October 2016
In a previous blog, Leadership Diversity Within Supply Chain – More Than Just A ‘Nice To Have’, I discuss the benefits and the necessity of women breaking the glass ceiling within supply chain and procurement leadership ranks. Very few women have done so however: only twenty-two (4%) Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) for Fortune 500 companies are women. As we look closer at Fortune 100 companies, the number of female leaders in supply chain diminishes only to three: Peyton Howell (AmerisourceBergen), Maria Lindenberg (Chevron) and Kathryn E. Wengel (Johnson & Johnson). Amidst all the great progress made within the past decades in advancing female professionals to senior leadership ranks and the C-suite, it is clear that the glass ceiling has not been completely shattered just yet. I had the opportunity to interview one of the few women leading supply chain for a Fortune 100 company, Kathryn E. Wengel, on the question of Diversity and Inclusion within top leadership roles and have learned her story on shattering the glass ceiling.

Kathryn E. Wengel (Kathy) is currently Worldwide Vice President of Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC). She serves on the Johnson & Johnson Management Committee and chairs the JJSC Leadership Team. She is also a member of the Regulatory Compliance & Government Affairs Committee and the Science, Technology & Sustainability Committee of the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors. She is a member of the SCM World Biopharma Board, the GS1 Global Management Board, and the Advisory Board of AWESOME Cross-Industry Supply Chain Leadership initiative for women; she was also the recipient of AWESOME’s Legendary Leadership Award in 2014. Kathy is the executive sponsor for J&J’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and the leader of J&J’s Women in Science Technology, Math, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D) program. Additionally, Kathy was recognized by the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) through their Women of Excellence Award in 2015, and received the 2015 Thinkers & Movers Award for innovative leadership by DSC Logistics. For more information see Kathy’s biography.

As a young female professional, I was deeply inspired and motivated by Kathy’s story, have learned much on the issue of diversity and inclusion from her experience outlined below, and hope that it will inspire many more:

The Early Days: "My passion... started me on this path"

Tatiana: Could you briefly tell me about your childhood? What was your dream job as a child?

Kathy: When I was a child, I knew my dream job had something to do with science and technology. I always gravitated toward mathematical and technical things. I liked Legos and blocks – building things. I loved pushing buttons and seeing what happened. My father owned a data processing business with IBM mainframes – very unusual as an entrepreneur in the 1970’s - and I would go to work with him often, and my mother was an accountant. I am fortunate to have parents who encouraged and supported me, my sister and brother to find what we loved to do and then do it.

Tatiana: What motivated you to pursue a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering)? Engineering is yet another field where gender diversity is lacking. How was your experience as a female pursuing an engineering degree in a highly male dominated field?

Kathy: My passion for math and science growing up started me on this path. In high school, I was fortunate to have a math teacher who nominated me as a candidate for a summer week-long program for girls at Stevens Institute between junior and senior year, run by SWE (Society of Women Engineers). I believe it was called “Women In Engineering”, and each day exposed us to a different field in engineering – electrical, civil, mechanical, etc. Prior to that program, I had thought I wanted to be a computer programmer, but this opened my eyes to more options that brought together my love of building things and the emerging computer science field.

I decided to go to Princeton, which at that time had only been coed for a little more than a decade – and in a University over 200 years old, it takes time for change to pull through. There weren’t many women in most of the engineering disciplines, so there was the occasional “Good Morning, Gentlemen” from some of the older professors. But overall, I think we were welcomed. I was confident in my capabilities and I believed that professors, people, managers, etc. were there to recognize talent and contributions regardless of gender or ethnicity. Princeton had been building a much more globally diverse student population, which I think helped.

By the time I was a senior, I had experienced a lot of opportunities, with great professors – mostly male - who challenged us to think very differently about the world. Along the way I changed my major from Electrical Engineering & Computer Science to Civil Engineering & Operations Research, which better blended my love for “building things” with the analytical skills for problem solving in operations. I had a thesis advisor who inspired me to work across disciplines in some ground-breaking research that looked at how the human brain processed information, and its link to problem-solving. At the time I didn’t realize how pioneering some of the ideas were – we were researching machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and self-driving cars – topics that really resonate today. But it was 30 years ago! That focus on finding emerging ideas and conceptualizing them into reality became the cornerstone of “my brand” and how I lead.

Tatiana: Have you ever encountered any professional barriers as a young adult due to your gender?

Kathy: Coming into business in the late 80s, we were at a generational change. We definitely heard comments that today would make you cringe or worse. But I was fortunate that J&J was a very forward-looking company, and invested to help educate and build a culture of diversity. It also knew where to draw the line, and when to give people time to adapt. No company is perfect, but J&J worked hard to help the older generation understand new expectations and adapt, while also encouraging the younger generations to step up and help shape the culture. Now nearly 30 years in, I see the same thing happening again – although this time I am more on the older end unfortunately! But I remember how it felt to be early in career, and it absolutely influences how I try to listen and learn.

Tatiana: How did you come to work for Johnson & Johnson? You have been with them for about twenty-eight years. How would you describe your experience at J&J?

Kathy: I was hired by J&J right out of college. I came to work for Janssen, which is J&J’s pharmaceutical division and today sells over $17B annually in the US, but then it was $88MM.

What was interesting about my hire into J&J, was that I was within days of accepting a role at Procter & Gamble in their Operations Internship program at the (now closed) Port Ivory plant on Staten Island. But then I interviewed at Janssen. I almost cancelled the interview, actually, because I was so sure I was going to accept P&G’s offer. But my parents raised me to meet my commitments, so I went to the interview. And then something bizarre and somewhat magical occurred. None of the leaders interviewing me could tell me what I would work on! In some way, they all said “We’ve never hired someone right out of school, and it’s probably time to do it. We only have one engineer in the company, so we can probably find enough for you to do. So now let me tell you what we are here to achieve…”

To a person, everyone I met talked about the patients, about the medicines they were working to bring to the U.S., about how these would treat unmet need, and how confident they were that they could change the world for the better. There were only around 300 people in Janssen at the time, so it was functioning more like a start-up inside J&J. They shared with me Johnson & Johnson’s “Our Credo”, and I was hooked. I couldn’t stop thinking about the environment they were creating.

So I took a chance and J&J took a chance, and here we are 28 years later… and I’ve loved every minute of it. I don’t take any of it for granted. I’ve been very fortunate to work for a company, and in an environment, that recognizes people for their talents and rewards people for not only the results they achieve, but how they actually achieve the results. I’ve moved around the world and experienced variations of that based on local culture, but overwhelmingly found people who would take the time to know you, if you did the same, and bring together the best of diversity to meet the needs of our customers.

And throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to receive some terrific coaching and mentoring, extensive cross-functional exposure to all of our different businesses and functions, strong leadership support and sponsorship, and wonderful global growth-oriented job assignments. All of these are important ingredients for nurturing the next generation of leaders.

Overcoming the Glass Ceiling: "I also am someone who 'runs into the fire.'"

Tatiana: J&J ranks 39 amongst U.S. Fortune companies. Currently there are only two females on the J&J executive management team and you are one of them. Furthermore, there are only three female heads of supply chain and procurement within Fortune 100 companies and you are one of them as well. Some would say that you have shattered the ‘glass ceiling’ and have achieved a rank that few females manage to do. Would you agree that there is a ‘glass ceiling’ for female professionals within Fortune companies? Do you think there is a glass ceiling for female professionals in supply chain? If so, why is that?

Kathy: It is certainly clear from the facts and numbers that there still is a lot of work to do in all these areas. Until women in the workplace – at all levels - represent our percentage of the population, and at the same wage levels, we still have room to improve. The same is true for ethnic diversity.

But just using metrics for diversity is not enough. You need to create a culture of inclusion that brings together those diverse backgrounds and voices into a high performing culture. The D (Diversity) and the I (Inclusion) are two very different and very important elements for leaders to drive.

In functions that are more technical in nature, I think the problem is exacerbated. I am truly embarrassed to say that when I came into this role as CSCO, I had no idea how low those numbers were at the top of the supply chain house. My jaw literally dropped. How could I have aspired for 30 years to a role like this, and never realized that no women were getting above a certain level of VP? In some ways, I guess I was fortunate to have been so focused on just doing what I loved, continuously learning, and building my career from that and always assumed I could do most roles if I worked hard enough. I have never been one to particularly like to do or not to do something (especially roles or big life changes) just because someone tells me it can or can’t be done – my family and colleagues can attest to that!

I also worked and lived outside the U.S. for 15 years, and in some way had just “expected” the U.S. was making progress during that time, while I was busy trying to make progress in other countries that were further behind.

But the impact of these low numbers has motivated me over the past three years to invest much more of my personal time working to improve the path and profile for women in supply chain across all industries. There are still perceptions about working in manufacturing that are often outdated but are off-putting for women. We must work actively to change that. Women have many natural abilities that make them terrific manufacturing or logistics leaders, but we need to do a better job of sharing the experiences of female role models, and making the connections for young girls and women so they are more likely to even consider supply chain as a career option. Women have to be deliberate in their career choices and not allow barriers or stereotypes to prevent them from managing their career. I tell people to make sure they do what they love but also continuously try new things and expand what the love to do, so they can make the choices that help them reach their desired level and potential.

Tatiana: How did you overcome the ‘glass ceiling’? How were you appointed to the CSCO role at J&J? Were you expecting this appointment? Was there competition for the post and if so do you think that gender played a role?

Kathy: In many ways I prepared throughout my entire career for this role. In J&J, Supply Chain includes New Product Introduction, Planning, Manufacturing (Internal and External), Distribution, Customer Service, plus three big technical functions that support our entire business – Quality & Compliance; Environment Health Safety & Sustainability; Engineering, Real Estate and Facilities. I worked in most of those areas, and did so in multiple locations around the world.

I also built my career around moving quickly into whitespace, proposing ideas or crafting roles based on emerging needs. Of the 13 distinct jobs I have had in 28 years, only #8, #10, and #13 existed before I went into the role, and each of those I shaped into something very different than they were before I went into them.

I also am someone who “runs into the fire.” I am a bit “out there” on the scale of “have no fear” when it comes to new things at work. Conversely, outside of work I’m very different. I have no desire to skydive or climb Everest. I think I max out on change at work, so my husband will tell you that at home I like things simple. But on the job, this love of a challenge really helped differentiate me – I was always willing to take on the hard assignments or the ones that needed fundamental change or rebuilding.

My role immediately prior to CSCO was as the first Chief Quality Officer (CQO) in J&J’s history. I went into that new role at a time when we had several significant issues that had caught us unprepared, and my job was to quickly assess how broad, deep and pervasive the problem was or was not, stop the bleeding, and build a comprehensive solution that went far beyond just a corporate functional leadership role. It played to my strengths, but also was the biggest challenge of my career to do something across all our 250+ companies and businesses. It was also my first exposure to our Board of Directors, and I had to learn how to explain complex situations succinctly, and to articulate risks and opportunities in a much less technical way.

There was a slate of both internal and external candidates for CSCO. The CQO experience – along with the fact that I had delivered strong business and leadership results in most areas of SC in multiple regions around the world - absolutely helped differentiate me in the selection for CSCO.

Tatiana: Why do you think there are so few women in leadership roles within supply chain and procurement? Is it possible that women are not interested in being in this space and therefore there are fewer qualified candidates?

Kathy: I think there are so few women in supply chain leadership roles because we have a talent pipeline challenge. And it starts with girls from a very young age – from around the age of five years, and continues to persist as young girls go through high school, college and enter the workforce. Girls and young women tend to lose interest in STEM fields and drop out of these fields of study, so by the time they enter the workforce, the representation of women is already on the decline and it continues to decline the higher the levels go. So – if there are very few women pursuing careers in supply chain, you end up having even fewer senior level women supply chain candidates and ultimately leaders. I also think that having mentors and sponsors is critical for women, and we tend to have fewer as compared to their male counterparts.

Tatiana: Have you experienced any gender bias (good or bad) as a matured professional? Or have you observed any such bias targeting other female professionals in your experience?

Kathy: The bias looks different in today’s world. It’s as simple as going to an industry conference and seeing that somehow, in 2016, most of the panels and presenters are still all male. Or, that side events are all “golf” or “off-road driving”. The issue is not that women want “spa days” vs. off-road driving, but that these examples are not building inclusion. They put you in tiny groups where it is difficult to fit in if you aren’t already one of the gang. I used to just shake my head and think “How do leaders not realize the impression this leaves? “ But now I speak up. Some wonderful female mentors years ago encouraged me to find a variety of ways to influence things – expanding the leadership tool-kit so to speak – in order to avoid being labeled with the dreaded “pushy.” It was terrific advice, and helped me learn how to influence in many different ways. But frankly, sometimes, you just have to be a bit direct to open some eyes. At the same time, I always try to bring constructive practical suggestions to help change things.

Tatiana: When we look at the entry and mid-level positions within most firms, women outnumber men. Yet the proportion of women decreases at higher leadership levels. Do you think that gender diversity is a generational issue? (Meaning that all the entry level women are young millennials while there are fewer women in upper management because the previous generations were not as concerned with having women in top roles?)

