Charles N. Smart, president and CEO of demand and inventory management solution provider Smart Software (www.smartcorp.com), has been writing and speaking since the 1990s on the growing strategic nature of Demand Planning for enterprise success. He notes that "cost-down, service level-up" pressures have only increased with the greater globalization of the economy, forcing companies to rely more and more on Supply Chain to meet customer requirements.
Sourcing & Procurement/Spend Management
Jay Baitler, executive vice president of office supply giant Staples (www.staplescontract.com), has been a strong advocate for supply chain innovation and for Supply Chain's strategic function within the enterprise during the course of his 30-year career in the industry. He tirelessly has pushed Procurement to take a "lowest total delivered cost" approach to supply management, focusing on both the soft-dollar (or back- end) savings generated by process improvements as well as hard-dollar (or product) savings.
William Blair, CEO of sourcing and supply chain solution provider Co-exprise (www.co-exprise.com), worked at General Electric to develop a wide range of processes and technologies that remain GE best practices across sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, implementation and logistics, including GE Trading Process Network, the first Internet real-time auction system for industrial buyers. This innovation was pronounced a corporate "Best Practice" and was adapted by multiple divisions throughout General Electric.
Kevin Costello, chief commercial officer at spend management solutions provider Ariba (www.ariba.com), has been a long-time advocate for raising Procurement from the "backroom to the boardroom." He has challenged Procurement organizations to become more heavily involved in the enterprise's strategic planning process, including by leveraging technology to achieve and document the function's impact on earnings per share — metrics that capture the attention of the CEO and CFO.
Philippe Courregelongue, director of consulting services for EMEA at supply and contract management specialist Emptoris (www.emptoris.com), helped pioneer the use of Web-based auctions, and he has been a long-time evangelist for the benefits of online sourcing within the global retail industry. He has been spreading the word to C-level executives across Europe and in the United States, helping them to understand that Procurement has the potential to extend strategic supply management practices into virtually every possible retail category.
William (Bill) DeMartino, director, spend analysis at supply and contract management specialist Emptoris (www.emptoris.com), has been a general evangelizer for spend analysis, highlighting its evolution from solely a sourcing aid into a more strategic tool that can help supply chain and C-level executives gain true visibility into enterprise-wide spend. DeMartino has undertaken an aggressive educational outreach before industry audiences to spread the word that spend analysis is crucial to helping supply chain professionals become viewed as more central and strategic to the enterprise.
Charles Dominick, SPSM, president of procurement training provider Next Level Purchasing (www.nextlevelpurchasing.com), has helped supply management professionals increase their own visibility within the enterprise by arming themselves with higher-level skills — through the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification — necessary to deliver measurable results to their employers and, importantly, communicate and market Procurement's impact within the company.
Michele Flynn, CEO of business advisory services provider Expense Management Solutions (www.expensemanagement.com), has written and spoken extensively on strategic supplier relationship management, and he has promoted the potential for Supply Chain to recover "lost value" caused by inefficient SRM strategies.