Procurement

The Magical CPO

Chief Procurement Officer

My first Op-Ed, Open Letter to the C-Suite, appealed to the C-Suite to hold Procurement accountable for not investing in technology.  The blog referenced a Gartner perspective that only 22% of procurement leaders have a long-term digital strategy.  I touched a nerve, invoking comments from a few readers suggesting there are procurement leaders - the Magical CPO - that understand how to navigate the C-Suite to get the budget for technology investments.

To give credit where credit is due, Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari (Now Microsoft), is the source for the term Magical CPO.  It describes a procurement leader that understands how to build business cases and secure budgets for technology investments that improve their department's efficiency and effectiveness while supporting the needs across all business disciplines. The Magical CPO persona, by definition, is juxtaposed with the technology laggard. If you saw my first Op-Ed, I noted that 78% of procurement leaders are technology laggards without any digital automation strategy.

The Magical CPO persona

Let’s unpack the Magical CPO persona to agree on common qualities. My views are based on my observations and experiences over a 30+ year career in procurement. There is no Wikipedia page for Magical CPO nor a Google search that prompts any relevant hits - I checked.  While I understand there are more sources than Wikipedia and Google, the point is that there is generally no standard persona for the Magical CPO. Here’s my interpretation of what the Magical CPO must possess: 

Greg Tennyson, SVP of Strategy & Procurement, Fairmarkit

This Month at SIG – June 2022

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

The second half of 2022 is here but constant supply chain problems are diverting procurement’s attention from other business-critical areas. We have a host of resources, insights and events to get you prepared!


June CPO & Executive Virtual Series

SIG's CPO & Executive Virtual Series is an opportunity for the most senior procurement executives to gather with their peers in an interactive virtual environment to discuss their most pressing issues. On June 8, Keith Learn, Vice President of Procurement & Supplier Development at Mary Kay Inc., will deliver a thought leadership presentation that will leave you with many new tools and strategies! Nick Heinzmann, Vice President of Research at Spend Matters will also be presenting his latest learnings. Nick will discuss ESG, regulatory forces, and inflation.

Join us for this collaborative and very personal conversation!

 
 

Power Hour Webinars

ESG Regulation and its Impact on Sourcing

Join John Bree, Chief Evangelist & Chief Risk Officer from Supply Wisdom on June 9th to explore the impact of ESG on supply chains and operations.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

People And Process Transformation Before Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

In this fourth and final installment in this Keynote Series, we talk about the "judicious deployment" of emerging technology without losing sight of the human side of digital transformation.

To achieve this "balance," Mattress Firm's VP of Indirect Procurement, Quave Burton, discusses the importance of motivation through employee recognition while challenging her team to "stretch themselves" to learn new and better ways to achieve strategic objectives.

Ground Zero

For Quave, the journey of transforming procurement at Mattress Firm started at ground zero.

When I say ground zero, there wasn't a procurement department when she started working with the company. As she explains it, she was immediately on a transformation journey, starting with getting the right people to do the right things.

Fortunately, and with the full support of senior leadership, the organization was ready and willing to make changes.

At this point, I think it is essential to stop and stress the benefits of having to build the foundation for procurement transformation, starting with people before introducing technology. As anyone who has been in our industry for some time will tell you, in the past traditional ERP-based procurement initiatives have generally failed to achieve the expected results. Many studies estimate that the failure rate is between 50% and 75% - some even put that number higher.

The three main reasons for this less than stellar performance are poor User Experience, data inaccuracy, and analytics.

Despite introducing more advanced and intuitive "by-the-drink" technology solutions, CPO's dissatisfaction with digital initiatives remains high.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Utilizing Team Engagement in Procurement

Image of Team Engagement

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Shawnie Albritton shares how category management can help with cross-team engagement and its usefulness in procurement.

Shawnie Albritton, Sr. Procurement Operations Analyst, Raymond James

Creating The Right Digital Experience Is Key To Your Procurement Team’s Success (A SIG Summit Keynote Review)

Digital Transformation procurement

At the heart of that urgency is assessing and then mobilizing your procurement team’s digital capabilities throughout the extended organization.

How do you mobilize your procurement team’s digital capabilities?

With this third article from the 2022 SIG Procurement Technology Summit Keynote Series, I will share with you the "key insights" from Chris Kee (VP, Sourcing and Procurement at Northwestern Mutual) and Colin Frazier (VP – Solutions at ZIP) keynote on creating the right digital experience.  

To better understand what creating the right digital experience around your team's procurement process involves, you must first understand your organization’s procurement workflow.

What Is The “Procurement Workflow?”

When asked, "what does the term procurement workflow really mean to you,” Northwestern’s Kee indicated that it does more than encompass the process for supplier onboarding. Kee believes the workflow process involves all critical end-to-end touchpoints, including reviews and signoffs. It also provides total stakeholder transparency to address company risk and privacy, legal, and data security requirements.

Furthermore, procurement professionals can't only be involved in the transactional process, which has traditionally been the case. Beyond managing the process from start to finish, procurement professionals also need to be capturing stakeholder engagement feedback to best manage the supplier relationship post-contract.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Using A GPO Model To Fight Inflation? Insights From Our Second Interview With A Senior Procurement Executive

How to Use A GPO Model To Fight Inflation

In the last article, we heard from Senior Vice President & Global Chief Procurement Officer at Cigna Express Scripts, Tony Abate, regarding his steps for dealing with inflation.

In this article, we hear takeaways from a recent CPO Roundtable discussion from Michael Koontz, VP, Strategic Sourcing & Business Leader for American Tire Distributors (ATD) Sourcing Solutions. I think you will find his approach to battling inflation innovative and unique.

