Connecting linkedin

Banner Default Image


January 2024 - Procurement Objectives for 2024

January 2024

Richard Shelley

In December 1st Executive engaged with our network of Global CPO’s, Procurement Directors and Supply Chain Directors to explore their objectives and challenges for 2024. The conversations also provided an opportunity to reflect on innovation and achievements delivered throughout 2023.

What are the key strategic objectives for your team in 2024?

Talent – remains the biggest issue for the majority of our CPO network. The challenge spans external hiring (with a notable focus on talent attraction techniques), internal capability development and retention!

  1. 38% = Talent

  2. 23% = CO2 Reduction & ESG Legislation

  3. 22% = On-Going development of Technology and Digital tools

  4. 19% = Supplier / Third Party Risk Management

  5. 8% = Reduced reliance on Interim / Consultancy resource


“As a leader, I’m passionate about developing people and find this hugely rewarding, however, the range of skills that need to be coached / developed has expanded significantly in recent years (IPR, Sustainability, Legislation and Risk) given increased volatility across global supply chains” CPO – Global Electronics Manufacturing


Will this be accompanied by investment in Talent or Technology?

The conversations with our network highlighted an equal balance of investment in Talent and Technology – however, there is a clear need to demonstrate return on investment given current economic conditions and associated cost challenges. Notably, investment in existing talent is key, with a view to up-skilling functions and improving retention in a market where there is competition for skills.


  • On-going investment in optimisation of existing tools – with a noticeable trend in COUPA and ARIBA

  • Deployment of new & emerging AI tools – i.e. tools to help automate the development of Category Strategies

  • Focus on Data collection and analysis tools to support Carbon Reduction programmes and future legislation requirements.

  • Enterprise-wide L&D platform to improve training and to drive internal capability development

What do you see as the most significant challenges in the coming 12 months?

Our conversations further highlighted the complexity of the Talent challenge for the profession as we head into 2024. There was a particular focus on new and emerging talent in the professions, as well as the associated retention of this challenge given the high demand in all geographic regions.

The discussions focussed on the need for a well-considered, impactful and well-presented Employee Value Proposition to drive candidate attraction – reflecting the fact that over 70% of 1st Executive's appointments in 2023 were delivered from the “passive” talent community. These are candidates who were not “active” in the job market or applying for adverts on job boards / career site.

What does a good EVP / Candidate Brochure look like?

In 2023, 1st Executive partnered with Transport for London (TfL) to provide a retained recruitment solution across 30+ IT Procurement & Contract Management vacancies. Key to our success was the ability to drive the development and delivery of a comprehensive and impactful marketing campaign – working in collaboration with key stakeholders to develop the EVP and associated candidate marketing brochure which brings to life the exciting opportunities available at TfL. This campaign saw pro-active distribution of content to 8000 + identified contacts within 1st Executive’s network, with LinkedIN and micro-site visits averaging in excess of 2000 impressions p/w.

Click Here to visit our Candidate Brochure that we created for TfL

Key Considerations:

  • What’s the sales pitch – why would a candidate join?

  • Speed & agility of interview & assessment process

  • Candidate On-Boarding experience

  • Internal Communication

  • Internal Mobility

  • Agility & Hybrid Working

  • ED&I

  • Values Proposition


“I see a lot of candidates with impressive backgrounds, however, during interview it’s noticeable that the lack of time spent in any one organisation and/or role leads to a lack of depth in terms of market knowledge and supplier dynamics” CPO – Global Aerospace Manufacturer


Were there any particularly innovative projects you were proud of leading or being involved in, in 2023? 

  • AI adoption to negotiate contracts on low value / tail spend (PE Backed Hospitality Brand)

  • Creation of TPRM team / function within 12 months delivered under budget (Financial Services)

  • Collaboration with Suppliers to meet ESG & Sustainability Targets (Chemicals Manufacturing)

  • Overachieved against ED&I hiring targets (Facilities Management)


“We feel that we’ve made good progress in getting the CEO excited about Procurement. By all accounts he actually looks forward to receiving the monthly dashboard and scorecards. We’ve done this by making the function more relevant by better aligning to key business priorities and creating value beyond traditional cost savings – notably around Risk / Sustainability” CPO – Rail Sector