certified sourcing professional

Understanding the Technical Aspects of Negotiations

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Connor Ryan describes the technical aspects of approaching negotiation conversations and how applying these tools will absolutely enhance your success and create a strong supplier relationship.

Connor Ryan, Category Management Advisor, Cigna

Category Management Playbook and Category Strategy Planning

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Prateek Jindal describes how the course helped him and his team increase value from improving their strategic sourcing strategies on down through your category playbook.

As a Sourcing Director, I manage Category Playbooks and drive effective sourcing strategies within our organization. Coming from Facilities Management (FM) organization, my directives are to manage over 20 key categories primarily in the services procurement domain, including Elevators, Janitorial, HVAC, Security, Snow Removal & Landscaping, Waste Haulage, Electrical, Key Trades, and many more. Each category is unique and requires substantial knowledge and understanding to ensure client requirements and expectations are met, both qualitative and quantitative. Combining a portfolio of over 40 clients and management of over 20 FM categories, it is imperative to have robust Sourcing Strategy Planning and regular review of Category Playbooks. 

While our existing processes to develop Sourcing Strategies and Category Playbooks were functional, I recognized the need to elevate our practices to industry-leading standards. To address this, I recently completed the Certified Sourcing Practitioner course SIG (Sourcing Industry Group) offered. This essay highlights how the concepts and techniques learned during the certification course enabled me to enhance our Category Playbooks and elevate our sourcing strategies significantly. 

Prateek Jindal, Director of Strategic Sourcing, BGIS Global Integrated Solutions

Executive Presentations in Procurement

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Kate Laing shares her perspective on the importance of a clear, concise presentation and how it is very important for the entire team and reinforces the depth of work performed and the criticality of procurement to your stakeholders. 

Kate Laing, Procurement Specialist, Coca-Cola Consolidated

The Future of Procurement and Sourcing: The Effects of Artificial Intelligence in the Industry

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Lauren Redden shares an excellent essay on the power of AI to transform the smart sourcing industry, in balance with the potential risks that companies must evaluate in employing more intelligent automation into their processes.

One of the lessons that I found most interesting in the Certified Sourcing Professional Program through SIG University was in Week 4 regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI). The rapid advancements in AI have notably impacted various business functions, including procurement and sourcing. Businesses and organizations continue to strive to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge, and AI technologies have begun to revolutionize the procurement landscape. In this paper, I will highlight the effects of AI on reporting, outsourcing, and contract management as we learned in the lessons. Additionally, I will examine the risks associated with adoption and the process to adapt it to existing procurement practices.

Lauren Redden, Procurement Manager, Exact Sciences

Is Your Procurement And Sourcing Function ESG Sustainable Ready?

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Sophie McNally shares how there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to ESG and that each company has to take a deep dive into what will ultimately work best for them.

This analysis attempts to explore how procurement and sourcing functions of publicly traded technology companies with market capitalizations between $15 billion to $35 billion (“Tech Company”) can evaluate, implement, and monitor emerging Environmental Social and Governance (“ESG”) regulations within their supply chain.

All publicly traded companies are required to disclose their ESG efforts and generally, Tech Company boards have ESG oversight. While Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Reporting on the “S” and “G” components of ESG metrics has evolved and is standardized across industries, there is no single consistent baseline on environmental and sustainability reporting on the “E” component.

A survey of 2022 Proxy statements indicated that boards generally voted against proposals to manage climate risk through comprehensive science-based targets due to the potentially costly and burdensome target-setting process. This is consistent with the change in tone that ESG champions like BlackRock who once supported shareholder proposals pushing for lower emissions at public companies have taken.

Sophie McNally, Senior Manager Financial Reporting, CoStar Group

Maximizing the Potential for Cost-Savings and Risk

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Heather Frazer discusses how TCO is a great tool that will help capture the entire potential for cost savings and risk and how it is increasingly important for procurement organizations to secure reliable data.

