How did you get into this field. Was it purposeful or by accident?
It was by a happy accident. I started in the packaging engineering industry. In that industry, I played the role of purchasing by sourcing my own customized packaging. In the process of combining engineering design with negotiation my savings were exceptional which pivoted me into purchasing and eventually into a purchasing leadership role.
In what ways do you hope to influence or transform the industry?
I believe that sourcing should include agile leaders. Those that may have a different point of view, understanding many different areas of a business adding additional value, even technical knowledge to the sourcing process. I am hopeful that my unique background shows others and companies that agility is not only important but a pivotal part of the sourcing industry. Having a broad perspective can add exceptional value.
Who are the mentors or role models who have guided you in your career?
My parents, husband, Manish Senta, Joe Gaus and Jeff Wells.
What is something you wish more people knew about the sourcing and procurement industry?
The market is the real cost driver. Quality is often more important than price. From a career perspective, you do not have to start your career in supply chain to enter the procurement industry. Anyone can learn to negotiate and source a supplier. It’s about your ability to mine data and use it as leverage during the procurement process and most importantly your ability to build long term relationships.
Looking ahead, what trends do you think will emerge in the sourcing and procurement space?
The ability to more agile. Engineers, finance, and other roles bleeding into the procurement space bringing forth diverse perspectives to the role.
What advice do you have for those who are considering a career in sourcing or procurement?
Engage a mentor as procurement opens doors to other roles and industries. The possibilities are endless. Keep and open mind and always be willing to learn. The number of years someone has in procurement doesn’t always translate to their potential and expertise. Take in all advice you can get as they may provide an alternative perspective you may not have considered. Watch the market and know what is going on around you, always. This allows you to be successful in your future negotiations and lets you know where your leverage may or may not lie.