What Stands in the Way for the Future of Procurement
This week we are following up on last week’s topic: What is Your Vision for the Future of Procurement? with some of the challenges that stand in the way of that becoming a reality.
“The biggest challenge is turning a semi around on the highway going 70 miles an hour, right?
“Basically, we are headed in one direction, and you are now telling people, everything you’ve learned, everything we’ve taught you about corporate procurement – throw that away. And focus on this next generation of procurement.
“Which means what? There needs to be a higher investment in education. There needs to be better championship by CPOs explaining their vision and function, which they’ve generally not done well. CPOs are not typically looked upon as the great innovators of the company or the great voices within a company. They’re looked upon as the guys and gals that say, “Hey, this is how much money you saved today.” As opposed to the ones saying, “What can we do to move the company forward?”
“I think you actually have the behavioral aspect of the shifting job function and you have the increased need for education, in terms of training and preparing everyone for the new worker set. So not only will incoming procurement workers be more educated with more technical skills in things like automation and so on, but also the way the rest of the company interacts with procurement will change, too.
Understanding Procurement’s Role
“We understand that this is all co-innovation and you are saving the company money on raw materials, but how are we actually making an impact on the company? CPOs have to be the ones to step up and say, “this is what the new reality is in terms of what procurement really can do and really is doing.” What new technology brings to the table is powerful and makes a dramatic difference for businesses, but if nobody knows about it, then what is it worth? If businesses are not taking advantage of the tools and resources they have, those tools hold no value.
“And procurement needs more champions at the executive level, which historically has been poor. Because there hasn’t been that procurement champion or cheerleader saying this is what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. And how will that happen? Better education and understanding at that level, as well.”