April 2019
In her time with Source One, Kaitlyn Krigbaum has made a name for herself by elevating Procurement's influence in business units that are typically considered off-limits. As a member of Source One's Marketing Sourcing team, she played a leading role in developing the Marketing Infrastructure and Network Diagram solution.

More recently, she's worked to establish a new Human Resources Procurement practice area. These efforts to bridge the gap between Procurement and its peers helped her earn a spot on this year's 30 Under 30 list of Supply Chain Rising Stars.

She sat down with Strategic Sourceror to discuss the professional journey that's taken her from the mental health field to a place among Supply Management's emerging thought leaders. Check out some highlights below.

April 19, 2019

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

New Whitepaper:
Building an Effective Procurement Organization
Explore the methodologies Source One has used over the years to help countless companies build and enhance their procurement operations in our latest whitepaper. Our strategic sourcing experts have gathered and contributed their insights and know-how to derive a comprehensive list of tips and tools to help you improve your own procurement department. Part I of Building an Effective Procurement Organization is available for download today!

New Blog:
Small Businesses Can Have a Sustainable Supply Chain Too
Ari Markowitz, Buyers Meeting Point, 4/17/2019
In Markowitz' feature on Buyers Meeting Point, she discusses the importance of having efficient procurement practices, even for small businesses. Highlighting the benefits of a clean supply chain through the emphasis of the philosophy of the three Ps: people, planet, profit. By embedding these into your triple bottom line you vouch that the production and consumption of your products shall not harm the people or the environment. Markowits goes on to explain that even though a small business may not have resources to devout to an entire procurement department, there are still meaningful practices that can be put in place to ensure your business

New Podcast
Job Description Red Flags
Applying for a job in Procurement and Supply Management? Andrew Jones suggests you exercise caution. On this week's episode of the Source One Podcast Jones discusses some of the red flags applicants should watch out for next time they're on the hunt for a new opportunity.

Success at ISM2019 & ExecIn!
The Source One team enjoyed our time in Houston, rubbing shoulders and sharing ideas with other industry leading professionals. The break out sessions, roundtable discussions, panels and keynote speakers, were fun vehicles to discuss all the hot topics trending in the Supply Management and Procurement industry today. Below are blogs that cover a series topics addressed during these events:

Since the late 18th century, self-interest and economics have gone hand in invisible hand. Adam Smith believed self-interested actions would ensure healthy competition and serve the common good. "By pursuing his own interest," he wrote, the individual "frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he intends to promote it."

Moving Past Self-Interest

Two and a half centuries later, young professionals are not so inclined to believe in the inherent benefits of self-interest. Last year's Deloitte Millennial Survey found that candidates are less likely than ever to give businesses the benefit of the doubt. 75% of respondents believe that businesses focus on their own agendas without even considering broader issues. That's up from 59% in 2017. While Smith may have cheered this behavior, today's workforce is less charitable. 45% consider the self-interested pursuit of profit to be totally unethical.

Young professionals are not naive. They recognize that profits, process improvements, and product development are necessary objectives for every organization. They're certain, however, that large companies have the resources to do far more when it comes to serving a higher purpose. Deloitte identifies four key areas where employee and employer priorities are misaligned: Generating jobs, improving society, enhancing employee livelihood, and protecting the environment.

It's not just young upstarts who feel this way. Millennials in senior-executive positions agree that "businesses should protect the environment, improve society and innovate more than they believe their own employers are currently doing."

Skeptics might feel tempted to dismiss the call for purpose as another gripe from an entitled, disloyal generation. The truth is that employees of every age and at every level on the corporate ladder are eager to do important work, make a genuine impact, and see the world around them change for the better. When Source One surveyed Procurement executives at last week's ExecIn Forum, they found that "providing a sense of purpose" was also a popular strategy for recruiting and retaining non-millennial talent. It ranked second only to "pay and benefits" on the list of priorities.

Introducing this sense of purpose could even help organizations move past the same tired, 'us vs. them' conversations that have dominated the discourse since we all learned the word millennial. Reminding team members from across multiple generations that they're ultimately pursuing the same goal will foster a greater sense of collaboration and promote a free exchange of insights and expertise.

What's more, there's no reason businesses need to think of purpose in world-changing terms. In advocating for a purpose-driven workplace, Forbes contributor Alexandra Douwes advises leaders to "take purpose off a pedestal." Instead of defining purpose with the language imposed by an increasingly polarized culture, she encourages managers to consult each member of their team  and learn how they define the term. "Some people," she writes, "find fulfillment in helping others, while others derive meaning from learning something new or working on a project they're particularly passionate about." Don't forget about reaching a consensus and a common understanding. It won't do much good to trade one kind of self-interest for another.

A New Leadership Style 

Self-interest has not only defined the way business leaders engage with consumers and partners along the supply chain. It's long played all-too-large a role in how they attempt to motivate and activate their employees. When employees are disengaged - and Gallup suggests they often are - managers have historically elected to provide new incentives while increasing oversight.

Why? According to the Harvard Business Review, it's because the same conventional economic logic that defines market engagements also defines talent management. Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor write, "The assumption behind such conventional approaches is that work is fundamentally contractual and that employees are self-interested agents." With time, they suggest, "this assumption becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: Employees do just what is needed to earn a reward or meet a standard, and nothing more." In other words, leaders find themselves with aimless, listless employees when they neglect to provide a purpose beyond financial compensation.

Presented with an aspirational mission, employees won't just feel happier to come to work each day. They'll pursue new opportunities, drive greater results, and display a tireless commitment to innovation. That's more than enough reason to challenge the tenets defined by Adam Smith and business school lectures.

Quinn and Thankor go on to outline an 8-step plan for introducing purpose and communicating it across the organization. It starts with a process of education. To begin overcoming both self-doubt and skepticism, leaders need to look for real-world examples of successful purpose-driven businesses. Armed with a standard to follow, leaders can begin to consult their internal teams and integrate feedback into a new, authentic mission.

"If your purpose is authentic," they write, "people know, because it drives every decision." Equally important is constancy. A great, purposeful leader will take pains to communicate their mission at every opportunity and avoid deviating from it at all costs. In doing so, they'll stimulate their teams to think, learn, grow, and provide for an evolution. Each organization harbors potential agents of change, but few tap into this pool of talent. With the benefit of a strong purpose and a collaborative culture, leaders should have no trouble leveraging these employees to spread the word and drive the business forward.

