Procurement in 2020: Capability and Talent Transformation

For many organizations, the quest for top procurement talent feels like a journey that will never be complete. There will always be new capabilities, skills, and expertise to bring into the fold. In the paper, Charting the course: Why procurement must transform itself by 2020, Deloitte suggests that true capability and talent transformation will be key to shaping the procurement organization of the next decade. But achieving such a state won’t be easy. As Deloitte writes:

Top talent requires leadership and enthusiastic stakeholder engagement, and it is what enables procurement to operate as a peer rather than just in a services role. Having an honest reckoning over talent is essential. Clearly, one size does not fit all team members, and one of the most important roles of procurement leadership is to embrace diverse skills, capabilities and background for the appropriate positions.

Even today, the right procurement crew must be able to engage and interact with constituents across legal, IT, HR, marketing, engineering/design, customer service/ support, supply chain, manufacturing, etc. But by 2020, these team members will likely be completely embedded in the business across all of these areas with the functional subject matter expert designing better value outcomes indistinguishable from the budget-minding, embedded procurement resource. Indeed, they will be one. The ultimate manifestation of this will be in cases where procurement resources are given a portion of P&L responsibilities (as part of their procurement charter) as well.

One way to think about procurement skills and expertise is that the type of talent that resides in the highest-end CFO and finance organizations today is similar to what will be required of procurement organizations in 2020. Analytical skills and a data-driven orientation will be the ante but will not stand alone in assembling the right team members. Overall, how organizations conceive of talent will transcend just identifying “A-players” at all ranks and levels.

Emphasis will shift to the assembly of talent internally and externally. HR organizations and procurement will need their fingers on the pulse of talent in both labor and supply markets. Talent may even be crowd-sourced internally and externally for specific initiatives. Social networking sites and platforms will likely become omnipresent in enabling procurement to assemble teams for varying periods of time — single meetings and individual initiatives through to year-long programs and multi-year or permanent collaborations.

This post is based in part on content from Charting the course: Why procurement must transform itself by 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about how analysts see the future of procurement and supply chain, register for our upcoming conference, Commodity/PROcurement EDGE.


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