Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity Director
There are probably more people that I met at this event that I stay in touch throughout the year than any other even that I’ve been involved with over the course of my career.Jamie Crump, Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity Director, United Rentals
Jamie’s ProcureCon Story At a Glance
- First year at ProcureCon: 2008
- How she has participated: Attendee, speaker, & advisory board member
- ProcureCon highlight: Attended ProcureCon’s first ever Women in Procurement Breakfast, during which she formed lasting bonds with some of procurements top female practitioners
- Why she comes to ProcureCon: For the relationships – it’s a unique source of one-to-one networking that has made her lasting connections
Guiding the Conference and Finding Her Niche: Jamie Crump’s ProcureCon Story
Forging the Best Connections
For me, the biggest benefit of ProcureCon has always been the intimate networking opportunities and quality of connections I have made at the event. The way ProcureCon is set up, you actually get to know people. There are probably more people that I met at this event that I stay in touch throughout the year than any other even that I’ve been involved with over the course of my career. I also helps that I have been involved as a speaker, which not only helps keep my skills sharp, but also gives me another great way to meet people.
This is true for my team, as well, since I encourage them to get involved with the event. My team is participating in different ways, and I think it’s a great source of development for them, but it also allows them to meet a lot of people who are at the career level they're aspiring to. That way, they get to see how that looks in different companies, how much we’re alike and how much we’re different. I think that’s great development.
The quality of interactions extends to the solutions providers, too. We do find that the suppliers and solutions providers here seem to have more of a message, more of a direction. For the most part, they're reaching out on a much more individual basis, which I think reflects their level of knowledge and experience.
Even as ProcureCon has grown, you're still talking to people one on one, you're still having those conversations during the break time, you're still using all of the day to pull people together and allow them to exchange ideas. That’s been key for me.
Training My Team at ProcureCon
In addition to the networking opportunities, ProcureCon has been an extremely helpful training tool. In our business, there are four areas we ask our employees to focus on for training and development. The first is each employee’s specific categories, so they need to stay up on whatever categories they are involved in and, in some cases, get additional education. The second area we have them focus on is sourcing mechanics. Third, they need to know and understand what our company does and how we operate internally, even in those areas outside of their own day-to-day. And finally the last area is general management experience. ProcureCon is one of the few places I have found that gives them three out of the four, which is great, especially in such an intensive environment.
Finding My Niche: The First Ever Women in Procurement Breakfast and My Time on the Advisory Board
ProcureCon has been such a positive experience for me, I have gotten involved in a number of different ways. In addition to being an attendee and speaker, I am a member of the conference’s advisory board, helping to develop and refine the event’s content so that it is ultra-relevant to procurement practitioners. As an advisory board, we have a tremendous relationship with the ProcureCon team, who are so dedicated to putting together a quality event that they spend all the time and resources necessary to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. In fact, while we on the advisory board bring our knowledge and experience to the table, the ProcureCon team also challenges us. They read, they study, they stay up on key trends, and this is not just a party that they're throwing a few times a year. The ProcureCon team has actually become a legitimate group of sourcing professionals in their own right.
One of my favorite ProcureCon moments was the first Women in Procurement Breakfast, because it was such a great group of women. Ginny Tucker ran that breakfast, and after we spent some time together at the breakfast, she and I actually ended up being very good friends. She is also something of a mentor to me.