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Fintech & Finserv CX

Podcast #2: Procurement Through Crisis

Jon Lunitz interviews Adrian Viruet, Head of Global Transformation & Strategic Sourcing for Citigroup

Adrian Viruet, Head of Global Transformation & Strategic Sourcing for Citigroup, sits down with Jon to discuss procurement and vendor management through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Best Bits:

In case you didn't have the time to listen to the full podcast, we've highlighted the best bits of the podcast below:

  • Jon Lunitz: Interestingly enough, this weekend, the fact that the beaches opened in Florida, while they closed in California highlights the dichotomy of restructuring responses to the current crisis.  Being misaligned can be very costly; therefore today, we will be discussing the importance of Supplier Relationship Management
  • Jon Lunitz: As the world continues to reconfigure what the future will look like, there are a number of impacts that businesses and outsourcers will need to face together to ensure both short- and long-term resilience.
  • Adrian Viruet: Now more than ever, it is so important to make sure that companies have a solid understanding of their relationships with their suppliers and service providers. Companies have to trust that their service providers are doing the right things not only for their clients, but for their own employees. 
  • Jon Lunitz: In the coming months, businesses and outsourcers will need to focus on pivoting and adapting operations to minimize disruption to customer experience, protect reputation risk, drive cost reductions, while also managing their own teams under stressful conditions.
  • Adrian Viruet: Outsourcers and service providers have to make sure they set up an environment that is safe and productive for their own employees, but more importantly they need to demonstrate to their clients that they are up to the new challenges and that they can continue to provide the highest level of service that their clients expect. 
  • Jon Lunitz: Outsourcers have been critical to helping companies respond to the crisis; however, not all are having the same degree of success.  For every story about Herculean efforts, some providers made to protect their employees and clients; there is one, if not two articles or videos about deplorable working conditions and inhumane treatment of employees.
  • Jon Lunitz: Now more than ever, having the not only the right supplier, but also the right relationship with the outsourcer will be critical.  Adrian, what are some of the key short term considerations that companies need to be focused on entering the new normal?
  • Adrian Viruet: Jon, some of the key strategies that come to mind is setting up an environment that is beneficial for everyone, not only for the companies, but also helping the suppliers or service providers thrive as well.  In other words, when I hire a critical supplier, it is in my best interest to make sure that the supplier is successful and that they have a good business model. 
  • Adrian Viruet: A perfect example is when you and I worked together a few years ago; we developed a program called “Strategic Supplier Partnership Program”. If you recall, this program recognized suppliers that were able to meet certain criteria and in turn we gave them a special designation.  These suppliers were willing to provide a higher level of commitment to cost reduction and quality adherence. 
  • Jon Lunitz: Organizations need to ensure that they have robust ecosystems, not only with their own internal proprietary technology, but also with their partnerships within the market, especially with all of the innovations we are seeing from Fintech.
  • Adrian Viruet: Historically, we have learned from major crises and issues in the past and for the most part we have either rebuilt with better outcomes or become stronger after each of these major events.  There is no question that the Supply Chain will have to be re-evaluated to make sure we account for issues like these in the future, At the end of the day, situations like these provides us with an opportunity to be creative, rational, and develop stronger and more robust processes and procedures, especially when we have talented professionals working together.

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