532 Participants

Hotel Marriott – 21-22 October 2019

In fact, it is not simply the largest – it also offers a massive number of lectures by Polish and international speakers, various initiatives aimed at facilitating networking and sharing of experiences and. of course, world-class organization.


Are you ready for the VUCA world?

The theme of the conference covered problems of contemporary businesses caused by increasing volatility and unpredictability of the world around us as well as by the advancing digitization of successive business areas. These changes manifest in the evolving role of people in the organization and development of the qualifications required to build a competitive edge in VUCA conditions.

The agenda for the two days of the conference held on 21–22 October at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw neatly tackled the issues related to survival in this changing world, presentation of new solutions, fresh insights and ways of effective team-building and skillful management.

532 participants registered for the conference – setting a new attendance record and once again making it the largest procurement conference in Poland.


Procurement in the VUCA world

The lectures opening both days of the conference focused on the impact of the volatile, uncertain and complex world on procurement and on the human role. The lectures were delivered by the Special Guests of the conference.

The conference was opened by prof. Christopher Abraham – a speaker at high-profile TEDx events, certified project thinker with 33 years of experience in consulting in the areas of management and manager education, presently the CEO of the S P Jain School of Global Management in Dubai. Apart from analyzing the relationship between digitization, VUCA, and procurement, he presented a very interesting approach – Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. The acronym was the same as the theme of the conference but the perspective on the associated problems was quite different.


– Procurement is growing more significant because of the competitive edge and cost efficiency it can bring to the organization. This area will become critical in a world with such strong competition and increasing use of technologies – said, prof. Christopher Abraham.


The lectures delivered on the second day of the event by Jan Vasek (MIAS School of Business at CVUT), who was also known to the conference-goers from previous PROCON/POLZAK conferences, and Guilhem Lavabre of the European Institute of Purchasing Management focused on the errors made during preparations for VUCA, providing some practical advice on how to avoid them as well as information about the changes in procurement and about the development of the strategic significance of this area.

Maciej Trybulec, a long-time president of Sanofi Pasteur, manager and now a Partner at the Talent Center, in turn, made a presentation dedicated to the role of the managers, their qualifications and the challenges they will have to face in order to achieve team success in this unpredictable and volatile world.


How to handle changes?

– Due to the rapid implementation of new technologies, the economy is evolving very quickly. We use the term “breakthrough technologies” because they completely change the way we act and work – said the Special Guest of the conference, prof. Christopher Abraham.

The evolving environment can – and should be – the driving force behind the development of procurement in organizations – as addressed by the speakers who delivered lectures as part of the Processes and Tools section. They pointed to a large number of available IT tools and solutions that may help in keeping up with the new developments.

An instrument that may be useful in breaking down internal processes of the organization, analyzing them individually and drawing the correct conclusions to eventually achieve optimization is Process Mining, i.e., a novel approach to research and analytics that enables a thorough analysis of all elements of procurement processes (and more). The benefits of this concept were promoted by the representatives of OptiBuy and AmRest based on the project they have completed together.


Qualifications in the times of digitisation and VUCA

– During today’s conference, we learned a lot about technological progress and people as a response to the discussed challenges. The problems we are about to face – or, rather, that we are facing already – are the shortage of qualifications and shortage of labour. The supply of talent and specialists in the procurement area is very limited. We do not recruit university or college graduates. We are procurement specialists by practical experience – said Mariusz Gerałtowski, Procurement Director at Fujitsu and President of the Polish Supply Management Leaders (PSML).

The changes and latest technological solutions redefine the required skill set of buyers and procurement managers.  The skills and the reasons for their evolution have been analyzed, in particular, by the speakers delivering Talent Management and Indirect Procurement lectures, which also tackled CSR issues in procurement and marketing cooperation. Contacts with creative or advertising agencies and the latest trends in communication have, obviously, been the cornerstone of the lectures dedicated to the Procurement of Marketing Services.


People vs technology

Communication is also indispensable during contact with the suppliers. The methods of responding to price increases and preparations for price negotiations have been addressed in the Direct Procurement lectures. The issues discussed as part of this section also included the use of 3D printing as a manufacturing process, the role of procurement in cost optimization (Value Stream Mapping) and applications of artificial intelligence in production planning.

Technological achievements and robots virtually indistinguishable from the ones found in science-fiction films were discussed as part of the RPA in Procurement and Smart Procurement Solutions sections, which also covered the benefits of e-folders and other tools designed to increase procurement efficiency and Robotic Process Automation solutions, complete with practical advice on how to apply them in the organisations (including, in particular, contracts, risk, supplier relations, monitoring and payments).


Discussion creates values

Lively disputes and more relaxed discussions were held not only during coffee breaks and networking sessions with the Master of Networking – Grzegorz Turniak.

Guests of the Discussion Panel conducted by Mateusz Borowiecki (OptiBuy): Aleksandra Antoniuk (CPO, Orange), Monika Kiełtyka-Michna (Head of Global Procurement Services, Astra Zeneca), Wojciech Marchwicki, (CPO, ING Bank Śląski) and Mariusz Gerałtowski, (Procurement Director, Fujitsu; President, PSML) discussed the condition of the Polish procurement sector in comparison to the international markets, explained the organisation of procurement from the perspective of central management and proposed their own visions for the development of Polish human resources in the next 5–10 years.

