The Global Sourcing Association
The Home of the Global Sourcing Standard

Strategic Sourcing Summit

  • Date:Tuesday, June 25th 2019, 8:30 am
  • Venue:Titanic Museum, 1 Olympic Way, Queen's Road BT3 9EP, Belfast

Event details


Top performing companies no longer work in departmental silos. To deliver value to the business and adapt to change anywhere close to the speed it is impacting businesses, then organisations need a more blended approach that transcends the business, finance, technology and procurement, whilst keeping customer experience front and centre.

This is no mean feat, but at the GSA are we seeing some great examples of success, where companies are managing to reengineer their traditional operating models to enable them to become more flexible and versatile and compete more directly, and also partner, with the new digital first organisations that are being launched and encroaching on their market share. We see this work centre around the strategic sourcing function. Our research shows that the best performing organisations have a recognised strategic sourcing function.

We are holding a one day event in Northern Ireland  - winner of the GSA’s sourcing delivery destination of the year 2018/19 – to explain the changes we are seeing and to provide guidance on how individuals and organisations can adopt the best practices of the future.

No one business can do everything themselves. Success is all about partnership and collaboration and we believe it is imperative for enterprise buyers and their service providers to have more mutually aligned objectives. This one day conference has been specifically designed to cover off the trends and thought leadership, as well as learning requirements, for both the strategic sourcing decision makers and practitioners on the buy-side, but also those involved in delivery across all levels within the service provider community. To purchase tickets, please click here.


This conference is relevant for professionals across a myriad of roles, but where they are keen to understand how to add more value back to their organisation (and clients and end customers) by better collaborating with other departments internally or better managing relationships with external partners.

The morning session will cover off the latest trends impacting the business from a sourcing perspective and the changes organisations need to think about in order to not just survive but thrive.

The afternoon session will provide a top level overview of the skills (and the how-tos) every strategic sourcing professional needs to master in order to excel in their careers and provide the ultimate value to their employers and their employers’ customers.


The aim of the event is to create a forum to provide professionals at all levels with an understanding of how the industry is changing and to arm them with the latest tools and skills so they can better shape the solutions of tomorrow.

Our intent is that attendees will be comprised of teams of individuals from organisations and partnerships, who can work and evolve together. The agenda and attendance packages are structured with that intent in mind.



8:30 -9:00am- Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:00- 9:15am- Welcome to Northern Ireland. By Brian Dologhan, Executive Director, Invest Northern Ireland

9:15 –10:20am- 2025: The state of and opportunity for the strategic sourcing industry and profession

Kerry Hallard, CEO and Mark Devonshire, Vice Chair, GSAThis view of the future will be followed by a panel discussion on the opportunities of transitioning to a strategic sourcing function, with a lens on the barriers companies encounter along the way.
Chaired by Mark Devonshire, Vice President and Head of Client Delivery for EMEA/LATAM, NTT Data Services


  • Jim Hemmington, Director of Procurement, BBC and Chairman of the GSA
  • Graeme Matheson, Partner and Outsource Operations Lead, John Lewis & Partners
  • Darren McKnight, Head of Outsourced Services, Ulster Bank

10:20-10:40am- Networking Break, a chance to meet and mingle with peers across the spectrum

10:40-11:20am- Start-ups today are the lifeblood of the sourcing eco-system

This session will focus on the growing importance of the start-up in the sourcing eco-system – how they are critical to the growth of the industry and the lifeblood to moving forward. We need to address how the industry is hampering their development and challenge both buyers and larger providers to shape up and better collaborate for a more sustainable future. Unveiling and launching the GSA industry code of conduct for working with start-ups / SMEs

Panel discussion

Chair: Terry Walby, CEO, Thoughtonomy


  • JP Kloppers, CEO, BrandsEye
  • Mark Dowds, Chief Strategy Officer, Trov, Chair of TechStart Ventures

11:20 – 13:00pm- Quick fire SourcingTech immersion

This session will deliver Ted presentations from industry thought leaders across the hottest of industry technology topics

Cloud: How to build the business case for cloud and then better manage financial performance. Everyone is moving tothe cloud, but too few are switching purely to the cloud. This session will look at the blockers and incentives for businesses to fully move on to the cloud. John Enoch, AWS

