Got the Centre of Excellence Strategic Sourcing staffing deal wrapped up

November 26, 2012

Contributed by Adele Casciaro She has been doing alot of leading edge “out of the box” staffing of those tougher to fill Centre of Excellence Searches for Permanent or Contingent requirements.

The whole concept of Centres of Excellence (COE) within Strategic Sourcing has certainly been gaining traction throughout the last two years as it pertains to needs to hire top talent to meet these nontraditional and different-off centre roles within the Strategic Sourcing space. Just like the whole concept of Strategic Sourcing came onto the scene a few years ago in a big way – and it  is still relatively new in Canada compared to traditional Purchasing, COEs within Strategic Sourcing are interesting in that they are very leading edge in their amalgamation of people, process and technology.

Here’s an example, the requirement for Business Intelligence Leads focused on market research and analytics (collecting data for supplier metrics in helping develop Sourcing Strategies on a category by category basis) gives Contract Negotiators and Purchasing Specialists better clout. Spend analytics, cost modeling and supplier performance analytics require a different skill set than would normally be required for straight Strategic Sourcing. Many are bred through a consulting background and we have been working diligently to ensure our network to top talent for COEs remains strong as demand grows for these skills.

As a top niche player in Strategic Sourcing Talent Acquisition, Argentus is very pleased to see companies turning to us yet again as the talent needs are evolving. We are helping them stick handle their way through these newer hiring processes. We have been fortunate to partner with our existing clients as well as other leading firms who have adopted COEs within Strategic Sourcing.  Recently we have staffed Managers COEs , Sourcing Intelligence Leads as well as Vendor Managers COE.  Our clients know that the correct skills and culture and background “people” blend is critical to the success of these kinds of roles.  Aligning with a specialty firm like Argentus that knows the nuances of this tight skill market just makes good sense.

eSourcing Forum (quoted here) had an interesting perspective which supports the importance of the right talent acquisition…. The people challenge is significant. The first thing you have to do is identify the right people with the right skill sets to lead the organization and the category teams that the COE will need to create. Combined, this team will need to have engineering, finance, management, and leadership skills in addition to traditional purchasing skills. Furthermore, the leader, which should be a CPO (or CSCO), should have enough experience to bring it all together. You may not be able to locate the necessary talent internally and may need to recruit in an increasingly tight skills market.

Then your core team needs to build cross-functional category teams that include key representatives from all major geographies, business units, and key suppliers with whom you have strategic relationships. They have to teach these teams to speak a common language and work together as a cohesive whole….

One of our customers recently said this about our success with a COE hire. “This person is exactly what I’m looking for in a candidate …..”   Director, Analytics and Operations. Strategic Procurement Services

Whether your need is PERM or contingent in nature, I am happy to speak with you about how to further satisfy your needs for CEO staff. Email me at or better still call 416-364-9919.




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