You know the saying…April showers bring May flowers, and May happens to be my favorite month of the year. With the flowers blooming, the humidity low (at least where I am in Mid-Atlantic US) and more hours of sunlight to enjoy, I can’t help but get excited for the start of May. If your April was full of showers (real or figurative), I hope you can seize the opportunity this month to make things bloom and reap the benefits of your hard work. Here are a few important things happening at SIG in May to give you a boost.
FUTURE OF SOURCING AWARDS NOMINATION DEADLINE IS MAY 15
Speaking of reaping the rewards of your work, have you considered submitting a nomination to win a Future of Sourcing Award? We are accepting nominations until May 15 to honor and celebrate individuals and organizations that show innovation, leadership and transformation in areas that are critical to the sourcing industry. The 2019 Awards will bring together some of the brightest minds in the industry to create a truly remarkable experience.
Has your team made a successful impact toward moving our industry forward? Consider submitting a nomination to recognize their achievements with a Future of Sourcing Award! The team awards recognize companies who are fundamentally influencing the world of sourcing in new and innovative ways. There are also individual award categories to honor the personal accomplishments of sourcing professionals.
November: the last month of autumn, but the beginning of a new adventure; time to take risks and do the unexpected.
Can you believe it? November is here! And with it comes the start of the holiday season and all the festivities that come with it. Whether this month is one you love or dread, it is a time for new adventures, and those can take shape in many different forms. Create an adventure at work this month by attending a networking event, listening to success stories of industry innovators and learning the latest trends in an online webinar. Here are highlights of the adventures that await you this month from SIG.
Regional Networking Events
This month, we have regional networking events in four different cities: Toronto, Denver, Columbus and New York. Take a day for yourself and/or your team to collaborate in person with industry peers and learn best practices. Discussion topics vary for each event so be sure to look on our website for the most up to date agendas.
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.
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.
"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:
A CFO-CPO relationship, like any other, is not perfect and is often rooted in a lack of trust and miscommunication, which, at times, makes it seem beyond repair. The CPO promises savings and talks about adding value, but the CFO only sees costs and finds the P&L showing increased spending. This obvious gap between what procurement claims and what finance sees deepens further because the language and terminology used are not aligned. As a result, misunderstanding and communication breakdowns happen.
Before exploring how to make the relationship between procurement and finance work, it is crucial to note how procurement has evolved from having the penny pincher reputation to becoming the heart of supply chain management. Organizations are now starting to see it as a key driver for competitive advantage. With various value-adding superhero functions, it has emerged from being just a cost-cutting function to having its own voice with a newfound organizational influence and corporate visibility. Mastering its potential and knowing its strategic and critical contribution will ensure a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic global business landscape.
In many places, the summer months tend to be quieter than the rest of the year. Take advantage of this “down time” to stay up to speed. Check out the upcoming networking events and webinars, download the SIG Global Summit Presentation Anthology for all the trending topics from the Spring Global Executive Summit, and meet the prestigious panel of judges who will help determine 2018’s Future of Sourcing Awards.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
SIG is hosting three exciting events in May on the east and west coasts. Pencil in these professional development and networking events to get up to speed before the third quarter sets in.
Join fellow CPOs in New York City for engaging discussions led by executives from Deutsche Bank and Guggenheim Partners, and a keynote presentation on the Transformation Journey for the Mayor's Office of Contract Services in the City of New York, by Ryan A. Murray, First Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services.
2018 is already shaping up to be a busy year for SIG and we don't anticipate slowing down. In fact, we're accelerating!
SIG INNOVATION ACCELERATOR
SIG recently announced the launch of the SIG Innovation Accelerator (SIA), which offers a portfolio of services to help develop and improve the innovation pipeline for Source through Supply Chain (SSC) and related functions.
