The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
APRIL 17 - 18, 2018
April 17 - 18, 2018

Challenges You May be Facing

To increase value and profitability, it isn’t enough for your organization to remain relevant anymore—today, you must build a culture of innovation, and continue to reinvent your product offering. While your company may be willing to invest in innovation, suppliers can be a major hindrance to your success. Meanwhile, accelerated change continues to disrupt the supply chain, and keeping abreast of new developments can pose its own serious challenge.

About the Conference

The 14th Annual Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Relationship Management Conference is a perennial favorite for executives looking to drive their competitive advantage through collaborative relationships. This action-focused, two-day event will explore insights, strategies, and case studies of successful procurement and supplier relationships.

As an attendee, you will learn how to develop and implement processes to engage in fruitful supplier relationships. Hear from leading experts who will share knowledge and resources for evolving your supply chain and creating new opportunities. Come and discover how new measurement criteria, mutual success strategies, and a culture of innovation through partnerships can help your organization become an industry leader.

The Benefits to You

By attending this conference, you will

  • Gain a firm understanding of successful supplier relationship principals.
  • Discover ways to focus on relationships to mitigate risk and optimize success.
  • Understand how to leverage partner strengths to achieve mutual benefits.
  • Explore how to foster collaboration across the enterprise and partnerships.
  • Find out how to deploy technology to deliver improved performance.
  • Learn how to build a supply chain that creates a model for the future.
  • Collaborate, benchmark, and network with your TCB peers.

Who Should Attend

This conference is designed for senior executives in charge of and/or responsible for:

  • Strategic Sourcing
  • Procurement
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Supply Management
  • Relationship Management
  • Supply Chain

Earn Credits

CPE logo

Earn up to 10.5 CPE credits
Requirements : Attendees must sign-in each day for full credit. Delivery Method: Group-Live; Program Level: Intermediate, Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree or higher, Advanced Preparation: None

Three Things to Do Now

1. Download the Agenda: To learn more about sessions and speakers, download the latest agenda.

2. Register: Register early and save $400. This offer ends February 3, 2018.

3. Get Involved! If you would like to get involved in this year’s conference, please contact us.

Tim Benz, Sourcing Process Improvement Manager, Rockline Industries, Inc.

Jason Busch, Founder, Spend Matters

John Caltagirone, Founding Director, Business Leadership Hub, Loyola University Chicago

Christine Cantarino, Director, Procurement Operations, Dell Inc.

Brad Chatterley, Strategic Sourcing Specialist, Young Living Essential Oils

Rona Fourté, Director, Supplier Diversity, Walgreen Co.

Jonathan Hughes, Partner, Sourcing and Supplier Management, Practice Leader, Vantage Partners

Shane Hughes, Strategic Supplier Management, Supply Chain Organization, Intermountain Healthcare Supply Chain Center

Sanjeev Majoo, Vice President, Global Procurement, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Stephanie Matejka, Director, Supply Chain Management, Mayo Clinic

Ina Nagel-Schweigert, Director, Procurement Excellence, Novelis Inc

Kendall Nichols, Center of Excellence, Supplier Management, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Kathey Porter, Director, Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations, University of Florida

Tobias Schoenherr, Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management, Co-Editor-in-Chief, International, Michigan State University

J. Terry Simmons, Vice President, Purchasing and Supplier Management, AbbVie Inc.

Dermot Somers, Divisional Head of Procurement, Sharp Packaging Services

Terrez Thompson, Vice President of Global Supplier Diversity, The Coca-Cola Company

R. Kirk Weidner, Vice President, Corporate Accounts, Cargill

Erin Williams, Operations Manager, Contract Administration, Mayo Clinic

Day 1 | Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Conference Registration: 1:00 – 1:30 pm
1:30 – 1:45 pm

Welcoming Remarks from the Chair

Tobias Schoenherr, Professor of Purchasing and Supply Management, Co-Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Department of Supply Chain Management, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

1:45 – 2:30 pm

Session A: Balancing Collaboration and Competitive Pressure: How to Align Supply Management Disciplines to Maximize Value

Decades after the advent of strategic sourcing, the low-hanging fruit has been picked at most companies. Meanwhile, global competition and accelerating technological change creates pressure to continually reduce costs, increase speed of execution and time-to market, and innovate.

At many companies, the response to these challenges has been to implement supplier relationship management programs in an effort to more effectively capitalize on supplier assets, expertise and capabilities. However, results have varied widely, and significant questions remain about the value of SRM, and what it takes to maximize it.

Using a combination of company case studies and recent benchmarking research, this session will lay out a model for a fully integrated approach to sourcing, supplier, and supply chain management in the 21st century.

