This month, welcome a new cohort of students into the virtual classroom, 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 Global Executive Summit.
2020 has been beset by many uncertainties, but one thing is clear: Continuous learning is a key component to a thriving career.
To emerge successfully from this crisis, it takes more than just an investment in new technologies. It will take knowledge and know-how.
Using research-driven insights and real-world experiences, SIG University faculty are well-known sourcing and procurement practitioners. The online learning model is specifically suited to the adult learner who works full time.
All four certification programs create a common language among procurement teams that break down silos, improve business outcomes and fortify compliance. Delivered entirely online, a certification can be completed in five, six, 10 or 12 weeks depending on the area of study. Join us for the next round of classes that begin on September 28.
SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Karina Swanson discusses the RFx process and how it allows you to analyze real-time market dynamics to ensure you are receiving the right service or product.
There are several reasons you may be considering an RFx strategy as the correct process to pilot for your business. If so, I highly recommend taking a closer look at your portfolio and ask yourself these questions:
- Have you seen a pricing change in the last 12 months?
- Do you have a diverse number of suppliers?
- Do you see small gaps in pricing from dual or multi-sourced products or services?
- Is your portfolio consolidated?
- Have you eliminated all risk factors from your portfolio?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then launching an RFx will bring value to your business.
RFx is a term used to describe multiple types of requests. Choosing the right requests for your business is dependent on your end goal. Start by having discussions with your team and stakeholders to identify what you aim to accomplish.
If you are looking for a general understanding of services or products, you can launch a Request for Information (RFI). Most people use this as the first step in their RFx strategy to evaluate their suppliers’ capabilities. An RFI is a useful tool to involve new suppliers on a new project, assess the market for better suppliers, create a short list of suppliers for your portfolio or the next phase of your strategy.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) is sent to specific suppliers (possibly your short list) requesting a solution for specific problems and gives suppliers the opportunity to bid on your services or products. This request also allows you to evaluate the supplier’s skills.
Rajeev Karmacharya is Head of the Strategic Sourcing and Category Management group at Fannie Mae. Rajeev leads a team of category management, sourcing/contracting and supplier operations professionals managing $4.5+ billion in external spend. He is a member of the SIG Advisory Board and was a featured presenter at SIG’s virtual SIGnature Event that took place in September 2020. Virtual SIGnature Events are free to all qualified buy-side practitioners and sell-side members.
What role does procurement play when it comes to transitioning employees to a work-from-home environment?
I would argue that procurement is a key enabler for several reasons. Many of us have been working from home now for several months. If you think about what was needed for a seamless transition to a work-from-home model, technology and digitization come to mind. Procurement has had a role to play in the acquisition of these technologies and ensuring there are appropriate controls and SLA’s to mitigate any potential performance issues.
Procurement has been an early adopter in implementing solutions such as digital signature, which has seen broader adoption across the enterprise in a work-from-home environment. Specific to the procurement function, approval workflows built into our source-to-pay solutions have enabled our business stakeholders to review and provide necessary approvals electronically.
On a more tactical level, our procurement team worked to ensure that office supplies and peripherals needed to work from home effectively could be ordered online via our procurement portal to be shipped directly to our employees’ homes. Our Category Managers negotiated deals with technology and office furniture suppliers so employees could take advantage of our volume leverage.
Rajeev Karmacharya, Head of the Strategic Sourcing & Category Management, Fannie Mae.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate global economies, businesses across every industry and every size have been making the difficult decision to furlough or lay off workers. As of early July, nearly 50 million people have filed for first-time unemployment benefits over the previous 16 weeks.
Almost one-quarter of all small businesses in the U.S. have already laid off or furloughed their workers due to the pandemic. The majority of the June job gains were not newly created roles, but roles that hired back laid off or furloughed workers.
As time moves forward and the possibility of additional layoffs and furloughs remain likely, maintaining contact with that population becomes increasingly complex and more critical to the future success of your organization.
There is a clear business case for investment -- to improve retention, boost employee morale, and because your brand reputation depends on how you handle this extraordinary situation.
Direct Sourcing with Talent Pools
The pandemic has companies rethinking their talent strategies. Many are finding direct sourcing through talent pools is one way that organizations can engage, manage, support and re-engage talent that has either worked for them before or expressed interest in doing so previously.
This not only saves time and money for companies (a must given the global economy), but it protects and benefits your most important competitive asset -- your talent.
The Global Executive Summit is a space for procurement leaders and teams to be informed by other companies’ experiences, share techniques, and unlock higher levels of value creation and savings. Importantly, networking and making connections is needed now more than ever.
Who Should Attend the Global Executive Summit?
SIG Summit attendees are senior-level executives at Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, including C-suite executives, vice presidents, directors, senior analysts and managers. SIG member companies and qualified buy-side procurement practitioners can attend the digital event free. If you're not a SIG member, check out the membership page. Membership options have been expanded to include individual and free memberships.
