Leveraging long experience in and knowledge about the Procurement industry has allowed Bill McCouch, Senior Vice President of Procurement Services for Corcentric, to successfully navigate this evolving field. “With experience,” says McCouch, “comes wisdom.” He suggests that a history of successful initiatives has provided “a barometer” for assessing Procurement’s current state and predicting its future. Calling on past wins not only empowers McCouch to serve Corcentric’s clients, but to elevate the role of Supply Management and steer it into a new strategic era.

This year, McCouch’s decades of wisdom helped secure a spot on the Supply and Demand Chain Executive list of Procurement Pros to Know.  The annual list is a kind of barometer itself. It offers both a snapshot of Procurement excellence in 2019 and a sense of where the function is headed.
From his earliest days in the space, McCouch recognized a need to innovate and challenge traditional Procurement processes. Characterized by “manual workflows and disparate objectives”, the function was far from reaching its potential.

McCouch quickly set about “bringing order to chaos.” By encouraging his peers to address the supply chain holistically and align on shared priorities, he did more than produce savings. He made fundamental changes to internal culture and started his journey toward becoming a Pro to Know. 
What distinguishes a Pro to Know? For McCouch, standing out is all about fearlessness. “You’ve got to enter initiatives with courage,” he says, “and you can’t be afraid of constructive criticism.” He suggests that fear is the enemy of innovation and a roadblock for any organization looking to drive genuine change.

He also believes that truly excellent professionals are lifelong students. After all, Supply Management evolves constantly. Maintaining an edge means recognizing that there’s always a new idea to absorb or a new perspective to consider.

Education plays a big role in McCouch’s advice for emerging professionals. He encourages the next generation to seek out mentors in Procurement as well as adjacent business units like Accounting, IT, and Finance. The cross-functional wisdom they gain should help them move confidently into the next stage of their career. Industry conferences also provide access to the innovative insights that will inform Procurement leaders of tomorrow. 

While many in Supply Chain are still struggling to reorder chaotic processes, McCouch recognizes that a new normal has emerged. “Companies like Amazon,” he concludes, are establishing a world-class standard. Thanks to their work, “supply chains are bigger, better, and faster than ever before.” Professionals will need to make the same leaps, and McCouch looks forward to the experience. To learn more about the Procurement solutions that Corcentric offers, visit the Corcentric website.

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