Headed to America's Procurement Congress 2023? We'd love to meet you in Miami! https://trustyoursupplier.com/resources/events/apc-wpc-2023/
Headed to America's Procurement Congress 2023? We'd love to meet you in Miami! https://trustyoursupplier.com/resources/events/apc-wpc-2023/

One Woman, Three Companies, Graceful Leadership: Meet Sri Mudunuri

Managing one global business in an ever-changing world is tough enough but managing three?! Now, that requires nearly superhuman leadership skills.  

Meet Sri Mudunuri, the co-founder of IT People Corporation, Chainyard, & Trust Your Supplier, who has been making a name for herself in the technology, staffing, and services industries. With 23 years of experience in the staffing and services industry and her desire to provide an end-to-end solution for her customers, Sri was moved to co-found Trust Your Supplier. Her motivation to become a leader stemmed from two female trailblazers, Indira Gandhi and Jayalalithaa, who played a significant role in shaping the future state of India. From a business perspective, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s former CEO, and chairperson is Sri’s inspiration. 

Apart from being a co-founder, Sri also plays multiple roles in the organizations she leads. As a CFO, she manages financial activities and ensures the balance sheet lines up. As a President, she is responsible for board meetings, compliance with state and federal laws, and managing certifications from organizations such as WBENC and NMSDC.  In addition to all this, she also manages the staffing side of the business, Workforce Solutions, and keeps the recruitment team on their toes. 

The most significant obstacle Sri has faced in her career is proving herself to get the respect she (and all women) deserve. She noted that women must do more to get the same respect as men with the same title. But Sri’s persistence, ability to not take things personally, and work with trusted partners have helped her succeed. 

Sri’s advice to women who aspire to become leaders is simple: follow your dreams, be decisive, and don’t be afraid to make tough decisions. Sometimes conversations and decisions are tough, but we’re tougher.  

Let’s continue celebrating women’s history month by empowering and inspiring women to be anything and everything they want. 

Breaking Barriers: Michelle Armstrong Named Chief Relationship Officer at Trust Your Supplier

In 2023, women are defying expectations and shattering glass ceilings 👏 every 👏 single 👏 day. And Michelle Armstrong is a prime example of this. Michelle, who hails from Ireland, has been named Chief Relationship Officer at Trust Your Supplier, a position that requires her to excel in building strong relationships with clients, colleagues, and partners. And excel she most certainly does.

When you meet Michelle, it’s easy to see why she was chosen for this role. Her kind and intuitive nature makes her an expert in understanding and connecting with others. Her ability to know the minute details of all her customers’ schedules is a testament to her excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. It’s no wonder she’s been so successful in building strong relationships with people from all walks of life.

At Trust Your Supplier, Michelle leverages her exemplary change management skillset to analyze issues, devise continuous process improvements, and incorporate business process initiatives to increase efficiency and streamline operations. She excels in building strong relationships with clients and third-party vendors and is highly skilled in translating their business needs into key features for our product development team.

But Michelle’s success is not just about her skills and experience. It’s also about her determination and resilience in the face of adversity. She grew up in a society that expected women to marry farmers and take care of the home. Yet, she refused to be held back by these expectations and chose to follow her own path, which has taken her all over the world.

Michelle’s appointment as Chief Relationship Officer is a win for all women striving to break normative boundaries and succeed in their chosen fields. Michelle is a role model for women everywhere, showing that it’s possible to have a successful career while also prioritizing family and personal relationships.

Despite her busy schedule, Michelle has been married to her husband for 30 years and has gracefully raised strong, independent, and humble children while traveling around the globe. She embodies the idea that balancing personal and professional life is possible while excelling in both.

In a world where women are still fighting for equality, Michelle’s success is a shining example of what’s possible. She proves that with determination, resilience, and a willingness to break through societal expectations, women can achieve anything they set their minds to. We can’t wait to see what she’ll accomplish next.

