are then involved in the implementation of the solution together with the customer, not just the cloud technology configuration but also the new business processes, change management, end user training, and importantly the enablement of their suppliers to access and get business benefit from using the procurement solution.

What do you think is the “next big thing” within SCM or, what should we all keep an eye out for?

Procurement is now embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to further improve the efficiency of solutions and also in the analysis and management of the risk related to dealing with third parties across the globe.  New Risk Management solutions are emerging which automatically collect and evaluate risk related data from multiple sources to immediately inform category managers of changes in supplier risk profiles.  These Risk solutions are also supporting the push for ethical procurement.

What traits and skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in the role you do?

My Procurement Account Management role needs a deep understanding of the procurement process and the challenges facing sourcing, procurement and accounts payable executives.  Being able to have a business discussion focused on their challenges and value creation rather than the technology solution is key to helping our customers.

What song best describes your work ethic?

Jimmy Buffets song Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes sums it up “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”.

What would a perfect day look like to you?

Any sunny day with a good swell where I can get out on my stand-up paddle board for a surf.

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