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 Kondall, Senior Director of Technology & Engineering Sourcing, Albertsons Companies
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!)
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.
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 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 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 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.
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)
In early December 2020, Google published its trends for 2020, listing the top searched terms, people, news stories and more. It is no great surprise that "Coronavirus" was the top searched term and news story. Nor that Tom Hanks, Kobe Bryant or Kamala Harris were high on the list. What I found remarkable is that these trends were not reflected in the top searched terms for SIG's website in 2020. In fact, it was business as usual on our website. Sure "COVID" and "resiliency" and "remote work policies" made the list. Website traffic and searches increased in volume, but our visitors were searching for the same topics and downloading some of our best case studies for help.
Here's just a short snapshot of some of the trending searches in 2020:
Most sourcing professionals know what category management is and a critical mass of our members practice category management at varying levels of maturity. This SIG blog summarizes our resources in one location and is one of our most visited pages. Members frequently download our Template for Building a Business Case for Category Management.
Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics
Every day, my inbox is bombarded with requests for feedback. Most requests I honor because I am a data nerd and I know there's some fellow data nerd behind the scenes who really needs the insight for their business case. Also because my husband is a PhD and we spent several years of our marriage dedicated to quantitative assessments - I have seen tears spilled over empty questionnaires.
Many survey requests I archive for later because I want to see how our partners and competitors collect data and use it to shape their programs. But mostly, I just think it is incredibly important to share your opinion when asked. (I could write a whole different blog on when NOT express your opinion, mostly from first-hand experience.)
This is a list of the top 7 reasons why I think people should respond to SIG surveys in particular and surveys in general.
SIG Member Input Drives Content Creation
As sourcing professionals, you are really good at understanding the value of your partnerships and ensuring you realize that value -- that is why we have strategic sourcing, negotiations, performance measurement and things like vested sourcing. Providing your input to SIG about what you need from our partnership is critical to us delivering the content, the speakers, the tools, the connections and the awareness you expect from us. You are paying for it, so let us know how we can serve you!
Expressing Your Opinion Is Good for Mental Health
Get it off your chest, share your concerns and join a community of people who are facing the same problems as you. We know your leadership, your customers and your team are all leaning on you to make 2021 successful. Telling someone about this can be extremely helpful, because it means someone is in your corner listening.
Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics
This month we begin to build back stronger with leadership insight, industry research and webinars to keep you up to date.
Executive Leadership Education
Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Roundtable on February 24 for open-mic discussions on executive leadership and education, continuity of leadership and what skills the leaders of the future must develop.
For procurement leaders, there’s a lot more to do. And more questions than answers.
Get a big leg up with the GEP Outlook 2021 Report — featuring eight critical leadership themes that will help you navigate uncertainty and thrive in the new normal. Published annually, the GEP Outlook Report is a trusted strategic guide for thousands of procurement leaders across the world. Get your complimentary copy today.
Happy New Year! We kick 2021 off with sustainable procurement for executives and training resources that will elevate your team to excellence for the New Year.
Sustainable Procurement Strategies for 2021
Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Virtual Series on January 13 for open-mic discussions on sustainable procurement, enabling growth through partnership and innovation, and how to nurture talent and culture.
Sourcing and procurement professionals learned a lot in 2020: The importance of making supply chains and operations nimbler, how to digitize your processes and mitigating unforeseen risk were all key lessons. Get a jumpstart to your 2021 with a SIG University certification.
Delivered entirely online, a certification can be completed in five, six, 10 or 12 weeks depending on the area of study. Programs start in January and February. Prefer to go at your own pace? Inquire about the new self-paced option.
Future of Sourcing, SIG’s flagship digital publication, is looking for new contributors. Once you've reviewed the editorial calendar and the contributor guidelines, reach out to pitch us an article. You have the choice to submit articles on a regular cadence or you can submit whenever you feel inspired. Contributors are encouraged to subscribe to Future of Sourcing's email newsletter, which is delivered to readers twice a month.
To be able to see where you’re headed, you’ve got to look back at where you’ve been.
I just looked back at my December 2019 blog post and I was spot on, but for all the wrong reasons. I predicted that we would continue to elevate the role of strategic sourcing, broader adoption of technology, and a focus on upskilling sourcing and procurement teams.
I did not predict that a global pandemic would make the world talk about “supply chains,” albeit with a focus on toilet paper, Clorox wipes and a shortage of personal protective equipment. People came to realize that strategic sourcing professionals were the heroes who protected their sources of supply or quickly adapted to secure new sources.
While the pandemic continues to rule our lives in one way or another, we still see shortages on components for home gym equipment, bicycles and even casters for home office chairs. So, while some supply chains still have issues, many industries are experiencing a boom year and outpacing sales over any year in the past.
Looking back at the news of this year, many of us vaguely remember the Australian bushfires, and I distinctly remember racing go karts when news broke that Kobe Bryant died. I know some people were distracted by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking away from the royal life and Parasite swept the Oscars. This was all immediately non-news and forgotten quickly when the pandemic became a reality. (Personally, I am glad of one “trend” that did not last through the pandemic, which was padded shoulders and puffy sleeves.)