The 2020 Programme

To achieve our manifesto we need to continue driving through a programme of industry change. Our overarching theme for 2020 is centered around: the best performing companies have a recognised strategic sourcing function and that is supported by a number of critical workstreams.

We see the Strategic Sourcing Function of the future as not just delivering cost reduction but a true lever for Value Creation. We see a future where Strategic Partnerships are formed of highly blended ecosystems rather than the mega-deals of the past.

GSA’s programme of work is focused on helping our buy-side members understand the virtues of and how to transition towards a strategic sourcing function, whilst helping our supply-side members understand how they need to adapt and change to deliver to buyers’ ever changing requirements as ServiceProvider2.0 takes off.

The Strategic Sourcing Function. Ultimately, by the end of 2020 we will have the results of our hypothesis: The best performing companies have a strategic sourcing function. To support this research we will provide detailed information on the make-up of the strategic sourcing function and guidance on how to transition buy-side businesses from the old school siloed approach to having a sourcing function that transcends the business, finance, IT, operations and procurement, with a focus on driving value through partnering, rather than merely cutting costs. We will also continue our work on what the industry and organisations within it need to do to attract and upskill talent across the breadth of strategic sourcing.

This programme of work is supported by a number of important workstreams, in addition to the GSA’s standard activities.

Sourcing eco-system

The GSA is committed to bringing highly innovative and dynamic players into the sourcing eco-system for the entirety of our membership base to partner with. We will do this through the launch of the GSA Start-Up Forum. We have developed a highly compelling offering for the start-up / SME community which wish to sell their services in to mid-size and enterprise buyers. This is comprised of:

  • GSA Partner Platform An easy to navigate platform, like, but for the service provider community, which will enable companies to build a long list of potential partners that meet their criteria, but flavoured with freely available reviews on what customers think of their service capabilities. Great for buyers to use, and a fabulous platform to promote service providers’ profiles and capabilities. This replaces our existing Suppliers Directory.
  • SME Industry Code of Conduct The GSA will champion alignment to its Industry Code of Conduct for working with start-ups and SMEs. This will include an expose on payment terms.
  • Contracting to include GSA Standard Terms for contracts and full templates/toolkit as well as access to the GSA’s Legal Helpline, delivered by DLA Piper.
  • Sourcing Series – a series of events focused on coaching start-ups in how to engage and partner with enterprise clients

Talent and Wellness

Talent is the number one issue in sourcing today – there merely are not enough strategic sourcing professionals and certainly not enough with the skills required to transcend the business to create real value-add through partnering. Sourcing has for too long been the accidental profession. The GSA is running a programme focused on attracting and upskilling talent. This includes: a programme of professional development, including training and qualifications; attracting talent through the use of industry Ambassadors; developing a framework of the competences and capabilities of the sourcing professional to identify areas for developing talent. Running in parallel is a programme to highlight the importance of managing wellness in the workforce and sharing best practices.


We are seeing the importance of sustainability charging forwards – both for buyside companies and into their selection of service providers. Buyers are selecting on softer metrics and expecting their partners to mirror their own values. This programme covers highlighting best practices in 4th party assurance; the Modern Slavery Act through to single use plastics; carbon footprints and paying the Living Wage.

Tech-enabled business service delivery

It’s all about technology-enabled business service delivery. Technology is no longer the domain of the IT department – the choice of technology needs to reside with the business. We will help sourcing professionals understand all the new technologies coming down the line and how they can introduce them in their sourcing arrangements through our SourcingTech series of events. We explore the opportunities and challenges of techs to include cloud, blockchain; AI; cyber security

Customer Experience (CX). Customer experience is central to the future of all organisations. We will be publishing a best practice guide and seminars on how to deliver the ultimate in CX.

Enterprise Wide Automation. We know automation works, bxut believe it is not delivering to its full potential. The GSA will provide guidance on moving to an automate first approach which we believe is the future of sourcing and will promote the possibilities of, and route to, enterprise-wide automation. Expect to see a move away from the use of the term “robotic” and imagery of robots, which we believe is holding the industry back.


Contracts do not need to be 100+ pages in length. In fact we believe that circa 80% of a contract could be industry standard and therefore, by spring of this year members will be able to use GSA standard terms, which is a short-page contract distilling the main elements required in a sourcing contract, clearly offering members a significant saving in both time and money as well as offering peace of mind.

In addition, the GSA Legal Helpline, fulfilled by legal experts at DLA Piper, offers free advice to members on a broad range of sourcing-related legal issues and is a great sounding-board for testing new legal ideas. Our members have already seen great value from this service. There is no limit to the number of 20-minute calls you place - delivering clear value for your annual subscription fee.

Inclusion and Diversity

Our work here covers everything from highlighting gender pay gaps across our membership base and gender equality, women in sourcing, mentoring programmes, through to sharing best practices for building community groups across subjects to include: fertility; menopause; GLBTQ, etc etc

These are all in addition to the traditional services provided by the GSA.

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