SIG Speaks Blog

How Streamlined Purchasing Supports Training and Development Programs

technology training and development

2020 created a unique situation for businesses and significant learnings from the unforeseen circumstances of the pandemic.  2021 will be the year these learnings are put into action.  Internally, this may mean updates to standard operating procedures, workflows and other processes to better prepare for the unforeseen. The explosion in online training and the expected increase in budgets will offer more opportunities. Businesses with a well-trained workforce will have a competitive advantage. 

Training is perhaps more critical in 2021 than in years’ past. It is well known that a comprehensive training and development program empowers employees and improves retention. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning report,  51% of learning and development experts will be launching upskilling programs while 43% will be reskilling their teams.  So much has been learned across industries, disciplines, etc, that it will be critical for not only the Procurement organization to be an active participant in training but Marketing, Accounting, Manufacturing, Supply chain, etc.

Streamlined Procurement can be Part of the Solution

Across organizations, departments are being challenged to do more with fewer resources.  As a result, finding the time to participate in training sessions becomes more difficult. Establishing a priority for what training is most important becomes a challenge. Finding ways to make company-wide processes easier lowers the burden on the individual department in 2 ways. First, simpler technology or processes eliminates the need for formal training sessions, and an easier process saves time and encourages user engagement.

Kelly Luecke, Marketing Coordinator, Buyerquest

This Month at SIG – March 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we prepare for a new future in procurement, 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 Procurement Technology Summit.


Don't Miss These March Events

Why Does Procurement Take so Long? And How Can We Fix It?

Business stakeholders are continuously frustrated by how long procurement takes to bring suppliers on board. CPOs and senior executives are invited to join experts from App Orchid to learn innovative ideas for transforming the traditional procurement process within the organization.

Procurement: More than Savings

Join this open discussion with Canda Rozier, CIAP, Collabra Consulting and SIG University faculty, for her take on how procurement can best achieve value beyond just savings. This is your time to "Ask the Expert" as Canda has decades of experience on both sides of the business and is ready to share her insights based on trusted and tested methodologies.

 

Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit

According to industry experts, procurement as a function will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!

Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Supply Chain Mobility: Sourcing Tomorrow’s Business

Supply chain sourcing

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. 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.

Mobilize Your Supply Chain

I believe the key to sourcing success lies in mobilizing supply chains. Right now, supplier data is locked down in many different places that don’t communicate with each other. A large organization may have supplier data separately located throughout their ERP and CRM systems, accounting and legal departments, and Excel files floating around from supplier diversity programs, in addition to their procurement arm.

Teams are often tasked with managing legacy Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems with high overhead costs and systems that are unable to effectively manage the dynamic nature and sheer abundance of today’s business data. Traditionally, supplier information has been limited to line items such as name, tax ID, quantity and price of a sourced product, and remit-to-pay.

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP, Global Head of Lead Management and Operations Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Trending in the SIG Resource Center – February 2021

In early December 2020, Google published its trends for 2020, listing the top searched terms, people, news stories and more. It is no great surprise that "Coronavirus" was the top searched term and news story. Nor that Tom Hanks, Kobe Bryant or Kamala Harris were high on the list. What I found remarkable is that these trends were not reflected in the top searched terms for SIG's website in 2020. In fact, it was business as usual on our website. Sure "COVID" and "resiliency" and "remote work policies" made the list. Website traffic and searches increased in volume, but our visitors were searching for the same topics and downloading some of our best case studies for help.

Here's just a short snapshot of some of the trending searches in 2020:

Category Management

Most sourcing professionals know what category management is and a critical mass of our members practice category management at varying levels of maturity. This SIG blog summarizes our resources in one location and is one of our most visited pages. Members frequently download our Template for Building a Business Case for Category Management.

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

Lessons Learned in Sustainability and Process Controls

business sustainability

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Kevin Schofield details why business leaders need to maximize communication within the company while focusing on strategic and sustainable sourcing to further educate team members on process controls and root cause analysis.


Merging the focal points of a diverse corporate system with the outside world's needs while managing a profitable business is always a challenge. Given the additional issues with value stream, inventory management, and transportation in the era of globalization during a worldwide pandemic make it even more challenging. Corporate leaders need to maximize communication within the company using new and different platforms while focusing on strategic and sustainable sourcing to further educate team members on process controls and root cause analysis.

Streamlining with Effective Communication

The first step in developing a more efficient and effective business is better managing people and communication. By clearly laying out responsibilities and dividing our individual and group tasks, we can more easily interweave those lines with other groups and branches. One of the issues in defining supply chain duties is developing a logical means of resupply and inventory management. Because each separate project has long been viewed as an “island” unto itself, the build-up and inventory waste that comes with it have grown.

If the supply chain team can be seen as a series of bridges between these islands or a fleet of ferries, companies will save millions in unnecessary waste. Using the techniques we discussed in the course, you can create a corporate system to increase teamwork and present ideas to management in ways that they will accept and benefit from.

Kevin Schofield, Manager of Supply Chain Management, ONEOK

7 Reasons to Respond to that Survey

SIG is hosting a survey to find out what matters most to SIG members.

Every day, my inbox is bombarded with requests for feedback. Most requests I honor because I am a data nerd and I know there's some fellow data nerd behind the scenes who really needs the insight for their business case. Also because my husband is a PhD and we spent several years of our marriage dedicated to quantitative assessments - I have seen tears spilled over empty questionnaires.