Some key answers to your questions will include:

  • How to overcome the struggle of SRM programs to balance the power of collaboration with suppliers with the risks of dependency and supplier-complacency
  • How to integrate SRM with category management and how to align negotiation strategies with supplier relationship goals and category strategies
  • What leading companies are doing to become preferred customers and enjoy early or first access to supplier innovations

Jonathan Hughes, Partner, Sourcing and Supplier Management, Practice Leader, Vantage Partners

2:30 – 3:15 pm

Session B: Case Study: Bristol-Myers Squibb
How suppliers are now becoming integral to new Product Development, Commercialization and Lifecycle Management

Innovation is widely hailed as the key to a sustainable business model. And while everyone agrees innovation is important, the best model for driving it is still widely debated.

In this session learn how Bristol-Myers Squibb innovates by leveraging their supplier relationships across new product lifecycle, commercialization and lifecycle management. While they are still strongly committed to in house innovation and ensuring a stable pipeline focused on unmet medical needs, suppliers play an integral role in discovery, development and commercialization processes.  

Some of the topics of discussion will include how to:

  • Build co-creation teams that leverage each other’s strengths – from product discovery to late stage optimization of product launches
  • Establish partnerships that establish shared costs, with the benefit  of higher margins for suppliers when true innovation is produced
  • Select and work with suppliers to ensure innovation while also protecting intellectual property
  • Include every division of the organization to ensure success
  • Engage in strategic partnerships that leverage supplier strengths, whether it’s improvements in speed, processes, or designing new protocols that lead to improved  product commercialization

Sanjeev Majoo, VP Global Procurement, Bristol-Myers Squibb

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Networking and Refreshment Break

3:45 – 4:45 pm

Session C: Building Strategic Alliances: How to Ensure Lasting Success with you SRM Prorgram

There has been an increase in corporate alliances in recent years. Some industry watchers put the number at 25%. In some cases, these alliances account for a third of a company’s revenue. However, failure is high. According to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review approximately 60%-70% fail.

For those alliances that do work, the benefits are great. So how do you ensure your organization is one of the success stories? In this strategy-focused session, gain a firm understanding of building the business case for supplier relationships and what you can do to build more profitable partnerships and alliances.

  • Develop effective relationships by better defining how you will work together, from how decisions are to be made and the processes you will follow
  • Create mutually agreed upon metrics to ensure each organization understands how to measure expectations
  • Understand the importance of both internal and external relationships by ensuring alignment across all teams


John Caltagirone, Founding Director, Business Leadership Hub, Executive Director, Supply and Value Chain Center, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

Rona Fourté, Director, Supplier Diversity, Walgreens Co.

Kendall Nichols, Center of Excellence, Supplier Management, EMD Millipore Corp

Tim Benz, Sourcing Process Improvement – Manager, Rockline Industries

4:45 – 5:30 pm

Session D: New Strategies in Benchmarking Supplier Performance and Value – From the Suppliers’ Perspective

Supply Relationship Management among mature organizations is an essential differentiator for success. With some strategic, and many transactional suppliers, maintaining these core relationships remains a fundamental component of the procurement role. However, as procurement and supply chains evolve, so too does measuring and benchmarking outcomes.

Learn how you can more effectively benchmark your suppliers’ performance and better determine which suppliers are the most vital to your organization’s success.

  • Assess new criteria on how to measure total supplier value, including quality, innovation, scale and technology adoption
  • Understand how leading organizations are measuring value beyond savings
  • Learn how to more effectively deploy scorecarding through the use of specific examples
  • Create buy in across the enterprise and especially the C-Suite through measured criteria that ties into business goals
  • Build internal and external teams that seamlessly function as a cohesive unit

R. Kirk Weidner, Vice President, Corporate Accounts, Cargill

5:15 – 5:30 pm

Networking and Cocktail Reception

Day 2 | Wednesday, April 18, 2018

7:30 - 8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00 am

Session E: Peer-to-Peer Learning Experience: Breakfast Roundtable Session

We will begin today’s discussion by joining one of the peer-to-peer learning tables dedicated to drilling down further on some of the challenges you said were important to you and your organization. With the help of a moderator, each table will appoint a facilitator and confer with each member of the table to discuss what other organizations are doing to solve the specific challenge they chose, and what they see as possible solutions to this challenge. After 30 minutes, the moderator will call on the facilitator of each table present their findings before opening it up to the floor for comments and suggestions from the other tables.


