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Are procurement teams 2020 ready?

Future Outlook Med

Sally Davis specialist procurement recruiter, digital transformation, leadership capability...

Back in 2012, Deloitte produced a report outlining what procurement needed to do to transform itself by 2020.  Deloitte’s report at the time suggested that procurement was a service provider, an integrator and was building sustainable transformation through category leadership, advanced sourcing and performance tracking.  The vision for 2020 was a radical rethink which positioned procurement as an arbiter of risk, reward and creativity; a department that would be at the centre of supply chain, operations and finance, that would have a global supply perspective and that would be able to forecast risk.  Last but not least – procurement departments would be talent rich. So how is the sector doing and what are the things that needed to be worked on to ensure a procurement department that is 2020 ready?

A procurement talent crisis?

Fast forward 6 years and Deloitte’s 2018 survey of CPOs shows that while procurement has continued to deliver savings in the short term and manage risk in an ever evolving and uncertain global economy, the talent agenda is still a big worry.  In fact, over half (51%) of procurement leaders believe that they do not have the capability in their teams to deliver their procurement strategy. And what is even more concerning is that we are not talking here about traditional talent models but rather leadership capability gaps in areas such as digital transformation, innovation and disruption. Indeed, 70% of procurement leaders feel that their procurement teams have little or no capability to maximise the use of current and future digital technologies.  Add to that, the fact that according to Deloitte’s report, 72% of procurement leaders are spending less than 2% of their budgets on training and the situation is unlikely to get better any time soon! There is no silver bullet here – almost half (47%) of procurement leaders found it more difficult to attract talent than in the previous 12 months – but choosing a recruitment partner which has a deep specialism in the procurement sector will at the very least give organisations an edge when trying to fill capability and skill gaps within their teams.

Process over relationships?

And yet, as we have blogged about before, procurement can sometimes be its own worst enemy adopting a transactional and process driven approach rather than a relationship driven and strategic one.  Take the example of a tender we submitted through an e-procurement system to attract and source procurement talent. We didn’t win and when we asked for feedback we were incredulous at the reason. Quite simply, no marks were awarded for our specialism in procurement.

Against a backdrop of a talent crisis in procurement, it is vital that both procurement leaders and HR take a relationship driven approach to specialist recruitment suppliers if they are to deliver real value to the business.

If you are considering a new role take a look at our latest job listings – and if you are looking for new talent read about our talent attraction strategies and how we add value.