CSP

The Better Method

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Nancy Wieskus shares the "Better Method" for procurement teams to implement into their procurement system.


The hybrid procurement method combines a central procurement base with subject matter experts (SMEs) already in each department to balance stakeholders' functionalities and strategic sourcing, which gives the business the best of both worlds. 

Centralized purchasing or Procurement is a system in which one department manages the purchasing of goods and services for the entire organization. The purchasing department is usually located in the organization's headquarters, where it operates the purchasing for all the branches in the firm. Advantages of central purchasing include reducing redundant work, lowering costs associated with training and supporting additional staff, and better controls. Disadvantages may be that the category manager may not be a subject matter expert in the particular category. It may take longer to complete a contract as Procurement takes a strategic approach. Also, stakeholders may be resentful in introducing other vendors into the mix.

Decentralized Procurement, on the other hand, allows individual stakeholders to make purchases for their departments. This, too, can have its advantages. Decentralization brings the decision-making process closer to the scene of action. This leads to quicker decision-making at the lower level since decisions do not have to be referred up through the hierarchy. Disadvantages are lower cost savings, competitive edge, reduced workload, and strategic advantage. 

Nancy Wieskus, Lead Category Manager, Valley. Bank

The Importance of Stakeholder Relationship Management

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Patrick Fifer shares how important it is to manage your direct stakeholder relationships in the sourcing world.


Throughout the Certified Sourcing Professional program, stakeholder management was a critical aspect interwoven throughout the lessons. It is the area that I would like to focus on for my blog submission. As a sourcing professional, it is of the utmost importance to manage each of your stakeholder relationships equally to ensure that your categories' sourcing process is maintained appropriately. A consistent approach to managing each of your stakeholder relationships will help to avoid the exclusion of the sourcing professional due to the stakeholder:

Patrick Fifer, Category Procurement Manager, CoStar Group, Inc.

Utilizing Team Engagement in Procurement

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SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Shawnie Albritton shares how category management can help with cross-team engagement and its usefulness in procurement.

Shawnie Albritton, Sr. Procurement Operations Analyst, Raymond James

Importance of Stakeholder Management – Amplified in the pandemic

Anirudh Sundareshwar outlines how managing stakeholders is well-served via effective communication.

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Anirudh Sundareshwar outlines how managing stakeholders is well-served via effective communication.


A generic definition of stakeholder management is “Stakeholder management involves taking into consideration the different interests and values stakeholders have and addressing them during the duration of the project to ensure that all stakeholders are happy at the end.” It is important to understand that this may not always be true, especially in projects where multiple stakeholders and personal stakes are involved.

However, it is essential to ensure that most stakeholders are happy with the project's end result or initiative you are working on. That is not accomplished only by the end result but builds up along the project's lifespan.

As we have learned, one of the most critical tenets of stakeholder management is communication. It is vital to know what to communicate to whom, when to communicate and how to communicate, especially to senior stakeholders. This is an art and not easily achievable. Even more so in the current scenario where most people work remotely and do not have the advantage of picking up cues (verbal/non-verbal) as you would have in the pre-COVID era. Stakeholder management in our world involves both internal and external stakeholders, of course.

Anirudh Sundareshwar, Director & Head of Sourcing, BNY Mellon

An Open Letter to Procurement Sales People Who Want Their Products Bought

Best in class procurement people are astute in finance, law, analytics, project management, sales, negotiation, ethics, executive address, total cost of ownership, and return on investment.

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Madison Mobley discusses how to articulate value by utilizing hard savings, soft savings, and cost avoidance.


My first corporate job out of college was with EMC Corporation, now Dell EMC, notorious for its Sales Associate Bootcamp.

Picture seven weeks in a basement without food and water (tee hee, dead serious), and an exam every couple of days, 90% or higher to pass… Delicious.

The result? I learned how to talk technology very well – the bits, the bytes, the speeds, the feeds. And, at a time when the information age called for CIOs to reimagine how their company’s data was to be stored and protected, nothing was sexier than a storage array with fibre channel connectivity and two-factor authentication.

What’s more, I learned who best to engage at the individual contributor, mid-level management, and executive leadership levels. It was the same person(s) at every organization I prospected into 99.999% of the time for what I was selling.

Long preface short, knowing your product, knowing your ICP (ideal customer persona) and articulating that knowledge in your prospect’s “love language” made for a successful salesperson back then.

Fast forward to March 2020.

The day I joined Fairmarkit, the intelligent sourcing platform that revolutionized how all organizations buy the stuff they need (it doesn’t matter what the stuff is), I felt confident stepping into a sales role.

True, I had never sold directly to procurement people, but how different could it be?

The answer? Way different.

Madison L. Mobley, Senior Account Executive, Fairmarkit

Drive Savings with Contract Negotiation Best Practices

Best practices in contract negotiations

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program student Jessica Maki works at Driven Brands. She shares what she’s learned about contract negotiation and how she is implementing newly learned best practices and techniques to score bigger wins and drive more savings for her company.

In the CSP program, students focus on the hard and soft skills of sourcing, including strategic sourcing and outsourcing methodologies, as well as best practices in negotiations.


Negotiation planning plays a big part in the procurement industry. Procurement is always looking for the best price, best supplier performance and cost savings for the organization. In SIG University’s Certified Sourcing Professional program, I learned several key factors when it comes to negotiating with suppliers including preparation, best practices, and what to do versus what not to do. Throughout my experience as a procurement specialist, I’ve learned to apply these important techniques during the negotiation process, and it has helped me become a more confident negotiator. 

Jessica Maki, Procurement Analyst, Driven Brands