As the world’s fastest-growing procurement and supply chain event, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023 was a disruptive learning and networking event that showcased some of the industry’s top speakers across innovation, thought leadership and strategy.
The Procurement Strategies Forum
Ending Day 1 of Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE, Cameron Smith, Global Procurement Senior Partner of Professional Services, Novartis; Matt Yanchyshyn, General Manager, AWS; and Abeer Abu Sada, Head of Procurement and Chairwomen, CIPS took to the stage to discuss diversity and inclusion in procurement strategies.
Emphasising the integral role that diversity and inclusion play in influencing the business strategy at Novartis, Smith highlights the importance of diversity, including factors such as geography, race, sexual orientation, and gender.
“Diversity and inclusion is one of the mainstays of the organisation and it's one of the stated goals of the C-suite and also supported by the board,” says Smith.
Yanchyshyn goes on to explain that diverse teams - particularly in technology - lead to better solutions. He highlights how AWS is intentional about hiring from diverse talent pools.
"I definitely ascribe to the belief and really the truth that diverse teams build better software,” he says.
Expanding on this Abu Sada branches into the significance of ensuring equal opportunities for diverse suppliers, while Smith emphasises the need for diversity in vendor selections and nominations to promote equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome.
"During the valuation process, we have included diversity, sustainability, inclusion, gender equity,” she says.
The impact of diversity and inclusion was also discussed when it comes to small and large suppliers, with it highlighted that it changes the perspective of traditional suppliers and encourages a more inclusive approach.
Speaking of emerging technologies, Yanchyshyn highlights AI and machine learning and their capabilities in enhancing procurement strategies, particularly in the discovery and decision-making process, making it more efficient.
He also provides examples of how AI can assist in summarising information, enhancing search capabilities, and recommending solutions.
"I think it's a mix of aiding the process, but in some cases making a better recommendation that you just accept immediately,” explains Yanchyshyn.
Abu Sada adds to his comments, sharing a real example from CIPS, focusing on the use of technology in contract management and the maintenance of solar plants. The technology enables efficient monitoring and data collection, streamlining the maintenance process.
Risk assessment and mitigation
When it comes to risk assessment and mitigation, Abu Sada highlights the importance of understanding the business context and region in which it operates to effectively manage supplier relationships.
"Understanding the business needs, understanding the context or where you're operating is very important,” she says.
Adding to what Abu Sada says, Smith emphasises the significance of data to identify risk areas and align procurement strategies with corporate objectives at Novartis.
"[Our] Data [Team] often jokes that Novartis is a data company that makes drugs on the side,” says Smith when discussing the vast amounts of data the company collects.
To watch any of our other speakers from Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023, click here.
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