Build and Retain World Class Sourcing Talent
A recent study by McKinsey & Company and the Supply Management Institute found that high performing firms have high performing purchasing departments, that what matters most is the people in the purchasing department, and that purchasing departments staffed with talented, motivated, and interactional personnel achieve, on average, savings that is two-and-a-half times higher than their peers who haven't yet figured out that when it comes to supply chain, People Matter Most.
Talent is the most critical aspect of any organization's supply chain, and any organization that fails to recognize this, and manage its talent, is in danger of becoming a victim of The Talent Crunch and a loser in the The Talent War.
The reality is that talent is getting harder and harder to find every day. With approximately 76 million baby boomers in the United States alone nearing eligibility for retirement and half the top people at America's 500 leading companies included in this number, a logistics industry facing an annual demand for 75,000 employees when only 5,000 are graduating annually, a steadily increasing decline in the employable population (in the 15-64 age bracket) in many first world countries, a rapid and steady increase in the number of jobs that require complex skills (which has been growing at a rate three times that of the employment rate) and multiple estimates that indicate there is at most one qualified individual for every four sourcing, procurement, and supply chain jobs that need to be filled today, if talent acquisition and retention isn't an organization's biggest issue today, there's a very good chance it will be tomorrow.
Many companies rely on outsourcing and consultants to fulfill their talent management needs. This can include on-site visitations, training, development programs and most recently talent management software. Many firms focus on developing their in-house ability to manage their talent, and subcontract to get the ground running.
So, what is talent? According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, talent is:
- a special or natural ability or aptitude and
- a capacity for achievement or success.
However, as with most dictionary definitions, this does not help much. There is a need to define what talent is in the context of a sourcing and procurement group so that anyone can recognize it, recruit it, retain it, retire it, and replace it in the cycle of business.
Therefore, this wiki will define talent as the right combination of IQ, EQ, Knowledge, Skills, and Motivation for the sourcing and procurement practice and devote the next section to defining the skills and aptitudes that make up a talented procurement professional.
In the last section, this wiki defined talent as the right combination of IQ, EQ, Knowledge, Skills, and Motivation for the sourcing and procurement practice.
IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, and refers to the brainpower of a potential candidate. Their ability to think analytically, to reason structurally, and to be creative. This is one of the top two skills required by a procurement professional.
EQ stands for Emotional Intelligence. It is the intersection of an individual's self-awareness, mood management, self-motivation, empathy, relationship management, etiquette, and passion. Individuals with high EQ are optimistic. Individuals with high EQ are also willing to admit what they don't know, seek out that knowledge, and learn from the best. This is also one of the top two stills required by a procurement professional.
Today's leading supply chains, like today's leading businesses, run on technology. Sourcing technology, procurement technology, logistics technology, inventory and warehouse management technology, supply chain finance technology, and the list goes on. It's important that any candidate is experienced on, comfortable with, and capable of learning new technology on a regular basis. A talented individual in the sourcing and procurement context is a technically proficient one.
In the sourcing and procurement context, talent also has the right mix of knowledge, skills, motivation, and independence to achieve supply chain mastery. In addition to the right IQ, EQ, and technical proficiency, they should also have process management skills, listening skills, negotiation skills, contract management skills, quantitative skills, problem solving skills, and an ability to see the big picture. The procurement organization is the central function of supply chain, and the supply chain organization needs to interact with every department in the business to be successful. Thus, a procurement all-star will need to be a jack-of-all trades in addition to a master of one.
An aspiring procurement all-star should also have good general knowledge, a good education, appropriate qualifications, and experience. They don't need to have procurement experience, or even procurement specific knowledge, if they have the right IQ, EQ, technical proficiency, knowledge, and education, they can be taught procurement, sourcing, and supply chain. For example, strong analytics capabilities, mathematical knowledge, and technical proficiency is more than enough to teach them to become world-class total cost modelers in any supply chain capacity.
It's more important that the organization hire the right person for the job than the best person for the job. If the best person is not the right person, the organization will find itself recruiting again much sooner than it may have planned.
In the context of this wiki, recruiting talent is the process whereby an organization searches for, identifies, and hires talent to staff its sourcing and procurement team. There are essentially three methods of recruiting talent: Attracting, Buying, and Chasing; the ABC's. This section will address each of them.