While economic benefits are never a guarantee, the cultural benefits of a shared purpose are impossible to deny. When businesses recognize the practical value of a mission and commit to walking the walk, they defy economic convention. They benefit from employees who will not act with self-interest in mind, but freely embrace opportunities to transform Procurement and the organization as a whole.

Learn More

The first installment in Source One's new whitepaper series offers tips and best practices for optimizing Procurement's approach to its people. In addition to training programs and operational models, Part 1 of Building an Effective Procurement Organization advocates for the incalculable value of purpose. Download it today to lean more. 

There's no ignoring the fact that the global cold chain industry is growing by leaps and bounds. What accounts for this growth? As always, it's a combination of necessities and luxury goods. The pharmaceutical cold supply chain could see 38 percent growth between 2015 and 2021. The entire global market for cold chain products could be worth $271 billion just one year later in 2022 — with ice cream leading the charge.

Skyrocketing demand around the globe for foods, beverages and medicinal products means one thing: Cold chain companies need all the advantages they can find to stay nimble, efficient and competitive. Here are some tips.

Make Sure Your Packaging is Up to the Task

The first step to take is figuring out how to draw a line-of-best-fit between your packaging's insulation capabilities and the optimal size and shape for your products. If you've had trouble with customers rejecting shipments due to spoilage or damage, it's probably time to revisit your packaging. In any cold chain, tertiary shipping containers — versus primary containers and case packs — are the first line of defense against the elements.

UPS recommends establishing a two-way flow when it comes to optimizing your packaging design. Consider assigning a single project owner or a small team to the task. In addition to providing recommendations, your project owner will also solicit and pass on feedback from your customer base about the condition of your products when they arrive.

In other words, product spoilage isn't something that should fall to your general customer response team — it's part of a mission to balance packaging materials and R-values with the volume and size required to ship your products efficiently.

Invest in Smarter Tools for in-Transit Monitoring

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 was a great step forward for the safety of transportable cold chain products. Among other things, the FSMA requires cold chain companies to retain safety records for a full year, including details on temperature while in transit, training programs and corrective actions taken.

Merely collecting records isn't enough, though. Modern cold chain companies need to think proactively about how to respond to temperature discrepancies while products are still en route to their destination. Step one is visibility. It means investing in IoT monitoring devices to capture real-time data points like temperature, humidity, and shock and vibration. Step two involves two-way telematics between suppliers and shippers.

Being able to prove after-the-fact that a certain shipment wasn't kept at the required temperature in transit is useful for audit trails. By exchanging this information wirelessly, in real-time, supply chain companies can take corrective action immediately. These actions can include sending automated alerts to the affected parties, diverting a shipment before it reaches its destination and dispatching a replacement shipment.

Think About Ways to Shorten the Last Mile

Online grocery sales currently stand at 2 percent of the market. Industry sources expect this figure to grow to 20 percent by 2025. As more consumers choose e-commerce retailers to make purchases of refrigerated and frozen products like flowers, meat and dairy, suppliers need to rethink their approach to last-mile delivery and how to shrink the distance between distribution centers and end users.

Here's what's being done about it:

·      Transportation management systems: Advanced last-mile delivery companies can help suppliers optimize routes and eliminate excessive vehicle traffic. This is an especially serious concern in urban centers, with congestion and emissions rules placing increasing pressure on carriers and delivery services. Redrawing inefficient delivery routes and sending updated instructions to drivers on-the-fly reduces the likelihood of delays and, therefore, spoilage of sensitive shipments.

·      Rented refrigerated warehouse space: Temporary refrigerated storage near ports and centers of trade are old news. Suppliers of cold chain products must work to meet demand in other centers of consumer consolidation as well. Building a new refrigerated warehouse closer to your customers is one way to go, so long as you do so with mindfulness of air quality guidelines for your cooling system and other critical environmental factors. Engaging a third-party logistics company and leasing that space instead could be friendlier to your bottom line.

The efficiency of your last-mile deliveries also rests on your ability to make proactive decisions about inventory distribution — and that means engaging in data analytics. Both location and artificial intelligence help cold chain companies make useful predictions about future customer purchases. Those predictions, in turn, help ensure temperature-sensitive merchandise is situated conveniently across your distribution area and doesn't need to travel a longer distance to reach the customer than is necessary.

Build Your Culture on Process Ownership and Accountability

The U.S. FDA maintains training requirements for carriers that engage in motor vehicle and rail-based transportation of food products. The FDA provides entire training modules free of charge, but such programs satisfy only the minimum requirements. Optimizing your cold chain activities means reducing errors and dropping your rate of defects to as close to zero as possible. That means you need more than a one-off training module for new employees — you need an entire culture centered on process ownership and accountability.

A successful and accountable culture in the cold chain industry must include each of the following components:
  • Understanding of inspection guidelines at ever level, plus rejection criteria for shipments that don't meet requirements. 
  • Well-documented protocols and record keeping practices for internal external audits. 
  • Knowledge of international cold chain regulations for cross-border shipments. 
Covering the basics with free training courses from the FDA is good. Developing a robust in-house training program for employees at every level is better. For the best results, however, many companies involved in the cold chain industry work with compliant third-party agencies as a way to cover their bases. 

Anticipate the Future of Cold Chain

Your final task in optimizing your approach to the cold chain is one that's never finished: You need to anticipate the future. As we've seen, eCommerce sales for foods, beverages, and medicine are set to explode in the coming years, and that means companies like yours need to be prepared to meet consumer demands safely and effectively. If you're not watching out for helpful new technologies and building an adaptable culture, you can be sure your competitors will do so in your stead.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

Electronic sourcing platforms help to expedite the sourcing process in ways procurement professionals of the past could never have imagined. Whether you're  hoping to administer RFIs, RFPs, or reverse auctions, e-Sourcing tools provide a level of convenience and connectivity that can fundamentally change the way you do business. They are, however, far from foolproof.

Procurement professionals who are already prone to rushing the RFx process may find that an e-tool exacerbates the existing issue.  Here are some common mistakes to avoid when planning your next e-Sourcing event.

1. Don't Forget to Invite Suppliers
Hey, you have business to award and now you have this great new eSourcing tool. Suppliers should be knocking down your door, right? Wrong.  Many eSourcing platforms present the option to post e-Sourcing events that are visible and open to all users.  In some instances, Procurement professionals post public events like these and assume they'll naturally attract interest.  This is rarely the case. Conducting comprehensive research and establishing contact with potential suppliers is essential to a well-attended and successful e-Sourcing event.

