CPOstrategy travels to the Netherlands to soak in the atmosphere of one of the world’s biggest and most influential tech events in procurement and supply chain – DPW Amsterdam 2023

“You are the reason why DPW exists.

“It’s been my mission from day one to break procurement out of its silo and create what I call the end-to-end ecosystem and that is you.”

Digital Procurement World (DPW) Founder Matthias Gutzmann’s first address to the crowd gathered before the main stage had a clear tone of appreciation.

The rise of DPW Amsterdam

Today, DPW Amsterdam is one of the world’s biggest and most influential tech events in procurement and supply chain. Its exponential rise in a relatively short space of time is undeniable. Its story began with a frustrated Gutzmann having discovered a lack of procurement conferences to showcase his previous employer. This led to Gutzmann finding a gap in the market and set about solving the issue himself. He left his job in New York, moved into his parent’s house and invested all his savings to launch DPW. Months later, DPW’s launch conference in September 2019 welcomed 400 industry leaders while being praised from across procurement. Under the watch of Gutzmann and co-CEO Herman Knevel, DPW’s influence and pull has only grown since.

This year’s event was located at the historic former stock exchange building, the Beurs van Berlage. Built in 1896, the building breathes character and history. Its architecture and rich past, alongside its central Amsterdam location, showcases its sense of place and being.

DPW Conference, Amsterdam 2023


DPW Amsterdam has quickly made its name as a hub of innovation and collaboration. This year, more than 1,250 procurement professionals gathered to connect, learn and innovate, while over 2,500 virtual attendees watched along at home. The buzz and hum of chatter was audible, the sense of excitement evident. And the attendees were certainly in for a treat. This year’s theme was “Make Tech Work” which focused on turning digital aspirations into a reality. There was a deep dive into discussions surrounding AI and machine learning in procurement, digital transformation strategies, sustainable procurement, supplier collaboration, risk management as well as innovation and disruption. It was all centred on ensuring the vision of digital procurement happens now and how organisations can be challenged to deliver results now instead of only concepts and theories.

Speakers across the two days included renowned experts and visionaries including the likes of Dr. Elouise Epstein, Partner at Kearney, Yossi Sheffi, Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author David Rogers, among dozens more. Sarah Barnes-Humphrey led superb virtual coverage of the event and allowed those unable to make it to still feel a part of such an important conference in the procurement calendar. There were book signings from Sheffi and Atif Rafiq, eye-catching tech innovations showcased on stage and even an appearance from F1 legend and Haas Formula One team principal Guenther Steiner.

DPW's founder Matthias Gutzmann

Digital future

To sum up, in comedian and host of DPW Amsterdam Andrew Moskos’ opening speech he reflected on procurement’s evolution and transformation. “Procurement used to be boring but now we’re all rockstars. We run the company, we’re in the c-suite, we run ESG, sustainability, risk, and 80% of the spend of a company goes through us.”

Change is here and procurement holds the cards. Let’s Make Tech Work.