The Global Sourcing Association
The Home of the Global Sourcing Standard

Agenda for GSA’s Strategic Sourcing Summit

arm yourself today with the knowledge skills for tomorrow’s solutions


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 the 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. 


Who should attend:


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.


Aim of the Event


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 – 8.45           Registration and Networking Breakfast



9:00 – 9:15           Welcome to Northern Ireland

Brian Dolaghan, Executive Director, Invest Northern Ireland



9:15 – 10:30        2025: The state of and opportunity for the strategic sourcing industry and profession

Kerry Hallard, CEO and Mark Devonshire, Vice Chair, GSA

This 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 William Carson, Concentrix


  • Jim Hemmington, BBC
  • Emma Mansfield, BoI
  • Nicola South, Zurich (TBC)



10:30 – 11:00     Networking break, a chance to meet and mingle with peers across the spectrum



11:00 – 11:40     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: Steve Jackson, Xoomworks


JP Kloppers, CEO BrandsEye

Matt Graham, GSK (speaker TBC)

Mark Dowds, chief strategy officer, trov. Mark has been a start-up, works with start-ups and is  Chair of Techstart Ventures, a seed investment company, and so will share perspectives from both the start-up and angel investor perspectives



11:40 – 13:00     Quick fire SourcingTech immersion.

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

Cloud:John Enoch, AWS, how to build the business case for cloud and then better manage financial performance. Everyone is moving to the 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. (speaker tbc)

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 Limited

Cybersecurity: A journey 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 Risk & Compliance, Allstate Northern Ireland



13:00 - 14:00      Networking Lunch



14:00 – 14:40     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 organization 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

No longer the accidental profession, the strategic sourcing professional is increasingly being recognised for the significant value he / she delivers 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 Hemmington, Director of Procurement at the BBC

Joe Williams, Supplier Governance Manager, Aviva

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
  • Their approach to attracting more people into the sourcing profession



15:10 – 15:30     Networking Break



15:30 – 17:00     Quick fire skills of today to develop solutions of tomorrow

Intelligent Automation, recognising opportunities for automating processes – anyone can do it! Everyone should do it! Terry Walby, CEO Thoughtonomy

Humanising customer experiences in a connected world

Hear from TTEC’s Iain Banks, VP International Marketsas 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.

Inclusion and Diversity 

Everyone talks Inclusion and Diversity, but how do you make it real in an organisation? Hear from the Bank of Ireland as to how they have embodied Inclusion and Diversity into their fabric.

Overview of the Global Sourcing Standard– an application of use: Direct Line Group (TBC)

The Global Sourcing Standard is the only standard that both buyers and service providers can become accredited to assess the performance of how their manage their strategic sourcing programmes. According to the BBC, following the Standard has saved them £millions. Gain an overview of the Standard from an accredited member. 

A lesson in Governance

Ulster Bank tells of the lessons learned after being heavily fined for non-compliance. The Bank has re-engineered its processes to be fit for purpose and robust.



17:00 -17:10       Summit close



18:45 – 01:00     Professional Awards Ceremony


The Global Sourcing Association
The Home of the Global Sourcing Standard