Day 2 of ISM2018 proved predictably exciting for Source One's spend management team.

Keynote speaker Arianna Huffington kicked off the day's festivities with her much-anticipated presentation. Throughout, the Huffington Post founder championed the importance of self-care in business. Addressing the assembled supply management leaders, Huffington said, "When we take care of ourselves, we're more effective in what we're doing." Working to the point of exhaustion, she suggested, is rarely necessary and almost never effective.

She recommended Procurement leaders keep this idea in mind and apply it to talent management. Companies that rely on burnt-out employees will face the countless consequences of poor company culture. Poor engagement, low productivity, and even increased healthcare costs can all become the norm in an overly exhausting environment. Leading businesses, she suggests, thrive on empathy, understanding, and open communication.

Following her keynote presentation, Huffington hosted a private session at Source One's ExecIn Forum. This provided supply management leaders the unique opportunity to engage with Huffington directly and absorb additional insights.

The exclusive sub-conference continued with a thought leadership session focused on supply chain
innovation. Hosted by Tom Linton (Chief Procurement Officer, Flex), the presentation provided best practices and forecasts tailored to forward-thinking Procurement professionals.  "The Age of Intelligence," Linton remarked, "requires a systems solution that will change the way we live, work, and play."

Linton's words struck a chord with an audience full of innovative minds. As expected, it inspired spirited conversation among ExecIn's attendees.

Elsewhere, Kaitlyn Krigbaum offered best practices for refining Procurement's brand in Orchestrating a Procurement Transformation: A Symphony of Recruiting, Branding, and Leading. Co-hosted with Nick Lazzara (Practice Lead, MRA Global Sourcing) and Scott Ottenheimer (VP, QBE North America), the presentation presented a three-part strategy for building a strategically valuable Procurement department.

Krigbaum reminded her audience that re-branding takes time. Procurement can only reveal its worth through an ongoing process of continuous improvement. Though terms like 'Procurement Transformation' sometime imply a quick-win, Procurement's strategic evolution is a long-term process. 

Meanwhile, ExecIn continued with Analog vs. Digital: Topping the Charts with Cross-Functional Level Setting. Focused on promoting collaboration between Procurement, Operations, and Finance the session offered considerable insight.

Later on, ExecIn's first day concluded with a panel discussion focused on Procurement talent. Hosted by Camille Batiste (VP of Global Procurement, Archer Daniels Milland), William Dorn (VP of Operations, Source One), and Naseem Malik (Managing Partner, MRA Global Sourcing).

The market for Procurement talent is more crowded, competitive, and candidate-driven than ever before. To make matters more complicated, unemployment is low. Even supply management leaders face serious challenges when they attempt to attract and retain leading talent. Unsurprisingly, this session was well-attended and prompted a great deal of audience interaction.

ExecIn attendees openly shared some of their own talent concerns and exchanged proven best practices with one another. Common themes included the benefit of maintaining a contingent workforce, partnering with local universities, and offering flexible work hours.

Dorn commented, "These discussions are what ExecIn is all about. I love seeing competitors come together as collaborators to solve pervasive issues. Supply Management leaders all face the same challenges when it comes to staffing and recruiting. The more we come together, the better we'll address these concerns moving forward."

ISM2018's second day drew to a close with the R. Gene Richter Scholarships Awards Banquet. For over a decade, the R. Gene Richter Scholarship Program has partnered with ISM to find the nation's largest supply management scholarship program. Each year, they provide promising students with scholarships in hope of promoting the evolution of the field.

The Awards Banquet is always one of the Annual Conference's most prestigious events. This year was no exception. In addition to promising students, the dinner welcomed thought leaders and innovators from across supply management. Together, they honored R. Gene Richter's life in Procurement and ushered in the next generation of professionals.

The year's premier supply chain conference continues throughout the week. Don't forget to check back in with us for more updates.
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