What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am head of WNS’ Procurement Services Business Unit. We support procurement organizations globally across all industries. In my organization, there are over 3,000 procurement professionals in 53 locations across the globe. We touch over $85 billion in spend globally and provide a wide range of services. Clients partner with us to operationalize their procurement function and improve financial performance and efficiency.
My responsibilities are broad, I spend most of my time running our business, engaging my team, focusing on building a stronger organization, meeting with clients and industry leaders, and solutioning. But I am always happy to roll up my sleeves and jump into any project. I am passionate about expanding procurement’s influence and helping our clients boost their performance.
Twelve years ago, I started Denali Sourcing. As a procurement professional myself, I know what our clients face daily. I’ve been asked to deliver on similar mandates and create value for the business that goes beyond cost savings. I founded and grew Denali Sourcing Services into a leading global procurement services organization and then joined WNS as part of our acquisition in 2017. In my current role, I work with a larger and more global client base. The evolution of the last decade has proven to me the significance of the value that procurement adds to the business, regardless of industry. I’ve always known that procurement was a huge value-driver, but I needed time to prove it.
Now, I am helping procurement organizations think about ways to transform operating models and enhance the procurement ecosystems across our entire client base. This includes helping companies with any of the following:
What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities?
I have been CPO at several global companies, where I had responsibility for all procurement, sourcing, P2P automation, as well as global real estate and facilities. I’m currently the President of Collabra Consulting, providing support to clients for procurement, sourcing, cost reduction initiatives, vendor risk management, advisory projects and interim leadership.
What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?
It’s exciting! Sourcing and procurement are mission-critical business activities and done well, they can provide significant bottom-line impact, strategic support, and risk and governance controls to a company.
In this introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we’ll examine not only which KPIs matter, but also how to use them and expand them to support procurement’s broadening role — and also how certain KPI approaches can mislead.
Procurement leaders know that managing spend (what you pay) and supply (what you get) is much more than tactical efficiency improvements and short-lived price reduction efforts. Enabling this procurement evolution requires a balanced scorecard to measure procurement contribution and key performance indicators (KPIs) that quantify the return on investment (ROI) of current procurement processes and also new and improved processes that are increasingly powered by emerging digital capabilities.
In this introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we’ll examine not only which KPIs matter but also how to use and expand them to support procurement’s broadening role — and also how certain KPI approaches can mislead.
What’s the problem with KPIs?
When measuring procurement’s value contribution to the business, the first questions to raise are these: (i) What KPIs should I use (ii) and why?
Although year-on-year purchased cost reduction has been a key historical value proposition of procurement, companies can't "save their way to zero." As businesses are evolving and digitally transforming, procurement organizations must also transform their KPIs to not just measure legacy procurement processes (or procurement services), but to also guide the transformation efforts themselves and build better procurement scorecards that reflect how procurement can enable broader business objectives.
Pierre Mitchell, Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer
Business today isn’t business as usual, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts organizations and supply chains across the globe. And in uncertain times such as these, leaders in every industry and business function must step up. New leadership skills and traits will be necessary to ensure business continuity, and to inspire teams to work together to support each other and remain productive.
We recently interviewed Dawn Tiura, President and CEO of Sourcing Industry Group (SIG). Dawn will be presenting a thought-leader keynote titled “Leadership in Uncertain Times” at Ivalua NOW, the premier virtual event for procurement leaders, on May 5. During our interview, she shared with us her thoughts about how leaders must draw on different skills and traits when unexpected circumstances arise, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring them to employ different leadership styles to unite and motivate employees.
Today, procurement leaders have a seat at the table in e-staff meetings. How has the role changed over the past few years?
It’s changed dramatically. In the past, we were seen as overhead, not as a strategic partner. Procurement teams were just buyers who delivered what other departments told them to buy. Organizations viewed procurement as the bottleneck between what they wanted and when they received it. In reality, procurement sees all the waste and redundancy that exists in the supply chain, and has a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.
Aurelie Teyssier, Sr. Director of Marketing, Americas
SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) Program graduate Daryl Hammett discusses the three key questions organizations should ask when framing technology decisions in procurement functions to best suit their business needs.
While legacy resource planning systems are key to all global supply chains, they are also cumbersome, expensive and not designed to support the type of relational data businesses deal with to drive decisions.
