“It’s super important to get the right people in procurement.”
Sigbjørn Nome, CEO and Co-Founder at Ignite, is passionate about talent. The company is now armed with 60 employees and has become an organisation of choice for many graduates in Norway. According to Nome, building a positive environment that empowers staff holds the key to long-term success and growth in procurement.
“We’ve managed to get a good reputation in Norway and recruit top talent,” he tells us. “In the beginning, we used the best students and offered internships to help us build the first version of the product. Then we built a good relationship with the universities in Norway and we’ve also recruited lots of senior hires too. There’s a great combination of talent within Ignite.”
Ignite is an advanced yet simple spend management solution that gives customers the power of correct and holistic data, transparency, and actionable analytics to empower data-driven decision-making. This way, customers not only save money and avoid risk but also make smarter choices and drive value across their organisation. Ignite provides a one-stop shop to consolidate, clean, and enrich data, get advanced procurement analytics, conduct supplier assessments, as well as holistically managing suppliers and contracts and quickly and automatically estimating their Scope 3 CO2 footprint.
With a background in consulting, Nome worked on a variety of procurement transformation projects and has witnessed significant potential in the space. Having decided to form Ignite in 2016, the organisation began as a consulting firm but it was later decided to be delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. “As a consulting business, you are cashflow positive and you earn money from the get-go. While for a SaaS business, you need to invest a lot in product and productive development,” he tells us. “It is quite a challenging change. As a business owner, you also need to sell and be more out there to get customers. There’s been a lot of challenges and one of those has been building the team which I’m really proud of.”
Procurement’s evolving function
Procurement is changing. Traditional procurement revolved around delivery, cost and quality. Now, given the nature of environmental challenges as well as the necessity of data analytics, people with diverse skill sets are needed more than ever before. Nome believes it’s about changing the mindset of procurement. “You’ve got to shift that mentality because the function is so different today,” he explains. “In the future, it’s going to be a more collaborative function because procurement teams cannot win alone.”
With that future in mind, Nome recognises the space is a different beast today than it was a decade ago. Change dominates the industry and the players that embrace transformation will be the ones who win. “You need to use procurement as a lever to get change done,” he tells us. “It’s not enough anymore to look at your business only, your responsibility also extends to your suppliers. It’s about where you spend your money and your negotiation power because customers will look at that. I would say the regulation demands will offer a broader perspective, not only looking at your business but also how you spend your money.”