Today is my birthday. As commonly happens on birthdays, we tend to reminisce over the past year(s). And because so much of our life is spent working, this is where my reminiscing takes me because I get to work with my best friend for a company I love, not only because I get to work from home, but because it’s existence is what I dreamt of many years ago when I was younger and (more) clueless. Yes, I know… it sounds corny, but it’s true. After all, it was a little less than 15 years ago that I landed in the sourcing world working for a small supply chain management and procurement solutions provider, Enporion. I had no clue what acronyms like SCM, VMS, P2P, RFP, or SOW were, nor this strange idea of “Reverse Auctions.”
I have such fond memories working at Enporion, but anytime I tried explaining my job to family or friends I got that “deer in the headlights” stare and I felt like I was a part of some small secret society. Back then, Mary Zampino (fellow SIG-let) and I had virtually no resources available to us on how this whole “procurement” thing worked. We tried to come up with best practices, templates, and other tools to make our sourcing clients jobs easier and offer them the most process improvement and cost savings possible. We dreamed of creating a knowledge library of resources that we so desperately needed ourselves so that others wouldn’t have to work so tirelessly to do their jobs.
As the world, the internet, and the sourcing industry have grown and changed, its amazing to see the importance of this secret society become more visible and accepted. Oh, and I get less blank stares when discussing “what it is I do.” At my first SIG Global Executive Summit nearly two years ago, I remember feeling like I was at a support group for procurement professionals and I loved meeting other first time attendees with that eye-opening look of excitement to be around people who just get one another and are curious to learn.
Now, we have at our finger tips an endless number of whitepapers, tools, templates, presentations and guides to pick from. And that library we dreamt about 15 years ago? Who would’ve thought that I’d be working for a company who has a dedicated digital library of 5000 of sourcing specific content for our members in the SRC, with that number growing daily. No longer do we have to scour the internet, brick and mortar libraries, and guess on how to conduct our sourcing activities. And because others in our secret society have had similar experiences, SIG has a plethora of brilliant minds willing to impart their experiences and wisdom on us. For instance, in addition to the information shared at SIG Summits, webinars and other events, we have SIG University available now providing certifications to sourcing and supplier management professionals to guide those new to the sourcing world as well as hone the skills of those more seasoned. And soon we are going to be having Lawrence Kane from Boeing host a three-hour intensive sourcing lab workshop at our next SIG Summit on “How to Write an SOW, Win Over your Stakeholders, Increase Your Value and Avoid Litigation.”
While staring at the wall wondering where to start or making sure I covered everything in risky RFPs and SOWs, these are the opportunities I wished I had earlier in my career. I would’ve loved to have those three hours 15 years ago, but with our sourcing world changing daily I can’t wait to take advantage of them now.
It’s so exciting to think of how this space will change in the next 15 years. Will I be thinking the same thing of newer terms like RPA, IoT, AR, or will there be a new set of acronyms to learn? Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me, but now I must move on to the second thing I think of when it’s my birthday…where’s my cake?
Liz Mantovani is the Senior Manager of Innovation at SIG and has over 15 years of experience in sourcing, product management and information technology. Prior to joining SIG, Liz worked at GEP, where she was responsible for customer account management and project implementation. Before GEP, she worked for other sourcing or consulting firms including Accenture, Enporion, Xcira, and Mediagrif. Liz has held a wide array of roles (developer, tester, systems engineer, release manager, etc.) in addition to coordinating hundreds of sourcing events. Liz holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing with minors in International Business, Economics and Modern Western European Studies from the University of South Florida and has completed a certification in Requirements Gathering.