Mandatory enforcement of human rights, environmental due diligence and even data privacy are a few examples of the regulatory challenges procurement faces in managing complex global supply networks.
I could also talk about the negative impact that a failure to address these regulatory conditions can have on an organization's brand as a company and employer. Of course, it's not exactly a revelation that negative press regarding regulatory violations will certainly impact your image with the public, e.g., your customers. However, did you realize that in a highly competitive job market, "58% of candidates surveyed said they consider a company's social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work." This mindset isn't just a checkbox sentiment: "55% said they would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less."
While employee attraction and retention are not often discussed in the same breath as ESG regulatory compliance – at least not enough, it is yet another indication of the expanded importance and impact of getting ESG right. In other words, people are taking this seriously.
Conference season provides excellent opportunities for in-person networking and professional growth. Keep in mind though that conferences cost time and money. It’s worth asking how you can make the most out of the events on your schedule. Here are some of our favorite tips for optimizing your investment.
As with many things in life, maximizing your experience at a conference requires thoughtful preparation.
“The path to gender equality does not involve stickers pointing out that a product has been made by a female entrepreneur. Women are not a charity group. If we want to help women in business, let’s close the pay gap and remove the glass ceiling – and then let products designed by women rise or fall on their own merits, by the realities of business.” – Diana Sz
The above quote is an excerpt from an article I read regarding Walmart’s “commitment to source $20 billion of goods by 2016 from women-owned businesses in the U.S.”
The program or initiative, launched with much fanfare in 2011, achieved the $20 billion objective within the expected five-year period. One would think that this would be a cause for celebrating the progressive practices on the part of corporate procurement departments.
Facilitated by the inclusion of product labels informing the consumer that a woman owns the company behind the product they are buying, Pamela Prince-Eason was a champion of the Walmart initiative. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council CEO, Prince-Eason, believed that the “new labeling will give people a reason to feel good about the company they’re buying from.”
In short, it was a noble plan to achieve meaningful results for everyone to feel good. I know you are waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of a but – and there is a but,
The Bigger Picture
Don’t get me wrong when I say things like a drop in the bucket regarding the achievement of the $20 billion goal. Such a lofty amount isn’t exactly pocket change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I can't believe it's the end of the year again, and what a year it has been. 2021 presented many new challenges. We had to navigate carefully and, at times, change direction. However, when the SIG community told us what they needed, we forged ahead and rolled out some amazing virtual and in-person events to SIG members to help them navigate the disruptions.
As we commemorate SIG’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, we want to take a moment to thank our members for making SIG a fun, vibrant community of practitioners, critical thinkers, problem solvers, thought leaders, executives, and industry leaders. Our members make the magic come alive. SIG’s achievements over the past 30 years are the results of the combined contributions from every individual member, cheers to future successes and past glories!
Here's a special message from our President and CEO, Dawn Tiura, about SIG's past, present and future.
Thanks to the vast input of SIG's member network, here are the bright spots and successes we collectively achieved this year.
Kristen Jordeth is the Director of Procurement Product Strategy at SAP. At SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit, Kristen will highlight how the ability to survive future disruptions will be dependent on a companies ability to manage and respond to real-time risk information about third parties transacting with the business.
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am the Director of Procurement Product Strategy focusing on future innovations within Supplier Management and the SAP Business Network. My day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure our solutions are addressing the future needs of our customers.
What does Procurement 3.0 mean to you?
Procurement 3.0 means to make the day-to-day procurement process more efficient, transparent and streamlined. Removing tactical procurement that is traditionally done in a spreadsheet or via lots of paperwork and replacing it with technology.
How have you and your team innovated through Procurement’s new “seat at the table”?
Procurement’s new “seat at the table” has validated the need for intelligent enterprise solutions. With Procurement now involved in executive planning, it is important for the procurement processes to connect to all other business processes. At Sapphire this year we announced the SAP Business Network which brings together our SAP Ariba Network, SAP Logistics Network and SAP Asset Network together to expand transparency and enable stronger collaboration.
It’s hard to believe that we are making the final turn into 2022. It has been a wild year, with the Procurement function emerging to the forefront of the business from the pandemic. Procurement 3.0 is here and we continue to lead the conversation.
SIG Global Executive Summit
The SIG team is in overdrive to bring you our first in-person event of the year, the Global Executive Summit. Delegates should come prepared for a state-of-the-art experience that immerses them in industry trends, best practices, innovations and solutions that are shaping high-performance teams and best-in-class procurement organizations.
There’s still time to register for the Fall Global Executive Summit. To learn more about the Summit, check out the Summit website and share it with your team to plan your trip.
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