SIG Speaks Blog

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 - Part 1

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 four-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

Just Announced: 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch

50 providers to know, 50 providers to watch

Spend Matters has just released its 7th annual “50 Providers to Know/50 Providers to Watch” lists. Each year, Spend Matters’ technology analysts assess the capabilities for an array of companies across 13 market sectors and releases its lists of 100 vendors in the industry. These represent the best-in-class companies you need to know about as well as the up-and-coming, growing firms to keep your eye on.

Providers to Know

Among this year’s vendors are 11 companies that have earned the “50 Providers to Know” distinction each of the seven years the lists have been published! These include Accenture, Achilles, Basware, Beeline, Coupa (including Trade Extensions and Spend 360), Deloitte Consulting, GEP, Insight Sourcing Group (including SpendHQ), Ivalua, Jaggaer and The Hackett Group. These vendors sit alongside AppZen and Rosslyn Analytics, which are brand-new “to Know” companies for 2020.

Providers to Watch

Eight vendors jumped from the Watch to the Know list in 2020, they are Agiloft, Celonis, ConnXus, Lease Accelerator, MBO Partners, NPI, Per Angusta and Tipalti. More than half of the “50 Providers to Watch” list represents new honorees, with 34 new companies included, four of which are start-ups featured on the 2019 Spend Matters “Future 5” list — Bid Ops, Fairmarkit, Negotiatus and SupplyHive.

This year’s digital release of the lists will be accompanied by social and video content to spread the word throughout the procurement community leading up to the digital SIG Procurement Technology Summit, beginning May 11.

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

SIG Speaks to David Gingell, CMO, Seal Software

David Gingell will present at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit

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

I am responsible for marketing the Seal technology used by many Global 2000 companies to gain insight into both their buy-side and sell-side contracts. This means having a good understanding of the needs of our customers, being attuned to the areas in which our technology can help them and deliver the assets that they can use to evaluate whether Seal is right for them. This can be in terms of white papers, web copy, webinars and so on.

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

Clearly, I am motivated to see more and more organizations experience the value they can gain by having a deeper understanding of their contracts, identifying obligations they have, opportunities for revenue recovery or simply understanding whether they are tight with regulations like GDPR. All of these are about gaining insight to aid decision-making. Contract analytics is being adopted by forward-thinking procurement functions across financial institutions, energy companies, telcos, process and discrete manufacturers, indeed, across nearly every industry. My role is to help more companies understand the power of contract analytics.

In today’s current pandemic, companies are looking to their contracts to see if there is language which might give them a respite out of trying to meet their obligations to their customers across the supply chain – this is usually referenced in the force majeure clauses but also needs to take into account business continuity provisions and termination rights. This is one area where the power of contract analytics can be engaged.

David Gingell, CMO, Seal Software

Uncertain Times Call for Strong Leaders: A Q&A with Dawn Tiura

COVID-19 Interview

Business today isn’t business as usual, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts organizations and supply chains across the globe. And in uncertain times such as these, leaders in every industry and business function must step up. New leadership skills and traits will be necessary to ensure business continuity, and to inspire teams to work together to support each other and remain productive.

We recently interviewed Dawn Tiura, President and CEO of Sourcing Industry Group (SIG). Dawn will be presenting a thought-leader keynote titled “Leadership in Uncertain Times” at Ivalua NOW, the premier virtual event for procurement leaders, on May 5. During our interview, she shared with us her thoughts about how leaders must draw on different skills and traits when unexpected circumstances arise, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring them to employ different leadership styles to unite and motivate employees.


Today, procurement leaders have a seat at the table in e-staff meetings. How has the role changed over the past few years?

It’s changed dramatically. In the past, we were seen as overhead, not as a strategic partner. Procurement teams were just buyers who delivered what other departments told them to buy. Organizations viewed procurement as the bottleneck between what they wanted and when they received it. In reality, procurement sees all the waste and redundancy that exists in the supply chain, and has a significant impact on a business’s bottom line.

Aurelie Teyssier, Sr. Director of Marketing, Americas

7 Creative Hiring Strategies to Build Your Procurement Team

7 Creative Hiring Strategies for Building Your Procurement Team

As a procurement professional, you know that talent in procurement has been a hot topic in recent years. Here at WNS-Denali, we have seen more organizations grapple with talent issues, so we decided to dive deeper into the key talent concerns for retail companies at SIG’s Global Executive Summit last fall.

>>Looking for a new job or to hire top procurement talent? Visit SIG's Career Network!<< 

The all-star packed panel with procurement leaders from some of the largest retail brands in the world came together to such questions as:

  • How does your hiring profile differ now and why? 

  • Where are you finding your talent? 

  • What are you looking for in new hires? 

  • Specialist or generalist, which is a better hiring strategy for your team?

Even if you work at a company beyond the retail industry, these questions and the learnings from the panel still apply to your company. As you strive to gain a competitive advantage and influence more spend strategically, refreshing your approach to talent can make a big impact. Below are the top seven creative hiring strategies that came from our panel of retail experts.

Hire from within

This classic retail trick applies to all industries. Promoting from other areas of business up into a corporate role brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective on the core business and ability to relate to stakeholders. Most importantly, it will add a level of credibility to your procurement team.

David Gonzalez, Director, Procurement Services, Denali - A WNS Company

Three Questions To Ask When Framing Technology Decisions in Procurement Functions

By asking three key questions, innovation, procurement and their organizations will be best-suited to choose the tools that best fit their business needs.

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) Program graduate Daryl Hammett discusses the three key questions organizations should ask when framing technology decisions in procurement functions to best suit their business needs.


While legacy resource planning systems are key to all global supply chains, they are also cumbersome, expensive and not designed to support the type of relational data businesses deal with to drive decisions.

Procurement organizations are thinking more often about innovating old processing systems. What areas have inherent risks in innovating? To what degree do we change? How do we manage it? Who do we get involved? A lot of attention is focused on getting the results from innovation and change, especially those associated with people. Most companies have implemented procedures to manage and grow innovation, but I believe one of the most under-analyzed risks in innovation, and one that could be the biggest threat going unaddressed today, is the risk of group think in implementing change in procurement teams.

>>Supplier Management Made Simple: Listen to Daryl on The Sourcing Industry Landscape Podcast<<

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, ConnXus

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