Heather Frazer, Procurement Specialist, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee

Assessing Business Models

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Andy Perkins highlights the key foundation for driving excellence between supplier and client in the new market we live in.

Procurement is an integral part of the process of acquiring goods and services from external parties that help drive the goals of an organization. This essential function is a part of every business, and a company must develop sound business models that ensure the process is efficient and effective.

Assessing business models is a crucial step in determining the strengths and weaknesses of the overall Procurement strategy. Several factors determine whether a business model is efficient and effective. This essay will explore aspects such as supplier collaboration, transparency, risk, technological adoption, and sustainability.

The first step to assess the business model for Procurement is to explore the core components. Typically, this involves identifying the needs of the organization or team, selecting the suppliers, negotiating the contracts, and managing the relationships. An efficient and effective business model should address each component and provide a clear path forward.

One key factor to explore when assessing a business model for Procurement is the level of collaboration between suppliers and the organization. Collaboration is a critical aspect of supplier relations. Additionally, this can be a tremendous value-add considering that resources can be leveraged and used when identifying a proposed solution. As an organization, we see this as the most significant benefit to supplier collaboration, as this allows for a solution-agnostic approach and ensures organizational alignment throughout the process. This collaboration can be done through regular meetings or project-specific initiatives.

Andy Perkins, Senior Category Specialist, Maxar Technologies

Clearly and Effectively Communicating Change

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Constance Bryant shares an honest account of how the change from a grassroots process to a more sophisticated tool for a Source-to-Contract process went for her and her organization. 

The hardest part of showing value to an organization is debunking the myth that the traditional role of Procurement is to procure goods and services. We must have practical E-sourcing tools that allow us to be efficient. This will enable the organization to truly understand how the role of Procurement is evolving and the importance of the terms and conditions put into place to mitigate risk for the stakeholder and the organization. And we must create policies and processes that provide the guidelines to regulate sourcing activities. Based on this revelation, we must clearly and effectively communicate change as it happens.

When I began working with my organization, we needed an E-sourcing tool to manage our process, identify the correct stakeholders, and provide timely updates. We also needed formalized procedures. And our policy needed to be more robust to provide clear guidance. It also lacked consequences for rogue procurement purchases. At that time, we managed our process through email and Excel spreadsheets. It could have been more effective, and the stakeholders demanded more transparency, a written procedure, and an E-sourcing solution.

Constance Bryant, Procurement Consultant, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Artificial Intelligence: The Positives and Dangers of AI

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Aaron Eleazer shares how the advancements of AI technology provide an exciting and innovative space that has an important place in how business is done and improved upon and also shares the concerns associated with it.

Artificial Intelligence was quite an exciting presentation. It’s such a big part of our daily lives that I wanted to write my final paper on the subject and hopefully bring a different light to it. I want to write a few paragraphs on the pros and dangers of artificial intelligence. I say threats instead of cons because this technology is moving so fast; not even the creators of it have any idea what could happen.  

The first SIG conference I attended was back in 2018 in Washington, D.C., and what I found intriguing was that the focus of all the speakers was on Blockchain and AI. I didn’t know much about either, but soon thereafter, my director started talking about AI capabilities in contracting. AI or machine learning is excellent for running mundane tasks like searching for specific contract clauses.

Quickly identifying or comparing two legal documents for similarities or contrasting clauses is a tremendous step forward in the evolution of process improvement, effectiveness, and efficiency. This same technology is used in invoice processing, where it can read, analytics, and process submitted invoices quickly, which eventually means the end or a considerable reduction in the resources needed from a BPO for that specific service which the AP function lends itself well to.  

Aaron Eleazer, Manager Procurement Services, Russell Investments

Implementing Category Management Strategies

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Stephanie Clark shares an excellent analysis of the category management process from a strategic lens and notes when a well-designed program is enabled, it is equally effective for direct and indirect spend and across spend categories.

Stephanie Clark, Category Manager, Maxar Technologies Holdings Inc.