Kathy: I think there are many factors that are impacting the low numbers of women at senior levels, some of which stem from the historical corporate cultural norms, country cultural norms and even self-imposed barriers that women place on themselves. It still varies tremendously by cultures in different countries, and how well (or not) support structures are there for women. I have heard and seen heart-breaking stories of incredibly talented executive women, with the salary and great fortune to be able to have help at home, who are shamed into giving it up by family members who cannot accept today’s world. The women try to work through it and stand up to it for years until finally it is too much and they just can’t take it anymore and sometimes just give up. This is the 21st century for heaven’s sakes – how can we still behave this way?

Hopes For The Future: "Set women up for success"

Tatiana: What do you think is the solution to gender inequality within top management roles?

Kathy: First, start exposing young girls at an early age to the possibilities of professional careers and continuously let them see role models. How many times are female scientists listed along with great male scientists in equal numbers? Encourage girls and build their self-esteem/confidence so they truly believe that they are capable of accomplishing anything they choose to accomplish. Provide girls with access to education, information, coaching and tutoring, and show women that they can create a work/life integration or balance that enables them to have a family and a career if they choose. Then, set women up for success in the workplace – present them with opportunities, encourage them to expand their experience base and shape creative solutions. Reinforce diversity and inclusion programs to ensure biases and stereotypes are broken down and don’t prevent women from growing and taking advantage of promotional opportunities.

I also think that over the past thirty years, as some roles started to open at the top for women, this created a situation where women often weren’t really helping or advising other women. If you thought that maybe one of ten jobs could become open for a woman, it made the competition for and among women ten times stronger. I hope, frankly, that we are moving beyond this. We need to help and support each other. Building a talent pipeline of tens of thousands of top executive-ready women has a cumulative impact that will, I am confident, award many more of those seats to women in the future.

Tatiana: You have been a recipient of many awards, a member of AWESOME, and a passionate advocate for gender issues and equality. Do you still believe in advocating for women’s rights? Could too much advocating on gender issues backfire and harm women within the workforce?

Kathy: Women make up just over half of the world’s population. I feel strongly that we need to achieve full 50% representation across J&J at all levels around the world. As a woman in the workforce I believe that we must take responsibility for mentoring, coaching, sponsoring and advocating for the talented women at J&J and in the professional world. We also need to recognize the tremendous number of male colleagues who also believe as passionately about the advancement of women, and work hard to help accelerate things. If we all advocate for the best talent – regardless of gender and ethnicity – and all understand our own hidden biases and work to overcome them, the world will be a better place.,

At J&J, we have a long history of women having key roles in our company. One hundred and thirty years ago, 8 of our first 15 employees were women. In 1907 we hired our first female scientist and our overarching goal is to champion women for Improved Business Results and Global Health.

Recognizing that more than 80% of a family's healthcare decisions are made by women, with our Women in STEM program, we hope to increase the participation of women developing the technology and products that are used to keep people healthy.

Across industries, I am also an Advisory Board Member for AWESOME – Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education, a ground breaking organization founded by Ann Drake in 2013. We’ve been working to build a network of senior executive women in supply chain across all industries. We sponsor events and symposiums which bring women together to build stronger Supply Chain and business executives ( http://awesomeleaders.org ).

Tatiana: What would you advise young female professionals within supply chain and procurement, or any other field for that matter, on breaking the glass ceiling?

Kathy: No one knows your aspirations better than yourself – so you have to make sure people know those and that they are committed Embrace different opportunities for job assignments, relocation (if possible for you), and special projects to grow, develop, build relationships and gain visibility. Showing an active interest in continuous learning and a willingness to take some risks can help you stand out. It also helps to get and stay involved in internal and external professional activities, including associations, and community events; all of these help build a strong network. Networks create access and opportunity, get you access to timely information and knowledge, and can act as reference points and referrals. It’s important to keep current with industry trends, career opportunities, and education/training opportunities – in many cases it will point you to an emerging area where you can be a pioneer – often those have fewer barriers. These networks can also serve as a path (and sometimes life-line) for your career growth and advancement as well. Finally, identify mentors, and sponsors that can help you prepare for promotional opportunities and stretch assignments, as well as help you navigate your career.

I would like to thank Kathy for her time and willingness to provide this interview as well as for being a true role model to many young women in the U.S. and around the world!

This interview has been edited and approved by Kathy E. Wengel.

Source One Round Up: October 28, 2016

Here's a look at where Source One's cost reduction
 experts have been featured this week!


NEW BLOGS:
Peeling Back the Stakeholder Interview Process 
When it comes to getting a full understanding of your stakeholder's needs, solely collecting quantitative isn't enough. Sourcing initiatives also benefit from qualitative information gathered via stakeholder interviews. This week, Source One's Senior Project Manager and Thomasnet's 2015 Rising Supply Chain Star, Michael Croasdale, explains how collaborating with stakeholders early in the sourcing process helps sets your spend management initiative up for success.



PODCASTS:

Source One's Data Scientist, James Patounas and Analyst, Brian Seipel sat down with Buyers Meeting Point to discuss the development of Source One's new Spend Analysis as a service tool, www.SpendConsultant.com. Together, they discuss the role data science played in creating the proprietary taxonomy. 

This blog post is brought to us by MRA Global Sourcing.

When it comes to sports, a team is only as good as the players on the bench, the ones who have to fill in for the players that get pulled because of an injury or other reason. The team’s bench strength is crucial, you’ll never hear of a professional team that doesn’t have players waiting on the sidelines ready to jump in as needed. The way that organizations go through turnover, they need their own form of bench strength, or the capabilities and readiness of potential successors to step up for important professional and leadership roles.

A smart business will avoid interruption by always having a successor or procedure in place to fill the position of a fundamental individual in leadership, management, and line operations. “Being aware of the areas to construct a bench lineup in your organization calls for a systematic effort to guarantee stability, establish and preserve intellectual and knowledge capital for the future, and encourage individual advancement,” says Naseem Malik, Managing Partner of MRA Global. “Identify positions that are essential to the company’s competitive position or are distinct to your industry niche, and those with deep learning curves or dependence on an experiential approach.”

Malik recommends the following to ensure that your team is prepared when you need to call on your bench:

Set your strategic direction. Use your current mission as a starting point. Can your company accomplish its stated goals and objectives with the individuals in your current team? Take your one-, three-, and five-year plan into consideration, assess the capability you have available in light of those plans. A game plan that outlines processes, deadlines, and directions for completing tasks is necessary. Each department should identify critical functions and have a game plan for each. Individuals in your organization can be prepared to take on more responsibility in the future while increasing their effectiveness in their current roles through strategic thinking.

