Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Steve has held senior procurement and operations positions with large and small, public and private, and for-profit as well as non-profit organizations. He joined College Board in 2016 after serving as Vice President of Global Sourcing at National Geographic Society, and prior to that, as Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Vertis Communications, a national printer of advertising circulars and direct mail promotions. Hughes started his purchasing career at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City following five years of military service as a U.S. Army officer at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he completed 40 military parachute jumps.
What are some examples of the challenges and rewards you experience as CPO of the College Board?
As a CPO, the perception in most organizations I have been a part of is that Procurement is a bureaucratic bottleneck which stakeholders try to go around or engage only as necessary to get tactical transactions processed. The challenge I have faced over and over again, including at the College Board, is transforming the way all levels of the organization think about the procurement function from being a shared services cost center to a strategic resource for the organization that optimizes the value we receive from our supply chain.
While there are rewards in seeing an organization gradually change it perceptions of the procurement function, the greatest reward is the privilege of developing a team of procurement professionals who ultimately make that transformation happen through their efforts to build collaborative relationships with stakeholders.
This month our clocks spring forward and we gain an extra hour of daylight. To make the most of that extra hour, consider attending a networking event, thought leadership webinar or exploring SIG’s new partnership with Everest Group that brings delegates proprietary research, insights and analysis. Ready to get started?
Midwestern Regional SIGnature Event
March 6 Minneapolis Central Library
The Midwestern Regional SIGnature Event takes place at the beautiful Minneapolis Central Library on March 6. The event includes a great lineup of speakers from BB&T, Best Buy, Everest Group, Ontala and Virtual Operations who will present on topics that include third-party risk management, artificial intelligence in procurement, sourcing transformation strategies and how to buy digital platforms for your enterprise.
The event will begin with an executive roundtable for director-level and above delegates, while their teams take part in a training workshop on the fundamentals and frameworks of third-party risk management with risk expert Linda Tuck Chapman, who created the Certified Third Party Risk Management Program for SIG University.
To learn more about the day’s events, speakers, who should attend and to register you and your team, visit our website.
The Hackett Group, in conjunction with Symphony Ventures, recently published a whitepaper regarding Robotics Process Automation (RPA). (You may recall that Symphony Ventures conducted an excellent RPA proof of concept at the SIG 2017 Spring Summit with American Honda.) In this whitepaper, the authors provide a blueprint for selecting sourcing opportunities appropriate for RPA. Any sourcing professional worth their salt, should be considering RPA as a viable strategy after reading this statement, "Individual tasks of such processes may be fully automated with RPA, eliminating 100% of labor and up to 90% of cost. The total efficiency improvement achievable through holistic transformation using RPA across end-to-end transactional process can add up to 50% to 75% of baseline cost."
Mary Zampino, Senior Director of Global Sourcing Intelligence, SIG