2. Don't Fail to Establish and Maintain Contact
Just because your tool sends an automatic email to suppliers does not mean these suppliers will attend your event.  An automated and unsolicited email not only reads as impersonal, but could also look enough like spam to end up in the garbage.  Take the time to contact all potential suppliers.  Describe your company, your needs, and the specific nuances of your approach to sourcing.  These simple steps could be the first in staging a successful e-Sourcing event and establishing a fruitful supplier relationship.

3. Don't Email the Wrong Person
Contacting a potential supplier can be useless if you fail to reach the appropriate individual. Too often, procurement professionals attempt to reach out through a generic email they found on a website. Even a smaller supplier is unlikely ever to come across this email and take it seriously. You should never expect to move from the wrong hands to the right ones.  More likely than not, a misguided email will wind up deleted or forgotten. This is another issue that verbal communication can alleviate.  A single phone conversation with a supplier can quickly help you identify the specific individual you should contact.

4. Don't Assume the Suppliers Know the Tool 
As always, the adage about assumptions proves true.  You cannot reasonably expect each of your potential suppliers to be intimately familiar with the e-tool you intend to use. Many suppliers have never even participated in an online event. Even e-Sourcing veterans might not know how exactly to best use your particular process.  Make sure to contact suppliers and thoroughly explain your choice of tool.  Answer whatever questions they might have to assure a smooth event.  Confusion could lead to a collection of poor bids, or no bids at all.

You'll likely notice that these fatal mistakes have a few things in common.  They both tend to result from insufficient research and ineffective communication.  A simple phone call could make all the difference when staging e-Sourcing events.  Making contact now could spark the conversation that leads to a long-term supplier relationship. Need a little extra help give our Procurement and Strategic Sourcing experts a call today.  

Whether to satisfy customer expectations or simply to make a fundamental change in company policy, an increasing number of fast food chains and quick-serve restaurants are peeling back the curtains on their supply chains, being more transparent about how they produce, prepare and deliver the millions of meals they serve in a given year.

While the changes, for the most part, have been well received, various organizations don't want them to rest on their laurels. Case in point: The Federation of State PIRGs.

In a recent statement, the public interest and health advocacy organizations called on fast food giant Wendy's to cease and desist the utilization of antibiotics in their cattle-raising processes. Proponents of such a move say that the routine use of antibiotics for non-medical reasons has led to the rapid development of so-called "superbugs," which are resistant to antibiotic medication, thus harder for physicians to diagnose and successfully treat various diseases and conditions.

Matthew Wellington, U.S. PIRG Education Fund director, said Wendy's doing so is a move that would benefit the overall public and be a major step forward toward combating antibiotic resistance.
"We can't waste life-saving medicines to produce cheap beef," Wellington warned. "The cost to our health is too high, and Wendy's can use its buying power to help move the beef industry away from overusing antibiotics."

Cows on farm.Antibiotics are often used on cattle to help them grow faster.
McDonald's says it will curb use of antibiotics
U.S. PIRG is essentially asking Wendy's to follow in the footsteps of a fast-food rival of theirs, McDonald's. Late last year, executives at the Golden Arches assured its loyal customers that it would seek to  "reduce the overall use of antibiotics" - which presently accounts for 85 percent of its beef supply chain. In a press release at the time, Keith Kenny, global vice president of sustainability at McDonald's, said the company aims to implement various reduction targets no later than December 2020, by working in partnership with like-minded producers.

"McDonald's believes antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue, and we take seriously our unique position to use our scale for good to continue to address this challenge," Kenny explained.

Wendy's already taking steps toward reduction
Although Wendy's has yet to decide whether it will rise to U.S. PIRG's challenge, there's reason to believe that the fast food giant will acquiesce to the organization's request. Last year, for example, approximately one-fifth of its beef came from producers who aren't using antibiotics to the same extent as they have in the past, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Wellington told the newspaper that for Wendy's to make truly lasting changes, their commitment has to be significant. In other words, they need to have more skin in the game.

"It can't be this incremental step forward; it has to be visionary," Wellington said. "That's what's going to push producers to change this practice."

The harsh effects of antibiotic resistance are reaching epidemic proportions. According to a recent estimate from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, as many as 162,000 men, women and children in the U.S. alone die from these kinds of infections each year. This means they're one of the top three causes of health-related deaths in America.
In December 2018, a little piece of legislation you may be familiar with was signed into law: The Farm Bill.

Passed every five years, the Farm Bill reflects various agricultural and food policies. Its reach covers food stamps and nutrition programs, farm subsidies and regulations, environmental protections for land and crops, and opportunities for minority-owned farms.

For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, hemp legalization was the crowning jewel of 2018's edition of the Farm Bill - an initiative he spearheaded in the wake of struggles for the agricultural sector. For the year, Net Farm Income forecasts saw a 16 percent decline, or an estimated $12 billion loss, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

Hemp legalization could result in a $20 to $22 billion industry by 2020, according to cannabis experts from Brightfield Group. Such profit could shift the farming narrative towards positive net gains. 
But the grass – or in this case, plant – is not always greener on the other side. Despite immense growth opportunities, farmers struggle to meet demands for industrial-strain hemp due to a complex and convoluted supply chain.

The emerging hemp market suffers from a lack of experience and expertise, with most farmers using a time consuming and expensive process. Faced with a new crop, they're largely unfamiliar with any alternative approaches.  This system is inefficient, as hemp is mined for CBD and THC, compounds found inside the flower which require little maintenance relative to their counterpart compounds. Furthermore, the average hemp plant contains very little CBD and THC. For every batch of harvested hemp plants, only a fraction is ultimately utilized for industrial products.

Compounding the problem is a lack of transparency and legality – farmers cannot gauge how much CBD a plant produces until the plant is cut. Additionally, during the concentration process, THC moves with CBD and can produce an amount exceeding the legal limit.

Yet legal limits pose little concern for manufacturers. There are no regulations on labeling products or testing products for CBD, while CBD tests remain relatively inaccurate. According to one farmer interviewed by CNBC, four labs gave his hemp four vastly different readings for CBD concentration. 

The sector’s ambiguity further contributes to marketing difficulty and consumer confusion. Without any science to differentiate the potency of isolate, hydroponic, water soluble, and other forms of hemp, consumers have little information to rely on when making purchasing decisions.

