SIG Speaks Blog

5 Trends to Explore at the Global Executive Summit

SIG’s Global Executive Summit is where forward-thinking procurement leaders come to experience pioneering trends grounded in today’s new realities.

SIG’s Global Executive Summit is where forward-thinking procurement leaders come to experience pioneering trends grounded in today’s new realities. It provides a dedicated space for you to network with industry thought leaders, learn from different perspectives, and keep pace with emerging developments in strategic planning and procurement technology, all of which are essential to inform the way we work.

Taking place October 13 to 15, this Summit isn’t just a three-day-long webinar, it’s a live event! Everyone who attends will come away with data-backed insights and actionable resources. Sourcing and procurement leaders are continuously being shaped by new developments in contract management, remote work, sustainability, stakeholder buy-in and third-party risk management.

The keynote addresses and breakout sessions will directly address these trending topics and more:

Contract Lifecycle Management

Many sourcing bottlenecks are the result of poor contract management practices. Digitizing and automating the process, from initiation to award and renewal, can expedite the process and enhance compliance.

In my conversations with practitioners and procurement leaders, this topic comes up frequently. You can expect sessions that focus on executing complex negotiations to the role that advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning play in managing the lifecycle of contracts.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Hit the Reset Button on Your Contingent Workforce

COVID-19 and the Great Rehiring

Before COVID-19, every industry was already seeing the impact of digitization. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and consolidation were increasing, innovative disruptors were raising more venture capital than ever before, and each internal function in large enterprises was strategizing on how to embrace and incorporate technology.

As the global pandemic hit, digital transformation hit the gas. The most defining effect of COVID-19 on digital transformation has been the growth of e-commerce penetration: e-commerce adoption grew more in the last six months than it has in the prior 12 years. Industries are fundamentally redefining themselves. New consumer behaviors and habits are forming, and the value chains of the market are permanently shifting.

While digital transformation promises a great challenge, it also promises significant opportunities. In our conversations with leading executives across the Finance, Procurement, HR and IT departments – one recurring theme has been made abundantly clear: to capture this new emerging value, an agile and robust talent strategy will be necessary.

Resetting Contingent Workforce Strategies

It’s time to hit the reset button on contingent workforce strategies! Age-old strategies were already under pressure pre-COVID-19. In a post-pandemic, hyper digitized world, organizations cannot revert to outdated techniques. New strategies and boundaryless thinking are required to reconstruct a more sophisticated, agile and robust workforce.

Romeen Sheth, President & Scott Fraleigh, Chief Product Officer

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Vendor Data Privacy Risk Assessment

Before any organization can do business with an external vendor, it needs to examine its data privacy protocol against new legal requirements. Recent legislations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. has cast a spotlight on the handling of consumer data, especially the way it is shared among third parties. Organizations of all sizes in every industry are upgrading the vetting processes to make sure that new vendors don’t bring additional risks.

These risk assessment processes contain several moving parts, and a mistake at any point along the way can jeopardize the result. The easiest way to pinpoint the holes in your organization's vendor vetting workflow is to review the entire process from beginning to end and examine the opportunities for data privacy lapses. Here are four common pitfalls to look for:

1. Overlooking Contract-level Details

Amid all the changes happening to the regulatory landscape, it’s easy to overlook errors in the language of your contracts. In a short window of time, contract language—on old and new agreements—needs to be updated to provide consumers with new legal protections and redefine business-to-business relationships with any party that touches consumer data. If contracts are being negotiated in that window, some terms might slip through the cracks and expose you to new risks.

Docusign

The Impact of the Pandemic on Strategic Relationship Management & Governance

Beyond the terrible human tragedy that COVID-19 represents, the pandemic has staggered economies, forcing businesses to re-examine every aspect of their operations.

Strategic relationship management and governance (SRMG) in the absence of a strong operational framework can be challenging in the best of times. As we are all too aware, these are not the best of times. Over the past six months, we have faced enormous challenges; the speed of change and the need for quick decision-making is unprecedented. 

As the world struggles to recover and our workplaces, global supply chains, manufacturing and logistics cautiously rebound from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grappling with what the future holds.  Our strategic relationships will require flexibility and scenario planning that incorporates significant uncertainty as we face challenging times ahead.

