SIG Speaks Blog

This Month at SIG – July 2020

Join SIG for a July event or training.

It’s been a long year and we’re only halfway through it. Many of us have scrapped our plans, both personally and professionally, retooled our strategies and reprioritized our resources. It’s frustrating to make drastic changes with no clear forecast on the horizon, but growth comes from being uncomfortable and taking risks. Instead of dwelling on what could have been, let's take a look at what’s to come.


Summit Presentation Anthology

Following each Summit, we release our Summit Presentation Anthology that offers a snapshot of each presentation along with the presenter’s contact information. The inaugural Spring Procurement Technology Summit was supposed to be an in-person event in April, but the global pandemic upended our plans and we had to pivot our strategy to go digital.

While we missed catching up with old friends and making new connections at the Summit, we welcomed over 1,100 delegates from all over the world to our digital platform. The best part? Every single session is recorded! Not only can you get the presentation decks, but you can watch any sessions you missed or revisit sessions to dive deeper in the subject matter. The Anthology is only available to SIG members. If you’re not a member and want to join, reach out to us.

COVID-19 Resources for Procurement, Sourcing and Workforce Management

When we switched our spring Summit from in-person to virtual due to the global pandemic, many Summit presenters also changed their topic given the current events. What we are experiencing now is historical on many fronts, not the least of which is the role of procurement in a global emergency.

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

COVID-19 Resources for Sourcing, Procurement and Workforce Management

Covid-19 resources

SIG is always asking our event attendees, current and future members, and readers about their current issues and concerns. I have been tracking and analyzing their responses for almost 10 years now. While cost savings and value-add remain consistent and strong priorities, there's no doubt many are very concerned about meeting pandemic-related needs.

We are blessed to have a community of thought leaders and generous, experienced professionals who are willing to share their experiences and describe their wins.

We offer the following resources in your quest for COVID-19 related items specific to sourcing, procurement, and workforce management. You can continue to search for related articles here.

In the resources listed here, you can learn how to set up crow's nest and a war chest, hear how Sprint/T-Mobile are managing the crisis using AI for their spend analytics, specific procurement best practices for today's market, how technology enhances continuity in your workforce and what happens if and when this is "all over." Plus, so much more.

Checklist: 6 Steps for Navigating Through the COVID-19 Storm

Covid-19 has transformed from a short-term hiccup to a perfect storm at an unprecedented pace. It is normal to feel disoriented and to feel like you're running in eight directions at once.

>>Read More

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

An Unforgettable Digital Adventure

SIG Procurement Technology Summit Wrap-up

The inaugural SIG Procurement Technology Summit was unlike any other industry event. As COVID-19 swept across the globe, my team and I had to pull off something we’ve never done before: turn our in-person Summit into a completely virtual event.

While the circumstances were less than ideal, it was a humbling experience and a good reminder that to stay relevant, you must be flexible and agile when disruption strikes. Admittedly, a global pandemic was not in our risk scenario playbook, but you can bet that it will be going forward.

New Concerns for Procurement

In order to provide SIG members with the most up-to-date and relevant content, we ask for your feedback to find out what’s top of mind for you, your colleagues and your organization. For the first time in six years, the economy is a top business issue. This is markedly different than what you told us was a top concern just six months ago. Now, most people are concerned with how the crisis will impact:

  • Income and business opportunities
  • Negotiations in a virtual world
  • Business resiliency and continuity
  • Resiliency of their organization and the talent they support
  • Addressing risk – in the supply chain, in supplier negotiations, in online business operations and transactions

Many of our Summit presentations pivoted to reflect these new realities, and our upcoming events will feature practitioners and thought leaders sharing how their organizations responded to the disruption with flexible, proactive measures. The common thread in all of this is advanced technology and strong leadership.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Sustainability in Sourcing Part II: Sourcing's Role

An image of a glass globe in the forest.

In previous blogs, SIG has covered the basic concept of sustainability, including an overview of its various dimensions. In this post, I will touch on the role that sourcing professionals can have in meeting corporate sustainability goals.

Why should sourcing have a role?

