2014 eprocurement trendsThe procurement space is constantly evolving.  What was once a localized catalog and phone order business has evolved into an interconnected, global network of buyers and sellers that gives each party a means for continuously evaluating and revaluating each of their supply chain partner relationships in the relentless pursuit of the best value.

Procurement moves at the speed of business.  In fact, it often dictates it.  Jonathan Webb, the Head of Strategy Research for the ProcurementLeaders.com Global Intelligence Network, penned a recent retrospective assessing what lessons could be learned from the 2014 year in procurement.  With the knowledge he’s shared in mind, here are some procurement lessons that your organization can take with them into 2015:

Best Practice?

According to Webb, there really is no “best practice,” or “best fit,” in terms of your procurement operating model.  As important as it is for you to lay a strong foundation for developing your procurement blueprint, there really is no one-size-fits-all solution.  Really, the most important aspect of your operating structure is often the built-in leeway for your organization to grow and develop.

Do What You Do Best…

There’s an old adage in sports: “play to your identity.”  Essentially, it means to understand what’s made you successful and try not to get wrapped up doing too much of something else.  U.S. management consultant Tom Peters has encouraged organizations to “do what you do best, outsource the rest.”  Webb suggests that this same principle lends itself well to enterprise procurement.

…Outsource the Rest

The future, as it turns out, is not rooted in reshoring your business operations.  Reshoring, or the act of bringing previously outsourced personnel/services back to their point of origin (or, at least, your domestic shores), has not proven to be as effective in practice as the initiative was expected to be in theory.  According to Webb, “the savings generated

[through reshored spending] is less than half that offered by offshoring initiatives.”

Buyers Lack Strategic Skills

When Vroozi attempted to paint a picture of what The Procurement Leader, 2.0 might look like, we placed plenty of emphasis on strategic and interpersonal skills over technical and operational skills.  Webb corresponds that, even after many in the procurement space have been singing this same tune, many buyers are still lacking in the skillset needed to advance their organization’s procurement function.

Happy CPOs Anticipate Greater Savings

Despite presiding over a constantly evolving space with an often unique series of operational and managerial challenges, Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) are generally satisfied in their work/life balance.  Although the average CPO works 54 hours per week, only 13 percent negatively described a satisfaction with their work/life balance, while 63 percent of CPOs reported being satisfied or very satisfied.

In line with their rates of satisfaction with their roles, Webb found that the happier a CPO was in their work/life balance, the higher their anticipation for rate of savings.