PULSE: IAOP Insights from CEO Debi Hamill

IAOP Insights from CEO Debi Hamill


Atul Vashistha, Neo Group Chairman and Chair of IAOP’s Strategic Advisory Board, recently spoke to IAOP CEO Debi Hamill about the latest happenings at IAOP for the Sourcing.Guru thought leadership podcast series.

Here are some highlights from Hamill:  


IAOP became an association in 2005 and since then has been focused on bringing together buyers, providers, advisors and academics as the four legs of the stool. We have focused on bringing education, connections and professionalism to the industry. We developed the Certified Outsourcing Professional program (see related story), hold events and offer other programs and services to deliver as much value to our members and connect them to the resources they need to do their jobs now and in the future.

IAOP has always been made up of the members, for the members. Our members are thought leaders and experts in the field. Being able to connect a buyer with a potential partner or someone looking for information on governing with multi partners in an online environment is valuable. We are bringing professionals together now in an online network, and developing resources with our members for our members. It’s all about connection and collaboration.

On Automation and Digital Technologies

With the help of our strategic advisory board, we are focusing our efforts on the areas where our members are concentrating their business efforts and investing. The idea of Centers of Excellence (CoEs) became critical. The digital technologies CoE is very much focused on automation and we created a partnership with Cognitive World and their think tank and have held Webinars. We need to stay on top of the new technologies and embrace AI and automation. But we have to do it right, be ethical (see related story on the Culture of Responsible AI) and understand it. I want to be sure our focus is on education because without that we’re not able to see beyond what’s right in front of us now. We plan to grow our CoEs. Members want real-time information so we are constantly updating information so it’s all fresh. We also want to give members opportunities to provide their insights.

On Impact Sourcing

IAOP got involved with impact sourcing when we were contacted by the Rockefeller Foundation when launching their Digital Jobs Africa initiative. Over the years, I have found so much that draws me and others to this area. Young people coming out of college want to work for companies that make an impact. Our Global Impact Sourcing Award (GISA) with the Rockefeller Foundation is now in its fourth year. We developed the Center of Social Impact, which we will be expanding to include diversity in the supply chain and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG). These are areas buyers will be adding to their RFPs. This is the wave of the future. We need education and to understand why it’s important so we can work together to “do well by doing good.”

On Career Resources:

So many of our members have been with IAOP since the beginning and I rely on them for advice and counsel. I don’t know what I would do without our Strategic Advisory Board. That’s where the rubber meets the road. These executives, who are experts in the field, can tell me what the next thing coming is so we are on the forefront of it. That’s really critical. Whatever career you are in, find someone who really knows it and has been doing it for a long time to let them mentor you so you really have a fresh perspective on what the industry looks like.

On advice for young professionals:

First and foremost, get involved with associations like IAOP where you can tap the resources. Our members want to help. One of the reasons we developed the Centers of Excellence is so we can provide that kind of one-on-one connection. Our members are willing to give so much of their knowledge and time. It’s all about connection – find the people, get on LinkedIn, reach out. There’s nothing like having connections for knowledge and support. And get involved!  

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