Greenfield Show Value Beyond Savings

132: Building a Procurement Function from the Ground Up, w/ Dave Quillin

Joining me on the show today is Dave Quillin, the manager of procurement for Alliant Credit Union, the seventh largest credit union in the United States.

Dave has specialized in technology procurement with organizations such as Orbitz and Groupon before taking on a new opportunity at Alliant to build a procurement and vendor management office from the ground up.

In today’s Art of Procurement, Dave shares his journey at Alliant.  What I really like is that Dave built his organization by first listening to the needs of the business, and by focusing more broadly on value rather than cost savings alone.

Dave shares the importance of balancing process with agility, particularly in regulated industries such as financial services, along with lessons learned along the way.

For his work at Alliant, Dave was recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as a member of their 2017 Pros to Know.

“We really had to bring everyone along with us, this wasn’t done in a silo. So when I got here, it was very clear that the importance of buy-in to make this successful. When I started, I immediately went on a listening tour of all the departments within the organization and understanding, how do you buy things now? How do you negotiate contracts today? Here’s how I can help”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What Dave learned from an early career in sales that he applied, and continues to apply, to procurement.
  • The differences in working for a tech company such as Groupon and a regulated financial institution.
  • Why Alliant decided to undertake a journey to build a procurement and vendor management program.
  • The importance of buy-in.
  • Pushbacks that Dave received, and how he worked to influence others to the value of strategic procurement.
  • The difficulty and Dave’s approach to balancing agility with the compliance and process necessary in a regulated organization.
  • Why Dave believes all procurement professionals need to make themselves, and their organizations, “non-outsourceable”
  • Tips for procurement professionals considering a move to an organization where they will be the first or second resource, charged with building a function from scratch.

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.