Sourcing is uniquely positioned to contribute to meeting a corporation's sustainability goals because sourcing typically has expertise in:

  • Creating alignment to corporate goals
  • Building frameworks to measure success
  • Researching market conditions and supplier capabilities
  • Conducting strategic negotiations 
  • Designing innovative methods for value creation
  • Ranking the priorities of stakeholders with supplier offerings   
  • Identifying risk and mitigating responsibly

The reduction in costs after implementing a sustainability program can exceed the costs of implementation – in other words, you’re spending money up front but in the long run, you save more than you spend. For example, if an organization were to target the spend category of corporate services and facilities management (FM), capital may be invested in working with a supplier to install a new system that reduces energy consumption at the company's North American headquarters, but in the long run, the reduction in energy costs saves the company money – which of course, can then be reinvested.

In this example, procurement and sourcing are uniquely positioned to make this happen. Most likely Sourcing negotiated the original FM contract, understands the innovative capabilities of suppliers, has heard many recent pitches on new products, and is adept at performing the analysis that proves an investment can have a significant return in hard costs, and even soft costs.

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

Balancing Third-Party Risk with Specialized Categories

third-party risk

SIG University Certified Third-Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program graduate Michele Wesseling discusses balance between satisfying your firm's need to generate revenue and mitigate third-party risk.


Third-party risk management in the financial industry requires careful consideration when developing an operating model. It is essential to consider the regions and regulations that govern. In most of the banking industry, your internal risk culture allows you to easily implement a third-party risk program that methodically measures inherent risk, provides time to assess third party controls and negotiates contracts that enforce controls and mitigates residual risk.

Internal vs. Third-Party

The internal risk culture changes once you enter the world of capital markets where decisions are made quickly, risk is a way of life and patience is a rare quality. Now add the risk of a trade execution platform failing during a stock market dive and counterparties not having the ability to trade for several hours. The outage would be noticed and gain publicity, potentially causing Regulators to investigate. Should this occur and the necessary due diligence steps that would have highlighted this vulnerability were skipped, the repercussions could be costly. Your firm's reputation would be at stake and you most likely will face regulatory scrutiny that could result in fines. Striking a balance between satisfying your firm's need to generate revenue and mitigate third-party risk is an interesting challenge. If your operating model is too slow and cumbersome, your business will most likely attempt to circumvent the process. Careful consideration needs to be taken when aligning your control assessments to the true inherent risk.

Michele Wesseling, Associate Vice President

Procurement KPIs: The Keys that Unlock the Value of Spend and Supply Management

Procurement KPIs and Spend Management

In the first two parts of this KPI series, we highlighted some of the foundational measurements for procurement pros and the problems of traditional procurement key performance indicators in terms of how they can be incomplete, misleading and even damaging to a value chain transformation.

So how do you get from tactical procurement metrics to more powerful spend/supply measures that help build new capabilities and favorably impact critical business outcomes?

We have mentioned some of the more expansive sets of metrics that organizations use to measure several areas:

●      Spend/cost management and savings

●      Supplier/supply performance

●      S2P process metrics for process performance

●      Underlying capabilities in talent management, digital, etc.

●      Stakeholder-specific metrics related to the above

In this third installment, we’ll dive a little deeper into some example metrics, but the first order of business is to provide a framework giving the backdrop on the KPIs and use it to hone in on metric types before listing individual KPIs.

The enterprise value framework below shows where spend/investment is made to business units (and supporting functions like procurement, finance, IT, HR, etc.) that delivers business performance/returns — and enterprise value (e.g., as measured by EVA, ROIC or equivalent). Organizations that use such enterprise value metrics also tend to have more robust strategic planning and FP&A (financial planning and analysis) processes that in turn help procurement organizations align to.

Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer, Spend Matters

Sustainable Sourcing 101

An image of a sustainable forest with the sun coming through the trees.

The concept of sustainable sourcing, also known as green purchasing or social sourcing, is nothing new. Sustainable sourcing is impacting nearly every area of corporate business and the consumer’s mindset. Everything from sourcing materials, talent attraction and consumer purchasing habits are changing because of the growth of sustainable sourcing. However, the term gets thrown around in the procurement industry quite a lot and is often misunderstood or misused. So, here’s a guide with all the basics you need to know about sustainable sourcing.  