The conference-goers, in turn, were able to share their own opinions and experiences as part of the Roundtables. This year, the Roundtables were held during both days of the conference. The range of the topics covered during the meetings in smaller groups (up to 15 people) was truly impressive:

  • Responsible supply chain management
  • Intellectual property
  • Property & facility management
  • Optimization of logistics costs
  • Improving supplier liquidity
  • Consulting services
  • IT procurement
  • Fleet management
  • Reducing printing costs at the company

Despite a large number of options – most places at the Roundtables found their owners almost immediately.


How to understand the human brain and build the robot brain

The research, achievements, and presentations of the Special Guests invited to the PROCON/POLZAK 2019 conference had a common denominator – the brain. Maciej Błaszak, a neurocognitive specialist, repeatedly praised by the conference-goers, has been examining the ins and outs of the human brain and human perception for many years. His presentation, “Procurement decision-making”, included a description of the entire process, with emphasis on the key elements. Aleksandra Przegalińska, a researcher of identity in virtual reality (who has also carried out research at the MIT in the USA), discussed the impact of artificial intelligence on our world during the next 5 years, including, in particular, the reasons why robots are most likely not going to resemble real people.



After the struggle with the problems associated with the approaching VUCA world, there was an evening party at the Hard Rock Music Cafe with music played by the Postman – a Beatles cover band. The dances, however, were preceded by the traditional Procurement Table Football Tournament. The competition was sponsored by Lexmark, and the first prize went to… Lexmark. The members of this team, however, unanimously decided to give their prizes (printing equipment bought by the sponsor) to the team that ranked second. Congratulations!


PROCON Awards 2019 and Procurement Leader 2019

PROCON/POLZAK 2019 also provides opportunities to reward procurement practitioners and suppliers thanks to two competitions held by the Organizers. During the award gala, we got to know the winners of the PROCON Awards 2019 and Procurement Leader 2019 events.

The Procurement Leader award in the competition organized by the Polish Supply Management Leaders went to Paweł Czajka and Jakub Leszczyński of Santander Bank Polska, for the implementation of the project titled: “Creating a competition on the market of postal services on the national scale based on the position of the Santander Bank”. Distinctions were awarded to Beata Bartosiak, Renata Krakowiak and Daniel Stefański of Siemens and Aleksandra Wojtysiak and Michał Wlekły of Pfeifer&Langen Polska.

The Procurement Leader 2019 award gala included an official presentation of the new logo and motto of the organizer, the Polish Supply Management Leaders association. President of the Board, Mariusz Gerałtowski, also discussed the plans for the future of the organization, i.e., a continuation of efforts aimed at transforming Poland into a supply chain competence center on a European scale.

The Supplier of the Year 2018 award, in turn, awarded in the PROCON Awards 2019 competition organized by OptiBuy, went to the following companies:

  • IT category: Sevenet (distinction – YetiForce)
  • Creative Services category: Brave Agency (distinction – MEA Group and Kerris Group).
  • Logistics category: Speedmail (distinction – TSLogistic)


Together for future success

– This year’s edition of the conference has been a tremendous success. We discussed the VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This topic was a subject of great interest to the entire procurement community, which enabled us to set a new attendance record. (…) I would like to thank all those who attended and I hope to see you next year – said Mateusz Borowiecki, CEO at OptiBuy.

The success of the conference is owed to its carefully prepared agenda, a large number of Special Guests and speakers as well as professional organizations. The organizers, OptiBuy and PSML, emphasize, however, that such high quality of the event would not have been possible without the Partners, Exhibitors and Sponsors. The conference was supported by the following Partners: XBS Group, Lyreco, Telewizja Polska (TVP) Advertising Sales Department, NextBuy, SAP Ariba, Allegro Brand Experience Agency, i360. Roundtable partners included: Kancelaria Radców Prawnych Cioch & Partnerzy, MARKIT, Business Lease, MARCOVA Polska Group, AGIS Management Group. The following Exhibitors made their appearance: Ivalua, CIPS, WhyNotTRAVEL, SHARP, Mercateo, RAJA Group, NO LIMIT logistyka.

The organization of the conference was supervised by the Kozminski University, and the promotion of the event was entrusted to the following media Sponsors:, Eurologistics, Logistyka Produkcji,,, Top Logistyk,, Logistyka a Jakość, Nowoczesny Magazyn, Stowarzyszenie Branży Eventowej (SBE), Think MICE, Production Manager, Logistics Manager, Transport Manager,, Klub Agencji Eventowych,,, Finanse i Controlling, Magazynowanie i Produkcja, Business Woman & Life and Executive Club.

Konferencja PROCON/POLZAK nie byłaby stałą pozycją w kalendarzu wydarzeń branżowych bez Prelegentów, pragnących dzielić się swoją wiedzą i doświadczeniami oraz bez Uczestników, którzy tą wiedzą są zainteresowani i tak chętnie biorą udział w dyskusjach. Dziękujemy!

Mamy nadzieję, że nawiązane kontakty, zdobyta wiedza i umiejętności przydadzą się w Państwa codziennej pracy i zobaczymy się już wkrótce na kolejnych wydarzeniach z rodziny PROCON.