Sourcing Academy – Building competencies for tomorrow

Clouds in the sky
Hannele Lammi
Sourcing Development Manager
Published: Jan 2, 2018
Working at Vaisala

Sourcing Academy is a training program for Sourcing employees, aimed to provide them with opportunities for development and create versatile competencies to help the team reach its strategic targets. The focus is on long-term development and to step-up the team’s capabilities to respond to the requirements of their new roles.

Sourcing Academy was established when Vaisala’s Sourcing & Supply Chain Management team renewed its strategy in 2015. Since then, it became apparent that to meet the heightened expectations as a strategic resource, the team needs to develop new competences and expertise.

One of my strategic targets as a Sourcing Development Manager, was to support the implementation of the new strategy and with that, kick-start the team’s competence development. We had to come up with a new way for how we will meet the new expectations arising from our Sourcing strategy. We decided that a formal training program for the whole team would be the best approach and thus, Sourcing Academy was born.

Sourcing Academy is a major undertaking from a personnel development perspective. We aim to bring the whole team to the same level and increase everyone’s knowledge of common themes, such as sustainability in the supply chain, early supplier involvement, financial analysis, and leadership.

The program has been an astounding success, with great feedback from our team.

The participants Ying Hovanec, Strategic Sourcing Manager in the Boulder Office, and Larissa Pietikäinen, Strategic Sourcing Manager in Helsinki, both agree. “Sourcing Academy provides skills that are useful overall and you can see people picking up on those skills in practice. The trainings boost inspiration within the whole team, not just between the few people you work with on a daily basis,” describes Ying.

Most of the trainings are held in Sourcing Days that are organized a few times a year in sets of 4–5 days. In Sourcing Days, both internal trainers and external coaches organize workshops and engaging lectures. Sourcing Days create value for the participants – personally, team-wise and professionally.

“The people are what makes a company thrive and it is crucial to invest in them, affording them opportunities to grow,” says Tuukka Farin, Head of Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Development

Larissa enjoys the open atmosphere as well as the benefits that the accumulated skills have for personal communication. “It is about making friends, adding a personal aspect to business relationships. Overall, the trainings are great, as you cannot easily find these kinds on of opportunities for self-development,” praises Larissa.

Whole Sourcing has taken steps forward, with better KPIs and employee well-being, backed up by Human Resources. “Sourcing Academy has been a huge investment in people’s capabilities, which also benefits Vaisala as a whole. According to employee survey results, we can say that the Academy has had a big impact. I have received great feedback both from the participants themselves as well as their stakeholders,” tells Siru Turtiainen, Human Resources Manager.

Sourcing Academy will continue in Vaisala, but with a lighter approach. In 2018, there will be two rounds of Sourcing Days, discussing such important themes as innovating with suppliers, supply market intelligence as well as total cost management and leadership.

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