After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SIG CEO and President Dawn Tiura announces the return of the Future of Sourcing Awards. Now is the time to recognize and celebrate the hard-won wins, lessons learned and innovative changes of the past two years.
A recent article reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has “affected the entire purchasing and supply chain management process.” As a result, we constantly face “multiple problems," including "supply shortages, material price increases, logistics challenges, unavailability of containers and timely vessel connections, congestion at ports, and delivery delays that significantly impact supplier performance.”
So, what does this have to do with SIG’s upcoming Future of Sourcing Awards?
The pandemic dramatically changed our lives both personally and professionally. Before then, I wrote the following in 2019: "Awards can change the trajectory of your career…they can change who and why someone reaches out to you for a new position, and best of all, they ratify that you have done an amazing job.”
Of course, the above words are as true today as they were back then. However, what has changed is the lens through which we view the innovation, leadership and transformation that are critical to the sourcing industry.
How the Lens Is Different
Traditionally, strategic sourcing is described as a procurement approach that considers the overall value of a vendor relationship beyond a transactional level, like cost. In other words, it is an all-encompassing relational approach with vendor “partners” that facilitates greater collaboration, innovation and accountability toward achieving a mutually rewarding outcome for all stakeholders. One example of innovation through a partnership mindset is the ubiquitous upside-down Heinz ketchup bottle.
According to reliable sources, the bottle design idea originated with a Heinz supplier and was championed by the company's procurement department. The rest, as they say, is history.
In the past, such innovative and collaborative zeal would have been a hallmark of strategic sourcing excellence – as it should be. The stakes have become much higher in a post-pandemic world with considerable geopolitical instability.
A Wider Recognition
When you hear the words supply chain, what immediately comes to mind?
When you shop at the grocery store are the shelves usually well-stocked? How about that phone or mobile device you carry in your hand? What about filling your tank at the gas station?
There is not one part of our everyday lives untouched by our supply chains – and strategic sourcing.
This knowledge is not new for those of us in the industry. But it is a new revelation for the rest of the world.
I can't think of a day that goes by when you don’t hear “supply chain” in the news. Whether we are talking about delivering humanitarian aid to parts of the world in great need or the price of fuel at the pump, it all comes down to supply.
Through this expanded lens, our profession and, as a result, awards take on even greater importance beyond the acknowledgement of a job well done.
A World of Difference
What are the benefits of strategic sourcing?
For those of us in the industry, we can readily point to any number of benefits, from risk mitigation and competitive differentiation to lower costs and better product quality.
What is different today is that we see the impact of what we do on a very real and personal level and how we are making a difference in the world beyond our profession.
Within this context or expanded lens, recognition and awards take on a whole new meaning. I have never been prouder to be part of this industry and the great people who are in it with me.
Now is the time to recognize your team or someone you know who is transforming the sourcing industry – and the world – through their ideas and actions. Please consider submitting a nomination on behalf of yourself, your team or someone you admire. Nominations close May 20.