Case Study How To Transformation Journey

125: How the American Cancer Society Elevated the Role of Procurement, w/ Brian Kyle

How does the role of procurement differ in a mission driven organization? Today on the Art of Procurement, I explore how procurement can help save lives with Brian Kyle, Managing Director of Strategic Sourcing and Contract Management at the American Cancer Society.

Kyle shares his experiences of moving from a profit-driven to mission-driven organization, and the journey that American Cancer Society has taken to elevate the role of procurement from a sourcing to category management led organization – at zero incremental cost.


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“Our people are dedicated to ending cancer as a major health problem. We translate our savings back into life-saving research, outreach efforts and other programs. Companies driven by quarterly results focus on short term projects, whereas we take a long term approach to creating value.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Brian was able to pursue an international career, and some of the tips he gives for listeners interesting in working abroad.
  • The mission of the American Cancer Society
  • Differences of working in a mission-driven organization vs a for-profit company.
  • If suppliers approach negotiations differently with a mission-driven organization.
  • Why the American Cancer Society decided to invest in Supply Chain and Procurement.
  • Brian’s journey to elevate Procurement from one that processed RFP’s to a category management led group, at zero incremental cost.
  • Key decision points and lessons learned along the journey.
  • Considerations if you are thinking about making the move from a for-profit to mission-driven organization.

Links and Resources:

About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.