Recap of CPO & Executive Virtual Series with Productiv

chief procurement officer

The recent CPO & Executive Virtual Series with Productiv, brought together industry experts to discuss critical topics in the world of procurement. Three keynote speakers, Amit Nath, IT Procurement Global Leader from American Honda Motor Company, Inc.; Dan Edwards, Procurement Director from Park National Bank; and Aashish Chandarana, Chief Information Officer of Productiv, shared valuable insights that shed light on the future of IT strategic sourcing, the significance of mentorship, and the latest SaaS trends in 2023.

Keynote Discussion on IT Strategic Sourcing - Amit Nath

Amit Nath, the IT Procurement Global Leader at American Honda Motor Company, Inc., began the keynote discussion by providing an overview of Honda's illustrious history. Having sold over 28 million units worldwide, generating a remarkable $132 billion in revenue, Honda has firmly established itself as an automotive industry leader.

Focusing on IT, Amit highlighted the company's vision to achieve fully autonomous products by 2026, underpinned by a $6 billion management portfolio. He also shared insights into Honda's evolution of the source-to-contract value chain process, which started as a 3-step process and has since grown to an impressive 7-step approach.

Beyond cost savings, Honda's procurement strategy centers on transformation and procurement excellence. Speed to market and ease of use are crucial factors for the company's North American operations, and they leverage a global procurement approach with a focus on awareness, investigation, and standardization.

Amit emphasized the strategic integration of IT and marketing expertise when purchasing software. Utilizing an agile framework, Honda maintains speed while preserving essential controls. He posed the crucial question of how procurement can move with speed, stressing the importance of maintaining quality and placing the customer at the center of the process to ensure a competitive advantage.

A Day in the Life - Dan Edwards

Dan Edwards, the Procurement Director at Park National Bank, took the stage to discuss his experiences in mentoring the next generation of procurement leadership. Drawing on his military background, Dan highlighted the value of mentorship, where a 2006 Gartner study revealed that mentors were 6x more likely to be promoted and mentees 5x as likely.

Drawing parallels between the military and civilian sectors, Dan discussed the concept of training one's replacement, a practice ingrained in military culture. However, he acknowledged the discomfort civilians may feel with this notion. To overcome this, Dan introduced the "3 Ate's" - Delegate, Tolerate, and Iterate. Delegating responsibilities, tolerating imperfections, and iterating towards desired results form the core of effective mentorship and succession planning.

SaaS Trends in 2023 - Aashish Chandarana

Aashish Chandarana, the Chief Information Officer of Productiv, enlightened the audience about the uphill battle that procurement faces due to shadow IT and the rapid growth of SaaS applications. The average SaaS portfolio has surged to 371 apps, with average spending of $9.6k per employee. Surprisingly, only 47% of SaaS licenses are actively used, posing challenges for efficient procurement.

Procurement's typical process touches multiple people and disparate systems, involving six teams and seven steps for approval. However, IT and procurement can only focus on the top 20% of apps, leading to vendor risk gaps. To combat this, Productiv offers a platform that integrates with financial systems to understand the true spending on SaaS applications, enabling better cost-saving decisions.

The CPO event proved to be an enriching experience, offering valuable insights from industry leaders in IT strategic sourcing, mentorship, and SaaS trends. Procurement professionals learned the importance of innovation, mentorship, and leveraging technology to stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of procurement. Embracing these insights, procurement teams can drive transformative change, optimize operations, and remain competitive in the ever-evolving business world.

Looking Ahead

Don't miss out on the opportunity to expand your insights and connect with industry leaders. Join us for the next CPO & Executive Virtual Series event in August! Stay updated on the latest trends, best practices, and innovative approaches in procurement. Register now and be part of this dynamic community of professionals driving excellence in the field.

If you're a senior procurement executive and want to participate in SIG's peer-led conversations, please join our next CPO & Executive Virtual Series!


Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

Desmond Williams is the digital marketing Manager for SIG. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Sociology from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. With a background in Marketing and Sales, relationships are at the core of his values.