Two years ago, Grace Puma arrived at United Airlines with a major objective: She was responsible for transforming the sourcing organization into a strategic function. Puma, who is the senior vice president of strategic sourcing and chief procurement officer at United, came to the position with more than 20 years of experience leading global strategic sourcing organizations for companies such as Kraft Foods, Motorola and Gillette. Because a major airline requires a variety of sourced products and services, she saw an opportunity to implement a standard sourcing process companywide through category management teams focused on driving the lowest total cost of ownership.
How did Puma organize this transformation and continue to see savings results, even during the ongoing economic pinch of the past few years? The answer: alignment with strategic suppliers through collaborative development of the relationship.
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