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''Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” ― Hal Borland, American Author, and Journalist 

I appreciate this quote from Hal Borland. So often, we close out one year on the calendar and quickly move to the next number. Each time, we are asked to name specific accomplishments and make concrete predictions for the coming year.  

Here at WNS Denali, we can all point to specific projects that resulted in mitigated risks, generous cost-savings, and growth for our clients. Many of us can mention a strong new hire for our team. Others can talk about the successful launch of a new digital enablement tool that earned kudos from our stakeholders.  

But in today’s business world with so much that is fluid and contingent on forces outside of our control – Covid19 and its effects being the perfect example – the work is never complete. Our work is always ongoing. Moving forward successfully requires us to build upon the knowledge we’ve gained in the past to improve underlying processes, craft innovative digital solutions, and strengthen stakeholder and partner relationships to best weather future uncertainties and harness the many opportunities on the horizon. 

So, while I won’t cite specific examples of accomplishments or make definitive predictions on what’s to come, I would like to share some general thoughts – or themes – to reflect on as we close out 2021 and look ahead to 2022. 


Taking a Team First Approach is Key to Our Continued Success 
We were all forced to work remotely in 2020. While we learned and implemented strategies for maintaining team connections during this period, I don’t think any of us predicted we’d still be working remotely in 2021. While we have done the best we can, building community entirely remotely is a difficult undertaking. Many have expressed an eagerness to more regularly connect with colleagues and clients in-person as safety protocols allow. As we approach the end of the year and look ahead to 2022, I am hopeful we can start meeting in-person with team members and clients on a more regular cadence to help foster a strong, cohesive team.  

The Great Resignation, Combined with Outsized Demand for Existing Procurement Talent, Has Forced Us to Get Creative 
Our procurement people are our strength. While we are very proud of our talent and happy for them when they take on new opportunities, we are equally working harder to create new pools of talent. We do this by taking a fresh approach to eliminate some of the constraints that existed pre-covid such as location. The same story is playing out with our clients and partners. There is a musical chairs-type shifting happening in not only our industry, but in many industries around the world. At the same time, the demand for procurement expertise is starting to outpace the supply of experienced practitioners. As a result, we have all had to get creative in our approach to identifying, hiring, training, and retaining talent. We have been visiting college campuses to promote the possibilities of a career in procurement. We have been holding training bootcamps to get people up-to-speed on the changing dynamics and skillsets needed as part of today’s procurement function.  And we continue to look for ways to nurture our existing talent, let them know how appreciated they are, and have regular conversations to map out a career plan that encourages growth at WNS Denali.

Digital Enablement of Procurement Ecosystems Remains a Challenge and a Top Priority 
We continue to see clients investing more in the digital enablement of their procurement ecosystems. As a result, this year has seen an acceleration in the development of our digital enablers; specifically, our CPO TRAC suite of product offerings. CPO TRAC is our proprietary, comprehensive procurement management solution that leverages digital advancements coupled with predictive and functional analytics to transform procurement functions. We have received great feedback from clients who have deployed or are getting ready to deploy these tools. We continue to invest in our capabilities in this area to exceed client expectations.  

Strong Relationships Are Essential During Times of Fluctuation 
Our teams have been diligent in keeping quality and responsiveness at the forefront of our client interactions and engagements. While we have been able to build upon the strong relationship foundations we established with long-existing clients, our team has had to be tenacious in forming bonds of trust, connection, and collegiality with many new clients who we’ve been partnering with on a 100% remote basis for the past two years. It takes special skill and talent to build these relationships virtually, and we are fortunate at WNS Denali to have many talented professionals who have done this work admirably.  


It’s All About Digital…Still 
Topping the list of priorities for nearly all our clients in 2022 is continued forward movement to digitize procurement ecosystems. Our goal remains helping them harness the tools necessary to make better decisions relative to their suppliers and the ever-challenging supply chain needs and marketplace. 

Committing to Keep Business Alignment with Key Stakeholders  
Refreshing category plans to ensure they continue to be aligned with key stakeholder objectives and with the larger objectives of the company will be more important than ever in the coming year. With the rollercoaster of changes that many categories have experienced since 2020, strong market intelligence informed by both internal and external data sets will help refine specific category plans for business success. While our teams have done tremendous work in putting structure around category management strategies and plans, we envision doing more workshops around this topic as more in-person events resume. The need to support foundational relationship-building is real with some of our clients and stakeholders unable to meet in person for up to two years. 

Need for Advisory Services and Support Grows 
Leadership’s expectations of procurement have increased but getting closer to the business means developing required levels of capability, process, and sustainability. We anticipate increasingly being called upon by our clients to help them navigate these challenges through an advisory capacity as we coach them through the upheaval in supply chains, talent resources, and more. Being proactive around process excellence is something we will certainly be driving with clients into 2022. 

As I close out my last blog post of the year, I must thank our team, our clients, and our partners for a great year. Despite the many challenges that were thrown our way, we managed to handle them with grace, patience, and hard-fought wisdom. I admire how you all always strive to make progress on the larger goals we set for ourselves. My wish is that you take time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones over the holidays, and come back rejuvenated and ready to tackle 2022. 

If you are interested in joining our rested and energized team in 2022, please consider applying online here:

About the Author

Alpar Kamber
Corporate Executive Vice President & Head Procurement Services


Alpar Kamber Alpar Kamber is the Head of Procurement Services at WNS. He was the Founder and CEO of Denali Sourcing Services (now a part of WNS), a next-generation procurement services provider that enabled procurement organizations to influence more spend, and execute more effectively and efficiently. Prior to Denali, Alpar developed his cross-industry expertise in procurement value chain while in management positions at Ariba, FreeMarkets, Diamond Technology Partners, and E&Y. He holds an MBA degree from the Tepper Business School of Carnegie Mellon University. 





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