SIG Speaks Blog

Intelligent Automation Implementation: A Matter of Discipline

Intelligent Automation for procurement

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program graduate David Romo-Garza discusses how discipline and organizational changes will create efficiencies throughout the lifecycle designed to implement Intelligent Process Automation.


Automating processes is still a challenging endeavor for multiple organizations. Lines of Business (LoB) continue to struggle to understand the steps that it takes to implement and manage Intelligent Automation efforts effectively. Bringing discipline to an undisciplined culture creates a multitude of barriers that have a trickle effect that prevents organizations from effectively automating their processes.  

Navigating the Lines of Business and Processes

During my last position at my current organization, I experienced the pains and aches from both perspectives, the LoB and the Process Owner. On one end, I represented the LoB, who was trying to automate the due diligence procedures related to vetting our third parties.  While the process was considered automated, it was ineffective and broken. It required countless manual tasks, including requiring end-users to save their assessments in an excel spreadsheet.  

Additionally, the system design contained a detrimental limitation that prevented users from partially completing an assessment and returning later.  The system did not have the ability to save progress prior to completing and closing their official assessments.  Further, the system did not effectively introduce business controls designed for preventive nor detective error/compliant applications.

David E. Romo-Garza, Director of Business Risk and Controls

Curbing the Anti-Asian Sentiment Through Globalization

globalization to improve racial discrimination

This guest blog post is contributed by a SIG board member to share their personal story and experiences. Diversity and inclusion are one of SIG's core values, and we hope this blog will encourage positive change. The content below does not express the views or opinions of SIG.


Over the past year, anti-Asian sentiment has again continued to rise. It is worsening across various parts of the world and in America, including shockingly, even in San Francisco! As an Asian and an immigrant, it sinks my heart every time I see it. Still, I am acutely aware of and disheartened to know that for every one reported by the media, many aren't being reported either by the media or by victims themselves.

Asia is a continent full of many vibrant cultures full of rich history and customs, some of the oldest on the planet. Our value systems perhaps make us easy targets of bullies that haven't been taught better and those that continue to harbor resentment and jealousy towards the success of hard-working Asians.

I am an Asian-American immigrant who lost my parents in a horrific and racially motivated incident almost three decades ago. Now there isn't a single day that goes by that I don't think about how globalization has made America and the world smaller, but these sentiments are still so prevalent and of all places, in America! While it's not acceptable to see these incidents anywhere but to see them in America in 2021 makes me question why our value systems have not yet evolved, despite globalization?

Purvee Kondal, Senior Director of Technology & Engineering Sourcing, Albertsons Companies

Lovin’ It: How McDonald’s Happy Meals Saved the SIG Summit

McDonald’s at the SIG Summit

Anyone that has ever worked for SIG has heard me say that if we are going to fail, fail fast. And over the years, we’ve tried and failed at more than a few things. Truth be told, I don’t mind failing as long as we use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Fail Fast and Learn

I learned this lesson in my earliest days with SIG in 2008. We were coming to the end of my first Summit as the CEO and it had been an amazing week. For all intents and purposes, it had gone flawlessly. The speakers were incredible…the content was cutting-edge…the dialogues were advancing the industry…the property was beautiful…and our partnership with the hotel had been nearly perfect. I could not have been more excited by the energy from the event and was looking forward to capping it off with a bang during the final night.

I knew from personal experience…and from Agi (a beloved longtime colleague who had been with SIG since it was founded) that close to half the delegates – most of them providers – usually leave before the final night’s celebration, so it was an opportunity to relax a bit more with the practitioner members.

We had a beautiful evening planned for the smaller group. Buses were available to shuttle everyone to an offsite restaurant in Newport Beach, where we had local delicacies and signature cocktails ready for all. Or so we thought.

In my excitement, I spent the entire week hyping the final evening. I mean, of course I wanted people to stay, why wouldn’t I? (Side note: now very few people leave early because the surprise entertainment is always worth waiting for, so as you plan for our next in-person Summit this fall, arrange your travel plans accordingly!)

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

This Month at SIG – April 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we host our April SIGnature Event, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date, and registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.


Geofencing of Employees, Onshoring and More - The New Normal

There’s still time to register for our upcoming digital SIGnature Event on April 21. The theme for the event is The New Normal. Senior-level and above delegates will participate in an executive roundtable hosted by Oliver Wyman to discuss energy transition and sustainable procurement.

Concurrent to the Executive Roundtable session will be an interactive panel discussion on Diversity & Inclusion, hosted by Janice Green, President & CEO , Women’s Business Enterprise Council Pacific (WBEC Pacific) .

Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit

Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!

Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Women's History Month Spotlight Part 2

highlighting women authors during womens history month

As a continuation of our celebration of diversity and inclusion this year and Women's History Month, we bring you part 2 of our Women's History Spotlight.


Purvee Kondal

Purvee Kondal is a Senior Director at Globality, an advisory board member at RampRate, a Nomination Committee member for the Athena Rising Foundation Fellowship, an Athena Alliance member, and a National Association of Corporate Directors Accelerate program participant.

She is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of experience leading transformational changes at notable organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Capgemini, General Electric, and Ross Stores.

Emily Rakowski

Emily Rakowski is the Chief Marketing Officer at EcoVadis. Emily brings over 20 years’ experience in high-tech marketing and consulting to EcoVadis. She previously spent many years in global marketing and demand management roles with both SAP and Ariba. Also, she is a SIG Advisory Board member.

