A Day in the Life: Deb Beavin, Chief Procurement Officer, Corporate Procurement, Humana Inc.
As Humana’s Chief Procurement Officer, I have the opportunity to work side-by-side with a great many amazing people involved in engaging outside companies to serve Humana’s needs and further our dream of helping people achieve lifelong well-being. While at times it feels like we are “drinking from a fire hose,” the opportunity to make a difference and play an important part in the work of the enterprise is endlessly inspiring. This is especially true when considering Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the ever-increasing importance of our supplier partnerships.
In the spirit of partnership and learning, we just completed a Supplier Sustainability Survey and are combing through the results and recommendations to better inform our collective CSR path forward. The goal has been to understand and build off of the CSR goals and objectives of our suppliers. We believe that through alignment we can work most effectively to realize meaningful CSR improvement and, most ideally, create a “ripple effect” of positive change throughout the supply chain.
This is an important journey. With a clear commitment to our CSR platform of Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy Performance, we take this work very seriously. We also humbly approach the work believing that we have a great deal to learn and, if managed well, an excellent opportunity to introduce lasting change. Similar to our great care around Supplier Diversity and Inclusion, the benefit of this effort and the results we can achieve will be far reaching.
So, what have we learned so far? About one third of our key suppliers have written CSR strategies. Of those with strategies, a majority of them have specific company-wide CSR goals, company-wide policies, and related training. A large number of them are realizing savings as a by-product of driving CSR metric improvement, most notably in the areas of Reduction and Process Redesign. The most commonly cited savings opportunity and most prevalent CSR priority is focused on energy consumption. The great news is many expressed an interest in working with Humana to partner in reducing energy usage, material usage and waste disposal.
We are working to define our next steps, establish timing, and tap the appropriate owners. Our intent is to take an elegantly simple yet impactful approach. We wish to establish a meaningful supplier-related CSR baseline of core measures and then, partnering with our business and supplier partners, make great things happen through continuous improvement. This is an exciting time!
7 a.m.: Arrive in the office. Respond to new voice messages from the previous day. Attend to my calendar and reconcile any conflicts. Address 'urgent' e-mails from the prior evening/early morning. Review open and pending tasks to plan my day. Scan the day’s news and communications. Begin reviewing contracts awaiting approval and working through email.
8 a.m. Attend a Procurement and IT status meeting to share highlights, key concerns and determine next steps to address hot issues. We are in the middle of notable Oracle upgrade (R12) touching the full procure-to-pay process. We are also nearing our launch date for Contract Logix, a contract management system; we are very excited about both initiatives!
8:30 a.m. Meet with a team member for a bi-weekly catch up session. This is a great opportunity to check in one-on-one on the progression of specific initiatives, pulse the engagement of the team through individual members and personally connect.
9 a.m. Host a supplier business review. These sessions create a shared view of the full relationship— in terms of spend and goods/services being provided—while providing a forum to explore opportunities to maximize business value.
10:30 a.m. Meet with a small group of team members preparing for Green Belt Six Sigma training to talk through their project proposal. As a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, I am a big believer in sharing a common language and methodology for process improvement and design. As such, I encourage and support Six Sigma training in coordination with representatives from our Quality Engineering and Human Resources teams.
11 a.m. Review print savings over time [MS1] with Andrew Drawe, our Category Manager responsible for this spend, and Pat Brotzge, the Director of Humana’s Enterprise Print Management team. We discuss realized savings, our ability to capture the savings and related tracking. We identify process gaps, determine how best to close them, assign actions and agree on timing to regroup.
12 p.m. Walk to grab a sandwich with a couple of team members – my favorite: artichoke and tomato Panini. Yum!
1 p.m. Meet with the Medical Category Team to review key projects, talk through strategy to address challenges and identify opportunities for greater by engaging business partners across the enterprise in initiatives of common interest. Debbie Kraus, the Category Manager for this team, is leading a power group of associates engaged in a series of key initiatives around generic pharmaceuticals, clinical services and medical suppliers, to name a few areas of focus.
2 p.m. Meet with a supplier via phone to address relationship considerations tied to an engagement.
2:30 p.m. Attend a calibration and salary planning session.
4 p.m. Meet with the Supplier Diversity and CSR Team to review their top priorities, talk through any challenges, and, in this case, review the schedule of events and outreach activities.
5 p.m. Review e-mails, respond to voice messages, move a few contract matters forward, and prepare for tomorrow.
6 p.m. Head home for a great evening with my kids and husband.