Whether hemp becomes the next big market, or another cog in the agricultural machine, remains uncertain - only time will tell.
Happy Monday folks! This week we have a feature of one of Source One's own that was named an ISM 30 Under 30 Supply Chain Rising Star, Kaitlyn Krigbaum.

Interestingly enough, Kaitlyn happened to begin her professional career in the mental health industry. There she was involved in developing treatment plans for patients. Kaitlyn says this was a "very relationship-driven environment." This environment as well as her garnered empathy and advocacy skills helped Krigbaum as she followed her interests and transitioned into business consulting and recruiting.

Kaitlyn got her first taste of Supply Chain when she moved into recruitment, as she placed many candidates into Procurement and Supply Chain roles themselves. These positions peeked Kaitlyn's interests and she later found herself in one herself, immediately taking to discovery calls and strategy development.

One of Krigbaum's early mentors told her that it's okay to think outside the box, and that thinking purely analytical can impede creativity. Kaitlyn takes this advice with her to this day as it has helped to bring her much success as a Procurement professional. Even though she had an unusual start she knew that because she had the ability to think creatively she could ecxel in the industry, and that she has, standing as a recognized star in her field.

On this Monday, and many to come, don't be afraid to think outside the box. Just because something was always done a certain way, doesn't mean its the right way. Innovation is the key to driving success, so get creative, get risky!

Have great week everyone, until next time.

ICYMIM: April 15, 2019

Source One's series for keeping up with the most recent highlights in procurement, strategic sourcing, and supply chain news week-to-week.  Check in with us every Monday to stay up to date with the latest supply management news.

Karina Sweete, Future of Sourcing, 4/12/2019
If there's any part of a company that should understand the business value of diversity, it's procurement. Having to build relationships with a cast of characters from clients to suppliers requires more than just one type of person. It seems we as an industry have some work to do in upping the numbers of female employees in procurement, according to a few studies done by Oliver Wyman & Mercer. For those companies that have been employing mroe females than in past years have seen an increase in economic performance. Visit Sweete's post for more on the value of diversity in procurement specifically, and the details of these studies.

Carina Kuhl, Spend Matters, 4/10/2019
Kuhl writes about Caldwell Hart, an attendee and contributor to our recent ISM2019 Conference. Hart is taking on a new position as CPO at MKS Instruments, a company generating $2.5 billion in revenue and 6000+ employees. This is not just a feat of transformation, but procurement enabling rapid growth. Visit the article for details on Harts strategies for procurement and plans for empowerment.

At ISM 2019, Janet Yellen and Carly Fiorina See the Supply Chain as a Force for Change
JP Morris, Spend Matters, 4/9/2019
These two women give Supply Chain the credit for driving change, addressing tariffs and uncertain trade policies, and keeping inflation underwraps. Yellen continues with her views on global economics, and then sits with CEO of Institue of Supply Management to discuss everything from labors trends to Brexit and President Trump. Fiorina gave an empowering message of her own to procurement professionals in attendence, emphasizing their importance as leaders. She highlights the success she's seen at Hewlett-ackard that came from her procurement department leading the change. Visit the article for direct quotes from these speaks and interviews.
Carrying out a Procurement Transformation is no small feat. Often it's daunting enough that initiatives die before planning has even really begun. Last year Source One's Transformation experts released a whitepaper series aimed at alleviating fear and helping organizations gain a better sense of what Transformation could mean for them. 
Over the next several months, they'll release a new series with a similar goal in mind. Building an Effective Procurement Organization, examines each of Procurement's essential pillars and offers strategies for transforming them effectively. Source One hopes it will empower readers to optimize their priorities, align their resources, and confidently enter Procurement's next strategic era.
The series first installment provides readers with tips for optimizing the functions's people. 
In addition to best-fit operating models, and adaptable training programs, Part 1 emphasizes the critical importance of purpose.  Jennifer Ulrich, Source One's Procurement Transformation Practice Leader, elaborates, "Building and maintaining an effective team comes down to far more than recruiting and training. More than ever, effective talent management means developing a company-wide purpose and communicating it effectively. When professionals know their work has meaning, they're likely to feel more engaged and produce better, more sustainable results."
Additional installments, published on a bi-weekly basis, will explore Procurement's metrics, processes, tools, and role within the organization.

Check out Part 1 of Building an Effective Procurement Organization today and look out for future installments throughout the spring and summer. 

April 12, 2019

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

New Whitepaper:
Building an Effective Procurement Organization
In our latest whitepaper we cover various methodologies Source One has used over the years to help countless companies build and enhance their procurement operations. Our strategic sourcing experts have gathered and contributed their insights and know-how to derive a comprehensive list of tips and tools to help you improve your own procurement department. Part I of Building an Effective Procurement Organization is available for download today!

ISM2019 and ExecIn were a success!
The Source One team had a great time in Houston with other industry leading professionals. From the break out sessions, to roundtable discussions, panels and keynote speakers, we were able to discuss all the hot topics trending in the Supply Management and Procurement industry today. 
Below we have a couple blogs that cover some topics addressed during these events:

Upcoming Events:
APICS Dinner - Chicago | April 18 | Chicago, IL
Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst, Jennifer Engel, will be speaking at an APICS Dinner in Chicago about managing End-to-End Supplier Relationships and how to Drive Value through Segmentation. Engel is trusted to deliver transformative supply management initiatives and she will share her expertise, that many come to rely on, in a presentation that advocates for SRM programs and provides attendees with insights to gain visibility, and establish a more collaborative supplier network.

The following guest blog comes to us from Laura Gayle of Business Women Guide.

The Marie Kondo revolution has inspired many people to purge their cluttered closets, dresser drawers, and kitchen cabinets. The ultimate goal is to create an environment that “sparks joy” in one’s life. While it’s a great feeling to have a de-cluttered home, what about work? According to some analysts, the average person spends more than 13 years of their life at work. Wouldn't it be great to feel joyful there, too?

For those working in supply chain management, you know how easily the workweek hours can increase when you’re working under pressure to ensure timely completion or dealing with a problem somewhere along the line. With so much time, money, and energy invested in your brand, why not clean up your supply chain to “spark joy” within the business — and its budget?