Many survey requests I archive for later because I want to see how our partners and competitors collect data and use it to shape their programs. But mostly, I just think it is incredibly important to share your opinion when asked. (I could write a whole different blog on when NOT express your opinion, mostly from first-hand experience.)

This is a list of the top 7 reasons why I think people should respond to SIG surveys in particular and surveys in general.

SIG Member Input Drives Content Creation

As sourcing professionals, you are really good at understanding the value of your partnerships and ensuring you realize that value -- that is why we have strategic sourcing, negotiations, performance measurement and things like vested sourcing. Providing your input to SIG about what you need from our partnership is critical to us delivering the content, the speakers, the tools, the connections and the awareness you expect from us. You are paying for it, so let us know how we can serve you!

Expressing Your Opinion Is Good for Mental Health

Get it off your chest, share your concerns and join a community of people who are facing the same problems as you. We know your leadership, your customers and your team are all leaning on you to make 2021 successful. Telling someone about this can be extremely helpful, because it means someone is in your corner listening.

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

This Month at SIG – February 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we begin to build back stronger with leadership insight, industry research and webinars to keep you up to date.


Executive Leadership Education

Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Roundtable on February 24 for open-mic discussions on executive leadership and education, continuity of leadership and what skills the leaders of the future must develop.

GEP Outlook 2021 Report

For procurement leaders, there’s a lot more to do. And more questions than answers.

Get a big leg up with the GEP Outlook 2021 Report — featuring eight critical leadership themes that will help you navigate uncertainty and thrive in the new normal. Published annually, the GEP Outlook Report is a trusted strategic guide for thousands of procurement leaders across the world. Get your complimentary copy today.

Your Digital Procurement Expertise Checklist

The average working day in procurement will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Are you prepared for digital procurement?

This checklist will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and find the right way to start a digital transformation of procurement. 

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

How to Align Procurement with Finance

All of these strategies are essential to help procurement succeed in collaborating with finance, but you have a far greater likelihood of success if you select the right tools. Choose a digital solution that offers robust reporting, enhances visibility, and enables real-time engagement.

Procurement is a business function that offers so much in the way of value. However, its not always easy to showcase the full spectrum of what procurement provides to other teams or get the necessary buy-in from sponsors or stakeholders to support procurement activities. In fact, one of the common pain points for procurement practitioners is the ability to align finance.

Finance is a critical business function. So much of what guides operations is based on the bottom line and therefore it is absolutely essential that procurement align with finance. Without this collaboration, procurement teams will struggle to gain credibility within an organization and will be less able to contribute to the overall success of the business. In order for procurement to truly be successful, it needs to align with finance. Here are some tips for helping achieve alignment between finance and procurement.

Develop a reporting structure that promotes collaboration

Reporting is essential for keeping different departments aligned. It’s only logical that the department in charge of managing money and the team that handles buying should coordinate. To really make the most of your collaborative efforts, try syncing on reporting structure to increase adoption. Ideally, procurement would actually fall under the purview of finance wherein the CPO reports directly to the CFO to increase that alignment. Benefits include:

Jason Treida, Head of Americas, Per Angusta

An Exposé from Procurement Insider Peter Smith

Procurement business

Career procurement professional turned author Peter Smith, MA, FCIPS, FRSA, recently joined the Sourcing Industry Landscape Podcast to lift the lid on some of the worst procurement scams in history, offers practical advice on avoiding embarrassing mistakes, and shares how to make sound, strategic procurement decisions. 


If you're going back to 2019 is when you wrote the book, can you share some of their global disasters or the big stories that you included in the book back then?

When it comes to procurement failures, there are many areas, and some of them do not really understand what you're buying. And that can be something very simple, like the printing equipment the Irish government bought that didn't actually fit into the building they were putting it in. Or much more complex technology failures and so on.

But then, there are some interesting areas we perhaps don't think about so much in supply chain procurement, and I believe getting incentives wrong is a fascinating one. So, how do you incentivize suppliers to do the right thing?

And some of the failures there are clearly failures, but when you ask the question, "Well, how would you have done it, so it wasn't a failure?" those answers are not simple. Just something as straightforward as, "How do you get the incentives right for somebody running an outsourced call center for you? They're handling customer queries, doing inquiries or complaints. How do you incentivize them to work efficiently but give excellent customer service to the people calling in?

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Complex Services Procurement and Technology: A Spend Matters and SIG Survey

Procurement technology

Each year, organizations spend over $20 trillion globally on all kinds of services, according to some estimates. Services in the U.S. make up, on average, nearly 60% of organizations’ total non-payroll external spend (and that can be significantly higher in some industry verticals). The effective management of services spend has been a perennial topic of discussion (and limited action) over many years. And technology used to address complex services in an organization is not well understood.

Spend Matters and Sourcing Industry Group have partnered to field a survey of procurement professionals (CPOs, procurement directors, category managers, etc.) that is described briefly below.

The purpose of the survey is to better understand how and to what extent procurement is using enterprise procurement technology and other solutions to process and manage an organization’s service categories and with what level of satisfaction.

For this survey, the term "services" encompasses a broad range of spend categories, like consulting, facilities management, legal, temporary staffing, marketing and so on.

>>Take the Survey<<

Procurement of Services — The Puzzle

Despite the size of this mega-spend category, procurement leaders we talk with have agreed that most categories of services are not, to put it kindly, optimally managed and there are few best practices.

There also seems to be agreement that purpose-built technology for specifically managing different services categories, strategically and tactically, is lacking.

Andrew Karpie, Research Director for Services and Labor Procurement, Spend Matters

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