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
My first Op-Ed, Open Letter to the C-Suite, appealed to the C-Suite to hold Procurement accountable for not investing in technology. The blog referenced a Gartner perspective that only 22% of procurement leaders have a long-term digital strategy. I touched a nerve, invoking comments from a few readers suggesting there are procurement leaders - the Magical CPO - that understand how to navigate the C-Suite to get the budget for technology investments.
To give credit where credit is due, Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari (Now Microsoft), is the source for the term Magical CPO. It describes a procurement leader that understands how to build business cases and secure budgets for technology investments that improve their department's efficiency and effectiveness while supporting the needs across all business disciplines. The Magical CPO persona, by definition, is juxtaposed with the technology laggard. If you saw my first Op-Ed, I noted that 78% of procurement leaders are technology laggards without any digital automation strategy.
The Magical CPO persona
Let’s unpack the Magical CPO persona to agree on common qualities. My views are based on my observations and experiences over a 30+ year career in procurement. There is no Wikipedia page for Magical CPO nor a Google search that prompts any relevant hits - I checked. While I understand there are more sources than Wikipedia and Google, the point is that there is generally no standard persona for the Magical CPO. Here’s my interpretation of what the Magical CPO must possess:
Greg Tennyson, SVP of Strategy & Procurement, Fairmarkit
The second half of 2022 is here but constant supply chain problems are diverting procurement’s attention from other business-critical areas. We have a host of resources, insights and events to get you prepared!
June CPO & Executive Virtual Series
SIG's CPO & Executive Virtual Series is an opportunity for the most senior procurement executives to gather with their peers in an interactive virtual environment to discuss their most pressing issues. On June 8, Keith Learn, Vice President of Procurement & Supplier Development at Mary Kay Inc., will deliver a thought leadership presentation that will leave you with many new tools and strategies! Nick Heinzmann, Vice President of Research at Spend Matters will also be presenting his latest learnings. Nick will discuss ESG, regulatory forces, and inflation.
Join us for this collaborative and very personal conversation!
Learning isn’t just about knowing something but also about knowing what to do with new knowledge once it is acquired.
However, turning "educational dialogues that generate actionable takeaways" can be challenging within a traditional extended learning framework because of busy schedules and increasing workday demands. Because of this new reality, SIG University’s Microlearning sessions deliver tangible and measurable insights that you can use immediately within the convenience of a two-hour session format.
In today's post, I will briefly talk about the May Microlearning Session in which one CPO shared her experiences in leading her organization’s digital transformation journey beyond the Maginot Line.
Beyond The Maginot Line?
"Like France's 1930's Maginot Line, 'digital washing' of old ideas and lack of forward-thinking has the potential to create strategic disaster in a highly competitive world where speed to market and agility are key." - 'Digital washing' can wreck your strategic business planning, ZDNET
“Like the Maginot Line?”
Here is the link to the above article that delves deeper into the historical significance of the Maginot Line and its relation to a digital transformation strategy. In the context of the May Microlearning session, the "digital washing of old ideas” and the “lack of forward-thinking” statements stood out to me from the article.
According to May’s session expert Canda Rozier, Green Washing – when you tick a box for purportedly achieving a broad or vague sustainability target, is now happening with digital automation initiatives.
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.
Coming in at 130 pages, you might immediately think that this isn't a paper or a report; it's a book.
I know that was my first thought when I began reading the GEP Spend Category Outlook Report For 2022. Just as an aside, did you know that between 2011 and 2017, the average length of a bestselling book fell by 42%? Since then, and with the demand on our time becoming greater, I am sure that the length reduction has continued its downward trend.
By the way, a 2022 report indicates that the same downward trend applied to white papers, which, on average, are now 6 to 8 pages.
So, why am I with this latest paper talking about the number of pages versus the actual content – which is amazing?
My reason is that reviewing this report shouldn’t be a “read once and done” exercise.
The Ultimate Nightstand Guide
In today's Zettabyte digital reality, we are bombarded with content so much so that if you read a book or a paper, you are likely to gather what you can and then move on to the next resource – which is fair.
However, sometimes the information you receive is so on the mark that it is worth setting aside to a special place so that you can easily access its insights any day, every day. What I am talking about is a guidebook. And this latest GEP release is just that – it is a handy guidebook that you will want to keep at your fingertips to understand better the challenges you have or are facing today and the ones you will be facing tomorrow.
Having read it in its entirety, I can confidently say that it will help you get ahead of the curve of future challenging events before they unfold. Through the agility of its timely insights and the practical adaptability of its direction, you will quickly move from a reactive to a proactive position. It is the epitome of turning information into actionable knowledge.
Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics
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.
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.