CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned energy utility providing both natural gas and electric service. CPS Energy serves more than 786,000 electric customers and 339,000 natural gas customers in and around San Antonio, the nation’s seventh largest city. As part of a company-wide improvement initiative, ISM Services was engaged to develop and deliver a comprehensive procurement excellence program to create a more-professional and value-generating procurement organization.
The procurement excellence program was coordinated by CPS Energy’s Supply Chain Process Manager Larry Macias, who collaborated with ISM Services to deliver onsite training to more than 30 professionals as well as 17 virtual learning sessions to reinforce and further the learning begun onsite. Key topics of focus for the training included managing categories, cost and price, stakeholders and risk. Negotiation skills were of primary importance too, and ISM Services’ role play exercises helped the procurement professionals to practice what they learned during the workshop. In addition, ISM Services designed and delivered executive virtual learning sessions to ensure that management was familiar with the key tools and techniques that the procurement group would now employ.
Cost savings plans emanating from the workshops produced significant incremental savings – as much as 10% for some categories. Macias states, “ISM Services’ delivered a complete program to all of our staff that got us all aligned around the terminology, tools and methods needed to be more successful, both individually and as an organization. The virtual learning follow-up sessions were a great way to continue the process of gaining greater skills in supply management.”