SIG Speaks Blog

4 Things to Know Before you Launch a Category Management Program

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A category management program can put your organization on a path to achieve better outcomes, experience greater savings and result in an increased focus on collaboration and innovation. But launching a category management program is not just as simple as flipping a switch.

In our blog post, The Guide to Understanding Category Management, we provided you with a template to develop a business case for category management in a specific spend category and noted that category management is not to be confused with strategic sourcing, although it evolved from the overall strategic sourcing approach.

Before we jump head first into creating our category management program, there are some important considerations to take into account. The Hackett Group (Hackett) and GEP recommend addressing the following four critical needs for an effective program, which are summarized below.

>>Click here for everything you need to know about achieving greater value with a global category strategy.

#1: Create an organizational design to best meet the needs of procurement and the business.

Getting visibility into spend analytics is one of the first steps to implementing a successful and sustainable category management program. Then, with your spend data in place, you can begin to develop your category management plan.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

Supply Chain Mobility: Sourcing Tomorrow’s Business

There’s a lot of talk regarding all the ways technology is going to revolutionize procurement. Blockchain can increase supply chain visibility, the Internet of Things (IoT) can change the way our business devices communicate with each other, etc…But what type of innovations are available at the sourcing level?

From paper RFPs to conferences, it seems the way we source business has largely remained the same. Procurement teams are limited to siloed, outdated supplier databases and incomplete business information when attempting to make business decisions. It’s expensive and time-consuming to get a holistic picture of a supplier’s business health and mitigate third-party risk. How can we adapt today’s technology for tomorrow’s sourcing needs? Here are a few innovative ways that your organization can source business:

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, ConnXus

This Month at SIG - October 2018

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"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

It’s the beginning of a new quarter and a new season. As we set our sights on end-of-year goals and put our heads down to meet year-end commitments, don’t forget about the personal and professional growth goals you set at the beginning of this year. Whether it’s attending a conference, taking an hour out of your day to learn a new skill from a webinar or getting a much-needed dose of inspiration from a podcast, SIG has you covered.

Last Call to Register for the Global Executive Summit

SIG’s Fall Global Executive Summit is just around the corner. Sourcing and procurement professionals will convene in Rancho Mirage, California from October 15 to 18 for learning, growing and networking. If you’ve already registered for the Summit, download the SIG Events app to your mobile device or tablet to plan your schedule in advance. 

For seasoned and new attendees alike, there’s lots to see and do at the Summit. Whether it’s validation that you’re managing your own projects in the right way or crowdsourcing a new idea, here’s what you can expect from this year’s Fall Global Executive Summit:

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

Four Tips to Prepare for the Fall Global Executive Summit

SIG’s Fall 2018 Global Executive Summit in Rancho Mirage, California, is less than three weeks away! That means it’s time to kick things into high gear and prepare yourself and your team for the most innovative and thought-provoking sourcing event of the year.

With more than 350 delegates in attendance, numerous educational sessions and workshops, plus how-to labs, speed networking, a CPO Roundtable Program and a charity golf scramble, there is a lot to prepare for! Navigating such a vast event may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t fret. I’ve outlined four tips that will have you walking into the Summit like a seasoned vet.

1. Plan Your SIG Summit Agenda with the new SIG Events App

One thing you’ll want to do before you depart for Rancho Mirage is to create your Summit agenda. This fall, with 100+ speakers, 50+ educational sessions, panel discussions, networking receptions, keynote presentations, how-to labs and fun entertainment, there is a lot to do in just four days! Even if you’re a longtime Summit attendee, planning your agenda goes a long way. To make this easy on delegates, we have a new app with a built-in schedule planner tool.

There are multiple ways to download the SIG events app to your smart device:

Heather Young, Senior Marketing Manager, SIG

The Shifting Cyber Threat Landscape

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With the rapid acceleration of cloud software, Internet of Things (IoT) and advancements in FinTech, the financial and technology industries saw significant increases in cyberattacks over the past year. Attackers find vulnerabilities in supply chains and software, capitalize on lax security updates and use social engineering to manipulate end-users.

As hackers become more creative in their subversive techniques, businesses need to become more proactive in educating their workforce and stepping up their cyber incident response plans. Businesses should consult with their vendors, third-party suppliers and stakeholders in every business unit to ensure continuity, mitigate risk and verify that security measures are being employed and regularly updated.    

Below are summarized findings from the recent NTT Security Global Threat Intelligence Report that focus specifically on the finance and technology sectors in the Americas, which account for the most highly targeted attack sectors in this region. Recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework are included here as well. Organizations can also look to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Incident Response Plan for guidance on dealing with and addressing cyber incidents. 

Finance and Technology Top the List of Targets

Attacks to the finance sector nearly tripled, accounting for 43 percent of attacks compared with 15 percent the previous year. Attacks targeted at the technology industry sector increased to 27 percent of attacks, up from 11 percent in the previous year. For comparison, manufacturing was the most attacked sector in 2016, with 23 percent of attacks, but has since fallen to five percent of attacks in 2017.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

Remake Procurement with Talent Tips from the Summer Movie Season

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Despite the disruptive winds of change brought by MoviePass, unexpected flops, and shifting release dates, the action in cinemas looked pretty familiar this summer.

