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Mariam Saad, Director of IT, Technology Services, Professional Services Procurement, TELUS

Mariam Saad: Maximizing Profitability in Supply Chains

The transition in the supply chain industry is near, and to bring this change, it’s important to understand the end-to-end supply base mapping and ensure a focus on sustainable efforts. Implementing several aspects in the workplace will align with the massive shift caused by the pandemic, concerning global consumer mindsets towards environmental issues. Preparing for this change is Mariam Saad, a multi-lingual leader with 20 years of highly skilled experience in procurement, operations, and sales, across multiple global and national organizations in telecommunications, mining, and information technology.
As the Director of IT, Technology Services, and Professional Services Procurement for TELUS, Mariam leads towards an extensive transformational initiative, as the company seeks to grow and mature its capabilities. She is recognized for effectively leading and managing concurrent initiatives with consistently strong results.
TELUS is building a better future for all Canadians by using its technology for good and giving back to its communities. Its social purpose is at the heart of everything it does as a world-leading technology company, and TELUS continues to set itself apart to make the future friendly together.
The Initiation
Mariam graduated with an International Business Commerce Degree from Concordia University in Montreal, with a Minor Degree in Marketing. Following the Degree from Concordia, she then pursued a 1.5-year Leadership Certificate at the Executive McGill MBA Program.
Having worked across multiple industries including Information Technologies, Natural Resources, and Telecommunication, Mariam developed extensive experience in IT sales and procurement operations. Throughout her career, she focused on revenue generation, cost savings, delivery, and value creation. She found that the experience and expertise developed with each successive role has sharpened her focus on value generation.
Throughout Mariam’s career, she faced numerous diversity and inclusiveness challenges. In her early sales career, she was the only woman amongst a team of 10 men. As a result, she constantly felt that she had to work twice as hard to prove herself.
She has also faced additional adversity coming from an immigrant ethnic background, which she has had to overcome. She says, “Whether working in IT early on in her career or mining industry, there were very few women, and almost none existed as you moved up the ladder.”
Mariam expresses that support for women was incredibly lacking. There were no forums where women could provide support or share experiences. She had many female colleagues that constantly reached out to her to share their challenges. Instead of seeing this as an obstacle, she thought about making a difference here. Mariam co-founded the first women network at her previous company, and opened the first chapter in Montreal. Mariam had an overwhelming response, and people worldwide became engaged, asking to join the Montreal chapter. As a result, she then submitted and negotiated a budget for 10 other local chapters worldwide. Today, Mariam is passionate and joyful in mentoring young women and new immigrants to help them integrate into or succeed in their workplace.
The Impactful Expertise
Mariam expresses that sharing and collaboration are integral parts of learning and growth. At TELUS, she strives for continuous improvement and value creation, which ensures that she is constantly learning and educating herself, her team, and the business on the latest technologies. She is also sought after to speak at events such as Supply Chain Digital or round tables with Procurement Leaders, Supplier Diversity events, or within IT Summits to discuss the latest issues and trends in the IT and Digital space.
Mariam surrounds herself with a great network of colleagues and team members which enables learning and professional growth; giving back to her team, to TELUS, to her network, or with her suppliers is a privilege and a responsibility to pay back what others have done for her.
Most recently, Mariam had the opportunity to speak at a round table about the effects of the pandemic on digital transformation and how it will change the journey. She has been asked to speak on Cloud transformation, evolving strategy between private, public, single, and multi-cloud vendors. Mariam is proud to be a thoughtful contributor to these important discussions.
Value-Driven Methodology
Mariam states that TELUS has key pillars from a cultural evolution focused on innovation, growth, change, teamwork, and risk. TELUS drives a collaborative work environment that fosters both growth and development in individual and team culture, and from an innovative perspective. This environment encourages team members to look for new opportunities while approaching risk-taking, with an opportunistic and experimental mindset. Everyday Innovation is focused on nurturing the mindset, behaviors, and environment required to inspire the courage to make everyday innovation a cultural standard across all levels and value chains at TELUS.
Innovative Technological Solutions
With respect to implementing technology to leverage the business, Mariam mentions that TELUS is committed to making the future friendly by connecting Canadians through technological solutions that create value within communities, and connecting with technology partners to advance the digital transformation journey.
Agriculture: TELUS is on a mission to tackle some of the most significant social challenges of the generation using technology for good. Empowering growth in agriculture, and feeding the world, by connecting the underserved rural world with communication capabilities. TELUS fosters the exchange of digitized information to help all parties operate more efficiently. Connected solutions for farm management, optimized profitability, increased efficiency, and insights.
Healthcare: TELUS is streamlining health records and data, building powerful digital healthcare tools for hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, and more, to help support healthcare providers. TELUS heavily invests in virtual care to provide access to all Canadians, to receive quality care anytime and anywhere. TELUS has invested over $2.5Billion in healthcare in the last decades; it has $12Million Canadians covered by TELUS Health Benefit management solutions.
Partnerships: TELUS’s ecosystem of partners is crucial to Mariam. The company has built strategic partnerships, allowing it to build some of the world’s fastest, highest quality networks to lead in the Healthcare Technology and Customer First approach.
Over the Horizon
Mariam loves her work and envisions herself constantly learning and growing in her space, helping shape and change the supply chain industry to advance it and solve real problems. She is proud to assist “feeding the world” by improving the quality and safety of TELUS’ food, by leveraging technological innovation and human compassion. She is excited to be a part of the healthcare initiative that will impact the world positively. She sees herself mentoring supply chain professionals, fostering a diversity and inclusiveness culture, and soon leading a procurement or supply chain organization.
Bequeathing Budding Entrepreneurs
Mariam advises up-and-coming entrepreneurs to prepare themselves for a wonderful ride. She says, “You are going to witness some of the greatest evolution in this space. We are entering the fourth industrial revolution that will challenge current ways of working and the need for some of the most pressing issues in the world. It is where entrepreneurs can use their experience and expertise to witness or drive some of the greatest changes in the supply chain space seen in several decades.”