CPOstrategy catches up with Sam de Frates, who has been leading procurement transformation at Mars, Incorporated to discover how one of the world’s largest enterprises has put people at the heart of its plans…
Talk of technological change and digital transfor-mations often excludes the most vital tools in delivering meaningful value within an enterprise: the people. Because new tools, processes and capabilities only truly maximise their value if they are shaped by the very people that require their services. The adoption of technology without the human touch can be an expensive opportunity missed.
Mars, Incorporated is a global, family-owned business experiencing significant growth. A $45bn business comprised of a diverse and expanding portfolio of quality petcare, confectionery, food products and veterinary services delight and support millions of people and pets across the globe. And like any enterprise, large or small, in these somewhat unpredictable times, Mars needs to be technologically agile and nimble to survive and thrive.
Sam de Frates has recently taken on the role of Vice President, Commercial – Europe, CIS & Turkey at Mars, and has spent the last four years leading Mars’ procurement (known at Mars as Commercial) transformation organisation. An experienced procurement leader who has worked at some of the largest companies on earth, de Frates joins us for a chat from his London office to discuss how digital procurement at Mars has evolved under his guidance, whilst the company undergoes cross functional changes at scale – a hugely significant transformation with Mars Associates and its suppliers at its heart. “If my career has taught me anything, it’s the people that are part of your journey – and the network you nourish along the way – that are invaluable.”