According to Aberdeen, talent acquisition involves the planning, sourcing, assessing, hiring, and on-boarding of top-talent. Sourcing talent is the identification and attraction of qualified individuals and the most important part of talent management. Without qualified candidates, assessments, offers, and on-boarding workshops are pointless. And if the organization does not know how to source, planning will all be for naught. That's why this wiki focusses first and foremost on talent attraction.
Treatises upon treatises have been written about the art and science of attracting talent. It is the bread and butter of recruiting firms everywhere. However, one does not have to read a treatise or become a human resources master to understand the basics of talent attraction. For the most part, one just has to know, and focus on the basics, which are few and straight-forward. It's likely that help from other departments will be required, and maybe even from outside consultants and experts, in their refinement and implementation, but they are definitely within one's grasp to understand and manage.
However, given the talent shortage, which is steadily worsening, and very real (even the Economist has written about it), talent is not going to just show up on the company's doorstep. Efforts need to be made to attract it.
Visibility & Brand
The first step is visibility, which is often best accomplished by way of a recognizable brand - one that people associate with positively. Back this up with good marketing and PR campaigns that create a buzz, continuously, across multiple channels that keep the company's product or service, as well as the company itself, in the forefront. Apparently (as the lead author is not a marketing or PR professional), this is much more effective in initially attracting candidates than one might think.
Establishing visibility and a good brand image is a great start, but in order to actually attract potential applicants in a market where there are more employers with more jobs than there are potential employees, the company needs to be seen as a preferred employer. Fortunately, Jack Welch has some clear and simple advice that a company can follow in their quest to become a preferred employer, as summarized over on Supply Excellence.
- demonstrate a real commitment to continuous learning
it's a fast-paced ever-changing world and today's ambitious individuals want to keep up
- establish a meritocracy
tightly link pay and promotions to performance
- allow, and encourage, people to take risks
and don't shoot those that fail - it shows the organization is innovative
- be societally cognizant
corporate social responsibility is the name of the game today
- focus on high standards
the best, and those that want to be the best, want to work for the best
- be profitable and growing
ambitious individuals want to work for ambitious companies that are doing well
A recent study by Head2Head Purchasing found that the most successful channel for talent acquisition was referrals, with an average success rate of around 50%. Use relationships, and those of employees, first and foremost when seeking out new talent. And even if a talented professional of the right fit is not available at the time she is identified, be sure to keep track of him or her, and if possible forge a relationship, as she might be available the next time the organization is looking.
Use the Right Channels
A company today has a host of channels today to advertise their firm and their positions, which include, but are not limited to career sites, agencies, human resources databases, campus recruitment / events, trade-show recruitment / events, and advertisements in traditional media such as tv, radio, and the good old fashioned newspaper.
It's important to understand who the target candidates are, where they are, and the methods most likely to reach them. The same study by Head2Head Purchasing that found that the average success rate for referral recruitment was 50% also found that the average success rate for career sites, agencies, HR databases, and campus recruitment events hovers around the 10% range. Thus, unless the organization is sure it will be reaching a wide candidate pool through one of these options, it should think twice before chasing the channel. (Advertisements faired even worse with an average success rate hovering around 5%.)
Have a Strategy
This is much more important than one may think. In the Talent Acquisition Strategies Benchmark Report, Aberdeen found that 59% of high performing companies have increased their overall workforce performance after implementation of a talent acquisition strategy compared to 41% of industry average and 33% of laggard companies. The report also found that the strategy is most effective when it is aligned with the overall strategic plan.
So, what makes a good talent acquisition strategy? Whatever works. This is a very hard question to answer. What does wonders for a competitor might not work at all for the organization. This is one of those areas where an executive should engage an outside expert to help the organization come up with the best talent acquisition strategy for the company.
One thing that can be banked on is that such a strategy will involve capitalizing on what the organization already has, as talent attracts talent, and maintaining a talent pool of appropriate candidates, even if they are not interested when they are first identified.
Attracting talent takes time. The company has to build its talent acquisition strategy, achieve visibility, build the brand, form relationships, and attain preferred employer status. However, sometimes the organization just can't wait. Maybe the decision was first made to finally build a core sourcing group. Maybe one or more star performers just left. Maybe it needs to jump-start its procurement efforts across the board.
