Executive Spotlight: Highlights of 2021 - Dessi Zaneva, Director Strategic Sourcing, Panera Bread
SCS: What challenges do you see for sourcing and procurement in the next three to five years from your point of view?
DZ: The industry and consumer preferences will continue to change and test all of us, technology will be our biggest help and challenge. For me, there are two key defense strategies as we approach this—adaptability and maintaining relationships. Adaptability to quickly shift focus as and when needed; and growing the internal, external, and industry relationships we all have. The last year has shown us that we collectively have to be able to shift priorities—production, distribution, promotions, off-premise.
You have to be able to be flexible, adaptable, and a calculated risk-taker. The things that may have worked last year are not the same as what works this year, but staying focused behind a common goal is key. It's also very important to have a good network of support. If I look at my career where I am, I would not be here without the people that have guided, supported, and challenged me along the way. To paraphrase something I’ve often heard from an industry peer, Kristy Kingery, once you start climbing the ladder, always have a hand reached out behind you to help pull the next person up. My advice is to surround yourself with mentors, with people that will not hesitate to tell you the truth, both on the personal development side and on the professional development side. Find leaders or industry counterparts that will be there, and who will offer their experience and time to help you grow. Take and cherish feedback as it really is the most precious gift.
April 2, 2021 - Read the full interview here.