Strategic sourcing managers are accountable for guiding and evaluating how a company or department spends money on essential supplies and services.
The rapid expansion of both the international and online marketplaces in the past several years has opened up new competitive avenues for businesses that take a comprehensive approach to their supply chain operations and overall growth. Hence, strategic sourcing is emerging as an area of modern business that is seen to drive profitability and value.
The principal focus of a strategic sourcing manager is efficiency, such that a company maintains greater profit margins to realize a competitive advantage. Strategic sourcing managers interact with various suppliers and vendors, often to negotiate pricing.
In a marketing department, the position involves creating a strategic sourcing strategy for marketing campaigns, which entails working closely with marketing professionals. They must also work with a purchasing department, as well as take direction from and report back to executive leadership. Strategic sourcing managers typically have to make a case for tactical decisions and provide analyses for review.
Although the position may be remote these days, strategic sourcing managers usually work in an office environment during standard business hours. The job may require them to travel for the development of business relationships or in-person review of products and services.
Successful sourcing managers can reliably find and acquire high-quality materials in a cost-effective manner from dependable suppliers. When searching for and identifying suppliers, strategic sourcing managers must keep an eye on logistical factors that could make one supplier better than another. For instance, one supplier may be a better option during particular times of the year.
Creating good relationships helps sourcing managers better meet cost, speed, and quality objectives while enabling suppliers to more proficiently customize the creation and provisions of materials.
Most businesses expect candidates for a strategic sourcing manager position to have at least a four-year college degree, typically in finance, business, or logistics. Applicants ought to have five years of experience in supply chain, sourcing operations. Those working in a marketing context ought to have a minimum of 3 years of sourcing experience working with the marketing team on media (TV), online digital advertising (internet), and print.
Good communication and negotiation abilities are necessary to forge deals that will be beneficial to the business. Someone in this position should also be capable of leading by example and working well with others. An ideal applicant for the position is a strong problem solver, analytical thinker, data-driven, and has strong decision-making skills.
Strategic sourcing managers should always be looking to go beyond basic skills and requirements, as this field is constantly evolving. Staying current and up to date will allow a strategic sourcing manager to envision, plan, and apply a strong sourcing strategy, boost efficiency, and strengthen a company’s supply chain infrastructure.