Kathey Porter, Director, Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations, University of Florida

Dermot Somers, Divisional Head of Procurement, Sharp Packaging Services

9:00 – 9:15 am

Networking and Refreshment Break

9:15 – 10:00 am
Concurrent sessions F1 and F2 (choose one)

Concurrent Session F1: Supplier development for early development organizations: Strategies for building better, more profitable relationships

From co-development of products to building strategic alliances, the supplier-buyer relationship is a key component to an organization’s long-term success.

But where do you begin, and how do you sustain it? This session will provide best practices to organization’s looking to work more closely with suppliers. 

Define and establish the business case for a SRM program from the start

  • Learn how to build effective co-creation teams to ensure your enterprise goals are aligned with you suppliers’
  • Understand what suppliers are looking for in terms of partnership
  • Determine which suppliers would work best with your organization

Terrez Thompson, Vice President of Global Supplier Diversity, The Coca-Cola Company

Concurrent Session F2: Developing a spend efficiency metric to objectively measure supplier-buyer value

Measuring your procurement spend is an integral part of assessing your supplier network. And although all companies do this to a certain extent, measuring supplier value through hard procurement metrics is an essential aspect that doesn’t receive enough attention.

Learn how to systematically develop procurement spend metrics that better aligns with corporate goals, including:

  • How to develop procurement-focused insights through collected data to better manage your supplier spend
  • Assessing procurement risks relative to your spend, and how to build in supplier continuity
  • Understand the measurement criteria to determine when to increase engagement with suppliers, or when to exit responsibly

Kreg Koford, AVP, Strategic Sourcing and Solutions, Intermountain Healthcare Supply Chain Center

10:00 – 10:30 am

Networking and Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:15 am

Session G: Leveraging 'SRM Digitization' to Advance Supplier-Driven Innovation and Growth

In a world where services procurement and digital transformation dominate, procurement is spending more time and resources on advancing strategic supplier relationships.

Procurement increasingly needs to mine strategic advantages from supply partnerships in the form of innovation and top-line growth opportunities. As such, traditional post-sourcing and post-contracting SRM solutions don't suffice and the technology market is expanding to include:

  • Supplier performance measurement
  • Supplier development (including quality management and improvement)
  • Supplier collaboration and innovation
  • Relationship management, including conflict resolution

Digitization plays an important role to help your organization create competitive advantage through your supply base. Jason Busch will take you through 3 'SRM in 2025' scenarios illustrating how the use of cloud computing, social media, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and mobile can be exploited to improve your SRM practices to enhance your organization's bottom line results. 

Jason Busch, Founder, Spend Matters

11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Session H: Supplier Relationship Management:  The entire relationship management program from run to business transformation

At Dell, supplier relationships form the backbone of their product development. With suppliers being an integral part of their product design, innovation, and long term profitability.

Take a deep dive into how you can execute on a viable and innovative SRM program, covering:

  • How Dell aligned all divisions on their SRM program, and how they demonstrated its value
  • Why onboarding and monitoring suppliers is essential to ensure continued success
  • Examples of how the Dell SRM program really has resulted in business transformation and their continued success

Christine Cantarino, Director, Procurement Operations, Dell

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Networking Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 pm

Session I: Case Study: AbbVie
The purchasing office of the future: How AbbVie is modernizing its entire procurement division to meet market demand

Procurement has experienced a great many changes in the last few years, and we can expect even more in the next few. In order to meet future market demands, AbbVie is embarking on a complete restructuring of its procurement process.

To start, they are embracing digital disruption and redesigning their procurement and supply chain processes, and with it, some expectations.

Although they are still in the early stages, there are expectations, and few lessons learned, including: 

  • Why AbbVie is investing in its purchasing department’s infrastructure and processes and what results they expect to see
  • How they are engaging with suppliers to improve innovation, automating processes, developing real time awareness along their supply chain, and beefing up their risk mitigation strategies
  • What lessons have they learned on the roll out, and what results are they seeing in the early stages

J.Terry Simmons, Vice President of Purchasing and Supplier Management, AbbVie

2:15 – 3:00 pm

Session J: How The Mayo Clinic is using master data to deliver actionable insights

As companies integrate more technology into their procurement and supply chain divisions, the need to analyze and act on captured data becomes essential. How to turn vast amounts of unstructured data into actionable insights is a universal challenge, but how are supply chain departments governing their data and ensuring consistency?

This interactive discussion will break down how Mayo Clinic embarked on their initiative, the challenges and successes they are experiencing, and what they expect to be able to do with their data in the foreseeable future.

