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How to Build Collaborative Partnerships for Midmarket Supply Chains with Sarah Scudder

Ninaad Acharya, Dan Coll, Sarah Scudder

Episode Description

For this episode of the eCom Logistics Podcast, we welcome Sarah Scudder, Chief Marketing Officer of SourceDay and host of the What the Duck podcast. Today, Sarah digs into building partnerships between suppliers and procurement organizations.

She discusses how the sheer volume of orders makes first-mile critical in the operations of manufacturers and the role of technology in automating manual processes. Sarah also gives actionable tips on how to build partnerships, from hiring the right talent to making it easy for suppliers to work with procurement to reevaluating payment terms to become more attractive as a partner.

Sarah also talks about how midmarket companies and suppliers can utilize a tech stack to reduce risk. By utilizing niche software, the back and forth that happens with line item changes can be tracked to avoid supplier misses. Finally, Sarah gives advice to brands with seasonal products and how they can plan for 2023 and beyond.


Sarah Scudder is a self-proclaimed manufacturing supply chain nerd. She is a sustainability nut and loves all things Bradley Cooper. In fact, she has been trying to get a dinner date with him for over two years. The struggle is real. She is good at loading the dishwasher but can’t keep potted plants alive. Green is her favorite color.

Sarah hosts the direct materials podcast What the Duck?! and a monthly Voice of Supply Chain show that features people in supply chain doing extraordinary things. She also hosts monthly Manufacturing Woes and Women In ERP shows and enjoys speaking about marketing and supply chain-related topics.

Follow her hashtags #ManufacturingMaven and #WomenInERP to get daily manufacturing and direct materials supply chain news.


  • 02:48 Sarah’s journey from student leader to CMO
  • 10:04 Midmarket companies: Avoid costly mistakes by automating manual processes of first-mile delivery
  • 19:52 Become a partner and build collaborative working relationships
  • 27:36 A single solution will not address every PO problem; use niche tools
  • 36:29 Brands must assess their supplier base in 2023


26:31 Price should no longer be a top consideration in selecting suppliers – Sarah: “The days of trying to save a penny here and then on price are, just in my opinion, gone. And if I were running a procurement organization, I don’t even think costs would be in my top three focus areas. Now, of course, do you need to make sure that what you’re buying is market competitive? Absolutely. But I think there are many more priorities than looking at price. And one of the main ones is supply. And if you can’t get supply, no matter how much it costs, it does you no good because you’re not gonna have anything to manufacture.”

30:54 Use niche tools to prevent supplier misses – Sarah: “When a company is issuing a purchase order, 52% of the time, our research has shown from the usage of our platform that line items change. So if I’m issuing a purchase order with a hundred line items, we’re saying that on average, 52 of those hundred line items are going to have have changes, and that means then, significant back and forth via email and spreadsheet with your supplier, and then we go back to that risk.”

37:55 Brands with seasonal products must assess their supplier base – Sarah: “One of the most important things you can do to prepare is one, do a full assessment of your supplier base. Who are your suppliers? What is their availability? What sort of relationship do you have with those suppliers? Anything that’s questionable or a red flag, I would go immediately start sourcing alternative suppliers to make sure you can have supply.”

Find out more about Sarah in the links below:

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How to Reimagine the Future of Supply Chain
by Ninaad Acharya, Dan Coll and Shekar Natarajan
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