SIG University

Utilizing Team Engagement in Procurement

Image of Team Engagement

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

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

Reengineering a Company’s Thoughts on IPA

IPA for organizations

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate Jamie Maiers discusses the benefits of  Intelligent Process Automation and the stakeholder management challenges of implementation.

Jamie Maiers, System Analyst, Allegis Group

Business Unit’s Role in Elevating Third-Party Risk Management Capabilities

Third-Party Risk Management business unit

SIG University Certified Third-Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program graduate Kyle Brown discusses the value proposition and responsibilities for the key players in an effective third-party risk management program.


Each business unit owns the risks associated with the contracts they decide to enter into.  This is a fundamental principle built into third-party risk management (TRPM) programs. In large organizations, the program's success is highly dependent upon each Business Unit fulfilling their responsibilities.

The Business Unit Structure for Risk Management Success

The business unit needs to ensure they have a suitable organizational structure and resources to fulfill their third-party risk management program responsibilities. This includes having team members trained in specific competencies and adequate capacity based on the level of risk associated with the business unit's third parties and sufficient capacity based on the level of risk associated with the business unit's third parties.

Once the contract is set, the business unit is responsible for the activities and tasks related to owning the relationship ( “relationship management”), including communication, contract, performance, and risk management. Team Members who reside within a business unit who perform relationship management activities comprise the largest internal population of team members who should manage risk due diligence activities with third parties.

Kyle Brown, Managing Director, ATB Financial

How to Become a Certified Intelligent Automation Professional

Intelligent process automation technologies allow your team to focus on more strategic business objectives.

SIG University’s Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program is an online certification program for working professionals who seek to become more efficient and free up team resources by automating repetitive, rules-based activities. An investment in the CIAP designation will provide your team with a holistic understanding of Intelligent Process Automation technologies so they can focus on more strategic business objectives.

Outlined here is more information on the benefits of a CIAP designation, as well as a profile of who would benefit from the program.  


What is Intelligent Process Automation?

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is an evolving set of software technologies that can be used singly or in combination to automate repetitive, rules-based routine tasks. The Intelligent Process Automation technologies are broadly categorized as:

  • Robotic Process Automation – Handles repeatable, routine and predictable tasks
  • Cognitive technologies – Have the ability to be trained to read variable inputs and determine what actions to take under different circumstances.
  • Workflow orchestration – Manages work between different IPA technologies, legacy systems and human workers.
  • Virtual agents – Use voice or text chat for direct interaction with users.

The key to true Intelligent Process Automation is how to combine the above-mentioned tools to solve end-to-end business problems. 

James Swinford, CEO, Virtual Operations

The Importance of Supplier Governance Programs

governance programs for procurement

SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Adrienne Westerfield outlines how supplier governance programs and relationships are extremely beneficial to all stakeholders involved and can help drive business success.


What is a governance program? During the SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program, while learning unfamiliar governance terminology, I realized I had been involved with creating and establishing various types of governance throughout my career. Supplier governance is a relationship or framework that is mutually agreed upon. Both the company and the supplier benefit from this relationship. The framework can be at a corporate, business unit or contract level depending on the needs and value sought by both parties.

If it is an established relationship that has never been formalized, adding governance will ensure contract compliance. It will mitigate risks for both parties while making sure the objectives of the relationship are met. Over time, the goals for each company may change so that the structure can be re-evaluated accordingly and adjustments made to align with a new direction or specific initiatives. A more structured governance framework will also define the roles and responsibilities for teams, departments and individuals at each company, which will mitigate the risk of any tasks remaining incomplete or done incorrectly.

Adrienne Westerfield, Contract Administrator, Louisville Gas & Electric Company (LG&E)

Digital Disruption in Sourcing and Procurement with Intelligent Automation

Intelligent Automation for procurement

Procurement leader Canda Rozier and senior sourcing veteran Lawrence Kane joined the Sourcing Industry Landscape Podcast to discuss the new age of intelligent automation, based on what they learned in SIG University’s Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program. They outline how intelligent automation can be a powerful tool to promote an organization’s growth and prosperity, and how – when implemented correctly – it can be targeted to improve areas holding back the enterprise.


What is a simple definition of intelligent automation?

Canda Rozier: I think intelligent automation is a fully holistic approach for business transformation that lets companies start to analyze data, provide analytics on the data and deliver digital solutions to optimize business processes and tasks. I think one of the things that has really struck me as I've learned more about and become engaged with intelligent automation is that it's as important to understand what it's not as to understand what it is.

 A lot of intelligent automation projects fail or don’t provide results – why?

Lawrence Kane: It's not a panacea, and it really needs to be implemented systemically because it's a program. It shouldn't be a one-off, because you have to look at your tools and processes and how the enterprise creates value and understand where are the places that you want to go and automate. Where are the places you want to stop doing things, where are the areas that you need to change doing something, right?

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

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