hybrid working model

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

How to Build A Productive Hybrid Work Culture in 2021 and Beyond

hybrid work culture

As access to COVID-19 vaccines increases and covid variants become increasingly concerning, companies around the world are actively discussing how to build a hybrid work culture, somewhere along the continuum of fully returning and fully remote, with many options in between.   

After a year of working from home, the employee mindset has shifted with many people discovering that they enjoy the additional flexibility to balance their family lives while others are “Zoom fatigued” and eager to get back to the office for face-to-face interaction and personal growth.  The answer probably lies in a range of options and the phasing of return to office (RTO), creating the “new normal”.  

At SMC Squared we’re actively discussing and preparing for RTO for our own teams and guiding many clients.  The goal is to continue to maintain a safe environment for an engaged and highly productive workforce. I’ve challenged our management team to rethink how we listen, remain flexible, and importantly retain our employees.  We are working to ensure they feel safe returning to the office while also maximizing their opportunities for career growth, collaboration, and mentorship.

It’s not going to be easy as the workplace mindset has rapidly shifted over the last year.  Companies must define what a hybrid working model means for them while putting in place different options to balance the needs of the organization and of their people. In addition to the internal challenges,  organizations face external factors such as vaccination availability, COVID-19 caseloads, work-life balance, and the highly active and competitive job market.

Patricia Connolly, CEO and Co-Founder, SMC Squared