Expert Insights

Expert Insights

Update from the Sourcing Industry Group Global Summit, Amelia Island FL

Megan Paul (Partner) and Caroline Young (Senior Associate) from our Commercial team attended the Sourcing Industry Group Executive Global Summit in Amelia Island, Florida, in April. Charles Russell Speechlys regularly attends the bi-annual conference, which is an opportunity for members of the sourcing industry (predominantly executives in sourcing, procurement, shared services and global business services) to network and attend workshops held by leaders in the field on best practice, cost-cutting strategies, innovative processes and risk-mitigation approaches.

Over the two-day summit, there were various workshops and panel-led discussions on the importance of innovative technology in sourcing – with a focus on achieving return on investment and successful risk management. Some messages from the sponsors and speakers:

  • Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the procurement and supply chain – as the technological forerunner of revolutionary levels of enablement, AI’s potential power and influence is far reaching across all functions of the supply chain (from finance to pharmaceuticals, logistics fleets to CRM) (GEP).
  • Key strategies for implementing robotic process automation – to boost return on investment, improve operational accuracy, enhance compliance, achieve cost reductions and increase scalability (Canon Business Process Services).
  • Strategies for maximising return on investment of supply chain risk management programs – risk management teams must work together to connect the dots throughout a supplier’s lifecycle, to identify potential disruption but also to demonstrate program value and efficiencies (Rapid Ratings).

A common theme across other thought leaders was a need to place more focus on human talent, workforce management and the governance structure in place within the various business units to create a more productive environment.

  • Creating a better outsourcing governance model – through transferring responsibilities to an outside source to lower capital expenses and overheads, to free employees’ time to work on other tasks, to increase efficiency for time-consuming functions, and to improve quality for specialised work. All this whilst managing teams located great distances away (Sapience Analytics).
  • The future of workforce management – HR and procurement collaborating to optimise performance of the workforce across all areas, shifting from a focus on cost, to one that balances cost and quality (Guidant Global).
  • Proactive talent and knowledge management – accelerating workforce trends are driving rapid change across the economy and affecting procurement functions and how the functions interact with the rest of the business. Progressive procurement organisations are responding to trends by developing forward-looking approaches to hiring and retaining top talent, whilst also building formal knowledge management programs (ProcureAbility).
  • Implementing a successful remote talent strategy – adjusting to the rapid pace required for effective innovation is to take advantage of agile talent that brings fresh perspective, relevant expertise, bandwidth and freedom from institutional norms (Toptal).

Megan and Caroline echoed this focus on people in their presentation on strategies for getting the best value from your legal relationships. The presentation was well received and gave useful insight as to how Charles Russell Speechlys’ Relationships Function brings real value to its clients – focusing on four key themes, Infrastructure, Insight, Inclusiveness and Intelligence: all demonstrating we are first, and most importantly, a relationships business.

There were other insightful discussions on procurement disruptions, maximising transparency in supplier contracts, mitigating risk in supply chains through supplier relationships and using data to transform outsourcing. Underlying everything was a clear message that the future of procurement is shifting, towards more innovative technological support and greater emphasis on efficiency of teams and risk management, with the traditional supply chain models seemingly not quite up to the challenge.

For more information on this article or the SIG network please get in touch with Megan Paul at or Caroline Young at

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