Tidy up your work environment

Before you turn attention to the logistics of your supply chain, take some time to tidy up your immediate work environment. The lack of clutter in your immediate range will allow you a sharper focus as you get down to the nitty-gritty details of streamlining and improving your supply chain.
  • Start with your desk. Empty its contents entirely and determine which items are useful, sentimental or otherwise “spark joy.” Remove anything that doesn’t fit into those categories and put aside into piles for discarding, donating, or recycling.
  • Examine your office space. Is it open and modern, or cluttered and stuffy? If it reminds you of a 1980s cubicle, it’s time to modernize that workplace and bring your surroundings into the 21st century.
  • Assess the flow and function. Is your office space practical? If you’ve outgrown the space or it’s too outdated, consider moving. Or, alternatively, you can place your seasonal inventory or less-often-used items in a small storage unit to make the space more manageable.
Once you’ve got your office space tidy and functioning more smoothly, you can turn your eye towards other types of work-related cleanup.

Do a digital purge

The next area to tackle is digital files and accounts. Take a critical look at your digital environment to see what can be cleaned up to make things run more efficiently or to bring improvements to your brand.
  • Check the state of your email inbox. Is it easy to scan or is it overflowing with old or unread emails? Spend some time performing a solid routine of sort, file, and delete. Then set up a more efficient way of managing new email by rerouting to folders and setting aside specific times of day to manage email.
  • Purge your contacts. Delete old contacts from your email account. Be sure the contacts you want to save are labeled properly so they are easy to identify.
  • Review your digital files. Are the files on your desktop and hard drives organized and aligned neatly, or are things stored anywhere with no rhyme or reason? If it’s the latter, remedy this.
  • Separate old files from new ones. Put into digital “storage” any old files you no longer use regularly but may need to access at a later point in time.
  • Sort through apps. Which apps are useful and which are not? Uninstall any you don’t need or those that are resource hogs on your devices.
  • Comb through client, supplier, and vendor lists. Are there any that are no longer a good fit? If so, time to gently sever ties. Marie Kondo advises thanking any to-be-discarded object for its service; make sure to release your business contacts with the same respect.
  • Review your customer service practices. Are calls, emails, and other contacts being answered or returned in a timely fashion? Do you need to introduce chatbots into your client-facing operations? If it can be better, make it better.
  • Upgrade your website. Is the information on your company website fresh and up to date? Does it have attractive imagery and flawless copy? If not, invest some energy in making it more appealing.

By cleaning and organizing your company’s website, accounts, electronic devices (computers, tablets, mobile devices, and just about anything digital), you’ll likely find things running far more quickly and efficiently. Not to mention, if play your cards right, you can potentially attract a whole new market of customers.

Eliminate wasteful items and processes across the supply chain

When it comes to logistics, simplifying what you do nearly always makes things run faster. Essentially, you’ll want to do fewer things — but do the things you do, better. You’ll also want to pay attention to the societal desire for companies to “go green” and strive to clean up any questionable practices or chemicals used in the supply chain. Consider these elements for cleanup:
  • Examine your materials. Can the amounts of any raw materials be reduced? What about costly materials: Are there equitable substitutes? Any feasible “greener” options for packaging?
  • Deal with disposal. Are there any practicable newer or better methods of recycling? What about scrap materials: Can they be reused in some way?
  • Think about transport and delivery. Are there ways you haven’t yet found to reduce your company’s carbon footprint? Can you identify cleaner or more efficient methods of moving your product?
  • Assess your inventory control. Is your system efficient? Does it tell you precisely every detail you need to know at a glance? Is the software outdated or glitchy? Could newer tools do a better job?
  • Check your quality control. Do your practices governing quality control work as they should? Any room for improvement?
  • Examine e-commerce practices. Are there helpful resources available to e-commerce customers to help them choose the right product the first time? For instance, do you supply accurate sizing charts and color descriptions? This can help reduce return rates.
  • Calculate your return percentage. Statistics indicate that it's likely way too high. Bring this number down by creating a customer-centric policy, using better packing materials to reduce damaged item rates, and eliminating instances of wrong items shipped.
  • Manage marketing materials. Do your current marketing and promotional efforts “spark joy?” Eliminate any materials or campaigns that are outdated or off target, or that otherwise don’t quite make the cut.
  • Study the overall effect. Does your brand itself “spark joy” in customers? Or do certain products have a short shelf life and end up in thrift stores? If so, redesign, reimagine, or make other changes to tighten and improve your brand appearance and presence.
To further simplify things, if you represent your company at major events, eliminate the associated stress by planning in advance for trade shows or conferences and breaking the process down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Looking at your business from a “Marie Kondo” perspective can ultimately have a dramatic impact on your business, including its appearance, brand recognition, logistics — and, ultimately, its bottom line. The more efficient, greener, cleaner, and streamlined your workplace surroundings and supply chain management processes become, the more resourceful and profitable your company can be.

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, followed her keynote address at ISM2019 with a private Q&A session at Source One's ExecIn Forum. Addressing leaders from across Supply Management, she opened by acknowledging a troubling reality. "The political system," she asserted, "is not geared towards problem solving. It's geared towards winning." She went on to suggest that this win-at-all-costs mentality has infected the business world and that the world at large is all the worse for it.

True leaders, Fiorina suggested, are not motivated by winning. They don't look at success as a matter of closing deals, generating savings, or outpacing the competition. Rather, their primary motivator is motivation itself. They live to inspire and empower their teams. They strive to build diverse organizations and draw out the potential of each and every team member.

While 'diversity' can sound like a buzzword, Fiorina is quick to acknowledge its supreme importance. "If you look around at your team," she says, "and they all look like you, and think like you, and act like you - that means you're doing something wrong." Crucially, it also means your business will never reach its full potential.

The conversation around diversity is nothing new. Many organizations, however, have struggled to make measurable progress. They still view diversity, inclusion, and empathetic leadership as a luxury they can't afford. She remarks, "They think it's a nice to do, they think it's a supposed to do, they think it's the right thing to do, but they still don't see it as a have to do."

While a lot has changed since she became the first female CEO to lead a Fortune 50 company, a troubling lot has stayed the same. Today, women occupy just 16% of c-suite roles. That number has remained "stubbornly the same' for over two decades. This is in spite of over $8 billion in annual spending on diversity training.

Fiorina believes the corporate world's problems remain largely unsolved because leaders are unwilling to consider opinions other than their own. They're unwilling to trust their teams and even less willing to weather the criticism that might come with trying to make a change.

In addition to putting trust in the opinions of their employees, real leaders are willing to look out into their customer base to learn how they can improve. Fiorina recalled her early days as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Faced with inefficiencies and opacity, she was eager to make a change. While she recognized that, "Changing the status quo brings criticism," she knew that HP's customers would support her efforts to transform the business. And they did. Providing "compelling voices for change" they empowered her to cut trim HP's bloated supply chain and inspire a new level of confidence."

