Author Archives: MRA

Finance: Friend or Foe for Procurement Hires?


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

So, you’re ready for an executive role in a company’s procurement function and getting ready to razzle dazzle your future leadership, including the CPO. Yet you also notice that the CFO is one of the interviewers, and you’re eager to get the nod from this important executive and stakeholder. The savvy procurement practitioner will be cognizant of the difference between indirect and direct spend responsibilities and prepare accordingly.

How to Get Poached for Private Equity Procurement


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

Generally speaking, private equity firms buy companies and look to rapidly improve their performance by making them lean, efficient and cost-effective before selling. No group does these things better than modern procurement teams. As a result, one of the first orders of business following the acquisition of a new portfolio company is ensuring the procurement function is staffed with “A players.” And there are specific profiles that best suit these newly formed or revamped groups, PE industry leaders have told us.

Procurement Free Agents: Are You Ready?


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing.

Call them on-demand workers, contractors, free agents or mercenaries — just don’t call them inconsequential. Procurement is no longer immune to to the increase of contingent workers other functions have experienced in recent years. And the shift from employing permanent workers to temporary ones is gaining ground.

Trending in Talent: The Top 3 Factors for 2017

Attracting top performers continues to be a key area of focus for most procurement leaders today. We’ve seen firsthand the steadily increasing demand for strong supply management talent throughout 2016 and early 2017, although the supply has remained relatively unchanged. What’s also evolving is the way in which companies approach hiring and retention of these individuals, as well as the makeup of modern-day procurement groups. In this post, we explore the top three trends affecting supply management talent.

3 Skillsets Procurement Needs for the Cognitive Era


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Nick Lazzara, executive search lead at MRA Global Sourcing.

Procurement is in the midst of a revolution powered by data. IBM has termed this future state the “cognitive era,” a cognitive computing-driven time where computers can gobble up high volumes of structured or unstructured data without flinching and think like a human to deliver more meaningful business insights. To help procurement groups prepare for this upheaval, we’ll cover a few of the skills that will be focal points for procurement employers moving forward.

Don’t Miss These 4 Pearls of Wisdom from a Leading CPO, If You Want to Be a Great One


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Procurement Leaders forum where a renowned CPO shared his top four attributes that made him successful over the course of his four different CPO assignments with four different companies and industries. It was straight talk that came across as authentic and highly informative on what this CPO learned and what his advice would be for the upcoming executives in the profession. He approached it from a top-down perspective, i.e. how to win support from top management to enable and ensure success as a CPO. Without further ado, here are the top four pearls of wisdom shared by this CPO.

5 Attributes Companies Need to Attract Top Procurement Talent


When it comes to attracting top talent, there’s a lot of conflicting information about what matters most — especially around generations just entering the workforce. Beanbag chairs and corporate swag may seem like easy ways to attract prospects, but at the end of the day, employees are looking for more than just cool stuff when shopping for a job. That was the overwhelming consensus of the recently released 2016 Universum Talent Survey, which polled more than 70,000 undergraduate students on topics such as salary expectations, career trends and what they look for in an ideal organization. As procurement leaders consider implementing targeted hiring strategies in order to develop their talent landscapes, they should consider harnessing and promoting these five organizational attributes that more than scratch the surface.

Procurement’s Growing Divide: Talent Inequality


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing.

Just as the debate surrounding income inequality rages this election season, procurement is confronting its own unequal distribution of wealth in the battle for top talent. While we aren’t espousing the virtues of making anything great again or promising a new era of talent revolution, we at MRA are on the front lines as organizations grapple with the growing divide in all things talent, including remuneration. In fact, several recent cases have taught us that the smarter, more progressive companies do actually understand the priorities of top procurement performers when it comes to the million-dollar question.

3 In-Demand Skillsets for Procurement Pros


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Nick Lazzara, executive search lead at MRA Global Sourcing.

Strategic sourcing is evolving into an agile group that focuses less on savings and more on adding overall value to business partners. The procurement talent landscape is thus an ever-changing organism with several emerging trends. In this post, we’ll examine three specific skillsets that are in particularly high demand for companies currently searching for procurement professionals.

Supply Management Professionals: Develop Your Brand

We are inundated by brands every day. Consciously or subconsciously, they inform our decisions and influence how we will act. Their inherent advantage is in creating a visceral, emotional connection with people, fostering loyalty and engagement. Although it may be a topic in vogue, it still begs the question, “Why should supply management professionals invest time into developing a personal brand?” The answer is simple: because branding works.