Partnerships between clients and service providers are being tested like never before. These partnerships require an SRMG framework that adapts quickly to change. You should identify pain points as well as processes or services that must be added or changed to accommodate shifting priorities and workplace requirements.

The pandemic raises many critical questions that must be addressed as we consider what the workplace of the future will look like, and strong SRMG will be essential.

Here are a few critical questions to consider:

Does your contract with your strategic partner have the flexibility you need in the current environment?

Every business has had to adjust during the pandemic. Is your contract holding you to an agreement that doesn’t make sense in the current environment, or requiring your partner to perform in a way that doesn’t suit your current needs? It may be time to renegotiate a new contract that has the flexibility that you and your strategic partner require.

Ingrid Finn, President and CEO, Sireas, LLC

This Month at SIG - September 2020

This month, welcome a new cohort of students into the virtual classroom, have a host of exciting industry research and webinars to keep you up to date, and we announce that registration is open for SIG’s Global Executive Summit.

This month, welcome a new cohort of students into the virtual classroom, have a host of exciting industry research and webinars to keep you up to date, and we announce that registration is open for SIG’s Global Executive Summit.


 Take control of your career.

2020 has been beset by many uncertainties, but one thing is clear: Continuous learning is a key component to a thriving career.

To emerge successfully from this crisis, it takes more than just an investment in new technologies. It will take knowledge and know-how.

Using research-driven insights and real-world experiences, SIG University faculty are well-known sourcing and procurement practitioners. The online learning model is specifically suited to the adult learner who works full time.

All four certification programs create a common language among procurement teams that break down silos, improve business outcomes and fortify compliance. Delivered entirely online, a certification can be completed in five, six, 10 or 12 weeks depending on the area of study. Join us for the next round of classes that begin on September 28.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Benefits of a Strategic RFx Process

RFx is a term used to describe multiple types of requests.

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Karina Swanson discusses the RFx process and how it allows you to analyze real-time market dynamics to ensure you are receiving the right service or product.


There are several reasons you may be considering  an RFx strategy as the correct process to pilot for your business. If so, I highly recommend taking a closer look at your portfolio and ask yourself these questions:

-        Have you seen a pricing change in the last 12 months?

-        Do you have a diverse number of suppliers?

-        Do you see small gaps in pricing from dual or multi-sourced products or services?

-        Is your portfolio consolidated?

-        Have you eliminated all risk factors from your portfolio?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then launching an RFx will bring value to your business.

Defining RFx

RFx is a term used to describe multiple types of requests. Choosing the right requests for your business is dependent on your end goal. Start by having discussions with your team and stakeholders to identify what you aim to accomplish.

If you are looking for a general understanding of services or products, you can launch a Request for Information (RFI).  Most people use this as the first step in their RFx strategy to evaluate their suppliers’ capabilities. An RFI is a useful tool to involve new suppliers on a new project, assess the market for better suppliers, create a short list of suppliers for your portfolio or the next phase of your strategy.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is sent to specific suppliers (possibly your short list) requesting a solution for specific problems and gives suppliers the opportunity to bid on your services or products.  This request also allows you to evaluate the supplier’s skills.

Karina Swanson, Sourcing Manager, Sherwin-Williams Corporation

SIG Speaks to Rajeev Karmacharya

Procurement professionals had previously learned to work with suppliers and business partners who are not necessarily in our office buildings- remote work has not been as much of a major shift in terms of how we engage.

 

Rajeev Karmacharya is Head of the Strategic Sourcing and Category Management group at Fannie Mae. Rajeev leads a team of category management, sourcing/contracting and supplier operations professionals managing $4.5+ billion in external spend. He is a member of the SIG Advisory Board and a featured presenter at SIG’s upcoming virtual SIGnature Event taking place in September 2020. Virtual SIGnature Events are free to all qualified buy-side practitioners and sell-side members.


What role does procurement play when it comes to transitioning employees to a work-from-home environment?

I would argue that procurement is a key enabler for several reasons. Many of us have been working from home now for several months. If you think about what was needed for a seamless transition to a work-from-home model, technology and digitization come to mind. Procurement has had a role to play in the acquisition of these technologies and ensuring there are appropriate controls and SLA’s to mitigate any potential performance issues.