Procurement organizations are thinking more often about innovating old processing systems. What areas have inherent risks in innovating? To what degree do we change? How do we manage it? Who do we get involved? A lot of attention is focused on getting the results from innovation and change, especially those associated with people. Most companies have implemented procedures to manage and grow innovation, but I believe one of the most under-analyzed risks in innovation, and one that could be the biggest threat going unaddressed today, is the risk of group think in implementing change in procurement teams.
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.
Let me start by making something clear: I’m a process guy. I started my career as an engineer on a production line. I have spent the past 20 years working in supply chain, helping clients improve operational efficiency and deliver value in more predictable and repeatable ways. If you ever need a process map for anything, school projects included, ask my kids because I’m your man. So, when my team at WNS-Denali shared the results of our recent benchmark study, I was ready to dive into operational improvement mode. Where did we find inefficiency? How can we help our clients improve performance at scale? I was surprised at what we saw in the findings.
Reading the Procurement Data
What we saw is a tremendous amount of variation. In fact, if you only looked at the findings through the lens of traditional procurement performance models, the data do not lead to very specific conclusions about procurement’s value. So, we decided to flip the analysis model on its head and examine some different correlations.
We focused on two separate benchmark rankings: value and business alignment. For value, we looked at traditional procurement KPI’s: spend under management, savings, process efficiency, and operational excellence. When measuring business alignment, we looked for more subtle trends and indicators of deep stakeholder alignment, effective change management, agile procurement, and adaptive operating models. What did we find? The responses did not point to any single “best” procurement operating model, technology package or spend management process. There was NO PROCESS MAP for best-in-class procurement! Instead, high-performing organizations had one thing in common: a mindset emphasizing tight alignment with business objectives – what we call Total Business Alignment.
Greg Anderson - Senior Vice President of Procurement Services, WNS-Denali
What is the Sustainable Procurement Pledge and how did come about?
The Sustainable Procurement Pledge (#SPP) was born out of passion and is driven by a shared sense of responsibility. #SPP addresses people, not organizations. We are ultimately the ones who constitute organizations and who are making daily decisions in our workplaces. The biggest lever to have a positive impact is therefore with us! #SPP primarily addresses those who are connected to the Procurement function, procurement professionals, academics and students, but does not exclude anyone outside this area of activity. Those who feel concerned by the #SPP messages can start and join right away!
The idea was ignited by the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. Adults and children, from all walks of life, made a clear statement and we were reminded about our prime responsibility: to leave our home, our ONE planet, in the same condition as it was entrusted us.
There are many great and profound sustainability initiatives already. They typically involve companies, governments, institutions and top leaders. However, we rarely see initiatives that address individuals. And yet, we all have the power to make impactful everyday decisions and gradually change the world. We fundamentally believe that many small changes ultimately lead to a big change?
2019 was an amazing year for sourcing. We witnessed greatness as the Future of Sourcing Awards showcased some of the most innovative projects, individuals and teamwork the sourcing industry has seen. The pages ofFuture of Sourcing, SIG's sourcing and procurement thought leadership publication, gave great insight into trends and best practices of the year as well. Below are the top articles of 2019 from Future of Sourcing that you don't want to miss. I hope these give you inspiration and motivation to innovate processes and implement change inside your organization in 2020.
How Digital Technology Will Transform Talent Acquisition
Today, intelligent automation and machine learning are boosting productivity and optimizing a wide range of back-office operations. How are these emerging technologies changing the way we find talent? Helen Castor gives us some insight.
What’s keeping you up at night? CPOs today are under continued pressure to reduce costs and find new sources of value – and of course, manage risk.
At the same time, CPOs want to become more strategic advisors to the business. We’ve found the perfect opportunity to help you achieve those goals and more.
As a CPO, you probably manage millions of dollars’ worth of spend on services. Think of all the money your company spends on consultancies, IT services providers, marketing agencies, law firms, accounting firms, facilities management companies and more. These services providers operate across the enterprise, perform vital work and deliver enormous value.
You manage the contracts and rates for these services, but beyond that, how much attention do you pay to that spend? Do you know whether these services providers are delivering high-quality work? Do they hit deadlines? Is your business getting good value for money?
Most of us are guilty of under-managing services providers. That’s one of the key findings from a groundbreaking new research study published by SAP Fieldglass in collaboration with Oxford Economics, titled Services Procurement Insights 2019: The Big Reveal.