“SPM offers the opportunity to meet, to learn alongside and from your peers, and from a faculty that is renown both in Sweden and abroad.”
At high-performance organizations, procurement has evolved from a support function to a business unit with the highest returns and the lowest risk. Procurement is an incredibly important part of the company whose role can grow from merely “operational function” to one that fosters a more strategic business. To support procurement professionals in that endeavor, SSE Executive Education offers a program in the field of procurement; the Strategic Procurement Management Program (SPM).
For the program, we work closely with our partner companies—Boliden, Telia Company, Vattenfall, Stora Enso, Saab, Sandvik, and Scania. The participating companies share a common interest in long-term, close exchanges of experience and networking with other companies and organizations.
“The overall goal of SPM is to develop the strategic skills of experienced procurement professionals by providing them with knowledge, new perspectives, and tools to help them navigate today’s challenges,” says Maria J. Bustamante. “The program will incorporate insights into the critical issues for procurement and supply networks, including sustainability, strategy alignment, and digitalization. Additionally, we will examine how the supply chain and procurement functions have been influenced in recent years by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict and incorporate insights around risks and future needs in procurement and the role of leadership and change management.”
A unique opportunity to learn from your peers and other companies
Through close cooperation among participants and senior managers from partner companies, the program serves as a forum for dialog and for the development of the companies’ procurement operations.
“We work closely with the members of our steering committee to design a program with the content and tools they believe will benefit their companies and the procurement area more generally in both the short and long term,” says Bustamante. “Each participant also works on a live project throughout the entire program, which is a current procurement challenge the companies are facing.”
The Procurement Management Program is meant for procurement executives who are looking to elevate their skills and increase their strategic impact within their organizations.
“SPM offers the opportunity to meet, to learn alongside and from your peers, and from a faculty that is renown both in Sweden and abroad. It encourages participants to expand their frame of reference and to strengthen not only their analytical skills but also their confidence in communicating and driving needed changes they find within their own organizations.”
Can you mention something important that you think the program gives managers and leaders?
“There is big value for participants that comes not just from the structure of the program, but from the fact that they take this journey with their peers. It’s really an investment in their professional development and a unique opportunity to take the time to reflect on and reframe current challenges and skills—something that is hard to do within the day-to-day pressures of a job.”
Maria, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
“After completing my bachelor’s degree in the US, I’ve spent the last 18 years gathering a breadth of experience from both industry and academia. I spent eight years in New York working with a number of stakeholders, including start-ups, regional economic development agencies, multi-nationals, and governments to help build and promote communities throughout the US and Latin America for investment and talent attraction. After moving to Stockholm, I completed my Masters in General Management at the Stockholm School of Economics. I then returned to industry to work with strategic questions around digitalization in a media company before returning to SSE as a PhD candidate, where my research focuses on digitalization within the food and agriculture sector.”
What do you hope to contribute to the participants?
“I’m a true generalist and love to connect the dots between what appear on the surface to be unrelated areas. I am really looking forward to being the program director for SPM, where a large part of my role will be to facilitate a stimulating learning environment and help guide the participants with their projects along the way, using the insights I’ve gained from academia and practice.”