“The path to gender equality does not involve stickers pointing out that a product has been made by a female entrepreneur. Women are not a charity group. If we want to help women in business, let’s close the pay gap and remove the glass ceiling – and then let products designed by women rise or fall on their own merits, by the realities of business.” – Diana Sz
The above quote is an excerpt from an article I read regarding Walmart’s “commitment to source $20 billion of goods by 2016 from women-owned businesses in the U.S.”
The program or initiative, launched with much fanfare in 2011, achieved the $20 billion objective within the expected five-year period. One would think that this would be a cause for celebrating the progressive practices on the part of corporate procurement departments.
Facilitated by the inclusion of product labels informing the consumer that a woman owns the company behind the product they are buying, Pamela Prince-Eason was a champion of the Walmart initiative. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council CEO, Prince-Eason, believed that the “new labeling will give people a reason to feel good about the company they’re buying from.”
In short, it was a noble plan to achieve meaningful results for everyone to feel good. I know you are waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of a but – and there is a but,
The Bigger Picture
Don’t get me wrong when I say things like a drop in the bucket regarding the achievement of the $20 billion goal. Such a lofty amount isn’t exactly pocket change.
In this fourth and final installment in this Keynote Series, we talk about the "judicious deployment" of emerging technology without losing sight of the human side of digital transformation.
To achieve this "balance," Mattress Firm's VP of Indirect Procurement, Quave Burton, discusses the importance of motivation through employee recognition while challenging her team to "stretch themselves" to learn new and better ways to achieve strategic objectives.
For Quave, the journey of transforming procurement at Mattress Firm started at ground zero.
When I say ground zero, there wasn't a procurement department when she started working with the company. As she explains it, she was immediately on a transformation journey, starting with getting the right people to do the right things.
Fortunately, and with the full support of senior leadership, the organization was ready and willing to make changes.
At this point, I think it is essential to stop and stress the benefits of having to build the foundation for procurement transformation, starting with people before introducing technology. As anyone who has been in our industry for some time will tell you, in the past traditional ERP-based procurement initiatives have generally failed to achieve the expected results. Many studies estimate that the failure rate is between 50% and 75% - some even put that number higher.
The three main reasons for this less than stellar performance are poor User Experience, data inaccuracy, and analytics.
Despite introducing more advanced and intuitive "by-the-drink" technology solutions, CPO's dissatisfaction with digital initiatives remains high.
As we charge forward into 2022, procurement’s value proposition to the organization continues to grow. We have a host of resources, insights and events to help you deliver on procurement's new future.
November SIGnature Events
After an amazing Global Executive Summit, the SIG team is hard at work to bring you our next in-person event of the year, our SIGnature Events. SIGnature Events are powerful one-day meetings in which buy-side practitioners benchmark with other organizations and network with colleagues facing similar issues. Delegates will learn and network throughout the day, then wind down the afternoon with a happy hour, casual one-on-one discussions creating long-term collegial relationships.
Today, organizations need a scalable solution that enables global enterprise-wide workforce planning, a future-proof supply chain, improved compliance, better supplier management, an innovative way to engage talent, and data-driven decision-making in a way that hasn’t been possible before.
Kristen Jordeth is the Director of Procurement Product Strategy at SAP. At SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit, Kristen will highlight how the ability to survive future disruptions will be dependent on a companies ability to manage and respond to real-time risk information about third parties transacting with the business.
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am the Director of Procurement Product Strategy focusing on future innovations within Supplier Management and the SAP Business Network. My day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure our solutions are addressing the future needs of our customers.
What does Procurement 3.0 mean to you?
Procurement 3.0 means to make the day-to-day procurement process more efficient, transparent and streamlined. Removing tactical procurement that is traditionally done in a spreadsheet or via lots of paperwork and replacing it with technology.
How have you and your team innovated through Procurement’s new “seat at the table”?
Procurement’s new “seat at the table” has validated the need for intelligent enterprise solutions. With Procurement now involved in executive planning, it is important for the procurement processes to connect to all other business processes. At Sapphire this year we announced the SAP Business Network which brings together our SAP Ariba Network, SAP Logistics Network and SAP Asset Network together to expand transparency and enable stronger collaboration.
It’s hard to believe that we are making the final turn into 2022. It has been a wild year, with the Procurement function emerging to the forefront of the business from the pandemic. Procurement 3.0 is here and we continue to lead the conversation.
SIG Global Executive Summit
The SIG team is in overdrive to bring you our first in-person event of the year, the Global Executive Summit. Delegates should come prepared for a state-of-the-art experience that immerses them in industry trends, best practices, innovations and solutions that are shaping high-performance teams and best-in-class procurement organizations.
There’s still time to register for the Fall Global Executive Summit. To learn more about the Summit, check out the Summit website and share it with your team to plan your trip.
Revolutionizing the MRO Supply Chain – The 20 Year Dream That Is Now Achievable with Buyerquest
For Asset Intensive companies, getting a handle on vendors, assets and parts has been a huge problem from a cost, risk, and performance standpoint. Fragmentation and manual processes are time-consuming and limit the opportunity to use business intelligence to deliver new opportunities for success, growth, and innovation in supplier partnerships.
Join this session to learn Skookum’s story, a 30-year leader in Facilities Management and Logistics Support, and their experience solving these problems through digital solutions that revolutionized their MRO supply chain, making a 20-year dream a reality.