If the organization does not have time to attract the right individuals, sometimes it can go out and buy the talent it needs from its competition. If the organization has the funds, sometimes it works. Consider the Massachusetts-based technology manufacturing executive who lost five key sourcing and commodity experts in the same month - three to another local technology firm and two to the sales and marketing organization in his own company as described by Tim Minahan over on Supply Excellence as proof. This is not an uncommon occurence.
More recently, Hackett found that the annual procurement turn-over varies between 10% and 15%. Considering that procurement visibility, pay scales, and the skills required to be a world-class procurement professional are still increasing at an almost daily rate, it won't be long before these numbers approach the average employee turnover rate of 40% that Denali Consulting and SupplyStaff found in their 2006 study.
Just remember that buying talent is not a viable talent acquisition strategy, especially in the long term. If cash is readily available, it might be a short term fix to get the people the organization needs in the door to exploit current market opportunities, but it is not sustainable in the long term. After all, money alone will not solve the organization's problems. It might get people in the door, but without good talent management practices, retaining them could be a challenge in the long term.
When an organization does not understand the demographics of its supply chain organization, the demographics of the industry in which it operates, or the demographics of supply chain talent, and, thus, lacks the appropriate strategies and processes to attract, or even buy in a pinch, talent, it will forever find itself chasing talent. This is not a position any company wants to be in. Chasing talent rarely works. The company might luck upon an employee or two here and there, but chances are the employee landed will not turn out to be the right one in the long term.
Given the constantly increasing demand for experienced procurement professionals and the limited talent pool, it's critical that an organization retains its top performers and moves them up into senior positions when they are ready to help the organization groom its junior talent into its future all-stars. This section presents some tips and techniques management can use in its quest to retain its top talent.
As noted in The War for Procurement Talent by the European Leaders Network, an organization needs the right environment to attract and retain the highest calibre procurement talent. This translates into a need for the right organizational culture.
What is the right organizational culture? This is hard to define, but one can be sure that, at the very least, it's the right mix of openness, diversity, ethics, sustainability, fun, and support for work-life balance.
The right culture supports team diversity and encourages interaction among all team members and executives on all sorts of projects. It recognizes business is global, procurement even more so, and promotes and supports learning about other cultures, including those of its suppliers. It believes in Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental and Business Sustainability, Ethics, Fair-Play, and Win-Win scenarios. It has an element of fun, casual days, an open-door culture, and stresses a good work-life balance. It is a culture that gives a person something to look forward to when she gets up in the morning, not something she dreads as part of a daily grind.
The right culture also has the right management. The right management shares the mutual goal of advancing the careers of everyone that reports to them. The right management listens to their reports and does whatever they can to empower them and make them productive. The right management makes sure workloads are fair and that their team members can maintain an appropriate work-life balance. The right management lets their employees take managed innovative risks and does not crack-the-whip if the risks do not always pan out. The right management under-promises and over-delivers. The right management is open in their communications, communicates regularly using multiple channels, makes decisions (and the decision making process) transparent, and does not sugar-coat bad news. The right management inspires their team and leads them to success.
After all, a 2006 study at Harvard Business School found that increased motivation, creativity, and team member performance was correlated with five leadership behaviors.
- supporting people emotionally
- monitoring work in a positive way
- recognizing people for good performance
- listening to team members
- collaborating with team members and rolling up the sleeves every now and again
Give Them Space
Empower employees to make their own decisions and give them the room to do so. Encourage them to try new ideas (in a controlled environment within the organization's risk tolerance) and don't break out the whip if they fail. One can often learn more from failure than from success. After all, every now and again an innovation will succeed beyond one's wildest dreams and advance the organization down the path of excellence.
Provide employees with the freedom that allows them to get the job done in ways that work best for them. Allow for telecommuting, flexible work schedules, casual dress, and other creative work arrangements. This can make the difference between keeping a valued employee nearing retirement who wants a relaxed work schedule, or a valued employee who wants more family time, and losing them entirely.
Mine for Opportunities
Involve the organization's best people in strategic planning when the search is on for the next great opportunity. Allow them to head new projects or spend categories (such as tackling marketing or legal services for the first time) on their own. Allow them to work with end customers to understand what the customers truly want, where compromises can be made in the supply chain and product life cycle, and where they cannot. Rotate assignments as fresh eyes can spot new opportunities. Support staff's investigation of new supply markets.
