Loading...
 
 

The World of Global Procurement Q&A with John Zapko, VP of Global Procurement, Lenovo

Published: 15 May 2013 Average Rating: unrated Print
 
This article appeared in Contracting Excellence magazine on 15 May 2013 view edition
 

John Zapko, Vice President of Global Procurement, Lenovo -- who has procurement responsibility over software, Latin America, and emerging markets -- discusses the importance of issues he faces globally regarding supply chain talent management. 

Interviewer:  Robert Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University, and Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC). What follows is an excerpt from the interview. 

Originally published March 14, 2013 - Video released and excerpt of interview reprinted by permission of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University.  http://scm.ncsu.edu

John Zapko, Vice President of Global Procurement, Lenovo -- who has procurement responsibility over software, Latin America, and emerging markets -- discusses the importance of issues he faces globally regarding supply chain talent management. 

Interviewer:  Robert Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University, and Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC).

What follows is an excerpt from the interview. 

Handfield  John, what do you see as being, in your world, the big challenges for Lenovo as you look at global procurement in the areas that you work in?

Zapko  Without question, attracting talent, bringing it on board, being able to hire this talent and especially retaining talent around the world in some of our most important positions, not only at senior management levels, but also commodity management and people that focus on the procurement activity, driving the supplier-based management like negotiations, contracts. As we drive in this complex world, having that level of talent is really critical for us, and it is clearly the biggest challenge we have.

The importance of talent in Procurement

Handfield  How do you create talent and why is it so important in a complex world? We've been hearing a lot about global complexity and the challenges in dealing with governments, with regulations. Why is talent so important in procurement as you work these issues?

Zapko  The global complexity is becoming more and more significant for us. As we drive our growth, in emerging markets especially, and as we drive our activity into those emerging markets, we need people who really understand the procurement role, have experience in delivering professional procurement activity, and who can do that in a more complex environment in the merging market, where government regulations' specific uniqueness surrounds the contract.

New emerging suppliers and our ability to manage those emerging suppliers become key critical skills and key critical experiences that, if we don't have, we're seriously lacking. So we benefit from those greatly, and when we find those people, whether we build internally through activity and growth and development, or we hire it in, once we have it and once we're driving the advantages with it, we really have to retain it. And so that becomes the major initiative for us as we work in this complex world.

Recruiting talent – attracting the best

Handfield One of the things I think that Lenovo decided to do a few years ago was became a partner to the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC).  You've hired several of our graduates. What do you see as the role that organizations such as North Carolina State University and the SCRC play in Lenovo's search to recruit and retain the best talent?

Zapko  Beyond the corporate networking and attachment to local education, clearly the biggest thing for us has been our ability to attract both graduates and undergraduates to work with us in a variety of projects to improve the deliverables and the experiences, both from the students' perspective and from our perspective… We've learned how to bring these guys in, work with them specifically, get good deliverables out of those projects and really capitalize on that investment. And we plan to continue to do this for some time because it's really been a value for us.

Handfield What would be your advice to young people looking for a career in supply chain management at a company like Lenovo? What are the characteristics you look for?

Zapko   First, the supply chain is a very specific and important function. You've said -- and it's been proven over the years -- that the supply chain is increasingly important in the capabilities and the advancement of global organizations especially, like Lenovo. We've done some of the same things internally, because we've raised the level of the supply chain in our company.

My advice to young talent is state your interest. Come into it as a business proposition, whether the young people land in procurement or logistics, or supply management or planning, supply chain is big and broad. From a business perspective, it has many challenges.  People can find their way to a career of their liking.

From a procurement perspective, I always coach my new hires to think of it as your business management. You're delivering the procurement responsibilities and the procurement professionalism. But if you're not focused on delivering the spend management, finding your supplier base, and operating in a professional way, you are likely to become a procurement professional who takes other roles within the business, within the supply chain, and within the corporate structure.

Video of interview

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER (AUTHOR)

RWW_242 Rob Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University, and Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (http://scm.ncsu.edu). He received his PhD in Operations Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BSc in Applied Math from the University of British Columbia.

Handfield is the author of several books on supply chain management, and has published many scholarly articles on the subject.  He is considered a thought leader in the field of strategic sourcing, supply market intelligence, and supplier relationship management.  He has spoken on these subjects across the globe, including China, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Latin America, Europe, Korea, Japan, Canada, and other venues.

BE SURE TO VISIT ROB at his blog Rob's Supply Chain View from the field where you are sure to enjoy his series of articles with personal observations.  Interesting!  Candid!  Insightful!  He welcomes comments.

TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR, please email your question to info@iaccm.com or connect using the IACCM Member Search (login required).

 
 
 

Related Discussions

Please sign in or register to post on this forum

PRS for Music
2019-06-13 09:28:40

Customer survey

Hi, my colleagues and I are putting together a survey for our stakeholders and suppliers. the Objective is to gauge the standard of service and engagement and identify...
 
 
Replies: 1

Mobily
2019-06-13 06:49:19

Procurement and Purchasing

Hi all, Can we have a clear explanation for the differences between the terms of Procurement and Purchasing, and also the right position of the Supply Chain, is it a p...
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 4
Anonymous
2018-01-24 05:57:07

On boarding of vendors for As a Service offering

Hi There, does anyone have a governance /framework for on boarding "as a service" vendors ? What stand outs that are different compared to the "normal&q...
 
 
 
Replies: 2

Phillips 66
2017-02-01 14:50:15

Supplier Management "best practices"

We're starting some work around Supplier Management and Performance Management and looking for any information from others around best practices you have at your compa...
 
 
 
 
Replies: 3

CM3 Consultancy Ltd
2016-09-14 13:09:01

Procurement Today and Over the Coming Decade

Interesting webinar presentation from Pat Mitchell to IACCM members on 'Procurement Today and Over the Coming Decade'. Particularly interesting on the subject of embe...
 
 

Premera Blue Cross
2015-04-01 12:59:07

Vendor Survey

When conducting a Vendor Survey, do you recommend being market specific or on all vendors that your team manages? I would like to get some ideas of what other companie...
 
 
 
Replies: 2

APM Group
2014-09-14 13:08:25

Recent UK Legal chnages

I was told recently about a change to UK Law affecting contracts and the length of time and the quantity of evidence that had to be retained as a result. Please can s...
 
 
 
 
Replies: 3

PLUSPETROL
2015-07-15 06:39:54

EPC contracts. Progressive Lump Sum / Contratos tipo EPC. Ajuste Alzado Progresivo

Hello, Do you have a contract model of EPC Progressive Lump Sum contracts you can share with me? I would really appreciate your help. Tienes un modelo de Contratos ...
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 4

PLUSPETROL
2015-01-08 07:41:29

Development of a Supply Chain Category covering Construction services

One of my objectives for this year 2015 is the launching of a Supply Chain Category which would be called "Facilities execution services" or just "Const...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 5

Jacobs
2016-06-01 14:55:31

Flowdowns from Prime Contracts

Does anyone have a "best practice" for including Prime Contract flowdowns to subconsultants? Some companies affix the entire agreement; some extract relevant...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Older entries »
Replies: 12