SIG Speaks Blog

Cooperative Ecosystems: Finding Suppliers That Give A Damn

supplier ecosystems

When Barry Kull was going through the recruitment process at Novo Nordisk, his son was diagnosed with diabetes. Walking into his meeting, Kull was apprehensive about mentioning his son’s diagnosis, but when the conversation went such, Kull brought up it up. He was glad he did. “When I mentioned my son’s diagnosis, the CFO’s body language and energy absolutely changed. He leaned into the conversation and was genuinely curious about my son. He told me how Novo Nordisk addresses challenges that adolescent type 1’s encounter.” Kull realized that the executives at Novo Nordisk care. He is now proud to represent a company that, throughout the organization, empathizes with its customers.

Finding Suppliers That Care

Kull doesn’t expect suppliers to care as much as Novo Nordisk, but he expects them to understand why they care so much. He expects the suppliers to lead, to anticipate and to push their thinking. Kull believes that all procurement professionals should have supply partners that are good people with strong ethics.

The Cooperative Ecosystem

A cooperative ecosystem is a combination of different partners and suppliers that bring their own set of values to the table. The partners and suppliers work together to solve a specific problem or to create an opportunity.

In the context of launching a new pharmaceutical brand, the following is Kull’s (paraphrased) list of potential partners and suppliers that might be part of a brand-viable ecosystem:

Sarah Scudder, President, Real Sourcing Network

Future of Sourcing Awards Finalists Announced

Future of Sourcing Awards Finalists Announced

New technology, competitive drive and the desire to upend the status quo to influence innovation and enhance value are important characteristics for sourcing and procurement professionals in today’s world. As the digital transformation continues to accelerate at an unprecedented and exciting pace, SIG wants to recognize the change makers, movers and shakers who show innovation, leadership and transformation in areas critical to the sourcing industry.

This week, SIG announced the finalists for the second annual Future of Sourcing Awards taking place at the Fall Global Executive Summit in Carlsbad, California, on October 16. A panel of senior executives judged nominees in eight team categories and two individual categories. The teams and individuals listed below demonstrated ingenuity, initiative and innovation and showed the greatest achievements in terms of fundamentally changing the nature of their business and/or industry.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Manager

This Month at SIG – August 2019

Multiple light bulbs on a blue background.

This month, SIG announces the finalists for the Future of Sourcing Awards, you’ve got one more shot to earn a sourcing, supply chain or risk management certification in 2019, and SIG CEO and President Dawn Tiura needs your help with a tail spend question.


Future of Sourcing Awards Finalists

The finalists for the second annual Future of Sourcing Awards were announced Thursday, August 1. To see who advanced as a finalist in eight team categories and two individual categories, check out Future of Sourcing on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, or visit the Future of Sourcing Awards website

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Manager

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - July 29

Weekly briefing of all the latest news from SIG

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

CPO Rising 2019: #ValueExpansion

Ardent Partners, in association with Zycus, presents its 14th edition of the CPO Rising report, a comprehensive, industry-wide view into the state of procurement and captures the experience, performance benchmark statistics, perspective, and intentions of 300+ CPOs and procurement executives.

Plans & Tactics to Recession-Proof the Enterprise

The U.S. economy is reaching a record-breaking period of expansion but all good things must come to an end. Suplari has conducted a survey of finance and procurement professionals to assess the odds, outlook and what the plan should be in the event of a recession.

Latest Future of Sourcing Articles

Take a closer look at the threats, motives and malicious actors behind global internet attacks.

President of High Performance Procurement shares her insight into her achievements, ambitions and what she sees as the biggest challenges facing procurement.

Future of Sourcing Awards

Mark your calendar! Thursday, August 1 from 10am to 3pm ET the finalists for the 2019 Future of Sourcing Awards will be announced. The winners will be selected from the shortlisted finalists at the Fall Global Executive Summit.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - July 22

Weekly briefing of all the latest news from SIG

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

Benchmark & Optimize Your Spend Strategy

Gain exclusive access to a chapter highlight from Coupa’s annual benchmark report, where they look at 3 KPIs across the source-to-contract process to gauge your organization’s progress and optimize your spend strategy.

