Jardine started at Microsoft on New Year’s Eve 2001 as a product manager for its procurement reporting tool. She joined the company’s global procurement group in 2005.
EVOLUTION Microsoft recently celebrated five years of success with the VenueSource program, using the Active Networks/StarCite technology platform. Before that, the company’s 4,000-plus meetings and events were planned on a “one-off” basis. “I’d have to say VenueSource is the accomplishment I’m most proud of,” she says. When I took this job, stakeholders were on their own to find hotels, and the process to get them paid was really problematic. Now, it’s relatively easy to find a suitable venue, and the payment process is much improved through our meeting card program.” The program is currently in place in the U.S., Canada, and most of Europe, and is now expanding into Asia. She has also created standard master agreements for hotels that are used most frequently and a standard addendum for other properties.
GIVING BACK Jardine relies on her network to keep up with the hotel industry, trends, “and what other companies are doing well that might work for us here at Microsoft. I try to spend time with my peers in other companies to share best practices and horror stories, and get opinions about new ideas. I always try to also share what has worked for me, and to follow up on the results if I try one of their ideas.”
ADVICE “If I were to give advice to someone in event procurement, it would be to listen to their stakeholders and get them involved in the sourcing process. I’ve learned that there is no point in coming up with a list of approved suppliers if the stakeholders weren’t involved in the selection.
The other piece of advice is to be professional and fair with your suppliers.” - Barbara Scofidio