Whether your company’s focus is to build smart applications or update mobile apps for end-users, to increase intelligence using advanced algorithms, or to look at opportunities to automate internal operations to drive high-value outcomes, there’s no denying that digital plays an increasing role in everyday operations of companies across all verticals and sizes.
As companies worldwide push to drive digital transformation, procurement leaders are being challenged to strategically influence spending, amidst a global climate full of talent scarcity and the need for immediate cost optimization.
Through a strategic partnership with Fossil, we helped the executive leadership team to increase quality, productivity and utilization as they moved from working with a 300-person offshore team to a 180 person Global Insourcing Center “GIC” team through our unique offshore model.
A US-based, vertically integrated global retail and manufacturing company that specializes in a diverse portfolio of lifestyle accessories. This industry powerhouse operates an extensive brand portfolio and a wholesale distribution network across 150 countries and 500 retail locations.
The company had an extensive outsourcing presence in India for years but recently had been adversely affected by cost overruns, under-performing contractors, and poor resource management processes. All were creating a significant drag on productivity and profitability and distracting from the core focus of being a fashion trendsetter and market innovator.
The objectives established for the outsourcing operation were not in dispute. The culprit was the deteriorating execution. The company wanted to regain control in its approach to outsourcing.
After extensive evaluation, the company partnered with SMC Squared to strategically “right-source” the execution.
Patricia Connolly, CEO and Co-Founder, SMC Squared
Empathy is the way to build trust. And the strongest, most productive relationships are built on trust. It’s certainly that way in our personal lives. So it stands to reason that it’s the same with professional relationships. Yet, too often, empathy is left out of the equation when identifying and implementing solutions in the business world in general and in procurement specifically.
That’s not good because, as we all know, strong stakeholder and supplier relationships are the bedrock of a successful Procurement Ecosystem. That’s why the more I’ve learned about the concept of Design Thinking the more I am convinced it can be a game-changer for procurement.
Design Thinking Isn’t a Strategy, It’s a Mindset
What is Design Thinking? Well, it’s not a new concept. It’s been around since at least the 18th century. But its wisdom is just now being embraced by procurement teams, so it feels new.
Basically, Design Thinking involves a different mindset for how to define and solve problems and it begins with empathy for the end-user. The process starts with really listening to and understanding the biggest challenges and pain points for your stakeholders. The idea of putting yourself in their shoes, so you can be sure you are addressing their true needs and not what you think they need.
Design Thinking is a highly creative and iterative process that encourages a lot of experimenting and prototyping. The goal is to fail fast to learn even faster. When you put together a prototype and test it out, your end-users provide feedback for what works and what doesn’t in an iterative feedback loop. The end result, in theory, yields greater stakeholder alignment, better adoption rates, and demonstrates procurement’s strategic value to the business.
Greg Anderson, SVP, Sales North America, WNS Denali
This month we kick-off SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date with Procurement’s rebirth.
Procurement Technology Summit
The 2021 Procurement Technology Summit will pioneer a new era for sourcing leaders and their teams to transform the future of procurement. Come prepared to engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking, and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.
This year’s agenda includes a really unique line-up of keynote speakers who are covering key Procurement topics like design thinking, diversity & inclusion, the future of technologies and building a high-performing team.
We’re inviting SIG’s buy-side members and their ENTIRE TEAM to attend. Yes, you read that right! Whether you’re a team of two or 200, everyone on your team gets to attend for free!
The Summit will take place May 4 – 6 and will be 100% online, so you can attend sessions as it fits your schedule. You do not want to miss this event, so register today and get ready to be impressed!
Anyone that has ever worked for SIG has heard me say that if we are going to fail, fail fast. And over the years, we’ve tried and failed at more than a few things. Truth be told, I don’t mind failing as long as we use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Fail Fast and Learn
I learned this lesson in my earliest days with SIG in 2008. We were coming to the end of my first Summit as the CEO and it had been an amazing week. For all intents and purposes, it had gone flawlessly. The speakers were incredible…the content was cutting-edge…the dialogues were advancing the industry…the property was beautiful…and our partnership with the hotel had been nearly perfect. I could not have been more excited by the energy from the event and was looking forward to capping it off with a bang during the final night.
I knew from personal experience…and from Agi (a beloved longtime colleague who had been with SIG since it was founded) that close to half the delegates – most of them providers – usually leave before the final night’s celebration, so it was an opportunity to relax a bit more with the practitioner members.
We had a beautiful evening planned for the smaller group. Buses were available to shuttle everyone to an offsite restaurant in Newport Beach, where we had local delicacies and signature cocktails ready for all. Or so we thought.
In my excitement, I spent the entire week hyping the final evening. I mean, of course I wanted people to stay, why wouldn’t I? (Side note: now very few people leave early because the surprise entertainment is always worth waiting for, so as you plan for our next in-person Summit this fall, arrange your travel plans accordingly!)
This month we host our April SIGnature Event, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date, and registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.
Geofencing of Employees, Onshoring and More - The New Normal
There’s still time to register for our upcoming digital SIGnature Event on April 21. The theme for the event is The New Normal. Senior-level and above delegates will participate in an executive roundtable hosted by Oliver Wyman to discuss energy transition and sustainable procurement.
Concurrent to the Executive Roundtable session will be an interactive panel discussion on Diversity & Inclusion, hosted by Janice Green, President & CEO , Women’s Business Enterprise Council Pacific (WBEC Pacific) .
Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit
Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!
Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.