Automation: Why is automation faltering at the category level and not delivering the nirvana of enterprise wide automation Terry Walby, CEO, Thoughtonomy

Blockchain: How blockchain can be applied to solve real-world problems, and why this nascent and disruptive technology should be part of your business strategy in the digital age.Seamus Cushley, Director, New Ventures & Blockchain @PwC

Data Analytics: Taking control of your data, so you can take control of your future. Fergus McIlduff – CFO, automated Intelligence

Cybersecurity: A joirney in cybersecurity. Cybercrime and security breaches are a fact of business life. Recent surveys show 60% of sizeable businesses were infiltrated in the last 12 months. This means technology risk is front of mind for all boards. Hugh Kirk, Director, Governance and Risk, Allstate Northern Ireland.

13:00-14:00pm- Networking Lunch

14:00-14:40pm- The Future of Work, Iain Jawad, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Frost & Sullivan

Mega Trends, The Future Workforce; Structure of Work; and Workplace Technology and their Impact on our Lives

Iain will look at a range of social and economic trends driving developments regarding the future labour force. We will look at how emerging Mega Trends are driving workplace trends that will transform workplace formats and design, reshaping organisation structures, and changing how employees communicate and interact. We will overview technology trends and impacts, such as the increasing use of AI and automation on sectors, and the potential impacts of technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality, etc.

14:40 – 15:10- Strategic Sourcing: The most compelling of careers 

  • Jim Hemmington, Director of Procurement at the BBC, Chairman of the GSA
  •  Joe Williams, Supplier Governance Manager, Aviva

No longer the accidental profession, the strategic sourcing professional is increasingly being recognised for the significant value he / shedelivers to the business. The issue holding the profession back is that not enough people know the profession exists or what it involves. The lack of fresh blood entering the sourcing industry is a huge concern and makes talent the number one issue in sourcing today.

Jim and Joe will present the updates from the Attracting and Upskilling Talent working group with:

  • The launch of the GSA Competencies and Capabilities Framework
  • Attracting more people into the sourcing profession – Launch of the GSA’s Ambassadors Programme

15:10-15:30pm- Networking Break

15:30-16:00pm- Panel discussion with GSA’s Rising Stars candidates.

The future captains of industry will talk about the challenges, opportunities and futures of working in strategic sourcing. The panel will be Chaired by: Grainne O’Kane, FirstSource


  • Sarah Russell, Concentrix
  • Stephanie Chibnall, KPMG (Tbc)
  • Liam Grace, CGI

16:00-17:00pm- Quick fire skills of today to develop solutions of tomorrow

Humanising customer experiences in a connected world

Hear from TTEC’s Iain Banks, VP International Markets as he discusses that the future of CX is a union between technology and humanity, a balance between the two that creates seamless integrations across channels. Discover how having a human approach strengthened by technology wins customers and creates loyalty.

Harnessing Local Talent

Sinead Carville, Executive Director, Human Resources, Fintru, will talk about the sourcing industry’s number one issue – developing talent.

Best Practice in Strategic Sourcing

The Global Sourcing Standard is the only standard that both buyers and service providers can become accredited to to assess how well they manage their strategic sourcing programmes. According to the BBC, following the Standard has saved them £millions.

William Carson, Strategic Sourcing and CX Management, Concentrix will provide a top level overview of the Standard and why it’s so important.

Northern Ireland; Navigating the AI of the Storm

Jordan McDonald, AI Practice Senior Engineer, Kainos will share his vision for developing Northern Ireland as an AI hub within the United Kingdom

17:00-17:10pm- Summit Closes preparation for GSA Professional Awards Commence.

Please click here for attatched Strategic Sourcing Summit Agenda.

On the 25th, the GSA will also be launching the Strategic Sourcing Professional Ambassadors Programme. In order to read more about this opportunity, click here.


Tickets for the summit are £250, and we are offering an opportunity for attendees to bring one colleague or business partner for free with your ticket. In order to purchase a ticket, click here.

The Global Sourcing Association
The Home of the Global Sourcing Standard