Lisa VanBuskirk's blog

Connecting the Dots Between Legal and Procurement

Image of Procurement

SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Lisa VanBuskirk shows how she connected the dots between legal and procurement and became aware of gaps to show how the two roles working together is so vital.

Before I took this SIG U course, I worked in finance and legal roles for the biotech industry. Much of what I have experienced involves the last few lessons in this course: How to protect our company legally and financially. I have never worked in a company that had a formal governance program from the start. Usually, an internal stakeholder would come to me saying, “We like this vendor. Please get them set up,” and I would make contingencies for the relationship’s failure. After this class, I now understand the importance of being involved even before the contracts are ever written and being involved with choosing each supplier.

I am very used to setting up legalese in master service agreements that cover things like performance metrics and termination clauses. This was a natural part of my day-to-day, which I always thought was enough. However, there was a part of me that thought, “Sure, the legal department understands our terms, but what is being communicated to the supplier project leads so they also understand?” This course helped me understand that, especially after recently terminating a relationship with a critical supplier. It would have been much less work from the beginning if we had a supplier governance program in place to lay out our expectations to all from the beginning to all stakeholders. Being involved with occasional meetings to stay aligned with the process would be very helpful for the continued relationship with each supplier.

Lisa VanBuskirk, Procurement Specialist, Sage Therapeutics