H ow does Sourcing Interests Group's semi-annual thought leadership conference continue to attract sourcing leaders from top companies, major sponsors and industry leading speakers year after year?
Is it how well the event is coordinated or organized? Perhaps it is the strategic balance of buy-side and sell-side delegates, who have the opportunity and encouraged freedom to learn, share and collaborate without the pressure of the obligatory sponsor exhibit hall.
As I polled returning attendees on their first day of the Fall 2012 #SIGSource event in Scottsdale, the trending response was, “The content is good and relevant…it’s not the same old stale topics and stuff.” One delegate shared that he was tired of philosophical presentations and really enjoyed the practical advice in the standing room only session titled, ‘Success with the C- Suite: Calculating and Driving Sourcing Savings to the Bottom Line.’ Another delegate in our same conversation said that she was looking at cut backs being enforced on her training budgets next year and if she had to pick only one event to attend, SIG’s Global Leadership Summit might just be the one.
So, why am I gushing about Sourcing Interests Group? Because I am here on day one of the event, relaxing in the complimentary technology lounge, reflecting on a great morning of intense conversations around innovation, human capital management, and the practicalities of calculating true cost savings.
Here is what I’ve learned from our peers thus far:
- Everyone has the capability to be innovative–your suppliers, employees, friends, colleagues, competitors, etc. Innovation is not about big and small ideas but rather about having an issue, problem, challenge, or obstacle and solving it in a way that creates value for someone else. Don’t innovate on everything…only innovate on what differentiates you.
- There are dozens of ways to calculate cost savings. It is important to use hard and soft dollar methodologies that align with your company culture. When it comes to cost savings, speak in the CFO’s language–budget, forecast, target, run rate, and impact.
- Regarding Services Procurement, cost savings is a given but it shouldn’t be the primary driver of your business case. There is much more lurking below the surface when you begin digging into your SOW spend. You are going to find staff aug dressed up like SOW, you will find 1099 and freelancers dressed up like SOW, and you will find SOWs that nobody seems to even know exist. Focus on visibility, compliance and risk mitigation (protecting your own and your customer’s intellectual property and assets). Make sure your business case highlights the risks of doing nothing in regards to gaining control of SOW spend.
Stay tuned for more insights from the #SIGSource.