Like many active readers in the sector, I've become a fan of the conversational and analyst-like tone of Supply Chain Digest. Recently, they featured a story that highlighted the concept of "supply chain megatrends". In short, these are "alignment", "push-to-pull", "visibility", "virtualization", and "China". What's curious is that from a procurement perspective -- rather than just an operations / supply chain one -- all of these trends are not just critical, but rather, they're a primary driver of our roles and responsibilities. Consider virtualization. According to the article, "lately, we've even seen food manufacturers like Hershey shed more and more production assets and become much more virtual. Perhaps more interesting -- and troubling -- a growing percent of companies and industries now are responsible for adding under 25% of the total value of their products -- in many cases, that percentage is in the teens."
From a Spend Management perspective, this means that companies are making less and buying more. Not only does virtualization put more responsibility onto procurement -- it transforms the function from one that was often of secondary importance to many firms, to one that is the primary driver of overall business strategy. Rather than tackle the other "five" megatrends in these virtual pages, I'd suggest that you take a few minutes to check them out for yourself. And think through the procurement and sourcing implications that they present versus just the operational ones.