“It’s not just about cost savings--which was the traditional mindset of the Procurement function. It's about continually improving and re-evaluating how we’re buying to make sure we’re getting the best business outcomes.” - Neil Aronson, Head of Global Strategic Sourcing for Uber
Across all industries, margin and growth pressures are heating up. By 2021, 55 percent of technology procurement staff will require additional digital and analytical skills to enable their desired business outcomes (Gartner 2017). To succeed in this environment, CPOs must focus on closely aligning their team’s strategy and objectives with broader company goals. That requires changing the way their procurement and sourcing teams operate.
Changes of this nature call for a clear blueprint for transformation. And it starts with taking a closer look into current Procurement processes--and determining how success is being measured. A key insight: when organizations evolve alongside new technologies and market trends, so must the metrics needed to track performance.
Evolving Beyond Cost Savings to Accelerate Change
Historically, Procurement and Sourcing teams have been accountable for cost savings as the ultimate measure of success.
But as teams look to transform, they need to reshape their success metrics to chart a path forward. While anecdotal and periodic measurements are helpful, they are forgotten without a consistent stream of key performance indicators (KPIs) to indicate the overall direction of progress.
In fact, without clear, effective KPIs to back up these plans, securing executive support for transformation becomes unlikely. When executives understand how metrics and ongoing improvements directly align with the business, they’ll confidently support an initiative that delivers real value to the company.
Stan Garber, President and Co-Founder at Scout RFP
Keynote speakers, thought leaders and industry publications show no signs of slowing when it comes to evangelizing the benefits of the supply chain’s digital transformation. With its promises to save you time and money, the market has exploded with offerings of cloud-based solutions, IoT devices and a legion of outsourced practitioners who can make all of your spend visibility and risk management dreams come true. But for all the benefits touted, what is often left out of the conversation is the topic of security, especially as it relates to third-party vendors.
The Path of Least Resistance
As hackers become cleverer in their approaches, they’ve moved from directly attacking large organizations to exploiting vulnerabilities and penetrating third-party cloud software, apps and IoT devices to implant malware directly into the software or steal login credentials. “The challenge with supply chains is that they are multifaceted and there are many places where a hacker can enter,” says Brandon Curry, Senior Vice President with NTT Communications. Curry, who is also a Certified Ethical Hacker, frequently reports on trends in cloud and supply chain software security. He notes that the top cost of a supply chain breach is legal and reputational costs, with software supply chain attacks costing an average $1.1 million per attack globally.
Compromised software is one of the primary causes of supply chain software breaches, and the damage isn’t limited to grabbing customer credit card numbers or personally identifiable information (PII). Hackers are also looking to steal intellectual property, mine your customer base, counterfeit your product and take over your market share.
Think environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors only matter to specialist investors? While ESG standards may have been the exclusive purview of sustainability investors a few decades ago, that is no longer the case. “Only two decades ago, concerns about climate change, water scarcity, exposure to corruption, working conditions in the supply chain and gender equality were barely on the agenda of company executives. They were considered externalities or were dealt with through philanthropic approaches with little or no impact on the bottom line,” noted Harvard Professor of Management Practices Dr. Robert Eccles, and former United Nations Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. But times have changed.
Just two years ago, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) began promoting “responsible business conduct for institutional investors” in its Policy Framework for Investment. In it, the OECD encourages investors to engage with corporate leadership on ESG risk and contends that ESG issues represent part of a company’s fiduciary duty when evaluating long-term value. It’s an approach that more institutional investors are taking to heart. In an article on EthicalBoardroom.com, Michelle Edkins, a Managing Director and Global Head of Investment Stewardship at BlackRock writes, “An emphasis on investing for the long-term, changing client and societal expectations, and better data, reporting and research have all influenced a steady mainstreaming of ESG considerations by investors.”
And just like that, it’s nearly the new year! With a few weeks left in 2018, you still have time to achieve the professional goals you set earlier in the year. Squeeze in some last-minute training by registering for a webinar, join us as a presenter at a regional SIGnature Event or Global Executive Summit, or consider becoming a contributor to Future of Sourcing Digital.
This webinar will focus on best practices for creating and executing a business case for a Procure-to-Pay (P2P) transformation.
Utilizing a case study that highlights the “flight plan” of Curtiss-Wright, a manufacturer that traces its origins back to the Wright Brothers, webinar attendees will learn how the company transformed its P2P process to arrive at a more strategic destination after discovering imbalanced resource allocation that led to procurement resources spending 80 percent of their time on just 5 percent of the total spend.
Looking to control and optimize your services spend more effectively? Join this webinar with Coupa for a deep dive into a comprehensive solution that includes advanced services and contingent workers.
You’ll learn how the right technology can streamline your services procurement process and see firsthand how the right solution can enable you to drive more adoption, accelerate your time to value and reduce costs.
Register for your virtual seat now. Can't join at the date and time listed? You can still register to get the on-demand recording!
Shopping, buyers, shopping carts, savings, back office, JUST STOP DUMBING US DOWN!
As many of you know, my passion is to help elevate the sourcing industry to receive the attention, seat, respect (and yes, pay) that it deserves. So why do sourcing professionals keep self-sabotaging by using the term BUYER to describe ourselves? The only time this is a sexy title is perhaps if you are the buyer of fashion who attends runway shows and hobnobs with designers. Buying is what I do when I “shop,” like for groceries. We as sourcing professionals are NOT shopping.
