• Service: Advisory, Management Consulting, Business Performance Services
  • Industry: Financial Services
  • Type: Video
  • Date: 3/14/2014
  • Length: 3:36 Minutes

Technology enabled Transformation: Driving change in a virtual world 

Scott Wharton, Citi:

cutting through complexity


Driving change in a virtual world

Managing Director
Chief Procurement Officer

in conversation with

Advisory Partner
KPMG in the United States

Driving change in a virtual world

Technology is an enabler of transformation, but using the tools effectively is critical

SCOTT WHARTON: Technology has been a significant focus of our transformation program. I’d say both in terms of our underlying infrastructure, how we operate, as well as how we’re managing the program itself. Our underlying infrastructure at Citigroup, characterized from a procurement perspective as, 12 months ago, being okay, the challenge for us was we had invested in a whole bunch of fancy tools that we weren’t necessarily using effectively.


So we’ve been very heavily focused on retraining and rescaling the organization to more effectively use the tools that we had, like ERFX, eAuction, and have set quite aggressive targets this year through people’s objectives globally to increase adoption of the usage of those tools.

Driving change in a virtual world

Leveraging social media to create a dialogue across a dispersed organization can be powerful

There’s been an important message to our people in procurement around how we’re using this transformation program to make their life easier and more efficient as well, which has been received very positively. On the second area, which is how we’ve leveraged technology from a program management perspective, there’s a couple of points I’d make there. Firstly, with the dispersed organization that we’ve got in procurement at Citi, we’re, as I mentioned, we have people in over 50 countries around the world. We’re quite active in using the intranet media and emails to be pushing


messages out. We’re doing webcasts to be educating the organization on the changes happening, how that can be part of it, delivering training, and an area we’ve just stepped into recently also is we’re using what we call a community of practice tool where people around the world can join this online community of practice, and effectively, it’s a social media tool for people to have online dialogues and discussions about different topics related to the transformation, to share information with each other, so a procurement manager in Thailand can make a comment that a procurement manager in Russia can respond to.

Driving change in a virtual world

“Build it and they will come” is no longer effective

SAMIR KHUSHALANI: It’s not just about technology, but it’s about using that technology. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t work. That’s been proven over and over again, and Scott gets that. So in his case, he’s actually pivoting away from the tools to the use of the tools


and measuring how people are using it and making sure that they’re being used in the way they should to drive efficiency and effectiveness of the procurement function.

cutting through complexity


Technology is imperative to enabling transformation. But how the technology is utilized and integrated will make a significant difference. It’s not enough to simply have the latest tools. Successful organizations must ensure they are using the right tools and that these tools are deployed effectively across the procurement function. Scott Wharton, CPO at Citi, discusses his approach to both leveraging new technologies and examining existing tools to ensure they are utilized most effectively.

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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