Opportunities surround ... and an organization's best people will be able to find them. The recent study by McKinsey & Company and the Supply Management Institute that found that high performing firms have high performing purchasing departments noted that high performing firms demonstrated annual purchasing savings of 3.5%, a 1.4% annual reduction in COGS, and an average EBITDA of 17.7%. Comparing this to low performing firms that only achieved a savings of 0.6%, a 0.5% increase in COGS, an an average EBITDA margin of only 12.7%, it's easy to see how effective top performers can be.
One of the best, and easiest, ways to attract and retain talented individuals is to ensure that the purchasing challenges presented to them are BIG and NEW. Great talent is drawn to the opportunity to work on big things and to apply new thinking. Give them something to get excited about.
Good training starts on day one. Make sure a new recruit clearly understands what the organization expects from them, and when, the minute they walk in the door. Similarly, listen to their expectations and be sure to address them appropriately. Before they were hired, the manager that the new recruit will be reporting to should have laid out the skills relevant for the role, identified any potential gaps, and developed an appropriate (on-the-job) training program to get the new employee up-to-speed as soon as possible. Go over that plan with the new recruit on day one.
To get technical, as outlined in Deep Sea Fishing, good training focusses on developing appropriate contextually-specific competence configurations of relevant competence dimensions (or meaningful measures of competence) that drive specific strategically competitive priorities in the most crucial areas. In simpler terms, good training addresses the skills required by the team to succeed in each of the job functions critical to organizational success.
More specifically, as outlined in the Deep Sea Fishing article in the Autumn 2006 issue of CPO Agenda, a training program shold address, at a minimum, competence, empowerment, internal and external interaction, IT proficiency, and product/service development - as these skills are the foundational skills of a good procurement professional.
Do not underestimate the importance of training, even for the organization's top performers. As Dr. Joseph Robert Carter says, the Avnet Professor of Supply Chain Management and Department Chair at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, the key to great supply chain performance is:
- Train the existing team.
- Repeat Step #1.
Not only does mentoring facilitate knowledge transfer and help the organization take advantage of lessons learned, it also makes both the mentor and the mentored feel valuable. This helps to maintain the organization's competitive edge as relevant knowledge is transferred within the organization.
Good procurement personnel are ambitious. They want to know that they can advance over time. Make sure there is a career path for every employee that starts at junior buyer and goes all the way to CPO. A 2006 study by Brainstorm and D-Code found that the number one attribute young professionals value most when considering employment is the opportunity for advancement.
Be sure to adjust or customize the basic career plan to each new employee, listen carefully to each employee's expectations, and manage them appropriately. And if the organization can not take an employee as far as she wants to go, be honest. There is a much better chance of keeping the employee until she gets as far as she can go, at which point she will leave as an ambassador of good will, if the organization is honest with her from day one.
The best companies promote from within. Nothing is more damaging to morale (and, therefore, to productivity) than hiring from the outside when someone could have been promoted from within. People want to feel valued - and if they don't feel valued, they'll likely leave.
The Right Equipment
Every professional needs tools. This goes doubly so for procurement professionals who often have the hardest job of all managing the organization's global supply chain. Make sure they have the right sourcing, procurement, logistics, inventory management, and contract management tools (to name a few) that they need to do their job effectively and productively. Don't be cheap when it comes to technology. The studies referenced in this wiki and the corresponding blog alone should be enough to convince one that the right technology investments, especially in on-demand solutions when appropriate, will payback multiples of their original cost, and many multiples in the hand of the right procurement professional.
Even though it's not all about money, last year's study by Denali Consulting and SupplyStaff found that a good salary is often the top indicator of employee retention, and often the top reason an organization loses its top talent. This doesn't mean that the organization has to pay more than everyone else, just that it should know what the market average is and be very competitive. After all, good buyers spend the bulk of their time asking what a product or service is worth - it's only natural they're going to ask what they're worth.
Furthermore, even the best salary may not be enough to retain the organization's top-talent if the organization does not have a well-rounded compensation package. Be sure to offer a good benefits package, which shows that the company cares about its employees, and establish a good bonus and incentive plan, tied directly to measurable performance.