So onto my next pet peeve, why do we have cute little icons that look like grocery carts to check out within our tools? Yes, it makes it seem like an easy process when pushing it out to our internal customers, but it connotes “shopping,” which, as we have just discussed, we are not doing. We are selecting items from a carefully sourced category after a lot of thoughtful processes have taken place. Why can’t we use an icon that better showcases the importance of this role?
The SIG Peer2Peer (P2P) program allows members to access benchmarking insights and best practices on topics specific to their needs. Using the Peer2Peer resource, members can leverage the experience of other industry professionals by posing questions to the greater SIG community on issues they are facing within their organization. Members use the forum to locate resources, source providers, seek advice on hot topics and share their lessons learned.
Below are the latest Peer2Peer inquiries. You or someone on your team may know the answer to one of the questions below. If you do, please take a moment to help a SIG member from the buy-side. You may need their help one day, too! To submit your own Peer2Peer inquiry, get in touch and we’ll pose your question to the SIG Community.
This buy-side member is re-writing their procurement policy and revamping their process for the requested addition/approval of a new supplier. They are seeking best practices for procurement policies, specifically covering the following topics:
What spend does/does not require a PO?
What are the consequences for procurement policy violations? For example: Committing company funds without a PO or contract.
How are violations to the procurement policy enforced?
What is the process for requesting a new supplier add? Who reviews/approves/denies this request?
“Fake it ‘til you make it.” This unattributed idiom (with a nod to Aristotle) is oft-used advice to people early in their careers. But how wise is it to follow? How many people have résumés that truly portray their strengths vs. a laundry list of what they want you to believe about their abilities? How confident would any shareholder be if they believed the CEO got to the top by faking their skills rather than building them? But more importantly, is it a person’s skills that give you confidence in their leadership abilities?
If you think about the last person who truly inspired you, was it their title…or the last three companies where they worked that piqued your interest? Was it their ability to run a shareholders’ meeting, analyze volumes of data and manage their exceedingly crowded schedule that excited you? Doubt it. When you think of someone who is truly motivational, you are usually moved by the things that don’t make it on to the résumé: their heart, integrity, authenticity and ability to enroll others in their beliefs and passions. It’s not because of their title.
It’s About Mindset
Too often, CEOs have the mindset that what has gotten them here will get them there. If they have successfully led profitable companies, why would they have any reason to believe they need to evolve? When things aren’t working, it doesn’t take much convincing that something has to change. But when they are…CEOs often don’t understand the need. They have the pedigree and the track record – and past accomplishments are a good indicator of future success – so why fix what isn’t broken?
When she’s not challenging the status quo and meeting her budget targets at the bank, Debbie helps to make her community a better place as the leader of the Huntington Women's Network Business Resource Group and as a volunteer with various Columbus charity organizations. A big believer in the power of personal connections, Debbie talks about her role at the bank, the importance of utilizing technology and her tips for building professional relationships that can pay off down the line. Debbie is well-known in the SIG community as a member of the SIG Thought Leadership Council, the SIG University Advisory Board and she leads the Steering Committee of the Risk Management Association’s Third Party Management Round Table.
Your keynote presentation at the Columbus CPO Meet and Eat was about tail spend management--why is this such a hot topic?
Huntington’s sourcing team, like many other companies, is lean. Identifying ways to direct low-dollar, high-transaction volume spend to a consistent, repeatable process through catalogs, spot-buys amongst preferred providers or non-catalog PO’s helps focus the team on more strategic projects while maintaining cost discipline in the tail.
SIG’s Career Network helps job seekers, recruiters and companies find and recruit high-quality talent within sourcing and procurement. SIG member companies can post job listings on our Career Network or post available internships within their organizations. If you’re looking for your next career opportunity, check out our Job Listings page, which is populated with listings from some of the world’s leading companies.
Here are the latest job postings in the Career Network. To see all available opportunities, visit our website.
The Strategic Sourcing Analyst will support strategic sourcing and contract administration processes for all categories, in addition to supporting team reporting, category spend analysis and technology support. This is an individual contributor role regularly interacting with AXIS’s Chief Procurement Officer, as well as other senior strategic sourcing staff. The role has broad exposure to all aspects of the AXIS’s operations with the intent is to allow a successful individual to rapidly advance into a mid-level role responsible for day-to-day sourcing activity.
Bruce is a distinguished thought leader and global innovator, with over three decades’ experience within the human capital and workforce management industry. In his current role, Bruce is involved in new services and product idea generation, sales presentations, internal and external evangelism, digital and social media strategies, and lead generation. He gives us an inside look into his role, how he acts as a key partner to the business and his outlook on the future of work.
Your CPO keynote presentation at the Denver CPO Meet and Eat is about leveraging spend management within services categories--why is this an important topic?
There is a lot of talk about spend analytics, data and how that is the future of success. Our position is that spend analytics is a wonderful tool and capability but we’ve yet to see the capability evolve beyond goods-level detail. As procurement teams are continuing to try to find ways to better address services spend and deliver value to their organizations, we feel that there is tremendous opportunity by thinking differently about this space.