One summit, three cities, two countries: IFPSM World summit 2018 volunteers

by Saara Taha and Erkki Paunonen

“Purchasing 2020: The New Role of Procurement” was the theme of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) World summit held 26th – 29th September 2018 in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland and Tallinn Estonia. The IFPSM is associated with 48 National and regional Purchasing Associations and 250,000 procurement professionals worldwide. The IFPSM world summit is held annually in a member country. This year Finland was chosen as host and the summit was organised by the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics (LOGY).

Volunteers in Tampere

In our trip to Tampere on Wednesday 26th September 2018 we attended the Subcontracting Trade Fair in Tampereen Messut. The subcontracting Trade Fair (“Alihankinta”in Finnish) is one of the largest industrial trade fair events in the Nordic countries, which brings together companies, industrial experts and executives. This event has been successfully organized by Tampereen Messut since 1988. More than 20,000 exhibitors, visitors, international guests participate each year. In 2018 Subcontracting Fair “Alihankinta” celebrates its 30th anniversary. Three of us from Metropolia took part in one day at Tampere as volunteers. We supported international guests exploring Finnish businesses in a walking tour over nearly two hours. In addition, we also heard two brilliant speeches from world-class professionals about the future of supply chain management in the age of innovation.


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World Summit Day Helsinki

The World Summit Day was then held in Finlandia Hall in Helsinki with many guest speakers from companies and professors. Our role was to give them a certificate after their speech and hand around the microphone if anyone in the audience had a question. This gave us the chance to listen to and learn from their speeches. One of my main work tasks was to show the speakers how much time they had left, and the speakers loved it since they knew how long they could speak for.   You can find the list of speakers here (IFPSM program).

Thursday 27th  had two themes: Technology Advantage and Sustainability. On Friday 28th the themes were Human Factor and Public Procurement.


Saara Taha

IFPSM and LOGY World Summit Helsinki–Tallinn networking cruise

After 2-days of great lectures from company heads and consultants on the cutting edge of SCM and purchasing, we headed for a relaxing and sociable networking cruise. If you’ve been to Tallinn before, you know the time off the boat must be managed tightly! However, an hour behind schedule, we managed to get the condensed walking tour of the old town and see several historic sights on our bus. The visitors from the Philippines were particularly excited to see as much as they could of Tallinn, and we had a great tour guide with a lot of love for her town.

On the boat, guests from the conference (about 75) enjoyed trips to the buffet, and our reserved meeting space at the front of the boat, where the business people mingled and discussed their new found SCM wisdom. This was my third LOGY volunteer-event, and second networking cruise post-conference. As volunteers, we were well accommodated in A-class cabins, and it’s always a pleasure to represent Metropolia at such a global event as the IFPSM World Summit. Myself, and Metropolia graduate Trang Le, had plenty of time to chat about our career goals and Metropolia experience, while also enjoying the comforts of the cruise. As far as networking went, we had meals with the conference guests, and spoke to one Production Manager from a logistics firm who had a lot of industry know-how to share.

Overall, if you ever decide to volunteer at the next LOGY conference, don’t be afraid to join the networking cruise tour! You never know who you may meet.

Erkki Paunonen