November 20, 2023
Carin Ivarsson, Director of Alliances at SupplyShift, and Paul Dréano, People Manager - Professional Services at Keelvar, led the discussion, exploring the intersection of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations with modern procurement practices.
The webinar illuminated the critical aspects of data-driven decision-making, the necessity of comprehensive supplier engagement, and the evolving dynamics of procurement in the context of sustainability and regulatory compliance.
Below are some takeaways from the webinar, which you can watch on demand here.
Carin Ivarsson underscored the critical role of data in understanding and improving the supply chain. She elaborated, "We gather data on an ongoing basis from suppliers...to help buyers and companies to understand what the supply chain looks like, what is the sustainability behavior, what are areas for improvement."
This continuous data collection is not just about evaluation; it creates a foundation for ongoing improvement and a more transparent supplier relationship. It's a strategy that allows companies to monitor and respond to changes in supplier behavior and product quality in real time, ensuring that sustainability remains a key focus in the procurement process.
Carin also emphasized the transformative power of feedback in supplier relationships. She stated, "We believe you should share data with your suppliers on how they are performing against others...This is a way also of incentivizing suppliers to use these tools and to provide as high-quality data as they possibly can."
This approach fosters a competitive yet collaborative environment where suppliers are not only informed about their performance but also motivated to improve. Benchmarking against industry standards and peers encourages suppliers to strive for excellence in sustainability practices.
"Share data with your suppliers on how they are performing against others...this is a way of incentivizing suppliers"
The webinar delved into the innovative concept of linking financial incentives with supplier performance in sustainability. Carin explained, "Suppliers that perform well get beneficial terms...seeing a clear upside in providing data and also taking steps to improve."
This approach creates a direct correlation between sustainable practices and financial benefits, encouraging suppliers to prioritize sustainability in their operations. It's a win-win situation where both buyers and suppliers benefit from a more sustainable supply chain.
Paul Dréano highlighted the necessity of agility in handling data. He said, "The key when working with data is to be able to be fast and flexible...requirements will change."
He stressed that procurement is a dynamic field, and the ability to quickly adapt to changing requirements and market conditions is crucial. This adaptability is key to maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in procurement processes, especially in an environment where sustainability requirements are continually evolving.
"The key when working with data is to be able to be fast and flexible"
Paul noted significant changes in sourcing methodologies, moving away from traditional models. He observed, "We're moving away from the situation where we'd only run an annual tender...now there's a need for more frequent, flexible formats."
This shift indicates a move towards more adaptive and responsive procurement strategies that can better address the rapidly changing market demands and sustainability challenges.
"We're moving away from the situation where we'd only run an annual tender...now there's a need for more frequent, flexible formats"
Carin emphasized the importance of transparency from both ends of the supply chain. She stated, "Everyone wants to have transparency in their supply chain, but the suppliers also need to understand where they sit compared to others."
This mutual understanding fosters a culture of continuous improvement and aligns suppliers with the evolving standards in ESG.
Finally, Paul Dreano made a strong case for recognizing procurement as a strategic function. He argued, "Procurement is still mostly considered a support function...The only way to navigate this arena...is to give the team the right tools."
He advocated for equipping procurement teams with advanced tools and data, emphasizing that effective procurement goes beyond simple transactional activities and plays a critical role in achieving broader business objectives, particularly sustainability.
In conclusion, as we step into an era where procurement's role is increasingly seen as pivotal to business success and sustainability, the insights from this webinar serve as a beacon, guiding companies towards more responsible, impactful, and future-proof procurement strategies.
The journey towards sustainable procurement might be complex and challenging, but with the right tools, strategies, and mindset, it is not only achievable but also essential for businesses aiming to thrive in a world where sustainability is a key determinant of success.
Learn more about Keelvar and SupplyShift's partnership in this datasheet, or contact our team today for a demo of how our solutions can help you build greater transparency into your sourcing function.