Don't underestimate the impact of a good incentive plan. The best sales people are not attracted to the firm that offers them the highest base salary - they are attracted to the firm that offers them the highest earning potential (provided such firm also offers them a fair base salary to cover their costs of living while they build up a pipeline and get those first few critical sales). And the smartest companies do not look upon paying a great sales person a million dollars as a negative - since that generally means that the sales person has secured at least ten million dollars worth of realized revenue for the company (and there's nothing negative about that!).
When one considers that every dollar procurement saves is generally worth somewhere between five and twenty dollars in revenue (depending on profit margin and overheads), it should be obvious that if procurement all-stars were compensated the same way, having high earners would be a big plus to the organization. For example, a procurement professional who earned a million dollars (based on a five percent bonus on all realized savings below last year's cost or fixed target based on market indexes) would mean that this professional saved the organization at least twenty million dollars, a savings that is at least equivalent to one hundred million dollars in revenue gain from a balance sheet perspective (if not more)! It should be obvious that such a compensation structure, which allows the organization to keep salaries down to market averages, do not represent variable costs, but variable savings where bigger numbers are better.
Such a plan is also sure to attract the best all-stars the industry has to offer. The best performers are smart and will take a little less up-front if they know that it will translate into more, with a chance for significantly more, later. And since the best performers aren't afraid of hard work, the organization only stands to profit. Furthermore, the organization might find that even paying significantly more costs it less in the long run! A top performer will often be as effective as three, four, and even five average performers. If top performers allow an organization to do more with less, and it doesn't have to worry about attrition of its average performers, either from poaching or as the result of a relocation due to a merger or acquisition, it's fixed costs will drop significantly and overall costs will be lower even with a high variable cost structure.
Don't forget to reward for educational achievements, such as the completion of advanced coursework, the attainment of a professional certification, or the completion of a new degree. Since these achievements only make the employee more productive, as well as more valuable on the marketplace, it is important to show the employee the organization values their commitment to better themselves and go beyond the call of duty.
Dole out rewards regularly, and do so unexpectedly every now and again when significant, and unexpected, achievements are made. If a rising-star employee completes an MBA in supply chain, throw a party. If the group beat their cost reduction goal by five percent in the last quarter, do not wait until year end to hand out a small bonus. Show employees how valued they are and the organization's chances of keeping them will increase exponentially.
And be creative with benefits. Everyone likes perks, and many perks are cheaper for an organization to buy than an employee (especially when it comes to group plans or buying in bulk). And understand that there might not be an across-the-board solution. Just because sales wants a golf-club membership doesn't mean engineering will. Just because purchasing wants their gym fees covered doesn't mean finance will. Consider creating a benefits fund and be prepared to sponsor those activities that significant groups of employees want - and be fair in its application. Try to include everyone. Also considering creating benefits categories, such as professional development and health, and let employees manage their own funds.
Finally, be sure to offer them not what the organization thinks they want, but what they actually want. Don't be afraid to ask!
Proactive Stay Interviews
Even if the organization has the right culture, makes efforts to empower its employees, mines for opportunities, challenges the team regularly, offers continuous training opportunities, institutes mentorship programs, establishes a career path for each employee, gives them the right equipment, and rewards its employees handsomely, don't assume this is enough. Everyone is different and every team is different.
Instead of guessing, find out what the staff really want. Ask meaningful questions such as: Are you challenged in your day-to-day work? (What's challenging to one individual might not be challenging to another.) What would provide more interest? (Who knows what projects the employees might be thinking of that could innovate the organization?) What could I do more/less of? (Different employees will want different levels of managerial involvement on different projects.) What will keep you here? (It might cost the organization less than it thinks. Look at Google. It offers tons of "benefit" programs and implements dozens of employee ideas regularly. Some are very inexpensive in the grand scheme of things but go far in terms of employee retention.) What might entice you away? (How else can a management team come up with incentives to stay if they don't truly understand what beckons their best talent away?) What do you want to learn this year? (Training is good. Training an employee wants is better.)
Say goodbye with grace. The departure of top talent can be a good thing! A recently departed employee can be an ambassador for the firm - promoting it to potential future employees and customers. Furthermore, if an ambitious employee left because the firm didn't have the appropriate position for her at the time, there's no saying that such employee would not be interested in returning in the future when such a position opened up.