Make knowledge sharing routine. Contributions to projects, teams, task forces and committees should be encouraged company-wide. Your team will be provided with fresh perspectives through the use of these tactics, and in turn encourage process improvement. When a company’s culture includes routine knowledge sharing, it creates an effective, more united workforce where employees learn from others across the company. As we approach a labor market that is increasingly composed of millennials seeking mentorship and knowledge transfer from leading co-workers. Employers who can offer a company culture that includes the opportunity to interact and collaborate with different people at various levels in the organization.

Develop succession plans. Your most valuable employees make up the group most at risk of leaving for another opportunity especially in today’s candidate-driven market, and on top of senior leadership that will someday retire, a succession plan is crucial. This entails introducing fresh talent in the hiring process and identifying and developing high-potential employees. Consider the current expertise and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your existing organization. Allow all positions to communicate their interests, strengths and areas that need enhancement through an official evaluation process. This is an optimal method for understanding your organization’s bench strength, or lack of, and help you establish if critical positions have one (or more) individuals ready to step up into the role and responsibility of each position.

Don’t go it alone. Consider enlisting a search firm that specializes in your niche if you have to look away from your organization to find qualified expertise, they can give you access to their roster of potential candidates and passive candidates you couldn’t find on your own. The best people will have the most competition, it’s essential you improve your current hiring practices and procedures if they prolong the hiring process. To ensure you aren’t starting from scratch when the time comes, interview top talent before the need presents itself and consider creating a position for a potential leader.

Career planning should be embedded into the process of talent management throughout your organization to form sustainable bench strength. This preparation will set the course for growth, ease employee transitions, develops future leaders for success in a continuous process that assists organizations with changes in the business, industry and overall marketplace.

“In order to stay ahead of the game, existing leadership must stay updated on recent changes in business needs and make talent pipeline management part of the company culture,” says Malik. “Developing a strategy for an ongoing, flexible talent management process should be the focus to ensure the organization can have the right talent in the right place at the right time through a committed bench of players that will keep them on top of their game for seasons to come.”

        As technology continues to drive to the forefront of procurement innovation, more and more applications are being implemented to streamline sourcing initiatives, supplier and contract management, and KPI tracking across entire organizations.  Even with the most user-friendly software, there is a need to train employees and end users on these new platforms to ensure proper use and full optimization of functionalities.  Internally this is typically an easy transition as employee are incentivized to learn the software to both secure their position and reap the resource saving benefits of the software.


        As a procurement professional, I have had experience across multiple eSourcing platforms throughout my career.  I have worked both within eSourcing Suites created and licensed by my employer, and as an end user of a third party platform.  The benefits of administering an RFx through this software are clear.  Supplier responses are easily managed, maintained, and analyzed by the platform.  Comprehensive reports of supplier participation, questions, and cost savings can be generated at the click of a button.  Compared to manually compiling responses offline, the use of this software is a sourcing analysts dream.

        When deciding when the use of eSourcing software is appropriate for an RFx, another end user needs to be considered – the supplier.  Throughout my experience conducting events through these online platforms I have had at best suppliers begrudgingly agree to participate through the software, and at worst, flat out refusal.

There are a few key reasons that suppliers prefer traditional methods of collecting information and pricing over the use online platforms:

1.       It is easy to miss information.
Automated emails generated through these platforms often are filtered into spam or junk folders.
  As a result, suppliers often miss information. If their company is particularly diligent about filtering out spam, they may have to work with IT to locate emails and adjust the filters, wasting valuable company resources.



2.       Each platform is different, and training can be time consuming.
Even though the principles of an RFP, RFQ, RFI, and eAuction are similar industry wide, each platform operates under different nuances that require a walk through for first time users.
  For eAuctions specifically, since time and participation are critical for the success of the event, often a mock auction will be a requirement for supplier participation.  This is investing more supplier time and resources without a guarantee of gaining any business.



3.       Some suppliers are still old school.
Particularly in the MRO and Manufacturing spaces, some suppliers still operate under dated or non-existent technology and just simply do not have the knowledge base or means to participate in these types of events.
   With retirement coming later and later for many industry professionals, the motivation to learn a new skill-set for potential business may not seem to hold enough value.


4.       They may be unfairly disqualified.
Some platforms automatically prevent supplier participation if a question is skipped or if a response does not align with expectations.
  This opens a lot of room for error, and not a lot of room for productive discussion of supplier limitations to find alternate ways of mitigation.



5.       They make collaboration difficult.
It typically takes multiple employees within a company to respond to a request for proposal.
  For example, the proposal documents may need to pass through a sales representative for response to questions surrounding account management, engineering for technical questions, and quotation teams in multiple regions to provide appropriate pricing and freight costs to service a national company.  Usually these platforms allow for one login associated with each supplier response, and working “online” with multiple users sharing these credentials runs the risk of missed communication via email, and accidental response overrides.

6.       eAuctions are difficult for representatives with volatile schedules.

Aligning the schedules of a business development or account manager for multiple companies within an industry can be challenging, if not outright impossible.  Should a last minute schedule change prevent a supplier from participating in a live auction, the opportunity is lost both for the supplier and for your firm.

        Each of these valid supplier concerns can drastically reduce the quality of RFP responses.  Even if you are well known company with hundreds of millions in procurement spend, some suppliers may simply refuse to participate despite potential for a mutually beneficial partnership.  Recognizing these barriers is the first step to empowering your current and potential supply base to provide productive responses utilizing the technology that your company invests in.  With this newfound empathy, there is progress to be made.  Please stay tuned for Technology in Procurement Part II: Empowering Suppliers to ensure eSourcing Success.
On the final day of ProcureCon Pharma, sessions will focus on the Future of Procurement and what to consider when planning for what your organization may need in a decade. Based on patterns from the history of procurement and how it has evolved as a function, conversations are moving away from the traditional concept to where procurement is headed. Guests are guaranteed to gain valuable takeaways that can be applied for their organization and enhance their procurement processes.

While highlighting procurement's direction, today’s discussions also advises attendees on how to prepare and plan ahead for their organization. Throughout the day thought leaders, including Johnson and Johnson, will provide their insights on the benefits of career pathing as well as the tools and skillsets tomorrow’s procurement professional’s will need. A variety of speakers will deliver the audience different perspectives that can both align with their role and the position of other team members.

