I interviewed Sam Manna who discussed Rise of Supply Chain & Procurement Positions.
Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Thank you, Dustin. I am here in Toronto, and I've been in the world of recruitment for about 10 years now, all of which have been spent within procurement and supply chain.
Thanks. Well, my first question is regarding supply chain and procurement. What about education? What are universities and colleges doing now to help with this profession?
When I first started in the industry, talking to candidates that are in the sector, most of them kind of fell into the world of supply chain or procurement either their the DC and worked their way up to the planning and logistics side or on the finance side and end up taking up procurement. What we now are universities, colleges, offering program-specific for procurement in supply chain. So coming out of high school, it's something they can concentrate on. Also seeing a lot of rise in the importance of organizations such as APICS and the CSCMP designation as well.So I've seen universities and colleges really striving to put these programs in place. And a lot of universities, a lot of colleges, really ramping up their programs for these as well.
Can you talk about the rise of the CPO and how procurement is becoming more visible in organizations?
Again, years ago, our first...first stated working within this industry, we never really saw those senior-level candidates. You'd have a purchasing manager, logistics manager, sometimes a director. Even if it was a VP, they would be reporting in to another VP. What we've started seeing, mainly after 2008, was that procurement — mainly procurement executives — were starting to take a seat at the executive board. The importance of procurement, of supply chain, was really being seen as an asset to the organization, one that was being undervalued, underutilized. And the importance of them being able to go in, save money for the organizations without letting people go, without downsizing, has really become important for a lot of organizations. And it's something that we're very happy to start seeing, working with some CPOs, working with some very senior-level procurement staff.
There are numerous courses now being offered by universities and colleges and MBA programs as well. There is also a lot of organizations such as APICS as well as the Supply Chain Management Counsel here in Ontario where you can enroll, take courses to really stay on top of best practices. And I believe even LinkedIn has some great groups attached to it as well where procurement and supply chain people can really connect, talk about what they're doing in the industry, really stay on point, and strive to really be that strategic purchasing or strategic logistics executive.
What about professionals that aren't up to date? How can people stay up-to-date? And what's current in the profession?
I think they have to look outside of their own little inner circle, to be honest with you. Again, attending some of these courses would be great. But also, reaching out to some counter parts within the industry, trying to find out about what their best practices are. Many times I've seen LinkedIn, various groups of executives asking a question on how they've been able to lower costs in a specific contract, or has anyone had any experience dealing with a specific vendor. You need to talk to people. I think that's the best way of being able to come out of your comfort zone and ask, "This is how I've always done it. How do you do it? How do you go about getting those best cost savings?" especially if it's an organization where the procurement or the supply chain function is relatively new to the organization.
About Sam Manna
Specialized Recruiter within Supply Chain, Procurement , Logistics, Engineering (Production & Operations) & Construction