Some of the topics of discussion will be:

  • How Mayo Clinic is  defining core product data elements
  • How to identify data sources of truth and how to govern them
  • What they are doing to eliminate end user data inputs when possible
  • How to integrate data management across functional departments
  • How Mayo Clinic uses the data available today to educate other departments on their cost impact to the organization
  • What actionable improvements are expected based on data governance

Stephanie Matejka, Director, Supply Chain Management, Mayo Clinic

Erin Williams, Operations Manager, Contract Administration, Mayo Clinic

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Networking and Refreshment Break

3:30 - 4:15 pm

Session K: Case Study: Novelis 
How to maximize the value of strategic procurement and supplier relationships to drive growth and innovation

Supplier relationships have changed dramatically over the years. While price is still a factor to consider, total supplier value is now much more important. Can suppliers bring innovative ideas or processes? Can you increase market share with your partner suppliers?

But executing on a robust supplier relationship program that leads to real innovation is complicated and requires a commitment from the organization.

Hear how Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum can producer and recycler, and the largest aluminum supplier to the automotive sector, developed and executed on a corporate strategy focused on supplier relationships and innovation.

  • Learn how they developed and integrated their supplier information management system, aligning all divisions in this corporate strategy
  • Understand how suppliers are generating competitive advantages and how quality is measured to ensure continuous improvement
  • Gain a first-hand account of how focusing on procurement excellence, and supplier quality and innovation, has led to improvements in products and processes

Ina Nagel-Schweigert, Director, Procurement Excellence, Novelis Inc

4:15 – 5:00 pm

Session L: Working with the right suppliers to foster sustainability and build brand loyalty

Some companies have a long history of working with supplier to provide innovative products to their customers. However, not all relationships have played out as expected.

  • Delve into how to co-develop differentiating and innovative products with your suppliers
  • Learn how to select and audit suppliers to ensure compliance with their corporate values
  • Hear how suppliers are meeting sustainability goals, and what that means to long term growth and your supply network
  • Understand how the value of supplier relationships translates into bottom line value, and brand loyalty

Brad Chatterley, Manager of Raw Material Procurement, Young Living Essential Oils

5:00 – 5:10 pm

Conference Close

Pre-Conference Workshop:

Mastering the Softer Side of Supply Management Culture, People, Skills and Change Management

April 17, 2018

9:00 am – 12:30 pm

At many leading companies, the role of Procurement has been transformed in profound ways. We see procurement becoming the linchpin of enterprise strategy. Meanwhile, too many supply management organizations continue to struggle for influence within their companies.

The old procurement paradigm is no longer adequate; we can no longer focus on policing internal stakeholder compliance and rely primarily on competitive pressure to achieve cost savings and motivate supplier performance.

New skills – and new ways of thinking - are required for future success, especially soft skills related to leadership, influence, collaboration, and change management.

During this workshop, we will explore practical and concrete ways to enhance the performance and effectiveness of successful organizations, and earn the right to be a trusted advisor to the business. Key takeaways will include:

  • New competencies and skill-sets required for procurement and supply management success
  • What Sourcing and Supply Chain leaders and professionals can learn from Sales
  • How to ensure sourcing and supply chain management initiatives are embraced across the enterprise through stakeholder buy-in and senior executive support
  • Strategies and techniques to win over the most skeptical stakeholders through a detailed exploration of practical tools for stakeholder mapping, and diagnosing and overcoming stakeholder resistance
  • Effective ways to change the organizational mindset around working with suppliers, including ways to build trust and transparency while protecting IP, improve communication, and optimally balance collaboration with traditional competitive sourcing strategies
  • The latest strategies to enhance supplier collaboration and effectively measure the value and ROI from your SRM program in order to obtain budget and resources needed to drive the next level of value creation
  • What business executives expect from Procurement and Supply Management organizations seeking to be viewed as strategic advisors

Jonathan Hughes, Partner, Sourcing and Supplier Management, Practice Leader, Vantage Partners

Earn Credits

CPE logo

Earn up to 3.5 CPE credits
Business Management and Organization
Requirements : Attendees must sign-in each day for full credit. Delivery Method: Group-Live; Program Level: Intermediate, Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree or higher, Advanced Preparation: None


The Blackstone Chicago
636 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60505
Phone: (312) 447-0955

Hotel Cut-Off: March 28, 2018

Please Note: Registration fees do not include hotel accommodations.


All proceeds support The Conference Board's educational, scientific, and not-for-profit mission.

Lead Sponsor
Vantage Partners - Strategic Sourcing & SRM 2018 - Lead Sponsor



Performance Management Conference

Performance Management Conference

December 08 - 09, 2020 | (New York, NY)

AI for Enterprise Marketing

AI for Enterprise Marketing

October 15, 2020 | (New York, NY)