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Witnessing supply chain and sourcing history in the making

09/21/2020 By

I saw a meme that said, “2020 was invented by historians to sell more history.”

While it made me smile, I also thought to myself, there will be countless case studies that come out of this coronavirus crisis evaluating which organizations thrived and which crumbled.

A fresh history of our industry is being written this very moment.

Some years from now, when we look back on our organizations’ operations and procedures, I imagine we’ll begin many sentences with, “Well, before 2020 we used to …”

It’s shaping up to not only be a year of global historical significance, but also a pivotal moment in the record books for each of our companies. How we react and upskill now will determine our organizations’ trajectories for the foreseeable future.

Where do we go from here?

If you attended the Sourcing Industry Group’s September SIGnature event, you are already familiar with the new best practice insights for managing third-party risk in a COVID-19 age.

As a leading issue in sourcing today, it was the opening topic at the SIGnature Event. CEO of the Third-Party Risk Institute Linda Tuck Chapman described how an oversight committee, cycle times, evaluating a vendor’s control to reduce risk and financial viability risk can be managed in a pandemic.

Her session ignited a dialogue. Multiple participants shared the real-time risks their companies are up against. It was eye-opening to see the variety of hurdles dotting the sourcing landscape.

For participants ready to experiment with transformation initiatives, Jaggaer’s Brett Hapke led a session and revealed a statistic that should make each of us slow down before we leap without looking: A CNBC study found that while $1.3 trillion was spent on transformation in 2019, 70% of it was wasted on failed programs.

You read that right.

Most organizations won’t be able to afford costly mistakes this year or next, adding pressure for transformation initiatives to deliver. While we recognize the need to innovate, clearly many organizations are stumbling in their efforts.

Unless your company can properly devote the time and resources to a well-constructed transformation initiative, it’s best to wait until you are in a position to do so.

The topic we can’t afford to ignore

One theme bubbled up repeatedly throughout the event — effective measurement.

It easy to say, “Yeah, yeah. I know we have to be smart in setting baselines and measuring the impact of new initiatives.” But how many organizations carry out their measurements properly so they can truly chart their progress or slips?

We all know the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” However, it is apparent that much measurement is done in a haphazard fashion, which often yields useless data that isn’t reliable for making solid business decisions.

Speaker Alex Saric, CMO at Ivalua, encouraged companies to start small in beginning their measurement endeavors. This allows your teams breathing space for trial and error before scaling up.

Equip yourself with the latest data-backed insights

Now that it’s sink-or-swim time, we’re discovering who is moving forward amongst the waves and who is gasping for air.

Fortunately, Sourcing Industry Group’s upcoming Global Executive Summit showcases a range of speakers, ready to share their wisdom, from organizations successfully riding out the storm.

This is your opportunity to tap directly into the brain power of those leading the way. The information you gain will help your organization make a practical, real-world-ready strategic plan.

From Oct. 13-15, SIG’s online event will help put your mind at ease by giving you key knowledge to inform the way you conduct business for the next 12 months.

The five focus areas are:

  • Contract Lifecycle Management: Including putting AI and Machine Learning to work for maximum results and cost savings
  • Optimizing Remote and Distributed Workforces: Navigating legal and culture challenges
  • Using Procurement as a Catalyst for Change: How we can make the grade with our customers’ Corporate Social Responsibility goals and establish ourselves as a partner of choice
  • Procurement as a Strategic Partner: Tips to champion Procurement’s role as a critical partner for closer collaboration with business leaders and units
  • Third-Party Risk: Pre-emptively managing risk to identify potential problems and prevent them from derailing your momentum

Your business doesn’t have a pause button

SIG understands your day-to-day work commitments never take a break.

We’ve organized each day of the Global Executive Summit to provide several hours of content, leaving you with ample time to keep your inbox in check and attend to your to-do list.

Registration is open. Join your peers to learn from our industry’s thought leaders while getting essential tips to drive your business in 2021 and beyond.

We’re also bringing you virtual SIGnature events in November and December to help you keep an up-to-date pulse on all things sourcing through the end of the year. Stay tuned for more details.

Maintaining your balance during disruption

As Q4 looms on the horizon, reflect on how your business was operating in February versus today. For some of us, it’s staggering to think how much has shifted.

Six months from now, the dust will not have settled. We’ll either be continuing to feel the effects of 2020 or further adapting to a reality in flux.

No matter how current history unfolds, we must continue sharing our triumphs and lessons learned to collectively strengthen our sourcing community.

Dawn Tiura is the CEO and President of SIG.