The format of the event will take place virtually over the week of October 13 to 15 for a few hours per day, so you can fulfill your daily work obligations while engaging in the event remotely.
Amy Fong is a Vice President in Everest Group's Strategic Outsourcing and Vendor Management practice. In this role, she advises enterprises on maximizing value from strategic provider relationships in outsourced services categories. She is a featured presenter at SIG’s upcoming virtual SIGnature Events taking place throughout the fall of 2020. Virtual SIGnature Events are free to all qualified buy-side practitioners and sell-side members.
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I work with our procurement members to ensure they are getting the research and support they need to maximize value in outsourced services categories. We have 200 analysts focused on the outsourcing, global services and intelligent automation space. My role is to work across those content areas to bring it all together and ensure we’re helping procurement.
For instance, developing category strategy templates with the market intelligence we provide, facilitating briefings and peer discussions, and designing surveys that answer top of mind questions. I’m available to our members to answer their questions or guide them to the right expert analyst to dive deep into their challenges.
In the time of COVID-19, this also means helping procurement teams understand how service providers are reacting and what they can expect. Also, helping them identify cost takeout and risk reduction opportunities for the “next normal.”
Around the world, new regulations about the collection and usage of personal data are changing workflows for major organizations. Following the passage of legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), businesses are auditing privacy practices and creating much stricter guidelines when they select partners and vendors.
With tighter regulations about the way consumer data is collected and used, organizations have to increase scrutiny for every party that has access to personal data. The entire system is only as secure as the weakest part, so it’s more important than ever to vet external parties and maintain visibility into their data practices. Here are eight vital steps organizations can take to ensure that vendors aren’t jeopardizing data privacy compliance.
Step 1: Audit Your Existing Data Privacy System
Before you do anything else, examine what’s currently in place to understand the changes that need to be made to maintain compliance with new regulations. You want to avoid reinventing the wheel and make adjustments without slowing down the business or adding risks.
After that self-examination, conduct the same check on your network of vendors. It’s imperative that you have a 360-degree understanding of vendors’ business practices and overall reliability before entering or continuing business relationships.
The Relationship Manager is the first line of organizational defense, tasked with ownership of relationships and risks. The overall accountability of these risks, the performance and the cost management for the supplier through the life of the relationship are also key focus points.
I will discuss how the Relationship Manager (RM) functions as the nucleus of Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) activities for a supplier with the following points.
Provides Information for Reviews and Decides on Risk Acceptance for a Third Party
It is understood that the liability of our third parties is ultimately ours. This means that the liability of the third parties of our third parties (i.e., our subcontractors) also becomes ours. An effective framework in which risk is indicated and mitigated is essential for our suppliers and subcontractors.
In such a framework, exit strategies and termination processes are set in place for cases in which the risk cannot be mitigated or when a contract needs to be terminated. These are defined by the Relationship Manager, who provides information on the supplier and finds out if there are subcontractors involved. Responses provided will trigger due diligence risk areas for information from the supplier.
Once the relationship is fully defined and risks are highlighted, it is the responsibility of the Relationship Manager to determine whether or not to accept the risk and contract with the supplier.
This month, we continue with the monthly CPO and Executive Virtual Series, welcome a new round of students into the virtual classroom, and have exciting industry research and webinars to keep you engaged and up to date.
August CPO & Executive Virtual Series
Senior executives are invited to join SIG and Scout RFP, a Workday Company, for an interactive event on August 12 from 1 pm to 3 pm ET. The format is open mic, collaborative and topic will focus on shifting from reactive to proactive as we move into the second half of 2020. The featured speaker is Karen Coker, Head of VMO & Strategic Sourcing at University Federal Credit Union.
To join this event, RSVP on our website. There is a cap on attendance to keep the conversation flowing and to build connections with other buy-side industry executives.
An area that has seen an uptick in hiring amid record unemployment are jobs in sourcing, procurement and supply chain management, but the skill sets required for these positions are now more specialized than they were pre-COVID-19.
With more people working from home, SIG University is offering an additional semester to help sourcing, procurement, risk and supply chain professionals earn an industry certification. Certification programs are a cost-effective alternative to lengthy degree programs, especially in an economic recession.
This is the final chapter in a four-part series on procurement KPIs. Catch up on part 1, part 2 and part 3.
One of the goals of a business is to have as much spend (with a capital “S” for all expenditures: CapEx, OpEx and COGS) under management as possible. And that goal should be extended out to supplier spend, where procurement wants to have as much supplier spend influence as possible.
That way you know what you’re spending on suppliers (and the pricing component of that, of course), what you’re getting from those suppliers (i.e., supplier performance), and how well you’re spending in terms of applying best practices and tools/intelligence to the process (e.g., proactively guiding stakeholders and minimizing maverick spend).
Pierre Mitchell, Spend Matters’ Chief Research Officer