April 11, 2012  
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New Procurement Forum designed for the Sourcing Professional
by Colleen Walker

Ask most any procurement or sourcing professional about how the nature of their job has changed over the last ten years, and they will speak of the impact of globalization, sustainability, technology advancement, strategic partnerships, and the need to add value to assets. These, as well as many other factors, have not only created greater business challenges and opportunities, but have required more knowledge in a wide variety of areas. For example, the procurement of energy has become very complex with no likelihood of it getting any easier.

Procurement professionals need to keep up to speed on the best-in-class procurement strategies, better ways to manage data, as well as mechanisms and approaches to increasing value. They also need to learn about industry-wide issues and concerns both in the near-term, but more importantly, what is coming down the road. We all know that knowledge is power, but given the demand and intensity of day-to-day activities, we often don't have enough time to gain all the knowledge that we need.

To help support procurement and sourcing professionals in the paper, packaging and related industries, TAPPI is hosting the Procurement Forum at PaperCon 2012 in New Orleans on Monday afternoon, April 23rd. "At one time, PIMA had a very active Procurement Committee," notes Steve Farmer, Partner with Genesis Performance Partners, who served on the Technical Planning Committee for the Forum. "We are very pleased to see this programming come to PaperCon to support those in our industry involved in procurement and sourcing."

The first session of the Procurement Form, Procurement Organizational Effectiveness, will be moderated by Jason Caldwell, Manager Commodity Chemicals for RockTenn. Greg Anderson, Senior Principal in Accenture's Operations practice, will report on his company's recent research on high-performing procurement organizations, and review the three key dimensions of procurement mastery: strategy, supplier relationship management, and sourcing & category management. The three key enablers--requisition to pay, technology, and workforce & organization--will also be addressed.

Attendees will then hear from two paper manufacturers, Glen Sanders, Director-Sourcing, with Verso Paper Corp., and Jim Thomas, Corporate VP of Purchasing with Domtar, who will each provide a brief overview of their current purchasing philosophies.

"Every day, as Director of Sourcing for Verso, I am challenged to add value to the company and create competitive advantages for Verso's assets," says Glen Sanders who also served on the Technical Program Committee for the Procurement Forum. "I look forward to participating in the Forum to share sourcing best practices that have been beneficial for Verso, to learn more about challenges others in our industry are facing, and to bring home some new best practices that may prove beneficial to Verso's Sourcing effectiveness."

According to Jim Thomas, another member of the Forum's Technical Committee, "This venue will provide a forum for procurement and sourcing professionals to learn some of the current best practices and emerging trends."

The second session of the Procurement Forum, Emerging Trends in Procurement, will be moderated by Manoj Sujanani, Ph.D., Director, Procurement for Sappi Fine Paper North America. Accenture's Greg Anderson will return to open this session by reviewing his company's research on where procurement leaders need to focus over the next five years. To discuss the issue of sustainability as a growing factor in procurement, Nalco's Emilio Tenuta, Vice President of Sustainability, will share his insights on how other industries integrate sustainable procurement practices.

To learn more about the Procurement Forum and other valuable programs at PaperCon 2012, visit the PaperCon Website.


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