Ultimately, she suggests, "consumers are in charge. She continues, "I don't care who you are, think how quickly consumers can make or break your company and its reputation." Organizations of any size, in any industry can benefit from changing the way they engage and inspire their customer base. 
"Consumers have more power and more choice than ever before." This unbelievable power demands a class of company who will bring the costumer in and take their point-of-view seriously. While the majority of companies still have a lot of work to do, Fiorina remains confident. She believes that a new generation of leaders is ready to drive innovation without waiting to be told. Some inspiration, she hopes, will come from her new book on leadership.

"Everyone has far more potential than they realize. The potential to actually make a difference and actually solve problems." She concludes, "I want to give the reader both the inspiration and the how-to to say, 'I don't have to wait for somebody. I can make a difference right here, right now."

The United States maintains a multibillion dollar trade deficit with its trading partners, but that amount narrowed considerably at the conclusion of the first month of the year, newly released government data confirmed.

Based on Commerce Department numbers obtained by Reuters, the U.S. trade deficit fell nearly 15 percent in January to $51 billion, the largest monthly decline in nearly a year. The U.S. ships a wide assortment of goods and services to various parts of the world, but soybeans are believed to be what helped narrow the gap considerably, with large quantities of the crop sent to China.

Starting in 2018, China and the U.S. have engaged in several rounds of retaliatory tariff strikes, the U.S. attaching $250 billion worth of taxes on imported goods sent by the world's most-populated country, and China responding with multibillion dollar duties of its own. Officials from the Trump administration - sitting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Department Secretary Steve Mnuchin - have visited China in recent weeks to speak with lawmakers there to see if a deal can be reached. President Trump has stated on several occasions that recent discussions have led to progress, which may explain why he decided to postpone the tariffs scheduled for March 2.

Meanwhile, the trade deficit the U.S. maintains with China also contracted in January, down 6.4 percent from the previous month to $34.5 billion, Reuters reported.

Retail imports dip, but expected to pick up the pace soon
Many different industries rely heavily on imported goods, retail in particular. The production and distribution supply chains tend to ramp up during the holiday season, then take a bit of a reprieve in springtime before picking up again in summer, when travel and vacations intensify. This provides added context for why imports in the retail sector have slowed down a bit, according to the data from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

"Now that the holiday season is over and summer has yet to crank up, this is the quiet time of year for retail supply chains," said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. "Retailers are also taking a break from the rush to bring merchandise in ahead of tariff hikes now that the increase that was scheduled for March has been delayed. We are hoping that the delay is permanent and, better yet, that tariffs of the past year will be removed entirely."

As for what to expect in April, the forecast from NRF and Hackett Associates has twenty-equivalent units ramping up, increasing 7 percent on a year-over-year basis to 1.7 million. From there, TEUs are anticipated to rise 3.3 percent in May, 1.7 percent in June and nearly 3 percent in July, to 1.96 million.

Of all the major industries that requires supply chain optimization, retail might be the top vote-getter. While it may be normal for various goods and supplies to go out of stock, they should be the exception, never the rule. Supplier relationship management and strategic sourcing can help facilitate a supply chain that comes through in the clutch.

With this in mind, one of the nation's longest-running department stores has created a position that the company believes will help make all the processes that go into running a major retail operation flow a bit more smoothly.

Macy's, the nationwide retail chain founded in 1858, has named Dennis Mullahy to the post of supply chain officer, according to a recent press release. As the company stated in its announcement, Mullahy will supervise the multi-part process of product development and delivery, including - but not limited to - global sourcing, management of inventory, distribution in both the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar realms, as well as procurement.

Mullahy will report to Macy's president
Macy's President Hal Lawton, whom Mullahy will deal with on an ongoing basis directly, said he's delighted with both the hire and the newly created position, as the health and vitality of the supply chain for a nationwide retailer like Macy's can't be overemphasized.

"I'm thrilled to have Dennis join the Macy's team as we look to strengthen our supply chain," Lawton said. "We are investing in our supply chain to improve our systems, processes and facilities and to enhance productivity and efficiency."

Lawton further stated that with retail being as fierce and competitive as it is today, supply chain leaders are increasingly common, with a manifold of responsibilities that fall on their shoulders. He's confident that Mullahy is the right person for the tasks at hand.
Prior to joining Macy's, Mullahy served as executive vice president of supply chain and information technology at Michaels Stores, a specialty retailer that primarily sells arts and crafts materials. There are roughly 1,250 Michaels locations around the country, with company headquarters located in Irving, Texas.

Macy's in midst of restructuring
Although once one of the more ubiquitous retailers in the country, Macy's has fallen on hard times in recent years, as e-commerce and consumer preferences have forced dozens of stores to refocus their sales strategies in order to remain profitable and better serve their customer base. This has entailed, in part, various cost-cutting measures for the Cincinnati-based department store. In an interview with the The Wall Street Journal, CEO Jeff Gennette said the company's restructuring would likely lead to the loss of 100 jobs. The streamlining of senior management is expected to help the company save $100 million annually.

2019 will go down as the sixth straight year in which Macy's has undergone some form of internal realignment. Only this year, it hopes to maintain - and perhaps add - more sales associates, Gennette told the Journal, workers who are fundamental building blocks of a well-oiled supply chain.
"We figured out how precious those sales associates are," Gennette said.
The Journal noted that in several of Macy's most highly trafficked stores - such as at Herald Square in New York City - the hiring of customer-facing staff has borne fruit in terms of sales.

ICYMIM: April 8, 2019

Source One's series for keeping up with the most recent highlights in procurement, strategic sourcing, and supply chain news week-to-week.  Check in with us every Monday to stay up to date with the latest supply management news.

Afternoon Coffee: U.S. Adds Jobs; U.K. Hoards at Wartime Level; Google, Its Contingent Workforce at Odds
Spend Matters Team, Spend Matters, 4/5/2019
The latest report says the U.S. added 196,000 jobs, while the U.K. is stockpiling at volumes only seen at wartime. Tesla running out of juice? New vehicle deliveries are down 31% from lastc year in 2019 Q1. FedEx is expanding, and Google is at odds with its temps, vendors and contractors. Visit for your dish on the lastest.