Leave an open door. That employee who left because the organization couldn't promote her at the time might want to come back some day when the firm has the right position for her. Since there is no employee more valuable than a dedicated and loyal employee who brings back knowledge of best practices from other companies, it's important to make sure that each employee leaves on the best of terms.
Continual skills development and training is essential to building and maintaining a world-class procurement team. Fortunately, there are a number of sources of training that a company can tap into today. From customized programs at universities (such as the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University or the Supply Chain Resource Consortium at NC State University), professional organizations that offer training and certifications (such as the CSCMP or the ISM), or even training specialists (such as Next Level Purchasing), a company's choices are not limited.
Promote as much on-the-job learning as possible. Not only does it give the organization a competitive advantage, but it gives a purchasing professional a sense of accomplishment and, when done right, fun!
Considering any company could lose its best employees at any time without warning, it is important that every company plan for this occurrence and manage the risk by taking steps to preserve critical institutional knowledge. Furthermore, it's also important that such companies do not view succession planning negatively. Sometimes losing a top employee is a good thing. They might be moving up the corporate ladder into a position where they can benefit the procurement organization they started in. They might be retiring into a part-time role and opening up a new full time position for new talent. They might be moving on to a partner or supplier organization where they can bring their skills and talents to bear in a way that will positively affect the organization. Either way, it should not be looked upon as a negative, but a positive. Even if they go to a competitor, they could still bring with them the message of what a great organization they used to work for and be an ambassador of good will.
Succession planning is a key to a company's long term success. According to a recent Aberdeen Brief, companies need to be committed to long term stategic succession planning that incorporates key elements to be assured of success in their talent management endeavors. The key elements identified by Aberdeen were:
- support from the CEO and top executives
succession planning needs to be a continuous activity
- creation of a talent mindset
succession planning is all about talent management and future talent management - without the right mindset, it will never get done right
- creation of a performance culture
succession planning requires action, not just lip service; only in a performance driven culture will it get done and get done right
- ensurance of data-driven decision making
hunches are good, facts are better - make sure all decision are made on fact and the organization will properly identify the knowledge that needs to be archived for the next generation
- development of a "learning organization"
the best performing organization is an organization that is continually learning and learning not just how to do its job better, but how to hand over the reins when the time comes
- alignment with the overall strategic plan of the company
a procurement organization that is aligned with the rest of the company will get more support than one that is not, and this will make succession planning, and key personnel replacement, easier
- organizational readiness
the organization needs to be able to replace key personnel at any time; sometimes the organization will have warning, sometimes it will not ... that's just life
So where does one start? The ISM article The Greying Supply Chain had some great tips anyone can use to jump-start their succession planning effort.
- Make sure the organization understands the demographics of the supply chain organization.
Who's nearing (early) retirement? What do they do? And, more importantly what do they know?
- Put plans in place to preserve the most critical institutional knowledge before it walks out the door!
Employees, and the knowledge in their heads, is an organization's most critical asset. Give them time to document it, buy systems to help them document it, and make sure those systems are accessible by all employees.
- If they have not been put in place already, put alternative work arrangement programs in place.
Can the organization's employees work part time? Remotely? On a project basis? Not all employees may want to go from 60 to 0 right away - an organization needs to be prepared to take advantage of those who want to phase into retirement slowly.
- Work on an open organizational culture that accepts and respects everyone.
A successful organization needs the knowledge of the seasoned veterans, the education of recent graduates, and the raw skills of the experienced individuals in between. Everyone should feel wanted - and needed - and each individual should be able to contribute on his or her strengths.
A Selected Bibliography
Assessing and Accelerating the Skills of Your Procurement Staff by John LaPorta & Eddie Lison, 2007
(The) Key to Developing Talent: Halogen Adds Succession Planning Functionality to its Employee Performance Management Suite by Madeline Tarquinio of Aberdeen Group, September, 2006
Market Outlook: Human Resources Outsourcing - Tapping Transformation Talent and Technology by Christa Degnan Manning, June 2007
Nuturing Talent by Haide Villuendas, Autumn 2006
(The) 2006 Supply Chain Trends & Skills Report by Charles Dominick, 2006
Talent Acquisition Strategies: Sourcing and Assessing the Best of the Best by Madeline Tarquinio of Aberdeen Group, June 2006
Michael Lamoureux, PhD of Sourcing Innovation
David Bush - Pro to Know