• Service: Advisory, Management Consulting, Business Performance Services
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Type: Video
  • Date: 3/21/2014
  • Length: 4:33 Minutes

Strategic Supplier Management: Driving performance and value 

Scott Wharton, Citi:

cutting through complexity


Driving performance and value

Managing Director
Chief Procurement Officer

in conversation with

Advisory Partner
KPMG in the United States

Driving performance and value

Focus on consistent engagement and driving senior-level dialogue

SCOTT WHARTON: As far as our engagement within strategic suppliers in Citi, today we do what I characterize as a good job, but there are certainly opportunities to improve how we engage our strategic suppliers and of ourselves of the innovation that can bring to the table, and what we’re doing around that is we’ve launched this year what we call strategic supplier management program that we engage as one Citi and ensure the right level of dialogue at the senior level so that we can actually then move on to topics like


innovation and jointly thinking through problems and opportunities for us to improve, whether it be the services we get from a given partner or the cost base of both our organizations and how we work together.

Driving performance and value

Identify the right strategic suppliers to drive business performance

What we sit back and think about is a number of factors in determining which suppliers we consider to be strategic. So if we start with, what is the value we perceive that that supplier can bring to the table, and what is the importance a supplier can have for Citigroup as far as driving our performance and helping us deliver on our strategy as an organization, whether that be a technology based vendor or a vendor which maybe is on the BPO side of the equation, so we think carefully through that dimension firstly. Secondly, we learned from history, working with a number of,


many large suppliers over many years, you learn a lot about them, their management teams, how they operate, really what makes them tick and whether there is, back to the point on culture, a cultural fit there for us, as far as what we’re looking to benefit from in the relationship, so that’d be the second dimension that we think through. And then thirdly, it’d be various more quantitative measures that we’d look at to think about whether we’d want to put a strategic supplier management framework around a vendor, and one might be spend, one might be looking at different risk scorings as far as the type of services they’re providing today that would therefore warrant a more strategic approach to how we actually manage that relationship and engage with that vendor.

Driving performance and value

A structured, meaningful dialogue drives value for both parties

For those that have engaged in that program, it’s been a very positive response. I think suppliers dealing with an organization like Citi often find it’s challenging to navigate the organization.


We’re in multiple geographies, have well over a quarter of a million employees, so on and so forth, that this huge complexity of this organization, so as far as coming to them and offering a process and a model whereby it’s easier for them to engage in a structured way with us and have a meaningful dialogue, not in an ad hoc way, certainly has been received very positively.

Driving performance and value

Start small and set realistic targets to cultivate the right relationships

SAMIR KHUSHALANI: The ability to actually segment your suppliers and identify the ones that are most strategic and critical to your business allows you to adopt a very different set of focus and resources towards developing those relationships, and Scott’s doing that. So they’ve been very realistic and putting in place an overall framework to help cultivate the relationship that they have with suppliers, building a set of performance measurement techniques, as well as putting the right processes


to foster innovation and joint product development and design with their suppliers.

cutting through complexity


The ability to segment and closely engage with strategic suppliers allows procurement organizations to deliver increasingly new forms of value to the business. Establishing a framework to cultivate those relationships helps foster innovation and enables collaborative product design & cost optimization with strategic suppliers. Scott Wharton, CPO at Citi, discusses strategic supplier performance management and how it has helped to promote collaboration and drive innovation with key suppliers.

Scott Wharton, Citi

Scott leads Citi Procurement Services globally. Prior to his current position, Scott led Citi’s Regional Corporate Services organization across the Asia-Pacific, which included Process Reengineering & Productivity, Procurement, Market Data Services, Global Event Marketing and General Services. Prior to joining Citi, Scott held the position of Asia-Pacific Region Head of Expense Management & Strategic Sourcing at Nomura, and had previously worked at other financial services companies in Asia-Pacific both as a senior manager and as a management consultant. Scott specializes in operations strategy, business reengineering and strategic procurement. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology in Sydney, an Executive MBA from INSEAD and an Executive MBA from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

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