Carmen Castillo is the President and CEO of SDI International Corp. (SDI), which she founded in Florida in 1992. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions for the tail-end, centered on Procure- to-Pay and Source-to-Pay. These programs are designed to manage large numbers of small suppliers handling non- critical/non-catalogue transactions that are often untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance and costs. SDI’s managed spend has increased by 130% over the past five years, now managing in excess of $2.5 billion annually.
“We make ourselves indispensable to our clients by building globally and acting locally,” Carmen states emphatically. Her mantra is evident in SDI’s global footprint, which includes Centers of Excellence in the U.S., Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, India, Bratislava, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Africa, and soon in Mexico.
SDI has distinguished itself as a provider of robust process efficiencies, driving repeatable hard cost savings through cutting-edge technology, risk assessment, quality policies and a dedicated team, fostering long-standing business relationships with its Fortune 500 customers.
As part of her responsibilities as President/CEO of the firm, Carmen is hands-on with the overall coordination of company operations, global advertising, business development and marketing programs, along with proposal strategies and preparation.
From the advocacy perspective, Carmen acts as a Board Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and leads their Audit and International Committees. She is also Vice Chair of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), and collaborates with the boards of many other Minority- and Woman- owned business organizations.
SDI International Corp. is one of the largest certified diversity and woman-owned Procurement Outsourcing Organizations in the world. With mature outsourcing delivery models handling US$2.5 billion annually, SDI has consistently driven long-term sustainable and tangible benefits to Fortune 500s for over 22 years.
The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions (tail-end) centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay. These programs are designed to manage large numbers of small suppliers handling non-critical/non-catalogue transactions that are often untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance and costs. SDI lowers transactional costs via innovative category management, cycle time reduction, increased business controls, risk mitigation, business analytics, and real-time spend visibility.
With global operations and sourcing teams, SDI’s model has multi-continent coverage with cross-border capabilities handling most primary languages and international currencies.
It begins with curiosity, exposure, and exploration — and ends with discovery, innovation, and empowerment. The importance and influence of STEM studies simply can’t be overstated.
As a global company that relies heavily on technological innovation as the foundation of our business, unequivocally supporting inclusion in STEM is imperative for SDI. Over the past 20 years, I have seen an explosion in the demand for IT staffing needs, particularly for technical services professionals who demonstrate proficiencies in data analytics, cybersecurity, and cloud architecture. And while many of these positions are eventually filled, they are often only by men.
A dedicated approach to foster inclusion and close the gender gap in STEM participation would yield countless engineering, scientific, and technological resources. Early, recurring exposure and mentorship are two strategies that would ultimately expand critical 21st century skills among women, whether it’s for building rockets, erecting bridges, or designing video games.
Further: At home and in school, we must encourage curiosity in girls — curiosity about the world around us and how it works. With curiosity comes discovery, understanding, and knowledge. With knowledge comes power, and the power for women to take control of their lives, their businesses, and generate global innovation in technology and science.
Mentoring and apprenticing may not appear to be particularly novel ideas, but effective mentoring can generate tremendous results. When young girls and women work closely with supportive, successful role models, they unlock opportunity otherwise thought off limits. Not to mention defying gender stereotypes.