SIG Dispatch 1: Initial Impressions and Exploring the Procurement / Tax Equation

Today’s the second day of my very first SIG Summit on Amelia Island (near Jacksonville in northeastern Florida). And I’m even wearing the prescribed newbie palm tree on my name badge. However, this is far from the first SIG Summit. To be exact, this one is the 43rd, and there are around 375 attendees in all. As context, SIG got started back in 1991 when its founder Barry Wiegler put together a group of procurement folks primarily tasked with exploring the outsourcing function. Since then, SIG has been transformed into a broader membership organization that tackles a much broader range of procurement and sourcing topics

As it’s my first SIG event, I think my impressions, which are yet to be clouded by years of being embedded in the group, might be useful to those considering attending or getting involved. Perhaps the most important observation to make is that in comparing this with all the other procurement conferences I have been to (e.g. ISM, ProcureCon, ProcurementLeaders), SIG is probably as "non-commercial" as it gets. This means there are no solution provider booths (none that I can find, anyway), no business expo, etc. There are obviously many solution providers present, but the event has a distinctly educational and networking feel. The level of the attendees is high – definitely a good pool of procurement and supply chain decision-makers.

One of the presentations I attended yesterday focused on the taxman and procurement. It was presented by PWC  and covered an area that we have written about before. The session presented an extremely insightful view of how sourcing and procurement decisions can significantly impact corporate taxes paid and improve the bigger balance sheet in a major way. Fundamentally, fully exploring the taxation question involves active consideration of the impact of transfer pricing in the sourcing process. By necessity, it also involves using operating entities located overseas, in locales with lower corporate tax rates than in the USA (which means ANY other country in the world these days).

Stay tuned as our coverage from SIG continues and as we continue to explore the tax question and lessons learned from the E&Y session.

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