Profile: Justin Honaman, VP, Strategic Sourcing & Procurement: Analytics, Data, Digital Transformation, Georgia-Pacific

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Profile: Justin Honaman, VP, Strategic Sourcing & Procurement: Analytics, Data, Digital Transformation, Georgia-Pacific


Justin Honaman’s background is largely centered on the consumer goods and retail industries and focused on developing and commercializing data, analytics, and technology capabilities and solutions. With Georgia-Pacific’s Strategic Sourcing and Procurement (SS&P), he has a very clear vision to make data, analytics and technology capabilities a competitive advantage not only for G-P but, more broadly, within the portfolio of parent Koch Industries.

Describe your current role.

HONAMAN: As a team, we focus on master data management, sourcing and procurement technology capabilities, BI/reporting, advanced analytics and data science and intelligent automation. We also have a transformation team focused on project execution and change leadership across the organization.

What are the challenges facing CPG companies related to data and analytics?

HONAMAN: Talent. I believe every new hire in our organization should have a baseline level of ability to use/manipulate data, derive insights and perform light analytics. That is becoming easier with the proliferation of business analytics and other related university degree programs. An effective analytics team consists of multiple skill sets, business knowledge and project leaders. Building the right balanced team is critical to being able to prioritize and deliver insights.

Focus and prioritization. What are the priorities or prioritized use cases and how are you setting them? What economic and critical thinking has gone into the prioritization and review process? How will the efforts yield benefit over time and be tracked? What governance is in place to manage and avoid sideways energy or shiny object syndrome?

Data management. In our world, this includes data aggregation, harmonization, enrichment – not an easy matter when it comes to operating in a multi-enterprise resource planning environment. The good news is that methods to manage and access large amounts of data are improving dramatically (e.g., Amazon Web Services).

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What emerging technology and techniques do you see?

HONAMAN: A large percentage of growth in the industry is driven by smaller, innovative companies. These companies are using their agile business model to address consumer preference quickly and without legacy store/shelf models. Digital transformation in consumer goods is the watchword for the industry. From subscription models to emerging product/service models, CPG companies are increasingly focused on serving consumers directly and owning the entire consumer journey and experience. Consumers expect engagement across channels and, therefore, relationship engagement is powered by data.

What are CPG companies doing to address the challenges?

HONAMAN: First, information technology being focused on meeting defined business objectives, measuring business outcomes, and positioning IT as a strategic asset to the business. Second, CPG companies are exploring new technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain and others that pave the way for the business to unlock growth. Third, CPG companies are moving to an operating model that leverages agile and lean methods, value-based processes, and new strategic partnership relationships. From a business technology perspective, CPGs are adopting a multispeed operating model by which the core elements are maintained or supported while new capabilities are explored and invested in as the future operating state.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

HONAMAN: Our staff and our culture. Our team brings strong business and solution knowledge, and it’s good at exploring new platforms and capabilities while balancing the need to deliver on core projects and daily business requirements. Our team is highly creative, which many would not expect from a data-analytics-tech team. This helps us to ideate on challenging business problems. We combine this with a transformation team that knows how to deliver. The result is a strong culture with many opportunities to learn and grow. And yes, we have a lot of fun, too.