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE SOURCING

First and foremost, we have to define the term. Sustainable sourcing is the integration of social, ethical and environmental performance factors into the process of selecting suppliers. It includes purchasing sustainably preferable products and services (products made from recycled or remanufactured materials), as well as green purchasing guidelines that might pertain to certain products or commodities.  

Heather Schleicher, Senior Marketing Director

Lessons in Vendor and Category Management

vendor relations and category management

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Diane Bradley discusses how CSP modules on vendor relations and category management improved her vendor management and negotiation skills.


I would like to start my essay by saying "thank you." BNY Mellon has invested in its employees and is providing us with this training. I feel that is something that should be recognized, and I do appreciate the opportunity to expand my knowledge, which will ultimately increase my value with the bank. With that said, the SIG University training has provided me with a lot of valuable information and has also given me guidance, which I have started applying in my day-to-day activities

I feel the units focusing on vendor relations have been extremely helpful. As I continue to negotiate more and more contracts, I have reminded myself to go into the call with my goals established and I have them written down in bullet points, so they are easy to refer to while on calls. I have also made sure to have internal calls with the stakeholders prior to reaching out to the vendor. So when the call is conducted, I am confident that we are on the same page and present a consistent and concise dialogue. I feel this preparation has given me confidence, and I strongly feel that it is represented in the call. I am also very focused on the partnership that we are building with our vendors.  I realize I am an essential aspect of the partnership.  My dealings with the vendor will make a significant impact on the success or failure of the relationship. 

Diane Bradley, Global Procurement, BNY Mellon

This Month at SIG – June 2020

June updates from SIG.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through 2020! Given everything that's happened this year, it's likely that the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year have changed - and that's okay. No matter what you seek to accomplish, whether it's pushing ahead or navigating a new normal, SIG is here to help you start Q3 with a bang.


Calling all CPOs!

Senior procurement executives are invited to join this monthly virtual meeting to find solutions to challenges that procurement leaders are facing today. These single-topic discussions are delivered in an open-mic, collaborative format for a personal and targeted discussion.

With a maximum of 15 attendees, this two-hour session will cover topics relevant to CPO and executive-level procurement practitioners across industries. You are invited to join the discussion and share your experiences, ask questions and share your expertise with the group.

Space is Limited, Reserve Your Spot>>

Recession-Proof your Career

A SIG University certification on your resume will make you stand out and demonstrate your expertise. Earn your certification at a discounted rate when you enroll and pay prior to June 6! SIG University’s curriculum is unique and delivered entirely online. Students learn from real-world sourcing and risk events that are taught by senior industry practitioners. Graduates are equipped with the resources and knowledge to add value immediately. 

Get Free Information>>

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

Finding Cost Savings in a Distressed Economy

negotiating cost savings in a covid-19 economy

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Angelica Gardner discusses how CSP modules on internal spend analysis and contract negotiation planning improved her approach to identifying cost efficiencies as a procurement buyer.


As everyone is aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected a large portion of the economy’s growth ability, especially in the automotive industry, with declining sales of more than 40%. Companies are having to develop strategic ways to cut costs and provide cost-saving solutions. As a buyer in the manufacturing plant, my responsibility is to identify these cost efficiencies.

To accomplish this task, SIG University's CSP program helped me recognize two areas to improve: internal spend analysis and contract negotiation planning. These areas are complementary skills that have helped me improve my approach these types of situations in the future as a procurement buyer.

INTERNAL SPEND ANALYSIS

As a new procurement agent, having followed industry market trends, company earnings and announcing changes within the organization has given me a leg up in my negotiation strategies. Assessing the environment is vital to understanding business requirements, the company’s vision and our department’s functional goals during this critical time.

In one particular situation, management did not agree with a supplier’s new budget proposal and wanted to reduce cost by an overall savings of $86,000. The lesson teaches us to gather as much data required and perform a spend analysis to determine leverage. After completing a spend analysis from the previous year, we discovered the total spend was consistent with what was done in the past.

Angelica Gardner, Procurement Buyer, Honda Manufacturing

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