"Procurement faces significant challenges in the years ahead, but there are massive opportunities too." Alejandro Alvarez, Director at Ayming 'Procurement 2020' report of 2017.
Deloitte's 2017 global survey of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) revealed that 79 per cent of respondents saw reducing costs as their highest priority for the year. That's a higher figure than in the 2016 survey, and significantly the emphasis on increasing cash flow was also up, at 48 per cent.
The figures point to a need for better commercial decision-makers within procurement teams, people who can help keep costs down while bringing in more revenue.
But CPOs face an additional challenge around the people that comprise their teams, namely keeping and improving them in the face of pressure for better results.
Retaining the talent in a procurement team by identifying it and then developing it was one of the pressing concerns discussed at the World Procurement Congress (WPC) in 2017.
Approaches discussed at the WPC varied with Ericsson, for example, revealing that they assess people from across its organisation and put them on new growth paths within the company to improve its procurement process.
Siemens, meanwhile, identify talented people in procurement and non-procurement teams, and offer job-swaps and secondments to enhance skills in a range of roles.
And as well as looking at how their people operate, CPOs are having to adapt their strategic approach to cope with external issues that can increase risk around what they do.
Events like Brexit and changes to global free trade policies are provoking uncertainty. Procurement teams are being forced to rethink their approach after lengthy and favourable agreements with former suppliers.
In fact, while Deloitte found that cost reduction is the strongest priority for CPOs, managing risks came next at 57 per cent. CPOs also observed an increase in business risk levels compared to 2016.
As reducing costs, increasing revenue and managing risks become more of a priority than ever before, Kaplan is bringing its expertise and experience together to create the Kaplan Procurement Journey. This is a development offering that gives procurement teams a comprehensive toolkit to develop into the business partners their organisations need them to be.
With this approach, we can help your procurement teams make better commercial decisions, reduce contractual risk and build more meaningful relationships - both inside your organisation and with external suppliers.
Contact us to find out how Kaplan can help your organisation produce a tailored development plan to keep your procurement team one step ahead.
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