Source One’s Director David Pastore presented yesterday advising attendees how to demonstrate progress in procurement initiatives and capitalizing on the growing discipline of data science for procurement. Pastore offered insight to assist attendees in creating a competitive advantage for their organization and a new approach to sourcing goals in a profound and organized way. The presentation was a great success and Pastore thanks the board and directors of ProcureCon Pharma for providing the opportunity to meet with other professionals in procurement.
Tips for enhancing seasonal hiring success

The holidays are right around the corner and, as we recently discussed, many companies - especially retail, transportation and warehousing companies - are ramping up efforts to hire seasonal workers. Utilizing temporary employees during the holidays has long been a popular practice of organizations across a wide range of industries. However, given the tight labor market and shortage of skilled talent available, the recruitment landscape is incredibly competitive this year, even though a large portion of companies started their holiday recruitment efforts earlier than usual.  

Seasonal hiring challenges supply chains
According to a holiday hiring report recently released by Snagajob, 90 percent of employers plan to hire this year, with 86 percent saying they expect to transition temporary workers to full-time employee positions once the holidays are behind us. And while this is great news for those looking for temp positions, it is somewhat concerning for the hiring companies.

Planning - or wanting - to hire seasonal workers is one thing, but actually being able to do it is an entirely different story. This is a harsh reality many businesses are already starting to face this year. Snagajob revealed that almost all, or 82 percent, of employers are finding it difficult to fill the temporary positions they have open. The biggest obstacles they are facing include:

  • Lack of qualified applicants
  • Lack of available talent
  • Heightened competition

Holiday hiring can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The key is to go about it carefully and strategically. However, you also need to act quickly. The holidays are fast approaching, and the longer you wait to begin your seasonal recruitment, the less chance you have of gaining the top talent you desire.

Lessons from the best
Supply Chain Digital recently pointed out that, when it comes to temporary hiring, a notable company to learn from is UPS.  Last year, on its busiest day of the season, the shipping organization managed to successfully deliver more than 36 million packages - which is at least twice the amount that arrive on an average day. How did it do it? One of the well-known strategies exercised by UPS is to ramp up temporary hires. According to SCD, this year, UPS anticipates adding approximately 1,300 temp workers - so, clearly, there is a thing or two that other employers can learn from this company. Below are some of those nuggets of advice:

Cut to the chase
When it comes to holiday hiring, time is of the essence. You don't have as much leeway when it comes to vetting candidates right now as you otherwise would. To optimize the recruitment process, you need to make sure you are asking the right questions. For example, do candidates work well under pressure? Do their schedules allow them to work the kind of hours your company's holiday season demands?

Create an ideal candidate profile
It is important to figure out ahead of time what it is you need in a temporary worker. Creating an ideal candidate profile can help you more quickly and efficiently filter out those who don't meet the preferred requirements. However, given that the market is so competitive right now, it also recommended that you establish ahead of time what you are willing to negotiate on. For example, maybe hires need to have retail experience, but you're willing to compromise on the type of inventory management system they are skilled in using. Decide which aspects of the role you can sacrifice for the sake of your immediate needs.

Outsource if necessary
There are certain situations where it is highly recommended you outsource seasonal hiring. For example, if you don't have the in-house talent, time or means to do it in the tight budget or timeframe you need to, a staffing agency will prove helpful. Another scenario where it makes a lot of sense to outsource is if temporary hiring and seasonal workers are not an area of business you are familiar with. Since there are certain compliance and regulatory requirements with temporary worker contracts, inexperienced employers will often be better served to outsource these functions to avoid landing in hot water with the law.

To make the most of your existing workforce and maximize productivity during what is likely the busiest time of the year for your company, take advantage of the opportunity to outsource certain services. Streamlining certain tasks and functions to third-party providers during the holidays can help take some of the lower-priority tasks off the plate of core, top performers and free them up to focus on more critical aspects of the supply chain. Whether it is to a temporary staffing agency or third-party logistics company, outsourcing can be an incredibly valuable and cost-effective solution to utilize during the chaotic holiday season.

Dozens of Procurement professionals in the Pharmaceutical industry gathered today in the City of Brotherly love for ProcureCon Pharma 2016. The day's agenda, themed Strengthening Internal and External Partnerships to Further Today's Procurement Organization, did not disappoint. Presentations and round table discussions centered around how procurement groups in the Pharma industry can better collaborate with key stakeholders and external partners to deliver more value to their organization.

Kicking off the speaker sessions, Astra Zeneca's Head of Procurement -North America, Edward McAndrews, presented his session titled Getting Started with Supplier Enabled Innovation: Unlocking Value from Your Trust Partners. McAndrews discussed how Procurement can take advantage of suppliers' expanded capabilities by building trust with suppliers, allowing Procurement to move beyond reducing costs and take a strategic seat at the table. McAndrews explained that "Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) requires constant improvement."

Later in the day, Ken Morsh, Head of Regional Procurement, Americas at Takeda Pharmaceuticals presented a session titled Aligning Procurement Operations Across Internal Business Needs to Unlock Best Value. Keeping on point with ProcureCon's theme of the day, Morsch covered how Procurement groups can better work with key internal stakeholders by understanding their motivations and goals. He explains how to navigate internal networks to get at the crux of Procurement's stakeholders' needs, as well as how to develop the right team to continuously deliver value to your business partners.

Also today, Source One Director David Pastore shared a quick session on how Procurement groups can best demonstrate its value through innovative metrics, titled From Savings...to Value. He explained how Procurement has evolved passed solely offering cost-savings and serving a much more strategic role. He argued how this evolved role requires more accurate reporting of the value delivered.

Today's agenda also featured sessions presented by Procurement professionals from leading Pharma companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Beohringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Tomorrow's sessions will center around the theme of Procurement of the Future: Meeting the Needs of Your Business in 2026.







After undergoing numerous sourcing projects with a client and beginning to look at the next wave of projects, it is always important to reflect on why projects were a success and what lessons can be learned to improve processes and inefficiencies in the engagement. Below is a list of five sourcing best practices that should be established before initiating a new round of projects.

1.      Align with Corporate Sponsorship – Ensure that the projects selected align with your stakeholder and that the timing of the project plans align with the corporate initiatives. The stakeholder might want to better understand why certain projects were identified, the timing around them, and the strategy that will be undergone to complete the project. This is an opportunity for you to also express lessons learned about the first wave of projects and ensure that you understand the scope, decision makers, etc.

2.      Confirm the Main Point of Contact for Each Project – While having a stakeholder from corporate involved in all the projects is crucial, it is also important to have a main point of contact specific to each project. This person will be your escalation prior to the corporate stakeholder and will advocate on your behalf if any obstacles arise. This project POC will also better understand the project stakeholders’ involvement, concerns and will understand the category as a whole.

