Michael van Keulen is Chief Procurement Officer at Coupa. He formerly served as the Global Procurement Director at lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU), a $3B+ designer, distributor, and retailer of technical athletic apparel. Previously Michael served as the Procurement Director at VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a $12B+ lifestyle apparel and footwear company. Michael is known for leading procurement transformations that generate significant shareholder value.
You have a passion for sourcing talent and developing high-performing teams. How is your approach different than others?
I’m not claiming my approach is different or unique. When hiring, I look for attitude first and procurement experience second. I always say procurement is a seven-step process that can be taught to anyone. What is difficult (if not impossible) to teach someone is to be “naturally curious” and “passionate” about the profession. Procurement is about being bold, going outside the comfort zone and challenging the status quo. This mindset requires people who have high EQ, are agile and not afraid to make mistakes. These traits are even more important when going through a transformation from tactical/operational to strategic.
Paul Polizzotto is the CEO and Founder of Givewith, a Service-as-a-Software solution that generates social impact funding opportunities for nonprofits that can be embedded into transactions between buyers and suppliers. As a social entrepreneur, he brings his expertise as the former founder of EcoMedia, which directed more than $100 million in funding and resources to environmental, education and community health and wellness programs across the country, improving the quality of life for more than 60 million people. Here he talks about the role of ESG scores on a company's bottom line and ways that sourcing and procurement can initiate cultural change in their organizations.
Givewith is a social impact technology platform – what does that mean and how does it work?
Givewith is a social enterprise creating innovative solutions that bring together companies and nonprofits to generate real, measurable impact – while simultaneously driving unprecedented business value. Givewith Enterprise is a SaaS solution that generates business-relevant social impact funding opportunities that can be seamlessly embedded into any transaction between a buyer and a supplier.
Here’s how it works:
Our platform analyzes companies’ sustainability and CSR performance based on robust data that’s important to their customer base and the investor community – enabling their company to amplify its strengths and improve weaknesses. The Givewith algorithm aggregates these insights and identifies the most effective nonprofit programs, which the buyer can easily add into any of their RFPs.
Kate Renwick-Espinosa is the President of VSP Vision Care, a national not-for-profit vision company. At SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit, Kate will highlight how organizations can adopt a culture of fiscal fitness through impactful activities, engaging content pushed through a variety of communication channels, and a tighter alignment between leadership and different groups. Leveraging more than 27 years of optical and leadership experience, she’s energized by helping people see and feels fortunate to work for a company with similar “care and service” values. She’s accountable and committed to growing VSP membership and product and service offerings to meet diverse consumer needs and VSP’s client base.
Can you share a little more about your day-to-day role and responsibilities as the President of VSP Vision Care?
Helping people see is what motivates me every day. My primary focus is to help lead the direction and key efforts for the company that continue to grow and strengthen our VSP membership. This means we’re aligned and structured to be wherever the customer is making their vision care “purchase” and “care” decisions. Our product and service offerings must meet diverse and personalized consumer needs as well as VSP’s client base both domestic and international. And, they must be straight-forward and easy to use!
I also work closely with our CEO, and entire leadership team, to ensure our growing company is connected and supporting our common goals and essentials as well as delivering a consistent and competitive marketplace presence. Together we ensure that when we all show up to work that we clearly understand where we’re trying to get to and how we make a difference. Collectively across our six lines of business, we’re delivering the kind of personalized eye care experience that creates members for life!
Alex Saric is Chief Marketing Officer at Ivalua and has spent over 17 years of his career evangelizing Spend Management, shaping its evolution and working closely with hundreds of customers to support their Digital Transformation journeys. As CMO, Alex leads overall marketing strategy and thought leadership programs. At SIG's Eastern Regional SIGnature event on September 12, Alex will show you how to map a path that allows you to rapidly progress to best-in-class procurement to establish a competitive advantage in your company. He began his career in the U.S. Army Cavalry, leading tank and scout platoons through two combat deployments. Alex holds a B.S. in Economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an international M.B.A. from INSEAD.
How should success be defined when it comes to digital transformation?
The temptation, and what we see most often today, is viewing it as performance on a set of metric benchmarks. Falling in the top quartile or top 20% of metrics, like percent under management and a level of touchless invoicing can qualify companies as best-in-class, which is often viewed as a success. These metrics are good to track and work toward, but they should be interim objectives on a longer journey. If those are your goals, you are on a path to mediocrity, not toward being a strategic value driver.
Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Steve has held senior procurement and operations positions with large and small, public and private, and for-profit as well as non-profit organizations. He joined College Board in 2016 after serving as Vice President of Global Sourcing at National Geographic Society, and prior to that, as Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Vertis Communications, a national printer of advertising circulars and direct mail promotions. Hughes started his purchasing career at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City following five years of military service as a U.S. Army officer at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he completed 40 military parachute jumps.
What are some examples of the challenges and rewards you experience as CPO of the College Board?
As a CPO, the perception in most organizations I have been a part of is that Procurement is a bureaucratic bottleneck which stakeholders try to go around or engage only as necessary to get tactical transactions processed. The challenge I have faced over and over again, including at the College Board, is transforming the way all levels of the organization think about the procurement function from being a shared services cost center to a strategic resource for the organization that optimizes the value we receive from our supply chain.
