For years, Chief Procurement Officers have focused on reducing costs of purchased materials, goods and services. However, with the changing business landscape, procurement teams are now facing new and difficult challenges that include legal issues, sustainability concerns, and regulatory and ethical considerations that can all impact the company’s bottom line.
Following the recent completion of several key senior procurement assignments across Europe and the Middle East, JOH Partners reflects on the skills successful procurement professionals will need in the future.
Risk management – Risk is undergoing a major shift, moving away from emphasising compliance to a strategic skill that includes total risk exposure, risk mitigation and risk transfer pricing. The next generation of category managers will need to effectively manage supplier risk and factor new metrics into major sourcing and supplier management decisions.
Sustainability – Procurement functions will be required to develop supply chains that create and sustain economic and social value in the future and this change will only accelerate as millennials gain more economic status and influence in the workforce.
Local knowledge – As emerging markets continue to grow, procurement teams need to develop expertise in local emerging market sourcing rather than managing these processes from a centralised location.
Cross-functional skill set - Candidates with a diverse background in engineering, design and new product development, together with commercial financial acumen, will be key in supporting business growth. Organisations that that have created closer working relationships between procurement and the business will see a greater impact in the overall skills and effectiveness of the procurement team.
Social media – As the degree of scrutiny on procurement teams increases, candidates with a social mindset and operating model will be much better placed in speaking to customers, regulators and vendors.
Big data – Information is becoming increasingly key to the decision-making processes and therefore candidates will need to be more comfortable with advanced data mining and analysis techniques.
In summary, the profile of the traditional buyer who counted success through hard-won negotiations that “didn’t leave any money on the table” will be replaced by procurement teams that adopt a multi-dimensional approach to managing the supply chain. While reducing costs will continue to be important, it will not be the overarching factor in all negotiations.
Procurement has moved beyond the role of buyers that exclusively specialise in finding, acquiring and ensuring the timely delivery of goods and services. Companies that begin adapting to the new procurement landscape today, will be poised to seize a competitive edge in the decades ahead.
Please feel free to contact JOH Partners today to discuss a high quality tailored recruitment solution for your organisations procurement team.