For Procurement Problems in Government Contracting, Try These Outsider Tips
JP Morris, Spend Matters, 4/5/2019
Government contracting is a detail-oriented process. Morris is covering some tips Public Spend Forum is offering to help procurement professionals smooth out the process as best they can. Visit to learn the 4 core values and 5 of the 12 principles of a new method described in Agile Manifesto. Morris singles out the 5 principles that relate the most to procurement for a quick, relevant dive into the methodology.

Best Practices for Supply Chain Cybersecurity
Staff Writer, ThomasNet, 4/1/2019
Arm yourself with 6 ways to protect against a cyber attack to your supply chain. Monitor inventory data access, ask cybersecurity questions, monitor continuously, vet third-party products, change default passwords, train your team---visit the article for details and explanations behind these quick tips.

April 5, 2019

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

New Podcast:
Empowering the Next Generation in Procurement II
In this second rendition of trends and topics to be discussed during ISM 2019, Jan Griffiths and Charlotte de Brabandt continue their thoughts on what it takes to empower the next generation of Procurement. Giffiths and de Brabandt emphasize leaders' responsibility to instill a sense of purpose into their employees. They discuss roles and challenges for the leaders over the millenial generation. A leader needs to be accessible and put work into their employees' professional development, that is what this generation values--engagement. Visit and subscribe to our podcast to hear the words directly from the source. Both Griffiths and de Branbandt give some great analogies and examples that paint a picture of the ideal manager-employee relationship in this day and age.

Upcoming Events:

ISM 2019 | April 7 -10 | Houston, TX
Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) Annual Conference, sponsored by Source One is this Sunday! We're excited to gather, share, and spark creativity with thought leaders from all over the Supply Chain industry. Look forward to breakout sessions and discovering new solutions that are available with over 100 leading industry suppliers featured at the event. See you there!

AOTMP 2019 Conference | April 7-11 | Orlando, FL
Members of Source One's IT and Telecom Procurement team will join some of the best minds in the Telecom/Mobility/Information Technology Industry, this Sunday at AOTMP's Annual Conference. We're excited to melt minds with VPs, Directors, Executives, and Senior Managers from major IT companies like Oracle, Dell and SAP.

ExecIn | April 8 - 9 | Houston, TX
Are you excited? The premier Supply Chain leadership experience is Monday! The exclusive sub-conference for executive-level Supply Chain professionals takes place Monday and Tuesday of ISM2019. This event entails elite keynote speakers, collaborative and thought-provoking discussions and insights on the relevant industry topics. If you have interest in this invite-only event be sure to reach out to Carole Boyle at cboyle@corcentric.com. Otherwise, see you there!

APICS Dinner - Chicago | April 18 | Chicago, IL
Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst, Jennifer Engel, will be speaking at an APICS Dinner in Chicago about the importance of End-to-End Supplier Relationship management and how to Drive Value through Segmentation. Clients trust Engel to deliver transofrmative supply management initiatives and she will share her expertise, that many come to rely on, in a presentation that advocates for SRM programs and provides attendees with insights to gain visibility, and establish a more collaborative supplier network.

When it's hot as blazes or as cold as ice, certain dishes can make the day go smoother, such as gazpacho during summer or chicken soup when it's wintry. It turns out, according to a forthcoming study, that seasonal variations do indeed play a role in the types of menu items Americans tend to buy when they're eating out, something restaurateurs will want to be mindful of in their ongoing efforts to optimize their supply chain.

As first reported by Restaurant Dive, the multi-pronged study, spearheaded by researchers at the Ohio State University, analyzed approximately 3,200 comments left by diners in Central Florida, each of whom had consumed meals at fast-casual dining facilities in the area. The team also surveyed 200 restaurant frequenters in other parts of the country as well.
"Rain, barometric pressure and air temperature played the largest variables in diners' food moods."

By the study's conclusion, rain, barometric pressure and air temperature played the largest variables in diners' food moods, the researchers found.
Milos Bujisic, assistant professor at OSU's Department of Human Sciences, told Restaurant Dive that this was particularly the case for air temperature, as certain foods were ordered more often depending on whether it was quite warm or cold out. What didn't play as big of a role in terms of sales was inclement conditions, specifically rain.

Waffles, French toast orders drop when temps rise
What menu items did patrons dine on more or less often? The biggest differentiator was Belgian waffles, Bujisic explained. Kitchen staffs received fewer requests for this breakfast food specialty when temperatures were on the warmer side of normal. French toast was another breakfast item staple that notably dropped in frequency when mercury levels rose.
Interestingly, Bujisic added, people went out for brunch and lunch less often when Mother Nature brought warmer conditions.

"[This] makes sense," Bujisic said. "In Florida, the highest heat is during lunch time."
Indeed, generally speaking, temperatures are at their hottest in the average day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as this is the window wherein the sun's rays are the most direct.

'Going with your gut' may not be best
So, how can restaurateurs use this information to inform their advertising and supply chain strategies? When it's warm out - particularly during the summer - it may behoove eateries to drop prices for these less-commonly ordered dishes in order to stimulate requests, researchers said. They may also want to develop promotions that can better call attention to them.

Although it's unclear when the study will be released to the public, Bujisic noted that his hope is restaurants, particularly the small and independent ones, can use it in their planning, in terms of supply chain management and establishing price points.
"Restaurants, especially mom-and-pops, are still relying on the gut feeling of the owner on what is going to be sold," Bujisic explained. Hard data can be leveraged in order to make more informed business decisions.

That being said, the restaurant industry is still highly influenced by consumer trends, and they use them to determine what types of dishes will be the most likely to resonate with the dining public. For instance, based on a recent poll from the National Restaurant Association, 70 percent of chefs said they're confident that globally inspired breakfast foods will be a top food trend in 2019, with 67 percent also pointing to hyper-local foods.
I’ve been communicating over the last several months with a very large global company about some substantial procurement initiatives that they’ve been exploring. These initiatives include outsourcing their tail spend management; which in a company of this size is substantial (think hundreds of millions of dollars annually). So needless to say, while they consider this to be “tail” spend, it still has a significant impact to the bottom line of their organization’s stock price.

Overall, Source One and its parent, Corcentric, are ideally suited to help this potential customer on their journey to improving their tail spend under management; as we have both services and technologies that can be customized for their specific needs. This scoping exercise has been a fun process; working with their stakeholders to understand their goals and crafting realistic obtainable solutions that would minimize risks usually found in traditional BPO outsourcing.

