SIG Speaks Blog

Procurement's Role in Digital and Agile Transformations

Procurement digital and agile transformation

There’s no question that companies are turning to technology to manage many facets of their operations, and procurement is no different. Adopting a technology platform to manage one business unit can result in positive changes, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. But what happens when a company decides to go through a complete agile and digital transformation?

Our client, College Board, decided to undertake such a sweeping change, and while they’re still on their journey, they are seeing positive outcomes across the organization. About five years ago, College Board saw successive changes in leadership with a new CIO coming in, followed by a new CPO. When they joined the team, College Board had disjointed technology – no department could communicate with another. So, the decision was made to jump into the deep end and take on a complete agile and digital transformation.

Building a Movement

The agile transformation, which would ultimately lead to the digital transformation, required a culture change at College Board. They knew behaviors had to change, both individually and companywide. There was a serious need for collaboration and cross-functional teams to remove the silos each department was in, which could be fostered by new technologies.

And College Board’s 1,800 employees and 250 contractors had to be on board. So, it all started with leadership. The organization’s forward-thinking CIO and CPO laid out clearly defined goals and strategies. Setting the example that this would be successful went a long way in encouraging employee buy-in.

Shashank Saxena, VNDLY CEO and Co-Founder

SIG Speaks to Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer, Spend Matters

Pierre Mitchell will present at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit

What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I wear a lot of hats! I advise practitioner advisory clients on their digital procurement (and broader transformation) initiatives. I particularly like working with Center of Excellence leads! We also serve technology providers and consultants, and I help out with thought leadership (e.g., webinars) and strategy. I lead a team of analysts, but also personally help cover the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) space and broader areas in supply chain, risk management, etc.

We’re evangelizing a concept called “Commercial Value Management” that is basically “CLM on steroids.” Finally, I’m responsible for our “Solution Map” provider intelligence benchmark and other market intelligence and product development efforts, and have been spending a lot of time videoconferencing like everyone else!

What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?

It’s so, so much more than cost cutting and doing deals, but rather, about intelligently externalizing the business to safely tap the power of (increasingly digital) supply markets to maximize enterprise value.  Yeah, there’s a lot of words in that statement, but it’s true! It’s the ultimate cross-functional and cross-discipline function. 

In your opinion, what are 3 skills that sourcing and procurement professionals of tomorrow must have?

The skills that are still required today: business domain knowledge, stakeholder/relationship management, supply management (strategic cost management, negotiations, SRM, SCM, risk management, etc.), market intelligence and change management.

Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer, Spend Matters

SIG Speaks to Alpar Kamber, Corporate Executive Vice President & Head Procurement Services, Denali-WNS

Alpar Kamber is the Head of Procurement Services at WNS

What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities?

I am head of WNS’ Procurement Services Business Unit. We support procurement organizations globally across all industries. In my organization, there are over 3,000 procurement professionals in 53 locations across the globe. We touch over $85 billion in spend globally and provide a wide range of services. Clients partner with us to operationalize their procurement function and improve financial performance and efficiency.

My responsibilities are broad, I spend most of my time running our business, engaging my team, focusing on building a stronger organization, meeting with clients and industry leaders, and solutioning. But I am always happy to roll up my sleeves and jump into any project. I am passionate about expanding procurement’s influence and helping our clients boost their performance.

Twelve years ago, I started Denali Sourcing. As a procurement professional myself, I know what our clients face daily. I’ve been asked to deliver on similar mandates and create value for the business that goes beyond cost savings. I founded and grew Denali Sourcing Services into a leading global procurement services organization and then joined WNS as part of our acquisition in 2017. In my current role, I work with a larger and more global client base. The evolution of the last decade has proven to me the significance of the value that procurement adds to the business, regardless of industry. I’ve always known that procurement was a huge value-driver, but I needed time to prove it.

Now, I am helping procurement organizations think about ways to transform operating models and enhance the procurement ecosystems across our entire client base. This includes helping companies with any of the following:

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

SIG Speaks to Canda Rozier, Procurement Evangelist

Canda Rozier is the Owner/President at Collabra Consulting

What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities?

I have been CPO at several global companies, where I had responsibility for all procurement, sourcing, P2P automation, as well as global real estate and facilities. I’m currently the President of Collabra Consulting, providing support to clients for procurement, sourcing, cost reduction initiatives, vendor risk management, advisory projects and interim leadership.

What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?

It’s exciting! Sourcing and procurement are mission-critical business activities and done well, they can provide significant bottom-line impact, strategic support, and risk and governance controls to a company.

Canda Rozier, Owner/President, Collabra Consulting

SIG University Offers Continuing Professional Education Credits for CPAs

SIG University

Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs) who are looking to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to maintain their licenses can improve their knowledge in third-party risk management by enrolling in SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program.

SIG was recently approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a CEP sponsor. The National Registry of CPE Sponsors recognizes and highlights CPE sponsors that provide CPE programs in accordance with nationally recognized standards.

CPA and equivalent designations who enroll in the CPE-track of SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program will receive 66 CPE credits and graduate with a strong knowledge base of third-party risk management best practices that can be implemented immediately.

>>Read More: Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional FAQs<<

What do CPAs Need to Know About Third-Party Risk?

CPAs are in possession of highly sensitive client data that cybercriminals and other bad actors could exploit. This program touches on all areas of operational risk, including cyber, business resilience, financial, technology and reputational risk. Anyone who is serious about investing in their team and protecting the wider enterprise will benefit from the program’s focus on governance and oversight best practices, controls and board reporting with a view from the top.

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

SIG Speaks to Shashank Saxena, CEO and Co-Founder of VNDLY

Shashank Saxena is a presenter at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit

What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities? 

