Get to Know Leigh Merz

Leigh Merz, Senior Telecom Sourcing Consultant, is another gem we have here at Source One, a Corcentric company, that didn't take the traditional route to procurement. Believe it or not, she started in Fashion Design, worked in the field for two years while she interned, part-time, at a procurement company. The deciding factor for Merz' career became the direct interaction with her clients and the impact she was able to have on client/supplier relationships. Merz says the holistic process with the client was "more impactful to end users than just making a t-shirt."

Merz began making her difference in back-end billing where she says she learned the ins-and-outs of sourcing that helped sculpt her into the strategic consultant she is today. A start in procurement and strategic sourcing by auditing invoices gives you a special insight into the various elements and commodities that are components to sourcing a particular product or service. For instance, Merz says she learned quickly that there's so much more that is involved in procuring a phone service than the service itself: there are tons of fees, taxes, connectivities, bundles, and more---all things that are negotiable. As a young professional, Merz was able to grasp a greater concept of what suppliers can offer early on and now continues to use that information as a seasoned sourcing professional to leverage better deals and negotiations, create better relationships and impact lives.

Merz says as a procurement professional has in-depth information about the holistic process and is therefor more strategic in procuring a product or service than a subject-matter expert or end user because functionality is not her only concern. She knows that the extra elements to sourcing that one service can each have a different impact on the client and supplier. That is why, when asked what is the best advice she's received in her professional career, Merz responded:

         "To be impactful, always listen and be considerate of all parties involved; Think about what 
         everyone is contributing and what their concerns are. Yes, you work for your customer but also
         be conscious of building a relationship with your supplier in order to be successful. You develop
         relationships with companies and you end up with a network of teams that you can recommend.
         In any relationship be considerate of all parties and what they're concerns are in the interaction.
         In a relationship, is not 50/50 its 100/100."

Merz loves her job and what her company does. She is all about building relationships and is satisfied with those developed among her peers and with her customers. Merz puts her all into what she does and gives this little tidbit for younger professionals starting out:

         "Be the best you can be. Be honest and do the best that you can do. If you can do that, than be
         confident that you're doing the right thing."

Thanks for reading and be sure to tune in to our next #MentorshipMonday as we discuss leadership style with a feature on Jan Griffiths of Gravitas Detroit, our moderator for this years ExecIn conference!
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Tiarra Ortiz-Lucas

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