Contingent Workforce Management Pinnacle Model™ Analysis

Everest Group is exploring what yields the best outcomes for overall contingent workforce management. Participate in the Pinnacle Model™ study for a complimentary summary of the findings.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

Cognitive Automation: Reading the Tea Leaves

Cognitive automation mimics human brain functions

As more enterprises and service providers adopt cognitive automation to improve their manual processes, reading the tea leaves or better yet, examining case studies suggests a new job landscape with some fairly drastic improvements in efficiency.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) provides a useful summary article explaining how to deconstruct work into tasks that can be automated. Here three characteristics are used to assess our work:

  • Repetitive vs. variable work;
  • Dependent vs. interdependent work; and
  • Physical work vs. mental work. 

Any automation assessment model should also take into consideration the nature and complexity of both the inputs and outputs onto which we can overlay these three characteristics to assess the impact of automation based upon the nature of work itself. 

Basic automation has arguably had the highest level of impact so far. It is applied to rote, highly repeatable and low variance tasks. For example, basic automation supports the IT back office such as regular back-ups of data or automated provisioning of software resources (such as email accounts and CRM access).

These activities can be highly automated due to the nature of the work and low probability of exceptions to workflows. The inputs can be highly structured with very little variability while outputs are often binary. The result is either a successful completion or an exception. These tasks are very independent with interactions typically only with application interfaces. There is very little mental effort required.

Greg Council, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - July 15

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

Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact On Procurement and Supply Chain

Read how GEP is breaking down some of the essential AI concepts and showcasing the game-changing applications that they believe are most relevant in procurement and the supply chain. 

Plans & Tactics to Recession-Proof the Enterprise

The U.S. economy is reaching a record-breaking period of expansion but all good things must come to an end. Suplari has conducted a survey of finance and procurement professionals to assess the odds, outlook and what the plan should be in the event of a recession.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

Procurement as Agents of Change

Group of paper airplanes, orange one is the first place, can be used leadership/individuality concepts.

Plenty of Procurement team man-hours go toward tactical execution – there’s a lot that needs to be done to keep the trains running each day. However, Procurement pros are in a unique position to become higher-level strategists within their organization, guiding business forward. To take this position, Procurement teams need to become agents of change.

The Law of Life

Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” I don’t usually kick off an article with a quote, but this one speaks too well to the reasons for becoming a change agent (and the risks of not doing so). Our competitors grow and evolve. One of the great killers of an established market player is the inability to keep up. I’m not saying anything new here, and the change-or-die edict is nearly cliché these days. So why are so many companies bad at shaking things up? More to the point, how is Procurement supposed to be the catalyst here?

The answer to the first question can be boiled down to a simple answer: Companies are bad at change because change is risky, expensive and time-consuming. The bigger the company, the heavier the lift. And, hey, all of our success came from doing things the way we did them last month, last year. Change introduces an unknown variable.

The second question requires a little digging.

Brian Seipel, Consultant and Spend Analysis Practice Lead, at Source One, a Corcentric company

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - July 8

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

CPO Rising 2019: #ValueExpansion

Ardent Partners, in association with Zycus, presents its 14th edition of the CPO Rising report, a comprehensive, industry-wide view into the state of procurement and captures the experience, performance benchmark statistics, perspective, and intentions of 300+ CPOs and procurement executives.

Contingent Workforce Management Pinnacle Model™ Analysis

Everest Group is exploring the practices and technologies that are yielding the best outcomes for overall contingent workforce management. Participate in the Pinnacle Model™ study for a complimentary summary of the findings.

Hailey Corr, Content Manger

Statement of Work: Best Practices for Supplemental Staffing

Group of businesspeople over a table agreeing on a statement of work

There is no question that the world of work is changing. With artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotic process automation (RPA), to name a few, technologies are disrupting the industry in radical ways. When you factor in the retirement of Baby Boomers, the advancement of Millennials into management positions and the proliferation of globalization, the face of the workforce is profoundly different. In addition, over the past 40 years – more so over the past 20 – the concept of working at one company for a person’s entire career has become completely foreign. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who graduated from college any time after 2000 who is still with the same company they initially joined. It’s not your father’s – or dare I say, grandfather’s workforce anymore.

Perhaps the biggest change to the landscape of all is that over 41.5% of the workforce is represented by contingent workers, which brings its own set of challenges. This particular dynamic can have legal implications, making it more important than ever to begin those relationships with clearly defined expectations. With such a large portion of the workforce considered “non-employee” (which includes independent contractors, temp labor, freelance personnel and other gig economy workers), it is more critical than ever to carefully frame expectations.

Sarah Holliman, CEO, Cantaré Creative

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