Before we get to Michael’s fight-inflation strategy, let’s first provide some background information on his company. ATD operates more than 130 distribution centers, including 24 in Canada, serving close to 80,000 customers across North America. Employing 4,000 associates in the U.S. and 600 north of the 49th, ATD offers an “unsurpassed breadth and depth of inventory, frequent delivery and value-added services to tire and automotive service customers.”

Their selection as one of Forbes’ 2021 America's Best Mid-Sized Employers and the reception of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Transportation Company of the Year category of the American Business Awards® provides testimony to their high level of service and success as a company.

An Innovative Model

According to Michael, inflation is “five times more difficult for small businesses.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

This Month at SIG – May 2022

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

As the first half of 2022 comes to a close, procurement faces the reality of inflation and what that means for their supply chains. We have a host of resources, insights and events to get you prepared.


May CPO & Executive Virtual Series

SIG's CPO & Executive Virtual Series is an opportunity for the most senior procurement executives to gather with their peers in an interactive virtual environment to discuss their most pressing issues. On May 4 Brian Roche, CPO from Westfield Insurance, will deliver an exciting keynote session on the potential for AI in procurement at the May CPO & Executive Virtual Series. He will be followed by Karen Coker, Director of Third Party Risk & Vendor Management at LendingPoint for A Day in the Life presentation.

Join us for this executive-level conversation with actionable takeaways!

 

May Microlearning by SIG University

On May 18, Canda Rozier CIAP, Sourcing Executive & former CPO, will share her digitization journey as a CPO. That session will be followed by Daryl Hammett, Global Head of Demand and Operations at Amazon Web Services (AWS), who will lead an exciting deep-dive discussion on the importance of professional development in sourcing. 

Join your sourcing, procurement, and risk management colleagues in this two-hour interactive virtual environment to be challenged with topics related to our industries!

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

Is Your Supply Chain ESG Ready? (A SIG Summit 2022 Keynote Review)

esg in supply chain

In this second article from the 2022 SIG Procurement Technology Summit Keynote Series, we will tap into the expertise of an esteemed panel of industry leaders who will share their experiences with mobilizing their respective organizations' ESG initiatives to achieve progressive outcomes. Make particular note of the words progressive outcomes because implementing and maintaining an ESG strategy is not a destination but an ongoing journey that requires commitment and the agility to respond to ever-changing marketplace realities.

Rather than just a generalized or conceptual discussion on ESG, these individuals delivered personal and detailed accounts regarding the successful transformation of their supply chains to align with social imperatives and financial objectives. In other words, during the discussion, they effectively "blazed" a trail of understanding that can serve as a helpful roadmap for the successful implementation of your organization's ESG strategy.

No Longer An Option

In the recent Oliver Wyman article, Powering Your Sustainability Strategy Through Procurement, it is clear that the proactive implementation of a successful ESG strategy is not an option for organizations – not that it ever was.

The authors specifically talk about how "For many years, calls have been getting louder for business leaders to pay more attention to their organization's environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) strategy."

Fueled by "intensifying pressure" from all directions, including customers, employees, investors, and governments, good intentions must now materialize into tangible outcomes sooner rather than later.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Closing The Digital Acceleration Gap In Procurement

digital procurement

In what will be the first of several articles on the 2022 SIG Procurement Technology Summit Keynote Series, I will share with you the insights from each session, starting with today's post on my discussion with Shashank Saxena, General Manager for VNDLY - A Workday Company.

In the session - aptly titled "Closing The Digital Acceleration Gap In Procurement," Shashank and I talk about the disruptive approaches and new innovations that will reshape how procurement leaders can satisfy their most pressing strategic imperatives.

A little background information is in order before getting into the above specifics.

The New Digital Imperative

"Everyone wants to do digital transformation – think of all the board level priorities you have this is probably the most and biggest."

The above words by Shashank resonated with me on many levels.

They are a reminder of how far we have come over the past few years and how we still have a way to go before we achieve or realize the full potential of the digital promise.

What do I mean when I say "the full potential" of the digital promise?

A December 2019 Forbes article reported that "70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one." However, recognizing the importance of having a digital strategy is not the same as realizing the anticipated return as "only 7% of companies have fully implemented their digital transformations." As you can see, there is a notable difference between having a strategy and the ability to implement it successfully, and it is quite a gap to bridge.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

How Procurement Has Bridged The Gap With Finance

Procurement and Finance

Let's start with a bit of a history lesson. Have you heard of Robert Rudzki?

As the co-author of the 2005 book Straight to the Bottom Line®: An Executive's Roadmap to World Class Supply Management, Rudzki knows a thing or two about the subject matter about which he confidently writes. Between 1977 and 2005 – 28 years, he was SVP and CPO for notable brands Bayer Corp. and Bethlehem Steel Corp. Be sure to note his dual finance and procurement role.

Based on his expertise – which includes an MBA in Finance from the world’s oldest and most prestigious business school, Rudzki identified the five critical finance terms every purchaser should know. In short, his bridge between finance and procurement was to have the latter refocus on areas such as ROIC, Cost of Capital, and P/E Ratio.

His reasoning was supported by a 2006 article that asserted, “Too often, finance executives in Corporate America simply don’t believe that purchasing departments are really bringing in the savings they claim" because “financing and purchasing don’t speak the same language.”

This linguistic disconnect was further emphasized in a 2007 news report indicating the following:

  • Less than 20% of CFOs consider the work of CPOs and their staffs as having a very positive impact on competitiveness.

Additional insights from an excerpt of the research paper referenced in the same news report also indicate that:

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

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