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Procurement’s time is now.

27 September, 2022 | By DPW

Amanda Davies is the Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars Wrigley and a member of the Mars Wrigley Global Executive Team. In her role, Amanda is responsible for ensuring supply chain resiliency, unlocking value for the business, and supplier enabled innovation.

Interview with Amanda Davies, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, Mars Wrigley

Uncertainty may be omnipresent, but across in Chicago, Amanda Davies, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer Mars Wrigley, believes that one thing remains fundamentally clear – the next generation of procurement leaders hold the future of the function squarely in their hands.  

As one of the most respected procurement practitioners out there, her words will carry considerable weight. Speaking from her office in Chicago, she is no doubt that despite the manifest challenges facing procurement organisations all over the world, this is also a time of opportunity.  

And it’s one that must be grasped.  

“I talk about the confidence that you have in your capabilities,” she says. “You know the capabilities of our supply chain to the business and if you feel confident you can lead that, you can be an amazing co-pilot alongside any business leader who needs to be supported.” 

It is, Davies consistently tells her team, a matter of choice.  

“As you walk into the cockpit of the business, you can walk in as the co-pilot and say, look, I’ve got confidence, I’ve got the ability and I can help drive us to where we need to be,” she says.  

“Or you can walk into that cockpit as cabin crew and ask if anyone wants a cup of coffee? That’s a choice you can make as you walk into the room. If you walk in and act as though you’re here to serve, I’m here to make you feel safe and say “tell me what you want me to do” then you’ll be treated in that way.  

As you walk into the cockpit of the business, you can walk in as the co-pilot and say, look, I’ve got confidence, I’ve got the ability and I can help drive us to where we need to be.

Amanda Davies, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, Mars Wrigley

“If you walk in with the confidence of a co-pilot that says I’ve got some ideas, I can see a destination, and I’m capable of helping us to get there then you’ll be given the seat and you’ll be given the flight controls. That’s the analogy I use with my team.” 

It’s a great message at a time when the onus is increasingly on procurement to deliver – a theme that will no doubt be brought to the fore during our Amsterdam event, which will bring some of the brightest minds in procurement together.  

It could be easy for procurement to reach for short-term solutions, to the detriment of the function and the function’s reputation within the business. Davies, however, believes the economic headwinds battering companies, big and small, in countries around the world provide the perfect platform for procurement to illustrate just what it’s capable of.  

You know, this is a really difficult time. It’s also a unique time to be in procurement,” she says. “You’ve got inflation, you’ve got supply chain security issues – everything geopolitical is hitting us.  

“When that happens, you can look at it as being really challenging, or you can say ‘wow, what an opportunity to be in the function at a time like this’. For me, the time is now because it has never been so exciting to be involved in procurement.” 

There’s so much on procurement’s plate at the current time, that breaking down the issues facing it is an almost task. That said, there are some overarching tasks that need to be tackled, and three strategic imperatives occupying the mind of Davies and her team at Mars.  

“If you had to distill these challenges into three distinct areas, then it’s really about supply chain resiliency, anticipating and managing inflation and how that impacts the business, so you don’t just know the cost in but also know how to help maintain profitability,” she says.  

“Thirdly, would be making sure that we absolutely keep the focus on driving the sustainability side for the next generation when there are short-term challenges to manage.”  

There will be no shrugging of shoulders in Chicago. No refusal to meet these challenges head-on.  

Davies wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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