As CEO of a software SaaS company, I spend time with my leadership team focusing on the product and obsessing over the problems we're trying to solve for our customers. I focus on making sure all of our teams – internal product management, sales, engineering and customer support – are functioning at optimal levels. I also enjoy spending time with our customers, hearing about their pain points and how they're actually using the software we've built. 

What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement? 

Sourcing isn't just about finding the right vendor or supplier, it's about understanding the problems business stakeholders are trying to solve. Very often I see teams obsess over the solution, its features and price, rather than focusing on the problem the stakeholder is experiencing. The best sourcing and procurement teams I've worked with are strategic in their approach and never lose sight of the pain points stakeholders have throughout the sourcing process. 

Shashank Saxena, CEO and Co-Founder, VNDLY

SIG Speaks to David Bittner, Pre-Sales Director, Icertis

David Bittner will present at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit

What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

As a Pre-Sales Director at Icertis, I am a solution consultant. I work collaboratively with companies to understand their unique business challenges and uncover the specific value Icertis solutions will provide. Often, I explain and demonstrate the “art of the possible.” Many folks think of contract software solutions in terms of a module or repository with authoring tools, and I help them see the bigger picture of the true value an enterprise-level contract management system can provide.

What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?

For folks outside of sourcing and procurement organizations, I wish more people knew how critical the sourcing and procurement functions are to a business. The contracts that sourcing and procurement professionals deal with every day govern every dollar spent and are essential to optimizing the business and accelerating commerce. But it’s not only about the dollars, cents and saving money. It’s also about reducing risk by working with the right suppliers with mutually beneficial terms and ensuring that everything is captured and tracked in contracts. I see sourcing and procurement as a longer-term, strategic function, not just tactical.

David Bittner, Pre-Sales Director, Icertis

SIG Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

SIG Advisory Board Announcement

I am pleased to announce that SIG has appointed the following nine senior executives to the SIG Advisory Board for a three-year term:

  • Jeff Amsel, Vice President, Global Sourcing and Real Estate, HERE Technologies
  • Tony Filippone, Chief Procurement Officer, Axis Capital
  • Daryl Hammett, Chief Operating Officer, ConnXus
  • Ed Hansen, Partner, Co-Chair, Outsourcing and Digital Transformation Group, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
  • Pat McCarthy, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass
  • Mike Morsch, Vice President, Global Procurement and Supply Chain, CDK Global
  • Michael van Keulen, Chief Procurement Officer, Coupa
  • Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group
  • Michele Wesseling, Associate Vice President, Global Third Party Management Office, TD Securities Limited

The diversity of these companies is a true reflection of the SIG community at large. The value that the Board brings through their insight and experiences is immensely important to the strategic direction for SIG. SIG’s members represent trillions in annual revenues and sourceable spend and their impact on their organization’s operations and bottom line cannot be overstated.

This impressive Board will begin their term at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit taking place online beginning on May 11, and are rounded out with these existing Board members:

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Procurement KPIs that every CPO, Supply Manager and Buyer Needs to know

KPIs for CPOs

In this introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we’ll examine not only which KPIs matter, but also how to use them and expand them to support procurement’s broadening role — and also how certain KPI approaches can mislead.

This two-part brief is available to readers as part of SIG and Spend Matters' ongoing partnership


Procurement leaders know that managing spend (what you pay) and supply (what you get) is much more than tactical efficiency improvements and short-lived price reduction efforts. Enabling this procurement evolution requires a balanced scorecard to measure procurement contribution and key performance indicators (KPIs) that quantify the return on investment (ROI) of current procurement processes and also new and improved processes that are increasingly powered by emerging digital capabilities.

In this introduction to KPIs and related considerations, we’ll examine not only which KPIs matter but also how to use and expand them to support procurement’s broadening role — and also how certain KPI approaches can mislead.

What’s the problem with KPIs?

When measuring procurement’s value contribution to the business, the first questions to raise are these: (i) What KPIs should I use (ii) and why?

Although year-on-year purchased cost reduction has been a key historical value proposition of procurement, companies can't "save their way to zero." As businesses are evolving and digitally transforming, procurement organizations must also transform their KPIs to not just measure legacy procurement processes (or procurement services), but to also guide the transformation efforts themselves and build better procurement scorecards that reflect how procurement can enable broader business objectives.

Pierre Mitchell, Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer

SIG Speaks to Deborah Cunningham

Deborah Cunningham is the Co-founder of The Mindfulness Effect

Deb Cunningham’s passion for creating wellness in both the corporate world and personal life has led to her role as co-founder of The Mindfulness Effect, a boutique corporate consulting company that bring mindfulness into the workplace. With a career in healthcare that spans over two decades, she has combined her industry experience with 20+ years of practicing and teaching yoga and mindfulness. She is a certified RYT500/YACEP yoga instructor and certified Yoga Nidra meditation instructor.


What is mindfulness, generally speaking?

Mindfulness is a term that attempts to summarize a way of seeing the world around us, in the present moment and releasing the tendency to judge. It forces us to stop and pay attention, which is an important component in balancing the nervous system.

The past few weeks have catapulted the entire globe into a constant state of near panic. This perpetual barrage of fear and anxiety is quite literally triggering the fight, flight or freeze response in the brain.  How can we move through these times with a calm and present state of mind?

As we know, our environment is constantly changing. Look at the last month, never mind the last 20 years, and we can see that the ability to adapt quickly to new circumstances is vital. This requires a level head and access to focus, ingenuity and intuition.  

How does mindfulness work in a business setting?

We have all seen the person staring listlessly into the air as they go about the mundane task of the moment. It is proven that executives cannot focus on what’s at hand due to the unending demand for their attention, whether it’s the phone, email, text, reports, meetings and face-to-face interactions.

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

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