Carmen Castillo is the President and CEO of SDI International Corp. (SDI), one of the world’s largest Hispanic- and women-owned companies in the procurement industry, with a portfolio of managed spend of over $3.6 billion. The company—which she founded in Florida in 1992—provides its clients with fully scalable global procurement solutions centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay delivery models. These programs are designed to manage large numbers of suppliers that support non-core transactions; these are transactions that often go untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance, and costs.
“We make ourselves indispensable to our clients by unburdening them of huge transaction volumes. And all the while we focus on sustainable speed, compliance, and productivity improvements…globally,” Carmen emphasizes. Her dedication is evident in SDI’s global footprint, which includes delivery centers in the U.S., Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
At its inception, SDI offered strategic labor and services-based managed programs. As the company evolved, Carmen and her team designed and launched more advanced programs and processes that allow companies to outsource deliverables for specific categories or for the entire indirect procurement portfolio. SDI then manages the full lifecycle, from requisition to contract negotiation, and from onboarding and compliance to remittance and offboarding. Ultimately, SDI has distinguished itself as a provider of robust process efficiencies, driving repeatable and sustainable hard cost savings through cutting-edge technology, risk assessment, quality policies, and dedicated delivery teams, fostering longstanding business relationships with its Fortune 500 customers.
Carmen worked hard to overcome the many obstacles that countless other emerging companies face. As SDI’s customer base and solutions portfolio grew, so did Carmen’s conviction that it was vital for diverse providers to become certified as minority- and woman-owned, allowing them to be more competitive when doing business with large corporations. SDI achieved certifications with by the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), as well as its adjuncts. Today, Carmen and SDI are pioneers in supplier diversity and inclusion programs.
Carmen is also a staunch proponent of paying it forward and corporate social responsibility. As a business leader, Carmen takes on groups of mentees each year—among them are inclusive entrepreneurs (many of them Hispanic)—to share her insights and experience, with a special focus on hiring, retention, business development, and international expansion. More importantly, Carmen facilitates networking opportunities and introductions between her mentees and her extensive network of corporate contacts and peers.
From an advocacy perspective, Carmen acted as the Chairwoman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). She is also currently acting as the Vice-Chair of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), an international organization that offers networking and cross-collaboration opportunities for leading women business owners, as well as education and guidance to help them expand their markets across borders. Carmen also collaborates with the boards of many other minority- and woman-owned business organizations. She is very active with the UN Global Compact, which featured her in their 2017 global study of CEOs committed to sustainable development goals. Also, Carmen is deeply involved in community affairs, corporate social responsibility, and business development organizations that further the entrepreneurial efforts of minorities and women worldwide. Carmen has accumulated several industry awards and honors throughout the years, most recently being named as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR).
Carmen is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English and Italian.