3.      Conduct Initial Call with Corporate Sponsor, Project Point of Contact, and Any Additional Project Stakeholders – This initial kickoff call is important in order to discuss strategy, potential difficulties, opportunities, and confirm the specific stakeholders for each project. Ironing out the strategy, goals, and potential roadblocks will help ensure the success of your project. This call is also to go over roles and responsibilities. Specifically, which stakeholders will be involved in specific steps of the process and the level of engagement from each.

4.      Finalize Stakeholder Calls and Conduct Supplier Introductions – Once you have conducted an initial call informing your stakeholders about the upcoming initiatives, it is important to conduct individual calls with these stakeholders in order to understand the supplier relationship from their perspective and to gain a better understanding about the initiative and the goals they want to accomplish. These stakeholders will then provide you with the contact information for the supplier they utilize in that category, which will allow you to validate the information and data they provided to you. Conducting a call with the suppliers is also crucial to the success of the initiative because you will hear another side of the story and gain a true understanding of the relationship and understand what needs to be modified or improvement.

5.      Internal Kickoff Meeting – In tandem to coordinating communication with your stakeholders, it is also important to keep your team abreast of your lessons learned from the first wave of projects and to inform any new team members about the best practices and important aspects of the account. Putting together a short slide deck and setting up an internal kickoff meeting allows you to convey the key criteria about the account, establish internal processes, and improve any obstacles discovered during the first wave of projects. 


     By following these 5 best practices, you will ensure success in your second round of sourcing projects. Incorporating the lessons you learned will only improve the communication and relationship you have with your stakeholders. It shows that you understand what was done well and what could be improved. And, but utilizing these best practices, you are sure to help your team see the project success to fruition. 
When it comes to getting spend visibility for launching cost reduction initiatives, companies are often stuck trying to decide whether to conduct the spend analysis process themselves manually or commit to implementing a spend analysis software solution - which can take months and will require heavy financial investment. And, when it’s all said and done, they are left trying to make sense of the spend data in an effort to develop an effective sourcing strategy that feels like taking a shot in the dark without having insights into the market.

Luckily, there's an alternative solution: Source One's Spend Analysis as a Service: www.SpendConsultant.com. Spend Consultant combines Source One's over twenty years of strategic sourcing experience with data visualization tools to deliver a rapid and cost effective spend analysis.

With countless spend analysis s solutions available, what makes Source One's Spend Consultant different? The answer lies within the proprietary spend classification system. Spend Consultant's taxonomy is designed specifically for procurement professionals, so your spend profile will be segmented in a way that is conducive to strategic sourcing. What’s more, the tool also includes category advice and tips for developing a go-to-market strategy backed by Source One's decades of experience and market intelligence.

We sat down with Source One's very own Senior Data Scientist James Patounas to get an inside look at the process behind developing Source One's Spend Analysis as a Service web platform. In Part One of the Developing Spend Consultant Series, we learned about Patounas' role as a Senior Data Scientist in making Spend Consultant possible, as well as the major milestones from Spend Consultant's inception to launch. In this second installment of our interview series, Developing Spend Consultant Part II: The Hurdles, we discuss the challenges encountered when developing Spend Consultant's unique spend classification system.
Today's pharmaceutical industry is rapidly changing. With the rise of generic medications, expiring patents, and growing requirements for investments in research and development, Pharma companies must take advantage of innovative approaches to reduce costs and enhance business performance. 

Here lies opportunity for Procurement groups in the Pharma industry to drive competitive advantages: 

Proactively Managing Spend
Reducing costs begins with understanding your spend. Procurement can aid their organization by providing that full view of spend history and patterns to identify areas for cost reduction. Conducting a Spend Analysis enables organizations to see how spending rolls up across various product lines, as well as operation expenses and professional services. Leverage this spend visibility by making smarter purchasing decisions and guide category management plans.

Fostering Supplier Innovation through Strengthened Relationships
Procurement groups in the Pharma industry have the opportunity to capture supplier innovation at the early stages of research and development and foster ongoing collaborative relationships. In today's constantly shifting marketplace, it is vital for Pharma organizations to establish formalized structure around their supplier relationships. SRM programs not only reinforce performance requirements, but also enables access to supplier-driven innovation by means of new product lines, process improvements and more. 

Ensuring Compliance
In an industry with strict requirements, suppliers and vendors of pharmaceutical companies must meet high quality standards, and governmental mandates. Procurement plays a major role in ensuring Service Levels are met from a qualitative standpoint, as well as ensuring pricing matches that noted in the contract. Review contracts early and often to not only uphold performance expectations, but also as a starting point for future sourcing events. 

These issues and more will be covered at ProcureCon Pharma 2016, a procurement and sourcing processes conference specific to the pharmaceutical industry in Philadelphia, PA this week. Source One Director David Pastore will be speaking at the event on translating savings into value from procurement initiatives in your organization. He also discusses how procurement has evolved beyond tactical purchasing function focused solely on year-over-year cost savings to more strategic function, driving competitive advantages for the organizations they serve. With this evolution, Pastore will discuss how demonstrating Procurement's value should reflect what the function delivers their organizations beyond cost savings, such as Supplier-Driving Innovation and more.


It's officially been a year since Source One opened our office in the beautiful River North neighborhood in Chicago!

As anticipated, the move meant enhanced capabilities and resources for supporting our clients in the Midwest with strategic sourcing, supply chain, and procurement management initiatives.

Celebrating a year of success in Chicago, we're again hosting a Procurement Professionals Networking Event. We're looking forward to commemorating this milestone with long-time friends and fresh faces. We extend a warm welcome to those in supply management and procurement for a night of networking at the Hubbard Inn on Thursday, November 10th. The doors open at 6pm.

Please note, there will be no sales pitches to sit through or slide decks to review. Simply good food, great drinks, and even better company.

To RSVP for the event, please contact Carole at Cboyle@sourceoneinc.com.

Retailers facing increased competition for seasonal hires

With the holiday season fast approaching, retail supply chains must ramp up efforts to ensure they are properly prepared to meet the spike in demand. However, one area that many retailers seem to be facing issues with as of late is their search for temporary workers.

Seasonal hiring has always been a go-to solution for retailers to handle the influx of consumer sales hitting their organizations in the months leading up to and immediately following the holidays. However, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that even though many retail companies began recruiting holiday-season workers back in August, there seems to still be some sign of difficulty in getting that extra help they need.

