SIG University

Implementing Procurement Initiatives

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Laurie Kuecker discusses how procurement leaders must change and adapt their processes to better fit their industry.

Laurie Kuecker, Manager of Corporate Procurement, American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Building a Supplier Management Program

Supplier Management

SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate James Hamlin breaks down the knowledge he's gained while building a supplier management program.

James Hamlin, Sourcing Analyst, American Tire Distributors

The Better Method

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Nancy Wieskus shares the "Better Method" for procurement teams to implement into their procurement system.


The hybrid procurement method combines a central procurement base with subject matter experts (SMEs) already in each department to balance stakeholders' functionalities and strategic sourcing, which gives the business the best of both worlds. 

Centralized purchasing or Procurement is a system in which one department manages the purchasing of goods and services for the entire organization. The purchasing department is usually located in the organization's headquarters, where it operates the purchasing for all the branches in the firm. Advantages of central purchasing include reducing redundant work, lowering costs associated with training and supporting additional staff, and better controls. Disadvantages may be that the category manager may not be a subject matter expert in the particular category. It may take longer to complete a contract as Procurement takes a strategic approach. Also, stakeholders may be resentful in introducing other vendors into the mix.

Decentralized Procurement, on the other hand, allows individual stakeholders to make purchases for their departments. This, too, can have its advantages. Decentralization brings the decision-making process closer to the scene of action. This leads to quicker decision-making at the lower level since decisions do not have to be referred up through the hierarchy. Disadvantages are lower cost savings, competitive edge, reduced workload, and strategic advantage. 

Nancy Wieskus, Lead Category Manager, Valley. Bank

The Importance of Stakeholder Relationship Management

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Patrick Fifer shares how important it is to manage your direct stakeholder relationships in the sourcing world.


Throughout the Certified Sourcing Professional program, stakeholder management was a critical aspect interwoven throughout the lessons. It is the area that I would like to focus on for my blog submission. As a sourcing professional, it is of the utmost importance to manage each of your stakeholder relationships equally to ensure that your categories' sourcing process is maintained appropriately. A consistent approach to managing each of your stakeholder relationships will help to avoid the exclusion of the sourcing professional due to the stakeholder:

Patrick Fifer, Category Procurement Manager, CoStar Group, Inc.

Utilizing Team Engagement in Procurement

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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

Third Party Risk and the Contractual Life Cycle

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SIG University Certified Third-Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program graduate Tim Thompson discusses the life-cycle of  Third-Party relationships and how they fluctuate  in the business world.

Tim Thompson, Senior Security Specialist, ASMGi

The Importance of Selecting the Right Sourcing Business Model

Selecting the Right Sourcing Business Model

SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Gicela Isla-Richter breaks down the importance of the selecting the correct sourcing business model and the levels of supplier management.


The CSMP course has provided me with the tools and methodologies to help my company ensure that the supplier provides value and complies with applicable internal and external business rules. Equally important, we can better mitigate risks and work more effectively by providing the right amount of effort to manage and build a collaborative relationship with its key suppliers.

Not all suppliers should be managed the same way: each supplier requires a “right-sized” level of governance!

What is Supplier governance?

It is a framework mutually agreed upon by the buyer and supplier. It establishes and enforces rules, distributes authority, defines working environments and identifies risks.

Depending on the importance of the service or product, supplier governance can span through multiple levels of company governance: i.e., corporate, business unit, and contract governance.

Gicela Isla-Richter, Enterprise Risk Manager, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Combining Intelligent Automation Techniques for Strategic Digital Transformation

Intelligent Automation Techniques

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Tom Conti shares the four crucial areas to turn your tactical RPA initiative into a strategic Intelligent Process Automation program.


 While an organization's digital transformation journey may include Intelligent Process Automation, it is only one of the components necessary to influence disruptive organizational change. But what is Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)? At its core, Intelligent Process Automation is the tactical or strategic application of technology to automate a process. This might include loading data, orchestrating different areas of work, or automating repetitive tasks. When properly implemented, an organization can achieve many benefits by using IPA, such as reducing operating costs, enhancing the customer experience, reducing risk, or improving compliance adherence.  

The Four Areas for RPA Definition

There are four central areas to consider when defining the objective of the transformation program to evoke disruptive change. These areas include Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the automation technologies available, process excellence, and change management. When executed together, these techniques offer the greatest return on investment when implementing an IPA program to address the defined business objective. 

First, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a tactical approach to beginning a transformative intelligent automation journey. RPA is best suited where productivity is the primary driver, where simple, rules-based processes can be applied. Often, digital and structured inputs are utilized in RPA processes as little variation is observed within the process where it would make RPA a disagreeable approach.

Tom Conti, Solutions Consultant, Canon Business Process Services

SIG’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

SIG's 30 Year Anniversary Celebration

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. 

Dawn Tiura, CEO & President 

Thanks to the vast input of SIG's member network, here are the bright spots and successes we collectively achieved this year.

Daafram Campbell, Senior Marketing Manager

Automation Really Isn’t About Automation

automation technology

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate Paul Kistner discusses how automation allows best-in-class organizations to find ways to add strategic value to their customers. 

Paul Kistner, Executive Director, Business & Customer Transformation, Allegis Global Solutions

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