Not all of it is fun of course. Afterall, this is still a sales process. That means introduction calls, scoping calls, refining the scope follow up calls, a formalized RFI process. An RFI response review meeting, sample data exchange, revamped data, presentations, more calls, more presentations, and we could go on and on. However, this is all to be expected as part of the prospect’s due diligence process. In fact, its refreshing to see them go through this process of truly developing and refining their need; and not just hitting the market with a poorly written RFP for procurement BPO services; like many other companies often due. It also shows how mature they are as a procurement organization, that they are putting this much effort into the development of specifications and ultimately the selection of a tail-spend management provider.

But recently, things just took a turn for the worse. And unfortunately, its likely that same procurement “maturity” that got them in this situation. This process, while it had its formalities (RFI), has been a relatively open dialog with us; and presumably some other potential tail spend management providers. But now, as we’re finally approaching a revised scope, we were notified by this prospect that the next step in the process would be to participate in a “Legally Binding Reverse Auction”. Now, while I’m not a huge fan of reverse auctions to begin with, they certainly do have effective use cases; but only with highly commoditized products or services. The augmentation and outsourcing of spend management is hardly a commodity, and each supplier presumably has a wildly different solution and pricing model looking to achieve the same goals. That means, that the auction can only be set up in a way that has a predetermined pricing structure (that likely only one provider offered), and its left with everyone else being able to not participate or not articulate their solution through the reverse auction.

Not a problem, we thought, these people have been understanding through the sales process, they should listen to reason when us (and our competitors) express that we don’t think a Reverse Auction will accomplish what they need. We also wanted to have them understand that a Master Services Agreement should be reached before a “legally binding” anything should happen as it relates to price. We figured they’d understand. But we were wrong. Here’s why. They are using the wrong metrics to measure their existing procurement team.

Specifically, somewhere along their journey of procurement sophistication, they were convinced that a percentage of all of their annual spend must run through a reverse auction each year. Their procurement team’s compensation plans actually measure them on that metric. Well guess what, if they are outsourcing their tail spend, someone realized that if they run this as a reverse auction, then they hit their entire “spend through reverse auction” goal for the entire year. And worse, the powers-that-be are not willing to make an exception or change that metric; as they had some high-priced consultants tell the executive team a few years back that this was one of the key ways to measure the success of procurement.

Now, my intention with this rant isn’t to debate the merits of reverse auctions. Nor do I want to get into a debate with a reverse auction tool provider about how you can run services like these through this platform… Instead, I simply want to raise the warning that as procurement as a function evolves, and your organizations mature, you should be constantly looking to refine the metrics that are used to measure your procurement team’s success. You may just find that while those metrics, years ago, helped you evolve as a company, they are now the same metrics that are making you less profitable.

So if you measure your procurement teams on things like:

  • Quantity of transaction that go to RFP 
  • A minimum of 3 suppliers being invited to an RFP 
  • % of spend that goes to reverse auction 
  • % of spend through diversity suppliers without regard to total cost 
  • Universal payment terms (without understanding impact to price or supplier) 
  • % of completion of supplier performance score cards without segmenting suppliers first 
You might just want to consider looking again at what a modern-day procurement organization is really capable of.  I guarantee you that some of those procurement metrics are costing you money.

Contact the Procurement Advisory Consultants at Source One, we can help set you up with the right procurement metrics unique to your business.
Kate Vitasek isn't a big fan of conventional wisdom.

Supply Chain Managers, she suggests, have exhausted the value of so-called best practices. “It’s a last century concept,” she says, “and it’s encouraged businesses to pursue one-size-fits-all solutions.” To succeed at sourcing across today’s global and dynamic supply chains, Vitasek advocates a new set of priorities. Instead of adhering to accepted best practices, leaders have got to make an effort to identify the true best fit.

Unfortunately, outmoded thinking is still the norm for even many ‘leaders’ within the space.

“When you look at Procurement’s curriculum,” she remarks, “a lot of what’s taught is based on thinking from thirty or forty years ago anchored in transaction-based thinking.”  Transactional approaches – which drive the vast majority of sourcing efforts and define supplier relationships - has its roots all the way back in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. While that 1776 publication fits perfectly on a first-year economics syllabus, it’s less applicable to the daily concerns of a Supply Chain professional looking to adapt and innovate.

Vitasek doesn’t object to the invisible hand or the Kraljic Matrix simply because they’re old concepts. Rather, she rejects the style of supplier engagement they encourage. By placing an emphasis on power, they’ve perpetuated the (mistaken) idea that to integrate with a supplier is to become disempowered. In reality, “a well structured contract that aligns the interest of a buyer and supplier can be highly motivating for the supplier to make investments in innovation and drive incredible value creation for both parties. The trick is designing the agreement to be fit for purpose versus trying to employ conventional transactional and power-based risk-shifting contracts.”

Alongside researchers at the University of Tennessee, Vitasek has outlined a continuum of seven business models for supplier engagement. With purely transactional agreements on one side and Equity Partnerships on the other, it provides a starting point for professionals looking to build strategic partnerships. Most importantly, it challenges them to look beyond negotiations and distinguish themselves as architects for sustainable, adaptable agreements.

Next week, she’ll discuss these sourcing models and advocate for a more collaborative, outcome-focused approach to supplier engagement at ISM2019.

“My focus,” she says, “is strategic sourcing in the new economy.” She defines this new economy as nimble, flexible, global, and altogether unpredictable. It’s created a world where Supply Chain managers have a lot to worry about, but it also presents an exciting opportunity for leaders who are willing to unlearn their bad habits.

Vitasek acknowledges that a new way of building business relationships is often a hard sell. She elaborates, “If you’ve learned to view leverage as your most valuable asset, you’re not likely to abandon that idea.” That’s part of why she says she is on a 20-year plan. Instead of asking businesses to change overnight, she encourages a gradual process to help organizations make the necessary paradigm shift.

Incoming generations give her hope, however, that smooth transitions will soon become the norm. She suggests that young professionals are entering the workforce with an emotional intelligence and collaborative spirit that’s not always easily taught. They’re natively equipped to walk the walk when it comes to reaching win-win agreements and developing new, more inclusive definitions of value.

Change will only grow more imperative as supply chains grow more expansive and technology grows more robust. Still, Vitasek reflects, “Change is hard.” For many, even a highly compelling case study won’t inspire the necessary action. She advises these skeptics to run pilot tests of their own. They might also consider attending her presentation on Day 2 of ISM2019.