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PODCAST: How a Purple Hairy Monster Helped Transform Procurement at VSP Global

Guests: Nathan Haydn-Myer and Siddharth Ramesh

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When procurement talks about transformation, we are usually referring to the critical changes we need to make to our own talent, processes and technology. But does the opportunity exist for procurement to transform the business as a whole? Evidence from the team at VSP Global suggests that it does.

I interviewed two members of the VSP Global team, Nathan Haydn-Myer, Manager of Procurement Operations and Insights, and Siddharth Ramesh, Manager of Corporate Procurement about their dynamic program to centralize procurement and maximize savings, Spend it Like it’s Yours (SILIY) with the help of “Moolah” the home-grown procurement mascot.

As they were quick to admit, procurement can’t promise to be everything to everyone, but that isn’t a reason not to have broad, open-ended conversations with internal stakeholders. In fact, the same collaborative approach that led to the creation of Moolah (a silly – or siliy – character with a serious message) also made it possible for procurement to help the VSP sales team respond to RFPs.

While VSP has received industry-wide attention and acclaim for their approach to centralizing procurement, it wasn’t an easy journey. They were tasked with centralizing procurement and driving savings WITHOUT a mandate. The journey also took longer than outsiders might expect, requiring several years to execute and leading to some amount of natural but healthy turnover.

In this conversation, Nathan and Siddharth provide a detailed view of:

  • The importance of recognizing corporate culture and incorporating it into procurement’s brand, messaging and priorities
  • Why it is important for strategic supply partners to have direct access to distributed buyers
  • How procurement had to live out – not just communicate – an expanded value proposition
  • What is next for the VSP Global procurement team
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