Dentsu Aegis Network August 2019

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Procurement transformation at Dentsu Aegis


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+ Procurement goes global at Dentsu Aegis Network WRITTEN BY

DAN BRIGHTMORE PRODUCED BY

DENITRA PRICE


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DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

Dentsu Aegis Network is tackling the need for a centralized procurement function to meet the demands of a strategy targeting growth through acquisition

T

he Dentsu Aegis Network is the first global marketing services group built for the digital economy; designed around the

needs of its customers with the goal of driving sustainable business growth for their brands and business. Growth through acquisitions (such as Merkle), aligned with organic development, is key to the company’s own strategy. To keep pace with that growth it became essential for Dentsu Aegis to create a centralized procurement team in each of its regions of operation. Sabrina Traskos, Senior Vice President, Procurement, heads up the organization’s American Procurement Team. “My team is responsible for the entire spectrum of procurement activities, from strategic sourcing all the way through to issuing POs and ensuring invoices are correct; as well as looking after real estate and facilities on a day to day basis,” she says. “The focus of what we’re doing is supporting the entire network throughout the procurement lifecycle.” The challenge for Traskos and her team is to build out a centralized function while assisting the brands across the Dentsu Aegis Network with their


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DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

E X ECU T I VE P RO FI LE

Sabrina Traskos, Senior Vice President, Procurement Traskos is a proven team leader with extensive international experience in contract negotiations, strategic partnerships, OEM and licensing deals. Her procurement and project management responsibilities deliver a significant impact to a company’s bottom line. As a former Senior Director at GPO Broadlane she managed strategic sourcing on behalf of healthcare providers... “Learning how to talk about requirements in an unbiased way and gain consensus and buy-in from the different organizations was a great experience which prepared me for working with 32 different brands across the Dentsu Aegis network.” At Dentsu Aegis she manages the integration of new tech initiatives, adding value and efficiencies to its supply chain management while pushing forward with the firm’s sustainability goals.


“ Cisco is helping us move the employee base into as few facilities as possible” — Sabrina Traskos, Senior Vice President, Procurement, Dentsu Aegis Network

procurement transformation. “We have

improving efficiency. “We aim to give

32 business units in the United States

people a say in the design of the pro-

so we’re getting 32 different constitu-

cesses and choosing the vendors,”

encies on board with our Source-to-

pledges Traskos. “After all, they’re

Pay process,” explains Traskos. “For

the subject matter experts who know

some of them, it’s the first time they’re

what they need best.” The next step to

doing a purchase order, so a solid com-

tackle is integrating the right technol-

munications plan is an absolute neces-

ogy. “When we win a new client, we

sity for us. It doesn’t stop when we sign

often have to get up and running very

the contract with the supplier and get

quickly. Procurement needs to sup-

them loaded into the Source-to-Pay

port whatever they need – it could be

system. We have to make sure all of the

research, technology or recruiting, for

relevant stakeholders know who our

example – with very quick turnaround,”

suppliers are, what the process is and

explains Traskos. “But this can lead to

what the transition plan is to switch to

wildly different approaches across the

newly selected suppliers.”

network which could present a data

Consensus building is integral to

integrity issue. Procurement has a w w w.de ntsua e gi sne t wor k. com


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central role in harmonizing the process

To support positive disruption, what

and making sure the purchasing data

innovations is Dentsu Aegis embrac-

stays consistent.”

ing on its procurement transformation

The pathway to the successful

quest? Traskos is excited about the ad-

integration of new brands into Dentsu

vent of Source-to-Pay across Dentsu

Aegis’ processes is aided by a govern-

Aegis Network. “Previously, it’s been a

ance structure. “Steering committees

bit of a journey just to get aggregated

are at the heart of this,” says Traskos.

spend or figure out how much we

“We have representatives from each of

spend in a particular category or with

the business units and we meet regu-

different suppliers. Source-to-Pay’s

larly to discuss procurement projects,

spend analytics is going to help the

potential savings and to analyze any

team leapfrog to another level where

disruptive technologies.” She believes

we can provide our internal clients with

it’s vital to build a community approach

recommendations and opportunities

to change while providing the opportu-

to save, build partnerships where ap-

nity to learn from your peers.

propriate, and really improve overall

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT AT DENTSU US’ w w w.de ntsua e gi sne t wor k. com


DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

vendor management and relationships.” She believes building an ecosystem will improve user experience and bring through more initiatives to enhance efficiencies and savings. Currently, Dentsu Aegis is keenly focused on the benefits of automation. Dentsu’s Automation Team works with Catalytic and UI Path on robotics and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to aid the transition from paper to digital. “We’ve been able to achieve some significant savings in terms of reducing the amount of time staff spend on basic tasks,” says Traskos. “This enables us to shift our employees’ time to work on more strategic functions and that benefits our clients. The success of the efforts to date allow us to roll out more automation of other processes.” As Dentsu has grown through acquisition, its real estate portfolio has grown as well. Now, the company seeks to work on real estate consolidation in order to reduce the overall costs of running so many offices. For Traskos alongside Chris Bendowski, VP of Real Estate and Facilities, to achieve this without disruption, partnerships with the likes of Canon Solutions America are key. Canon, the leading camera


2013

Year founded

35,000+

Approximate number of employees

1,000 Clients

50%

Revenue driven by digital

and print solutions business, a leading imaging technology and managed services company, is providing office services to ensure robust support for the smooth running of office functions for all employees. “Canon Solutions America supports us with everything from traditional printers to reception and event services. We have about a hundred offices in the US alone, with as many as seven in some cities,” adds says Traskos. “Canon Solutions America is our essential partner in providing the staffing to support these offices with the highest level of service to the organization,” adds Chris Bendowski. “As we renovate office space and design offices more conducive to collaboration, we need network and WiFi support to create a stable and high performing environment in the workplace. Cisco solutions help us achieve that with a high level of confidence while achieving savings.” Cisco are also involved with a project to install POE (Power Over Ethernet) lighting to provide energy savings across the organization. “The beautiful thing about POE is the ability to collect data from all your devices and look at room utilization, who is using the room w w w.de ntsua e gi sne t wor k. com


DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

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and the capabilities that come along

us streamline processes and become

with that. For example, you can adjust

more cost efficient.”

the temperature of a conference suite

Sustainable procurement is a top

according to the number of occupants.

priority for Dentsu Aegis Network in

Big Data is helping us drive efficiencies

2019 and beyond. “We’re getting the

here, and offer a customized experi-

message out there to make sure our

ence for our employees.”

suppliers understand how important

Looking at trends across the pro-

it is,” confirms Traskos. “Source-to-Pay

curement panorama, Traskos is en-

can help us set up the initial relation-

thused by the way data accessible via

ship. From the initial RFP, a supplier will

user friendly dashboards is enabling

see Dentsu’s statement on sustainable

category managers like Sultan Bajwa

procurement, they see how much of

to make quick decisions on her team,

the scoring is based on them having

both on wa tactical and strategic

a verifiable sustainable procurement

basis. “All of the data provided via IoT

program within their organization, and

sensors can lead us towards greater

how they should align with the UN

savings. For example, the ability to look

SDGs (United Nations Sustainable De-

at energy consumption by floor helps

velopment Goals). Once they become w w w.de ntsua e gi sne t wor k. com

13


DENTSU AEGIS NETWORK

“ Source-to-Pay’s spend analytics is going to help the team leapfrog to another level where we can provide our internal client base with recommendations and opportunities to save” — Sabrina Traskos, Senior Vice President, Procurement, Dentsu Aegis Network

a supplier, we communicate on how our

goals. “Our center of excellence, led by

sustainability program is progressing,

Alex Love, pays really close attention

and more specifics on what we require

to savings and trying to help different

within the various categories. The com-

business units achieve their objectives,”

munication must occur on a regular

she maintains. “Source-to-Pay will pro-

basis to build a community in tune with

vide a big lift for us but we don’t want

our objectives and further the SDGs.”

to underestimate the change manage-

While Traskos notes that all procurement organizations are focused on

ment that’s involved.” Allied to its financial and sustain-

savings targets, continuous monitoring

ability goals for procurement, Traskos

via data now allows for a more nuanced

is keen to encourage communication

approach able to identify areas for ac-

across the business around reducing

celeration to meet the organization’s

its carbon footprint. “For travel and ex-


penses, how do we partner with IT so

around it. Not just for within Dentsu

that we can leverage Microsoft Teams

but within the procurement communi-

to its full potential? What else can we

ty at large, because everybody should

do to partner with different airlines and

be working towards making the world

reduce our carbon footprint? What can

a better place for the future.�

we do with S2P in terms of making sure that the SDGs are being pushed out to our different supplier partners? Not only are we making it 15% of our scoring, to determine who to partner with and who has made this a priority, but we’re trying to make this more visible by building a communication strategy w w w.de ntsua e gi sne t wor k. com


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