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Manutan, panellists at the Universités des Achats event 2020

14 January 2021

Last December, the National Purchasing Council organised the 5th edition of the Universités des Achats on the theme of: “The raison d’être of purchasing.” This annual flagship event for the French purchasing community brought together nearly a thousand participants and a hundred speakers in a completely virtual format last year. Manutan led two workshops on class C purchasing and the use of Artificial Intelligence, alongside experts on both subjects.

How can we control class C purchases?

This first workshop involved the following speakers:

  • Jean-Luc Baras, Chief Procurement Officer of Eiffage and Chairman of the National Purchasing Council.
  • Pierre-Olivier Brial, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Manutan Group.
  • Antoine Compin, Deputy Managing Director of Manutan France.

Together, they discussed the competitiveness issues of class C purchases and presented Savin'side®, a proven methodology to control these purchases.

How to make use of Artificial Intelligence

New technologies were at the heart of the debates in this second workshop led by:

  • Pascal Goumand, Head of Purchasing, Savings, Insurance and Property at Crédit Agricole.
  • Thomas Solignac, CEO and Co-Founder of, a French start-up specialising in artificial intelligence applied to language sciences
  • Julie Dang Tran, Managing Director Manutan France and Southern Europe, in charge of E-commerce and Marketing for the Group.
  • Xavier Laurent, Director of Mergers and Acquisitions for the Manutan Group.

The four panellists presented examples of purchasing solutions developed using Artificial Intelligence (including assistance in responding to calls for tender, product categorisation and contract management) and tried to define the key to successful collaboration with start-ups.

The final word goes to Antoine Compin, Deputy Managing Director of Manutan France: "This event enabled us to better understand the expectations and needs related to purchasing, to engage in the transformation of the business and to share our expertise". With its focus on peer-to-peer interaction and sharing of best practice, the event was a great success.