How Supply Chain and Procurement Can Align to Balance Profit and Purpose

Dr. Madhav Durbha
Dr. Madhav Durbha
VP of Supply Chain Strategy, Coupa Software

Dr. Madhav Durbha is the Vice President of Supply Chain Strategy Coupa Software, where his team helps customers and prospects solve various supply chain challenges. Prior to Coupa, Dr. Durbha held positions at LLamasoft, Kinaxis, JDA Software and i2 Technologies, Inc. With more than 20 years in the supply chain industry, Dr. Durbha has broad experience in strategy & process consulting, supply chain software, program management, software application development & deployment, machine learning and data science. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Florida and his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras.

Read time: 3 mins
How Supply Chain and Procurement Can Align to Balance Profit and Purpose

As organizations work at making their supply chains more resilient, developing optionality without losing a focus on profitability is critical. At the same time, changes in the regulatory environment and the rise of sovereign supply chains – along with increased pressure from consumers and shareholders alike – are making ESG a top priority for business leaders. 

Developing effective ESG practices is not just doing good for the world, when done right it is good for the business.

Coupa recently hosted a webinar featuring George Lawrie from Forrester on the ways organizations can accomplish the seemingly contradictory objectives of profit and purpose. Moderated by Ahmad Jiwani, Coupa’s Director of Product & Segment Marketing, I joined George in a discussion on this pressing topic.

George focused the webinar on three key areas: first, disruption and resilience, followed by how supply chain and procurement connect, and then concluding with the route to building a sustainable, resilient supply network. Some of the take-aways from the webinar include:

Alignment between procurement and supply chain teams is key

According to Lawrie – and substantiated by what I see in today’s environment as well – the key to accomplishing the dual objectives of profit and purpose requires tight collaboration and alignment between procurement and supply chain teams. Working together to manage supplier relationships and risk, and actively designing supply chain networks to explicitly factor in these objectives, has become critical to success.

For a deep dive into the ways organizations can balance profit and purpose, 
listen to our on-demand webinar, Balancing Profit and Purpose: 
How Supply Chain and Procurement Can Align for Success

Focus on supply network orchestration 

Supply chain design needs to balance sustainability and working capital productivity, as the costs associated with inventory go well beyond holding costs. A focus on supply network orchestration — built upon creating a supply chain control tower that orchestrates forecasts, orders, carriers, and suppliers — can help you align resources, assets, and partners.

“The center of gravity of demand is constantly moving…that means you need to continuously re-design your supply chain network by which you anticipate demand and fulfill it.”  — George Lawrie, Forrester

The design of your supply network is critical for achieving a meaningful reduction in your carbon footprint because supply chain related carbon emissions are on average 11.4 times greater than direct emissions for organizations. Therefore, it’s time to focus on building a network of sustainable suppliers rather than the traditional (or, already old-fashioned) approach of only focusing on “low cost” suppliers.

Learn how Coupa is the global leader in continuous supply chain design

Artificial intelligence (AI) comes to the rescue

AI can help procurement and supply chain leaders by determining demand trends more accurately, automating tasks, prioritizing actions, and optimizing decisions, thereby transforming supplier value management. CPOs and CSCOs need to evolve their companies’ culture and processes to take advantage of new technologies like AI and new supply chain design tools.

Listen to the webinar to learn more about how to balance your organization’s purpose and profit.