As we settle into the holidays and celebrate with family and friends, we also look to a new decade. Absent a downturn economy, it’s hard for some to understand the importance of a strong procurement and sourcing organization. But we are so much more than just a cost-savings industry. While we are seen as an overhead, we really are the engine that keeps the company on course.
Rather than looking back at all the gains our industry has achieved this year, here are my thoughts on some of the exciting trends that I believe will pick up momentum in the next year.
1. Elevating the Role of Strategic Sourcing
Without strategic sourcing, we would not be able to improve cost, quality and service levels while guarding against third-party risk. Without the strength of our negotiations, contract development, business insights and supplier relationship management, we would fail on safeguarding our supply chains against human trafficking, conflict minerals and child labor.
I’m seeing more interest in third-party risk management from boards and company executives, and in my conversations with them, it’s clear that more resources will be devoted to supporting sustainability initiatives and the ability to act on business insights.
2. Broader Adoption of Technology
Technology is what will separate the high-performing sourcing and procurement organizations from the rest. Those that take the lead to adopt procurement technology powered by artificial intelligence will realize more fluid source-to-pay and procure-to-pay processes while also gaining insight into recurring patterns and rooting out fraudulent purchasing. Additionally, I expect many, if not most procurement organizations, will adopt a number of bots and automate many of their current manual tasks in the next year.
3. Upskilling Teams
A major trend that I see continuing is upskilling our employees. Good people want to continue in their journey of learning; without training, they will fall behind their peers and miss critical issues that they should be addressing.
As we continue to grow SIG University, I know our virtual halls will be teeming with more people who want to elevate their careers and their organization. Never has there been a time when training was more important.
With the world changing so quickly, we are continually adapting our training to fit the current needs of our students. I am heartened to know that we have over 100 graduates, soon to be 200 graduates, of SIG University from a single company many times over.
The Path Forward
With all of the insights that sourcing and procurement bring to the table, we will surely become a stronger strategic advisor to the business units we serve. The more we automate and roll out new technology, I see both our execution speed and business insights allowing us to get even closer to the business units.
So, in closing, while 2019 was a wonderful and exciting year, I expect 2020 to be even more exciting. Happy holidays to one and all and I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming year!
Dawn Tiura is the CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Future of Sourcing and has over 26 years' leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active in SIG as a speaker and trusted advisor since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing and outsourcing to SIG members. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm. Dawn is actively involved on a number of boards promoting civic, health and children's issues in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Dawn is a licensed CPA and has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. Dawn brings to SIG a culture of brainstorming and internal innovation.