While there are rewards in seeing an organization gradually change it perceptions of the procurement function, the greatest reward is the privilege of developing a team of procurement professionals who ultimately make that transformation happen through their efforts to build collaborative relationships with stakeholders.
Kelly Bengston is Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer at Starbucks. Kelly is responsible for enhancing Starbucks enterprise-wide functional strategic sourcing and supplier relationships, creating consistent global sourcing processes, developing a sourcing talent management program and building a values-based approach to working with suppliers across all categories of the business.
Kelly has held numerous leadership positions during her 8-plus years with Starbucks. Most recently, Kelly served as Vice President of Starbucks Global Supply Chain’s Strategy & Deployment team, a new team created under Kelly to support Starbucks supply chain’s aspirations of becoming digitized, strategically aligning resources against priorities and building capabilities through long-term capacity planning and supply chain intelligence.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Kelly gained broad experience in packaging, product development, manufacturing, and project management at Macy’s, Bensussen Deutsch, Cranium and Hasbro. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her favorite Starbucks beverage is Nitro Cold Brew.
Can you share a little more about your day-to-day role and responsibilities as the Chief Procurement Officer for Starbucks?
I am fortunate to have an amazing job, working for an amazing company. My day-to-day is filled with connecting with great partners and suppliers to deliver products and services to our stores and customers.
Jane Zhang is the Co-Founder of ETCH Sourcing, a Canada based consultancy specializing in providing strategy and execution services in the sourcing, procurement and category management space. She loves people, solving problems, and has years of expertise working throughout the entire sourcing spectrum, from building and executing multi-million-dollar tactical strategies, to being entrusted with some of the most complex and strategic contractual negotiations on business-critical projects. Graduating from the Haskayne School of Business twice over with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and an MBA in Finance with a focus on Global Energy Management and Sustainability, she has returned to build and teach business contract negotiations with her Co-Founder as a part of giving back and elevating her alma mater.
Jane is passionate about education is a member for multiple boards, most notable is her role as Board Director and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit designed to connect children aged 8-13 with industry learning and development through play.
Jane’s latest passion is to champion the role of sustainability in procurement and is celebrating the launch of ETCH’s sustainable procurement offering, which integrates the UN SDGs as a sustainability function into the procurement process from an end-to-end perspective.
Shirley is a Vice President on the Business Process Services team with Everest Group. In this role, she advises senior stakeholders of global services including enterprises, service providers and investors in their strategic mandates and initiatives. She shares her take on the digital transformation – what companies need to do to stay relevant and the trends she’s seeing in the market and the industry. Shirley will share her expertise on this topic at the Midwestern Regional SIGnature Eventin March and the Eastern Regional SIGnature Event in September.
Your presentation at the Midwestern Regional SIGnature Event is about buying digital services for your enterprise--why is this such an important topic?
Digital transformation is impacting entire business value chains. Companies that do not have a plan to migrate from traditional models to focus on digitally led solutions will become irrelevant and obsolete. How organizations approach the building of their digital capabilities can result in real market differentiation, and a large part of that strategy depends on how they partner with global service providers and vendors.
The swift evolution of the digital landscape means procurement and sourcing teams must understand the implications of buying digital services so they can support their business and functional customers in obtaining the best outcomes from their digital strategies.
Edward J. Hansen brings more than 20 years of experience representing clients in technology transactions that involve significant business change. If you’ve attended a SIG Summit, then you are likely familiar with Ed and his work. In addition to being an active speaker at industry conferences, he has authored and presents the “terms and conditions” module of the SIG University certification program, regularly conducts contracting master classes (including for SIG’s Executive Immersion Program), serves on the advisory board of the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network, and is a regular guest lecturer at New York University’s Executive Master of Business Administration program.
You have a lot of experience representing clients in technology transactions. What are some examples of how technology has changed or impacted the way you approach your job?
The technology in place at any given time actually has little impact on how I approach my job. What does impact my job is the fact that the technology landscape when the deal is two years old may not be the same as it was when we went out to RFx.
I started working in the technology space in 1993 and spent almost a decade working with companies who were undertaking reengineering efforts. What I learned, mostly through trial and error, is that the process you go through in procuring and contracting for transformational technology is at least as important as the contract that emerges. Because of the velocity of change, the relationship you form during the process is often what carries the deal, and the contract has to reflect that.
When she’s not challenging the status quo and meeting her budget targets at the bank, Debbie helps to make her community a better place as the leader of the Huntington Women's Network Business Resource Group and as a volunteer with various Columbus charity organizations. A big believer in the power of personal connections, Debbie talks about her role at the bank, the importance of utilizing technology and her tips for building professional relationships that can pay off down the line. Debbie is well-known in the SIG community as a member of the SIG Thought Leadership Council, the SIG University Advisory Board and she leads the Steering Committee of the Risk Management Association’s Third Party Management Round Table.
Your keynote presentation at the Columbus CPO Meet and Eat was about tail spend management--why is this such a hot topic?
Huntington’s sourcing team, like many other companies, is lean. Identifying ways to direct low-dollar, high-transaction volume spend to a consistent, repeatable process through catalogs, spot-buys amongst preferred providers or non-catalog PO’s helps focus the team on more strategic projects while maintaining cost discipline in the tail.