Implementing Innovation

Image of Sourcing Innovation

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Andrew Frye discusses the importance of implementing technology and innovation into sourcing practices.

Over the past three months, I’ve been privileged enough to be allowed to further my education and enhance my learning at SIG University. We have covered many interesting and pivotal topics within sourcing and strategic thinking. This well-structured course covered crucial issues, which entailed sourcing, artificial intelligence, ethics, project management, procurement, and much more! I would consider myself to be new to working in the sourcing industry. With that said, I can say with certainty now that after completing this course, my knowledge and talent in the field have astronomically increased, and the organization I work for will be very pleased.
First, I will dive deeply into Artificial Intelligence in sourcing and procurement while discussing significant factors. Robotic Process Automation, Big Data, and Cognitive Computing are interictal components of Artificial Intelligence. These disruptive technologies control and maintain so much of the vital information organizations utilize, internally and externally. During the twentieth century, AI started to change the face of sourcing and outsourcing. 
Overall, it affects an ample number of processes within sourcing, if not most of them. Financial reporting is at the forefront of how AI is utilized and programmed in the company’s systems without any human input. In general, organizations are programming their computers to send automated reports such as purchase orders, invoices, overdue payments, and pretty much all other forms of data from any system, which is quite fascinating.
Innovative technology, such as AI smart devices or AI systems, continues to amaze or challenge consumers and suppliers daily. Many AI devices collect and store information about companies and consumers. They sought current and proprietary data, trends, interests, and habits. This topic sparks conversations on the significant risks when pertinent data is stolen or manipulated with harmful intent. Artificial Intelligence can streamline most strategic initiatives as well.
It’s apparent that in today’s highly advanced society, an organization needs to build or implement a digital age, cross-functional sourcing team for many explicit reasons. With new technology integrated into businesses, it’s critical to have a highly skilled team to understand the new integration piece fully and how to best execute it for the company. Legal support plays a vital role on this team as it will help alleviate and mitigate risks for your organization. 
This leads to you having a security member from your organization join your team, as they will inform you of what you can and can’t buy with the associated risks. Next, you’ll want a compliance expert to be part of your team due to most new products not having legal compliance built into them yet. Lastly, having a finance member on your team is pivotal to ensuring the benefits are realized, and all hidden costs are uncovered.
Lastly, I would like to cover a few critical areas for improvement. I want to enhance a few soft skills, such as my listening and communication skills, which also tie to negotiation strategies and tactics on a personal level. Active listening will help me flourish in most, if not all, situations I will encounter while working in sourcing. 
After taking this SIG course, one key area we touched on that I was very intrigued by and want to further my knowledge in is strategic and marketing processes within sourcing and procurement. I envision applying all my knowledge learned from this course to my daily job functions to exceed.

The Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) Program is a 10-week course that focuses on the hard and soft skills of sourcing, including strategic sourcing and outsourcing methodologies, as well as best practices in negotiations.

Andrew Frye, Sourcing Systems Analyst, American Tire Distributors

My name is Andrew Frye, and I am currently employed at American Tire Distributors (ATD). In January 2022, I started with ATD as a Sourcing Administrator. I worked extremely hard and proved my skills and high potential offering to the company. Four months later, I was promoted, and my job role transitioned to a Sourcing Systems Analyst position. Currently, my role encompasses a complex array of tasks and responsibilities daily.

I manage and maintain our Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) website for our National Dealer Network. I also handle supplier enablement, hosted catalog, and punchout integrations from an IT perspective for our GPO. Alongside that job function, I'm also the Administrator for our in-house CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) tool, which ATD just recently implemented—transitioning to touch on my background, which includes a Master's Degree in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science from Appalachian State University.