The Sourcing Hero

TheSourcingHero

Together, Una and Art of Procurement are excited to bring you epic stories of beating the odds and rising up in procurement. Hear from leading sourcing and supply chain professionals as they share expert insight and tales of business heroism, all in the name of creating exceptional value within procurement.

Ep 72: Making an Impact Through Mission-Connected Procurement feat. Iris Cooper
Jul 6 2022
Ep 72: Making an Impact Through Mission-Connected Procurement feat. Iris Cooper
How each leader sees procurement has a directional impact on what the team is able to achieve for their larger organization and the community they serve. Savings is often described as ‘table stakes’ for procurement, but even those savings are not just dollars and cents. Whether procurement is working in the public sector or private, there has to be a connection between the numbers and what they mean in a real world sense. In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Iris Cooper. Iris is a dedicated procurement professional who has worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Treasury and who is now the Assistant Secretary for Procurement, Contracts & Grants at North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service. All of her work is mission-connected and based on her belief that each procurement team can - and must - make a significant impact in the community they serve. In this conversation, Iris is open about the passion and techniques she relies upon to positively impact communities through her procurement work and leadership: Positioning the mission of procurement in the context of public sector health and human servicesEnsuring that values such as community support and a service mission are evident in every member of the teamHow procurement can build trust between the organizations they are a part of and the communities they serve
Ep 68: Will supply chain challenges make this a Reese’s-free Halloween? feat. Greg White
Jun 8 2022
Ep 68: Will supply chain challenges make this a Reese’s-free Halloween? feat. Greg White
Although everyone and their brother considers themselves a supply chain expert for being able to find toilet paper over the last two years, career supply chain professionals know that the complexity of today’s supply chains is far beyond most people’s perception. So when a news item comes out that questions the availability of Hershey’s products - Reese’s in particular - we know it makes sense to take notice, listen, and learn.  In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Greg White. Greg has decades’ worth of supply chain experience, operationally as well as from an investment perspective. You’ve likely seen and heard him on Supply Chain Now’s livestreams and webinars, and he never pulls a punch. In fact, to use his own words, Greg has “unfinished business” with the supply chain. In this conversation, Greg reviews recent news coverage based on Hershey’s warning that Reese’s products may be in short supply this Halloween and gives us transferable lessons we can act on today: The many ways in which labor shortages are making other systemic supply chain issues harder to recover fromThe ‘slack’ that exists in all supply chains, and how the corresponding efficiency levels and profit margins are distributedWhy we should all be suspicious of people who are new to the ‘supply chain party,’ even if they are enthusiastic and seem to have ‘disruptive’ ideas
Ep 65: Equity, Empathy, and Entrepreneurship feat. Karl Sona
May 18 2022
Ep 65: Equity, Empathy, and Entrepreneurship feat. Karl Sona
Corporate programs like ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) are growing increasingly common and high visibility. And while the stated vision they are associated with is admirable, they aren’t enough to drive the changes most of us want to see. For that, we’re going to need a strong combination of empathy and entrepreneurship.   In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Karl Sona. Karl was working his way through a successful career in medical device sales when he realized something was missing. There was part of himself that he wasn’t able to bring to bear in his work - so he joined the ‘Great Resignation’ and struck out on his own.    Today he is the Founder and CEO of The Kas Company, a firm that specializes in brokering profitable partnerships between corporate brands and black-owned businesses, and the host of his own podcast, Dear Black CEO.  In this interview, Karl talks about his philosophy - and incentives - for brokering profitable partnerships between corporations and minority-owned businesses: His perspective on the nature of relationships between corporations and their suppliersWhether relationships with minority-owned and other diverse-owned businesses should be different The role that regulations play in driving companies to increase their investments in ESG versus inadvertently incentivizing box checkingThe best pieces of advice and take-aways that he has heard from black CEOs on his podcast
Ep 61: The American Dream Campaign: Connecting Veterans with Opportunities feat. Paul Lawrence
Apr 20 2022
Ep 61: The American Dream Campaign: Connecting Veterans with Opportunities feat. Paul Lawrence
There are many types of organizations looking to assist veterans as they transition out of service. The federal government and state agencies play a role, but so do nonprofits and corporations. Ironically, the trouble faced by most veterans is not a shortage of information, but an overabundance of resources to go through. In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Paul Lawrence. Paul was a participant in the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator program with Kelly earlier this year. He is a ‘veteran helping other veterans,’ an advocate that advises nonprofits and businesses about Veteran issues. As a former senior leader at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he has a unique perspective on the challenges organizations face working with and for Veterans, and uses that insight to help organizations serve Veterans successfully, efficiently, and cost effectively. In this conversation, Paul talks about some of the challenges veterans face and what he has learned about how individuals and corporations can support them: What he learned by interviewing people working to help veterans during the 11 weeks of his Accelerator-based American Dream CampaignA surprising insight about service and giving back that he heard from veteran-owned business still in startup modeThe kind of approach procurement professionals need to take if they want to be seen as enablers rather than roadblocks