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.
Revolutionizing the MRO Supply Chain – The 20 Year Dream That Is Now Achievable with Buyerquest
For Asset Intensive companies, getting a handle on vendors, assets and parts has been a huge problem from a cost, risk, and performance standpoint. Fragmentation and manual processes are time-consuming and limit the opportunity to use business intelligence to deliver new opportunities for success, growth, and innovation in supplier partnerships.
Join this session to learn Skookum’s story, a 30-year leader in Facilities Management and Logistics Support, and their experience solving these problems through digital solutions that revolutionized their MRO supply chain, making a 20-year dream a reality.
If you’re a procurement technology provider familiar with SIG and the Global Executive Summit this fall, we hope you’ve also heard of us at Spend Matters.
If not, we won’t fault you.
Spend Matters is the leading global procurement technology media, analyst and research firm. Combining daily news coverage with subscription research, deep technology analysis, and one-to-one advisory services, Spend Matters provides meaningful insight and tailored solutions for procurement buying organizations, consultants, investors and solution providers.
Each year, Spend Matters releases the annual ‘50 Procurement Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Procurement Providers to Watch’ lists. The lists are made up of — you guessed it — 100 vendors determined by the entire Spend Matters analyst team to represent the best of the commercial providers that serve enterprise-level procurement organizations. Plus, the ‘Future 5’ list — 5 outstanding procurement technology startups with innovative technology prowess, momentum and staying power.
This year marks the sixth annual release of the ‘50 to Know’ and ‘50 to Watch’, and we are beyond thrilled to be doing it LIVE in conjunction with the SIG Global Executive Summit. The lists will be published on Tuesday, October 12. Any vendor present at the Summit who is also on one of the lists will receive their award plaque (in person!) from Spend Matters. We’re excited to pose for photos with those vendors present and share the good news all over Spend Matters social accounts.
Morgan Zombolas, Marketing Engagement Manager, Spend Matters
Whether your company’s focus is to build smart applications or update mobile apps for end-users, to increase intelligence using advanced algorithms, or to look at opportunities to automate internal operations to drive high-value outcomes, there’s no denying that digital plays an increasing role in everyday operations of companies across all verticals and sizes.
As companies worldwide push to drive digital transformation, procurement leaders are being challenged to strategically influence spending, amidst a global climate full of talent scarcity and the need for immediate cost optimization.
Through a strategic partnership with Fossil, we helped the executive leadership team to increase quality, productivity and utilization as they moved from working with a 300-person offshore team to a 180 person Global Insourcing Center “GIC” team through our unique offshore model.
A US-based, vertically integrated global retail and manufacturing company that specializes in a diverse portfolio of lifestyle accessories. This industry powerhouse operates an extensive brand portfolio and a wholesale distribution network across 150 countries and 500 retail locations.
The company had an extensive outsourcing presence in India for years but recently had been adversely affected by cost overruns, under-performing contractors, and poor resource management processes. All were creating a significant drag on productivity and profitability and distracting from the core focus of being a fashion trendsetter and market innovator.
The objectives established for the outsourcing operation were not in dispute. The culprit was the deteriorating execution. The company wanted to regain control in its approach to outsourcing.
After extensive evaluation, the company partnered with SMC Squared to strategically “right-source” the execution.
Patricia Connolly, CEO and Co-Founder, SMC Squared
Empathy is the way to build trust. And the strongest, most productive relationships are built on trust. It’s certainly that way in our personal lives. So it stands to reason that it’s the same with professional relationships. Yet, too often, empathy is left out of the equation when identifying and implementing solutions in the business world in general and in procurement specifically.
That’s not good because, as we all know, strong stakeholder and supplier relationships are the bedrock of a successful Procurement Ecosystem. That’s why the more I’ve learned about the concept of Design Thinking the more I am convinced it can be a game-changer for procurement.
Design Thinking Isn’t a Strategy, It’s a Mindset
What is Design Thinking? Well, it’s not a new concept. It’s been around since at least the 18th century. But its wisdom is just now being embraced by procurement teams, so it feels new.
Basically, Design Thinking involves a different mindset for how to define and solve problems and it begins with empathy for the end-user. The process starts with really listening to and understanding the biggest challenges and pain points for your stakeholders. The idea of putting yourself in their shoes, so you can be sure you are addressing their true needs and not what you think they need.
Design Thinking is a highly creative and iterative process that encourages a lot of experimenting and prototyping. The goal is to fail fast to learn even faster. When you put together a prototype and test it out, your end-users provide feedback for what works and what doesn’t in an iterative feedback loop. The end result, in theory, yields greater stakeholder alignment, better adoption rates, and demonstrates procurement’s strategic value to the business.
Greg Anderson, SVP, Sales North America, WNS Denali