202: Women In Supply Chain™, Susan Walsh

In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain™, I’m joined by Susan Walsh: the self-confessed Mistress of Data who uses her expertise in spend data classification, supplier normalisation, and taxonomy customisation to help procurement and data teams across the industry to work more effectively.

After working in sales and customer account management for big names like Philips and Colgate Palmolive, Susan discovered a passion, and talent, for data. And, having held management positions in various companies, she eventually decided to go it alone. Susan founded The Classification Guru in 2017 and now brings clarity and accuracy to data and procurement; helping teams work more effectively and efficiently by cleaning up their dirty data.

Today Susan will be talking to us about her career so far, her passion for data, how the industry’s approach to data has changed over the years; and she’ll be sharing her words of advice for all of the up and coming women following in her footsteps.


Apex Logistics are proud to sponsor Let’s Talk Supply Chain’s Women In Supply Chain™ podcast and blog series. Our leadership team actively works to empower an industry as diverse as our workforce with a focus on inclusion, and we’re passionate about promoting the voices of women leaders to drive visibility around their achievements. Find out more over on the Apex Logistics website.


[07.42] Susan’s background, and the varied career history that led her to her passion.

“I’m envious of those people who’ve always known what they wanted to do, because I’ve never known.”

[16.49] The ups and downs of growing The Classification Guru over the last four years.

[21.00] The role of digital marketing in Susan’s success.

“Work with what you’re comfortable with… and don’t do what you think other people want you to do or say or be – just be yourself.”

[25.47] Why Susan’s positive approach and free spirit was sometimes at odds with male-oriented work environments.

“I’ve never felt, even growing up, that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do, or that I was restricted because of who I am.”

[29.28] The turning point in Susan’s career that helped her find her voice.

“When I found what I really loved, and I had the self-belief and self-confidence, then I felt ‘you can’t take me down, I know I’m good.’ ”

[32.31] The pitfalls of managing data, and why you need to make sure data always has its COAT on.

“There’s a massive misconception that you can buy some off the shelf software that will fix all of your data problems and you don’t have to do a thing… Automation can help to a point, but it would be naïve to think it can solve all your problems.”

[38.50] What Susan has learned about herself over the course of her journey so far.

[40.30] Susan’s words of advice for the girls and women looking to follow in her footsteps.


You can connect with Susan over on LinkedIn; head over to The Classification Guru’s website or follow them on Twitter or Instagram to find out more.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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