Procurement has been an early adopter in implementing solutions such as digital signature, which has seen broader adoption across the enterprise in a work-from-home environment. Specific to the procurement function, approval workflows built into our source-to-pay solutions have enabled our business stakeholders to review and provide necessary approvals electronically.

On a more tactical level, our procurement team worked to ensure that office supplies and peripherals needed to work from home effectively could be ordered online via our procurement portal to be shipped directly to our employees’ homes. Our Category Managers negotiated deals with technology and office furniture suppliers so employees could take advantage of our volume leverage.

 

Rajeev Karmacharya, Head of the Strategic Sourcing & Category Management, Fannie Mae.

Why Engaging Talent During The Pandemic Is Critical For Future Hiring

The global pandemic has completely disrupted talent workforce strategies and priorities worldwide. How leaders lean into these challenges will have long-term implications on the business, the workforce and reputation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate global economies, businesses across every industry and every size have been making the difficult decision to furlough or lay off workers. As of early July, nearly 50 million people have filed for first-time unemployment benefits over the previous 16 weeks.

Almost one-quarter of all small businesses in the U.S. have already laid off or furloughed their workers due to the pandemic. The majority of the June job gains were not newly created roles, but roles that hired back laid off or furloughed workers.

As time moves forward and the possibility of additional layoffs and furloughs remain likely, maintaining contact with that population becomes increasingly complex and more critical to the future success of your organization.

There is a clear business case for investment -- to improve retention, boost employee morale, and because your brand reputation depends on how you handle this extraordinary situation.

Direct Sourcing with Talent Pools

The pandemic has companies rethinking their talent strategies. Many are finding direct sourcing through talent pools is one way that organizations can engage, manage, support and re-engage talent that has either worked for them before or expressed interest in doing so previously.

This not only saves time and money for companies (a must given the global economy), but it protects and benefits your most important competitive asset -- your talent.

Kevin Poll, Head of partnerships, WillHire

Join the Digital Adventure

Sourcing Industry Group’s Summit is the most advanced and forward-thinking procurement-industry event available to practitioners.

COVID-19 has been the catalyst for transformational change in the face of unprecedented challenges. But I'm excited to announce a bright spot in our future -- registration is now open for the Global Executive Summit!

The Global Executive Summit is a space for procurement leaders and teams to be informed by other companies’ experiences, share techniques, and unlock higher levels of value creation and savings. Importantly, networking and making connections is needed now more than ever.

SIG Global Executive Summit registration is open.

Who Should Attend the Global Executive Summit?

SIG Summit attendees are senior-level executives at Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, including C-suite executives, vice presidents, directors, senior analysts and managers. SIG member companies and qualified buy-side procurement practitioners can attend the digital event free. If you're not a SIG member, check out the membership page. Membership options have been expanded to include individual and free memberships.

The format of the event will take place virtually over the week of October 13 to 15 for a few hours per day, so you can fulfill your daily work obligations while engaging in the event remotely.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

SIG Speaks to Amy Fong, Vice President, Everest Group

Procurement plays a strategic role in harnessing the value of the supply base.

Amy Fong is a Vice President in Everest Group's Strategic Outsourcing and Vendor Management practice. In this role, she advises enterprises on maximizing value from strategic provider relationships in outsourced services categories. She is a featured presenter at SIG’s upcoming virtual SIGnature Events taking place throughout the fall of 2020. Virtual SIGnature Events are free to all qualified buy-side practitioners and sell-side members.


 

What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I work with our procurement members to ensure they are getting the research and support they need to maximize value in outsourced services categories. We have 200 analysts focused on the outsourcing, global services and intelligent automation space. My role is to work across those content areas to bring it all together and ensure we’re helping procurement.

For instance, developing category strategy templates with the market intelligence we provide, facilitating briefings and peer discussions, and designing surveys that answer top of mind questions. I’m available to our members to answer their questions or guide them to the right expert analyst to dive deep into their challenges.

In the time of COVID-19, this also means helping procurement teams understand how service providers are reacting and what they can expect. Also, helping them identify cost takeout and risk reduction opportunities for the “next normal.”

Amy Fong, Vice President, Everest Group

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