Tell us about your career path. How did you get into this field? Was it purposeful or by accident?
I am currently at the beginning of my career. I have been in the workforce, and in sourcing, for about a year and a half. I studied supply chain in college after discovering I had a passion for the breadth and complexity a supply chain has in a company. While in business school I pursued a supply chain internship and fell into the sourcing organization. I quickly realized sourcing was the perfect fit for me because of the emphasis on relationship building - with suppliers, internal clients and peers.
Would you follow that same path again if you had the choice?
I would say that so far, I am very happy with my decision to pursue sourcing. It has been an area that challenges me every day. Sourcing requires problem solving, relationship building and expanding knowledge. Each day in my position is completely different than the one before. The variety keeps the job interesting and motivates me to adapt quickly.
What has been the single most significant development to impact your profession or area of business during your career and why?
The most obvious significant development is technology, which is evolving very quickly and impacting sourcing every day. Transactions that used to be done manually, using the resources of many parties, are now performed in seconds by a computer. Forecasting, the purchasing process and visibility of material through the supply chain are now done in real time. This has decreased the amount of people required in the Supply Chain organization. Yet I believe sourcing is an exception to the downsizing within supply chain because computers are not able to replace or simulate the relationships between a supplier and a customer. The strategic concentration of sourcing cannot be replaced by computers.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your industry today - and how do you plan to solve it?
The biggest challenge facing our industry today is the increase in speed to market. The Amazons of the world are dramatically changing the timeline needed for a successful supply chain. Companies must invest in their big data, artificial intelligence and information technology (IT) to increase visibility, find bottlenecks in their system and create a faster speed to market. Because sourcing is the beginning of the supply chain, we need to quickly source materials for the success of the entire supply chain. By building relationships with our suppliers we build our networks and increase our response time to changes in the marketplace.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement career-wise?
Although my career within sourcing has been short so far, I would say my greatest achievement is getting as involved as possible with initiatives I am passionate about. I am blessed to have a company that encourages diversity, empowers women and gives employees the opportunity to support the causes we are enthusiastic about. Getting involved and empowering others is a fulfilling path and I am proud of the progress I have made so far.
What’s your biggest (as yet) unfulfilled ambition - and how are you going to achieve it?
Within my career I would like to get a breadth of experience and knowledge. I plan on exploring as many opportunities as possible, traveling whenever I have the chance and taking advantage of the many career paths available to me.
What three words do you think your colleagues and peers would use to describe you?
I think the three words my colleagues would use to describe me are adaptable, collaborative and leader.
Finally, what piece of advice would you give to young women starting their careers in the field of sourcing, outsourcing and procurement?
For young women starting their careers I would empower them to learn as much as possible and never turn down an opportunity, even if it doesn’t appear to be valuable at first.