Critics and audiences alike complain about Hollywood’s predictability, but studio heads and directors continue to rely on the same old tricks. Compare this to an inert talent manager in Procurement. Every day, these ‘directors’ are confronted with signs that their shopworn strategies need shaking up. The supply chain talent they manage to bring in-house is restless before the previews have ended. Soon, they’re making a break for the exits.  

A simple reboot won’t cut it. Even in the era of digital transformation, people are still Procurement’s most valuable resource. To build the right team and reach Procurement’s potential, the function needs to fully remake its approach to casting and directing talent.

Ironically enough, this summer’s slate of retreads offers some valuable lessons in talent management. Grab a seat and check out what Hollywood’s biggest franchises can teach Procurement.

Look for Talent in Unexpected Places

One of this summer’s biggest disappointments, Ron Howard’s Solo is a case study in the law of diminishing returns. Even the promise of beloved Star Wars characters, it seems, can’t guarantee a hit. That doesn’t mean the film has nothing to offer talent managers.

Bennett Glace, Editorial Lead, Strategic Sourcerer

This Month at SIG - September 2018

This month, SIG shares the keynotes for #SIGFall18, interviews with leading industry experts and a special opportunity to win an Amazon gift card.

Don’t Miss the Big Event

The SIG Fall Global Executive Summit is just around the corner! We have an exciting lineup of keynotes, breakout sessions, a new Future of Sourcing Awards ceremony and lots of networking opportunities to make the connections that will pay future dividends.

The Global Executive Summit keynote speakers come from a wide range of industries to bring you well-rounded, insightful and unique perspectives on the issues and trends shaping the industry today. We are pleased to introduce our keynote speakers who will drive the conversations at #SIGFall18!

Fireside Chat with Coupa CEO Rob Bernshtyn and SIG CEO and President Dawn Tiura

In this session, SIG CEO and President Dawn Tiura will put Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn on the hot seat for a grilling on the state of the sourcing industry. Rob has extensive experience running cross-functional teams and scaling companies from the early start-up phase into successful public companies. Got spend management questions? Now’s the time to ask them. 

How Relevant Will Procurement Be in 2020?

Do you ever wonder what your job will be like in 2020? Turns out you’re not the only one. Get the inside scoop from a panel of procurement executives on how to stay relevant when new technologies emerge on the scene.

Panelists include:

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

Interview with Jon Kesman, Head of Services Procurement, Allegis Global Solutions

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Jon Kesman is the Head of Services Procurement with Allegis Global Solutions (AGS). With more than 20 years of procurement operations, sourcing and category management experience across various industries and global organizations, Jon is responsible for developing strategy, structure and operations for AGS’ procurement product. A self-proclaimed procurement geek, Jon shares what he’s learned over the course of his career, his definition of success and what excites him about the changes and development in procurement today.

Can you talk about your background and education--how did you get involved in procurement?

I actually have my degree in Purchasing and Operations Management from Michigan State University, so it’s all I’ve really known from a professional perspective. I guess I am officially a procurement geek! I started my career as a buyer at IBM. Then I moved on to procurement and sourcing consulting roles with Accenture where I was exposed to so many elements of value within this space, whether that was a full-on procurement transformation effort, or just some sourcing work to drive savings. I’ve spent over 20 years now in various procurement roles, almost evenly split between both the buy-side and the sell-side.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

This is the Future of Sourcing

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New technology, competitive drive and the desire to upend the status quo to influence innovation and enhance value are important characteristics for sourcing and procurement professionals in today’s world. As the digital transformation continues to accelerate at an unprecedented and exciting pace, SIG wants to recognize the change makers, movers and shakers who show innovation, leadership and transformation in areas critical to the sourcing industry.

This week, SIG announced the finalists for the inaugural Future of Sourcing Awards taking place at the Fall Global Executive Summit in Rancho Mirage, California, on October 17. A panel of 14 senior executives judged nominees in eight team categories and two individual categories. The teams and individuals listed below demonstrated ingenuity, initiative and innovation and showed the greatest achievements in terms of fundamentally changing the nature of their business and/or industry.

Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Future of Sourcing Awards finalists!

Innovations in Sourcing

  • GEP - Digital Procurement Transformation for a University System
  • GEP - Procurement Transformation with a CPG Client
  • HERE Technologies - Internal Sourcing Transformation Project
  • VSP Global - Spend It Like Its Yours (SILIY) project

Innovations in Outsourcing

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

Interview with Kevin Nash, VP and CPO, Health Care Services Corporation

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Kevin Nash is the Vice President Chief Procurement Officer at Health Care Services Corporation, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Company. As an experienced executive in procurement, sourcing and supply chain operations, Kevin manages over 100 people who oversee a wide range of functions from sourcing and contracting to regulatory requirements. Kevin shares his tips to keep a large team organized, his outlook on the growing role of procurement in organizations, and his advice for those looking to be better procurement professionals and team leaders.

Can you talk about your background and education--how did you get involved in procurement?

Like many procurement professionals, I stumbled upon procurement early in my career and found it to be an interesting and exciting area to work. After graduating with a degree in engineering, I started my career at GE supporting a manufacturing process. While in manufacturing, I began to focus on supply chain because we were experiencing frequent supply chain and inventory issues that were significantly impacting the ability to meet the production schedule. After finishing my MBA and leaving GE, I joined a consulting firm and continued to focus on supply chain with an emphasis on procurement. While in consulting, I transitioned from focusing on the supply chain for direct material to supply chain and procurement in service-orientated companies.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Specialist

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