Padmini Ranganathan

Padmini Ranganathan is Global Vice President, Product Strategy, SAP Procurement solutions. In this role, she leads a team of experts focused on watching emerging trends and helping shape the future of digital and sustainable procurement. Throughout her 25+ year career journey, Padmini has been a passionate advocate for bringing technology to business users that simplifies and enriches their daily work and decision making.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

The Soft Skills of Successful Stakeholder Management

stakeholder management

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Candace Masuda, outlines how soft skills evolve procurement professionals into successful stakeholder managers.


As procurement professionals, we are required to wear many hats. We are consultants, analysts, problem solvers and project managers.  All these qualities are necessary but not as crucial as having internal personal/soft skills. Interpersonal skills are the key to success in leading teams, negotiating and maintaining great relationships with our internal and external customers.

Several years ago, I was fortunate to attend a management training class. Something really resonated with me in that class about leadership and styles. There was a survey that reached out to several Fortune 500 companies. The goal of the study was to determine the most favored management style amongst their employees.  

What Makes a Leader

Employees were asked to think of their favorite manager, past or present.  What were the skills this person exhibited which made them great to work with? The survey results were interesting. The typical characteristics were technical, analytical and on-the-job experience. However, though these skills were at the top of the list, they were not the most significant.  The most valuable skill was the manager that had strong people skills. The employees worked harder, enjoyed their job and were highly motivated. 

Candace Masuda, Procurement Specialist, American Honda Motor Co.

Women's History Month Spotlight

highlighting women authors during womens history month

SIG will be celebrating diversity and inclusion this year and this month, we are highlighting the professional contributions of SIG members for Women's History Month. We have selected a round up of our favorite women authors over the last year to feature!


Sheena Smith

Sheena is the Managing Director of North America at Spend Matters, starting with the organization in 2010 as their copyeditor.

 

Michele Wesseling

Michele leads the TD Securities' Global Third Party Management Office with a mandate to manage TD Securities' third party risk and spend proactively, centralize third party management, and maintain an effective operating model aligned with rapidly changing regulatory requirements.

 

Dawn Tiura

Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Future of Sourcing Digital Publication, has over 26 years leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry.

 

Mary Zampino

Mary Zampino is the Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics at SIG and has over 20 years of experience in information technology and over 15 years of experience in sourcing.

 

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

How Streamlined Purchasing Supports Training and Development Programs

technology training and development

2020 created a unique situation for businesses and significant learnings from the unforeseen circumstances of the pandemic.  2021 will be the year these learnings are put into action.  Internally, this may mean updates to standard operating procedures, workflows and other processes to better prepare for the unforeseen. The explosion in online training and the expected increase in budgets will offer more opportunities. Businesses with a well-trained workforce will have a competitive advantage. 

Training is perhaps more critical in 2021 than in years’ past. It is well known that a comprehensive training and development program empowers employees and improves retention. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning report,  51% of learning and development experts will be launching upskilling programs while 43% will be reskilling their teams.  So much has been learned across industries, disciplines, etc, that it will be critical for not only the Procurement organization to be an active participant in training but Marketing, Accounting, Manufacturing, Supply chain, etc.

Streamlined Procurement can be Part of the Solution

Across organizations, departments are being challenged to do more with fewer resources.  As a result, finding the time to participate in training sessions becomes more difficult. Establishing a priority for what training is most important becomes a challenge. Finding ways to make company-wide processes easier lowers the burden on the individual department in 2 ways. First, simpler technology or processes eliminates the need for formal training sessions, and an easier process saves time and encourages user engagement.

Kelly Luecke, Marketing Coordinator, Buyerquest

This Month at SIG – March 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we prepare for a new future in procurement, have a host of exciting industry research and webinars to keep you up to date, and we announce that registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.


Don't Miss These March Events

Why Does Procurement Take so Long? And How Can We Fix It?

Business stakeholders are continuously frustrated by how long procurement takes to bring suppliers on board. CPOs and senior executives are invited to join experts from App Orchid to learn innovative ideas for transforming the traditional procurement process within the organization.

Procurement: More than Savings

Join this open discussion with Canda Rozier, CIAP, Collabra Consulting and SIG University faculty, for her take on how procurement can best achieve value beyond just savings. This is your time to "Ask the Expert" as Canda has decades of experience on both sides of the business and is ready to share her insights based on trusted and tested methodologies.

 

Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit

According to industry experts, procurement as a function will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!

Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Supply Chain Mobility: Sourcing Tomorrow’s Business

Supply chain sourcing

There’s a lot of talk regarding all the ways technology is going to revolutionize procurement. Blockchain can increase supply chain visibility. The Internet of Things (IoT) can change the way our business devices communicate with each other. But what type of innovations are available at the sourcing level?

From paper RFPs to conferences, it seems the way we source business has largely remained the same. Procurement teams are limited to siloed, outdated supplier databases and incomplete business information when attempting to make business decisions. It’s expensive and time-consuming to get a holistic picture of a supplier’s business health and mitigate third-party risk.

How can we adapt today’s technology for tomorrow’s sourcing needs? Here are a few innovative ways that your organization can source business.

Mobilize Your Supply Chain

I believe the key to sourcing success lies in mobilizing supply chains. Right now, supplier data is locked down in many different places that don’t communicate with each other. A large organization may have supplier data separately located throughout their ERP and CRM systems, accounting and legal departments, and Excel files floating around from supplier diversity programs, in addition to their procurement arm.

Teams are often tasked with managing legacy Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems with high overhead costs and systems that are unable to effectively manage the dynamic nature and sheer abundance of today’s business data. Traditionally, supplier information has been limited to line items such as name, tax ID, quantity and price of a sourced product, and remit-to-pay.

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP, Global Head of Lead Management and Operations Amazon Web Services (AWS)

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