Ready, set, recruit
Typically, recruitment for temporary hires usually begins in September. The source explained that over a quarter of the retail employees hired in last year's fourth quarter began working in October. Whereas in the past, the holiday season was considered to begin immediately following Thanksgiving, now consumers are starting their holiday shopping even before Halloween. Some industry giants, including J.C. Penny Co., United Parcel Service Inc. and Macy's Inc. began recruitment and hiring earlier as to get a head start on competitors.

This explains why more retailers are starting to recruit seasonal hires earlier in the year than they may have previously. Unfortunately, it seems there is a lack of available workers, indicating a tight labor market. According to The Wall Street Journal, adding to the complexity of this situation is the fact that retail organizations have to compete with warehouse, logistics and distribution companies that are also increasing use of temporary workers during peak months due to e-commerce growth. 

Employers throughout the retail and supply chain industry are in a predicament.

"[They] anticipate stronger consumer demand and expect that it will be harder to find the people they want to hire," Indeed.com Economist Jed Kolko told the source.

The Wall Street Journal added that The National Retail Federation estimates somewhere between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal hires will be added by retailers this year, indicating it will stay steady with 2015, which totaled 675,300 temporary holiday workers.

Strategic approach to seasonal hires
It's no news that the growth of omnichannel purchasing has led to retailers needing to restructure supply chains to better meet the demands of the online shopper. And while this does include hiring more workers to manage the increased store traffic and handle spikes in customer service needs, a lot of these seasonal workers will be needed for the backend operations, such as in warehousing and fulfillment centers. 

For example, according to The Society of Human Resource Management, Target plans to add 7,500 seasonal workers to its distribution and fulfillment facilities this year - about 1,000 more than it did last year.

However, it is not just the retailers that have to deal with the up tick in online spending. The SHRM explained that, over the past few years, transportation and warehousing are the segments that have seen the most growth in seasonal hiring. In November and December last year, employment in these sectors grew by more than 200,000 employees, the source reported. 

The following article comes to the Strategic Sourceror courtesy of Blaine Kelton, an IT professional and freelance writer based out of Beverly Hills, CA. He loves covering anything related to business and technology. Most recently, he’s had a particular interest in the IoT. 


Much has been made of how the ever-expanding Internet of Things is continually changing and improving supply chains in big businesses. In a broad sense, the use of interconnected systems and devices is streamlining everything from production to in-store inventory tracking. This is ultimately leading to a supply chain process that operates quickly, precisely, and with a minimal waste of time and energy. Beneath this blanket description, however, the digitization of the supply chain through the IoT has a lot of specific benefits that are good for all involved. Here, we're going to briefly address the idea that by connecting shipping fleet vehicles to the IoT, companies and organizations are making conditions significantly safer for drivers.

If the idea of the IoT affecting fleet vehicles sounds a little bit strange, or even forced, it has been generally described as the use of GPS and other tracking technologies to gather real time data on locations and operations of vehicles. Basically, a fleet vehicle with advanced GPS and WiFi sensors can be monitored by a system or an employee at a fleet management headquarters. The vehicle's exact whereabouts can be known and more efficient routes can be worked out automatically. Vehicle diagnostics can be also be recorded and kept track of so that repairs are addressed when needed. Even driver performance can be observed, so that any issues can be recorded and appropriately addressed. The broad idea from a company standpoint is to make things as efficient as possible, minimize needless gas expenses on slow routes, keep vehicles in good shape, and make sure that product is shipped as quickly and precisely as necessary.

There's also a benefit for the drivers, which is that they're made safer. The IoT's involvement with fleet vehicles helps to construct ideal driving conditions for drivers, and also holds them accountable for their performance behind the wheel. And this is not just a vague concept that one can infer from understanding the overarching state of fleet tracking. One company helping to lead the way in rolling out fleet tracking programs specifically provides drivers with an app that helps with routing, communication, and driving habits all at once. Through the app, drivers can see updated routes and delivery schedules, view service history and maintenance updates, monitor driving performance (like speeding and abrupt stopping tendencies), communicate with managers, and follow voice-guided navigation. No single aspect of that service is necessarily new, but having it all presented seamlessly in one place gives drivers a huge advantage.

In the end, this provides a strong example of how the IoT's large-scale impact can often overshadow some of its unseen benefits. For most of us, the affect on supply chains matters only insofar as store inventory may become more reliable, and product could conceivably become marginally more affordable as a result of costs saved elsewhere. But within companies using shipping fleets the ability to keep drivers alert, updated, and safe is significant, and alleviates many of the concerns of managing vehicle activity.



Here's an understatement: Gaining spend visibility is challenging. 

To effectively launch a cost reduction initiative, procurement groups have to first start by understanding the company's spend history and patterns. This means undergoing the data collection, cleansing, and categorization process of a Spend Analysis. Beyond navigating desperate systems as a result of decentralized spend management, Procurement must then sort through the data which is often classified using industry standard taxonomies (such as the North American Industry Classification System, Standard Industrial Classification, etc) that aren't conducive to Procurement to to get a view of how and where their organization spends it's money. Next, based on this "information", Procurement can develop a go-to-market strategy for targeted spend categories. 

If conducting a manual Spend Analysis isn't feasible, many organizations choose to go a different route seeking Spend Analysis Software. And, like any software implementation, Procurement groups must then undergo the lengthy process of requirements building, attending demos, systems integrations, and more - which can often take months, if not longer. 

Luckily, there's an alternative solution. One that removes the burden of having to conduct a manual spend analysis while eliminating the complexities of implementing a spend analysis software. Its called www.SpendConsultant.com. Developed by Procurement Consulting firm, Source One Management Services, Spend Consultant is a rapidly deployable spend analysis web platform. Equipped with high-powered data visualization tools, Spend Consultant allows procurement groups to drill into their spend data and target areas for strategic sourcing. 

Discussing the development of www.SpendConsultant.com, Source One Analyst Brian Seipel and Senior Data Scientist James Patounas sat down with Kelly Barner of Buyers Meeting Point in a new podcast titled Actionable Spend Analysis Through Applied Data Science. The two, who played integral roles in the design and development of the Spend Analysis as a software tool, share insight into Spend Consultant's for procurement by procurement value proposition, as well as how data science guided its development. 


 



Yesterday the 2016 Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) annual conference kicked off at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! The day started out with a keynote presentation motivating attendees to strive for procurement excellence with a variety of workshops. After another keynote speech during lunch, a general session in the afternoon highlighted how to demonstrate success through the use of performance metrics. Finally, the full day of informational presentations concluded with a networking voyage- a dinner cruise of Pittsburgh’s three rivers.

