SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Candace Masuda, outlines how soft skills evolve procurement professionals into successful stakeholder managers.
As procurement professionals, we are required to wear many hats. We are consultants, analysts, problem solvers and project managers. All these qualities are necessary but not as crucial as having internal personal/soft skills. Interpersonal skills are the key to success in leading teams, negotiating and maintaining great relationships with our internal and external customers.
Several years ago, I was fortunate to attend a management training class. Something really resonated with me in that class about leadership and styles. There was a survey that reached out to several Fortune 500 companies. The goal of the study was to determine the most favored management style amongst their employees.
What Makes a Leader
Employees were asked to think of their favorite manager, past or present. What were the skills this person exhibited which made them great to work with? The survey results were interesting. The typical characteristics were technical, analytical and on-the-job experience. However, though these skills were at the top of the list, they were not the most significant. The most valuable skill was the manager that had strong people skills. The employees worked harder, enjoyed their job and were highly motivated.
Candace Masuda, Procurement Specialist, American Honda Motor Co.
SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Karina Swanson discusses the RFx process and how it allows you to analyze real-time market dynamics to ensure you are receiving the right service or product.
There are several reasons you may be considering an RFx strategy as the correct process to pilot for your business. If so, I highly recommend taking a closer look at your portfolio and ask yourself these questions:
- Have you seen a pricing change in the last 12 months?
- Do you have a diverse number of suppliers?
- Do you see small gaps in pricing from dual or multi-sourced products or services?
- Is your portfolio consolidated?
- Have you eliminated all risk factors from your portfolio?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then launching an RFx will bring value to your business.
RFx is a term used to describe multiple types of requests. Choosing the right requests for your business is dependent on your end goal. Start by having discussions with your team and stakeholders to identify what you aim to accomplish.
If you are looking for a general understanding of services or products, you can launch a Request for Information (RFI). Most people use this as the first step in their RFx strategy to evaluate their suppliers’ capabilities. An RFI is a useful tool to involve new suppliers on a new project, assess the market for better suppliers, create a short list of suppliers for your portfolio or the next phase of your strategy.
As part of Spend Matters' recently announced partnership with SIG, we’re excited to share exactly what Spend Matters brings to the table (deep insights into procurement software) and why that matters for SIG members.
Spend Matters reaches a global audience of procurement professionals and provides coverage of procurement software and services vendors across the source-to-pay spectrum and other areas, like contingent workforce and AP automation. You can find many of the key players in the Spend Matters Almanac, a directory of 500+ vendors and consultants in procurement.
Through SolutionMap, anyone doing a procurement technology selection can explore 12 categories to get a snapshot of those markets for absolutely no cost. Players are ranked in areas like Source-to-Pay (S2P), E-Procurement, Contract Lifecycle Management, Sourcing, Supplier Management and more.
SolutionMap helps procurement organizations save time in their technology RFP processes by relying on the Spend Matters analyst team, who have already assessed capabilities at a granular level, validating them through live demos. Because technology is developed and updated so quickly these days, SolutionMap is updated quarterly.
Vision is a funny thing. Until relatively recently, humans were at the mercy of circumstance when it came to sight – if you had 2020 vision, you were lucky, but if not, you had no choice but to hope for the best. Then, glasses, telescopes and microscopes were invented. Then, flashlights. Suddenly, we could see very near and very far, and even in the dark. With the right tools, our world was transformed.
Similarly, visibility in business is transforming with technology. In the past, we used notebooks and spreadsheets to transfer information. Today, we’ve seen customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human capital management (HCM) software take off and transform the level of visibility within the business, allowing for unprecedented impact. Now, it’s Sourcing’s turn to transform and break free of spreadsheets and cumbersome legacy tools.
VSP Global Looks to Transform Sourcing
At VSP Global, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits provider in the United States, this sourcing transformation was a key priority. VSP serves over 77 million members by focusing on quality and affordability in eye care insurance, high-quality eyewear, ophthalmic technology and connected doctor-patient experiences.
To continue delivering the best results for their members, VSP Global set out to transform the way it approached the procurement process to drive better business outcomes, increasing stakeholder collaboration and visibility across the enterprise. The procurement team aligned on prioritizing four specific processes:
Stan Garber, President and Co-Founder at Scout RFP