#womeninleadership #breakingbarriers #femaleempowerment #diversityandinclusion #leadership #successstories #careergoals #genderequality #womenwholead #inspiration #supplychain #vendormanagement #businessrelationships

Digital Readiness and Your Degree For Success

Last week was one of the more interesting ones on the social media circuit, e.g., LinkedIn.

To start, a post referencing Dirk Spijkers raised an interesting debate regarding technology and partnerships. According to Spijkers, “at a high level, you must do more than provide great technology,” although great technology is still important. However, beyond the technology, you also “need to become a trusted “expert” partner who understands procurement organisations’ challenges across the enterprise and beyond.”

In my comment to that post, I said I would write an article about “breaking down the functional silos that limit the ability of internal and external stakeholders to work collectively toward a mutually beneficial outcome.” Today’s post is the fulfilment of that promise. I will also discuss the “critical role that a service provider will play in facilitating this collaboration to ensure seamless integration and user adoption.

The “Right” Skills

According to an August 2022 CIPS report, success in breaking down silos is directly linked to an organisation’s effectiveness at “facilitating collaboration to ensure seamless integration and user adoption” of new technologies. In short, and as intuitively user-friendly and effective digital tech – including AI is today, it still requires people with the right skills to work collaboratively toward a mutually beneficial result.

The report’s skills included “communication, internal stakeholder management, influencing, supplier relationship management, and negotiation.”

While the above observations sound entirely reasonable, a Deloitte Global Survey of CPOs indicates that a significant gap between recognition and realisation of skills still exists. The survey’s findings suggest that most CPOs are dissatisfied with the progress and results of their digital transformation strategies.

You may be wondering where I am going with this track. I will now come to the point. No matter how great the technology, digital success is built on the foundation of an organisation’s “digital readiness.” The core component of digital readiness means having the right talent and skills to communicate and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders. The collective and proactive application of these skills breaks down silos and paves the way for digital transformation success.

A Degree For Success

Several studies and corresponding articles indicate that in the five years leading up to the pandemic, many CPOs did not believe their existing teams possessed the necessary skills to deliver their strategic objectives. As I thought about these findings – which were somewhat surprising, a post by Iain Campbell-Mckenna caught my attention.

The post “Procurement’s Conscious Degree Bias” lamented the profession’s continuing practice of screening job candidates using a university or college degree as the proverbial “golden ticket” to get their foot in the door. How important is a candidate’s degree pedigree for choosing the next great hire? To what degree (excuse the pun) is having a diploma a predictor of success? Based on CPOs’ views of their team’s capabilities, prioritising education isn’t working.

There are a couple of great articles about “hiring for skills” by Chris Burt (University Business, July 2022) and Jonathan Finkelstein (Forbes May 2021) regarding the shift from diploma knowledge to “skilled experience.”

The message from a growing number of procurement industry experts and executives is becoming clear. Organisations need a team with the “right skills” to successfully break down the silos to achieve the level of digital readiness that leads to success.

Partner Skill and Experience Is Also Key

So, why am I talking about end-user skills as a solution provider?

Because when you are selecting a digital transformation partner, you have to look beyond the great technology to find the right skills, experience, and expertise to turn the digital promise into a digital success reality.

In a future post, I will talk about how you can assess a service provider’s technology and industry knowledge to optimise your success by leveraging advanced intelligent solutions.

Michelle Armstrong
TYS, Chief Relationship Officer

Welcome Stephanie Werner

We are thrilled to introduce our new Senior Vice President (SVP) of Global Marketing, Stephanie Werner, MBA, PCM®, CDMP, who has joined our team at Trust Your Supplier. Stephanie is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in marketing strategy and execution, brand management, demand generation, and product positioning.

Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our organization, having worked for nearly 20 years in various leadership roles in marketing and communications across multiple industries. She has a proven track record of driving growth, increasing market share, and building high-performance teams.

“I am beyond excited to join the incredible Trust Your Supplier team. I am eager to spearhead the development and implementation of our global marketing strategy. I get to support the growth of this amazing organization and launch new solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to work alongside such a fantastic team.” ~Stephanie Werner

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie to our team. We are so excited to have her on board and look forward to working with her to drive further growth and success for our organization.