Attendee’s continue to ‘make their mark on procurement history’ today with more educational sessions and presentations from key players in procurement. With more networking opportunities in the morning followed by two select workshops and then a final general session in the afternoon, the second day of NLPA conference is looking just as busy as the first! Today’s events also include presentations in the exhibit hall and finally a panel discussion to end the 2016 conference. 


Today Jennifer Ulrich, Source One’s Associate Director and Procurement Transformation Advisor, gives a presentation titled No Taxation Without Representation: Procurement’s Crucial Seat at the Table to fit the conference’s theme of making procurement history. During this session, attendees will learn why the traditional perception of procurement needs to be revised to meet the new meaning of procurement. Ulrich explains not only why it has changed, but also how you can lead the change in your organization with the right tools and resources. Through the use of better metrics to demonstrate value, better hiring practices, and a new approach to supplementing internal resources with the most appropriate external partners, attendees can feel prepared to be a key participant in boardroom-level discussions and decisions. More topics including negotiation advice, KPIs, cost-reducing concepts and other procurement trends are covered in separate sessions throughout the day. 
Supply chain security: Hidden, third-party threats

Right now, there is a lot of talk about the concerning state of supply chains - in particular, the overwhelming amount of security risks and disruptions they face. And this is with good reason. Across the globe, organizations in every industry, at every level, are dealing with new, unprecedented threats. As the Internet of Things, cloud and other technological advancements continue to sweep through businesses, transforming processes and operations at every level, it is creating an environment of extreme vulnerability. 

The threat landscape is intensifying and organizations that don't adapt to this changing atmosphere become significantly more susceptible to suffering a disruption. Failing to heed safety and security standards, as well as being proactive in ensuring the best practices for data protection are implemented, makes it much more likely that supply chain managers will have to pay the price for it. This "price" can come in many forms - whether it be a loss of financial data from cybercriminals, production delays due to system failures or profit loss from something like cargo theft. 

Companies must apply all the safeguards they possibly can. The problem is that supply chain leaders may hear again and again that they are at risk - but it likely won't hold any real weight, or motivate them to act on mitigating those risks, unless they actually understand how easily they can be affected by it and how dire the consequences can be if and when this occurs. 

The threat of third parties
There have been many stories over the past year or so about how a company has fallen into hot water due to something one of its suppliers did (or didn't) do. Take Samsung, for example: The smartphone manufacturer had to discontinue production of one of its biggest series of devices because it wasn't able to adequately pinpoint, let alone correct, the source of a hardware error. Even if an issue can be attributed to a supplier in a very distant tier of the supply chain, ultimately, it doesn't matter. With vendor relationships today, there is a domino effect. Essentially, the behavior, practices and policies of one party influence, to some degree or another, those of the partners it is connected to.

This should be a concern for supply chain managers today more than ever. Why? As more high-profile cases of data breaches make headlines, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is no company too big or established for hackers to infiltrate. All it takes is attackers finding one security vulnerability in someone's critical infrastructure and they have access to vast amounts of sensitive data and information - and the power to impact organizations throughout that firm's network. 

As supply chains continue to digitalize, many are adopting new systems and technologies. Implementing and using unfamiliar processes and software leaves a lot of room for human error, which can create security loop holes and be a vector of attack for cybercriminals. We live in a highly connected world now and the reality is that everyone is at risk. 

According to Info Security Magazine, research has found that:

  • On average, an organization's network is accessed by almost 90 third-party vendors.
  • Seventy-five percent of companies have grown their supplier networks within the past 24 months.
  • Less than 35 percent of businesses are aware of the number of log-ins their third-party suppliers have access to.
  • Nearly 70 percent of organizations believe they did or might have have experienced a security incident within the past 12 months that could be attributed to a vendor. 

Obviously, it would be in supply chain managers' best interests to take a sounder, safer and more skeptical approach to supplier relationships.

Undetectable malware on the rise
Vendors that a company has very close partnerships with can be a threat - without either party realizing it. There is a reason why cyberattacks seem to be occurring so frequently and on such massive scales: Hackers are becoming more advanced and sophisticated in their capabilities every day. Their techniques are maturing are accelerating faster - and more aggressively - than even the most trained and experienced IT security professionals can keep pace with. Not only are they getting more aggressive, but they are also getting stealthier. 

Malware can now penetrate a network and go undetected for months. Too often, supply chain managers - and other business leaders - don't realize that they could be breached and not even know about it until the damage has already been done. 

This is a concern within itself, and certainly gives organizations plenty of reasons to ramp up their cybersecurity efforts. However, it is not just internal operations within their own companies that supply chain managers need to pay attention to. It's also those of third-party suppliers. 

One of the biggest mistakes businesses can make is assuming they aren't a target. Although a company may not be a massive organization or operate on a big scale, it can still prove useful to hackers. Cybercriminals can infiltrate one system and use that as a backdoor into other ones. 

With globalization and remote connectivity on the rise, supplier networks are getting bigger. Unfortunately, this means that they are also becoming more susceptible to attack. To build a stronger defense, enhance end-to-end supply chain security and mitigate the risks constantly presenting themselves to organizations, it is imperative that business leaders take a thorough and aggressive approach to cybersecurity. This means not only assessing and implementing security best practices for their own internal communications and operations, but for third-party vendors as well. 

Source One Round Up: October 21, 2016

Here's a look at where Source One's cost reduction
 experts have been featured this week!


NEW BLOGS:
Is it time for a Telecom Audit?
When's the last time you took a comprehensive look at your telecom spend? Dealing with changing technologies, outdated contracts, complex billing platforms, and more, can make getting an understanding of your telecom spend can seem like a headache. Luckily there's a way out of the complex telecom maze: conducting a Telecom Audit. This week's Source One Telecom Analyst, Iyana Lester, explains the three questions to ask when deciding whether your company could use a telecom audit.



UPCOMING EVENTS:
Source One's Associate Director, Jennifer Ulrich will be leveraging her vast experience leading Procurement Transformation initiatives as a guest speaker during the Next Level Purchasing Association's Annual Conference. Her session, titled No Taxation without Representation: Procurement's Crucial Seat at the Table will review Procurement's value proposition and the ways Procurement groups can enhance their performance and achieve the coveted role of strategic advisor within their organizations.

October 26-28: ProcureCon Pharma
Source One returns to ProcureCon Pharma as both sponsors and featured speakers. The three-day event boasts a variety of presentations and workshops geared toward addressing the supply chain and procurement challenges facing pharmaceutical companies. This year, Source One Director David Pastore will be presenting a session titled, From Savings...to Value during which he'll cover how Procurement groups can demonstrate their value through innovative metrics and reporting.