The SIA was created to help SIG’s buy-side companies--and ultimately other Fortune 500/Global 1000 companies--capitalize on their combined knowledge, experiences and buying power to facilitate innovation and improve profits while simultaneously reducing risk for both buy-side companies and product providers.
Becoming an SIA Colleague is the first way for a provider to participate in and benefit from SIA’s services. Benefits of becoming an SIA Colleague include:
Eligibility to nominate a product for review and consideration for SIA’s Acceleration Program
Opportunities for product focus groups with procurement executives to get feedback on product and marketing/sales strategies
Discounts for online certification programs or courses offered by SIG University
A Leadership Council comprised of approximately 24 CPOs and select other executives from SIG’s buy-side member companies will lead SIA's initiatives. All of SIG’s buy-side members are eligible to participate in various SIA activities and benefit from its services. SIA is managed and staffed by SIG and Creatze, which is led by SIG’s founder and former CEO Barry Wiegler.
It is increasingly difficult, with jam-packed workdays and busy personal lives, to dedicate time to growing our skill sets. More and more, we are turning to online training or "e-learning." With time at a premium, it is critical that once we do dedicate the time to e-learning, that we gain the most we can from the experience. You can't just click through and hope to magically improve your knowledge and skills. I mean if you are going to take the time and effort to enroll, shouldn’t you engage and maximize your experience?
In my career working with adult learners and technology platforms I have noted a few characteristics that separate the high-achieving student from the just-clicked-through-every-slide student. I'll share a few best practices here.
Guy Hanna, Leadership and Higher Education, PhD (ABD)
As I write this, the UK is continuing to gear up for its forthcoming (June 8th) General Election, called by Prime Minister Theresa May only two years after the last one, purportedly to enable the British electorate to give the government a clear mandate for its Brexit strategy. Purportedly this is because many observers believe May's real motive is her hopes of being able to take advantage of the woeful situation in which the opposition Labour Party currently finds itself.
Regardless of the drivers behind the election decision, however, it's true that voters and the country in general continue to wrestle with significant uncertainty regarding Brexit. With Article 50 now having been triggered, there may now be no doubt that Brexit is indeed happening. The UK is leaving the EU in March 2019, but the terms of that departure are still very much up in the air, and the real consequences - economic, political, social, diplomatic - for the nation remain, frankly, anyone's guess.
I recently attended an event in London featuring representatives of local government from across the UK, intended to foster discussion around what Brexit will mean at a local level - and it was immediately clear that at that level as at every other, confusion continues to reign. Again, we have at least the certainty of departure - and the knowledge that a 'Great Repeal Bill' will be drawn up which will ensure that the state doesn't immediately collapse into lawless chaos on Brexit Day by transposing existing EU legislation onto UK law so that the government can then begin to modify that legislation to suit the country's own purposes and desires (rather than having to draw up, ratify and implement thousands of new laws all at once).
I have always valued the power of communication. When I entered college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study. I realized that although I was “good” at many things in school, there was one thing I excelled at – communication. I was a strong writer, and an even stronger speaker. I saw that when most of my classmates dreaded speaking in front of others, that I always enjoyed the experience, and was excited by it. This was the turning point when I decided to focus my career in communications and marketing.
The power of effective communication cannot be underestimated. It is a critical component of life. I’ve seen the impact of effective and ineffective communication in many types of businesses. Ineffective communication has the ability to break businesses. If you can’t communicate effectively with your customers, your intended messages won’t be received or understood – it’s like you’re speaking an entirely different language from them.
So how can you speak the same language as your sourcing clients?
I’ve worked with many companies that provide services and solutions to sourcing and procurement professionals. It’s very clear what separates the successful providers from the rest of the pack – effective communication with their clients. In order to serve and advise sourcing clients in the best way possible, your team must be able to communicate to them through a common language of sourcing. It’s not just about being highly knowledgeable and educated on all things sourcing, it’s about effectively communicating by speaking their language.
Here’s how you can grow your business and better serve your clients through effective communication: