Author Archives: MRA



3 Big Changes Driving Procurement Hiring Trends in 2018

Spend Matters welcomes this guest column from Naseem Malik and Nick Lazzara of MRA Global Sourcing.

There’s never a dearth of excitement in the world of procurement, and 2018 has been no exception. The business effects of several new Trump administration policies are coming fast and furious. Fluctuating economic and political conditions are presenting a host of new challenges and opportunities for businesses. Because of these factors, procurement professionals now more than ever need to stay abreast of the latest developments and master in-demand skills. To help, here are the three key areas we’ve seen driving procurement hiring in 2018, as well as our recommendations for where professionals should focus in the coming months.

Professional Development in Procurement: Rationale and Strategies

One reader who wrote in to Ask Spend Matters last year posed an interesting question that fell outside of our editorial team’s wheelhouse: “What are the most pressing professional development needs for sourcing and procurement professionals today and for the next five years?” While we’ve fielded many of the procurement strategy and technology-focused questions we received, we thought our friends at MRA Global Sourcing would be perfectly suited to provide a compelling answer to the above. Read their response below!

With shifting market conditions, technological advancement and other factors, the procurement function is changing rapidly. If supply management professionals and their companies don’t keep pace, they’ll be at a serious disadvantage. As procurement evolves, so do attitudes toward professional development, and the way workers build their knowledge base. Let’s examine the state of professional development, and what’s on the horizon.

The Amazon Effect: Competition for Procurement Talent

No one and no thing is now safe from what is known as the “Amazon effect.” As Bezos’s behemoth continues to expand in multiple locations, including the addition of the impending HQ2, it is disrupting hiring and retention efforts in all business functions. Top procurement talent is especially susceptible, as it’s hard not to be seduced by arguably the No. 1 supply chain company in the world, with a Gartner Supply Chain Masters honor to boot. This should rightfully strike fear in leaders of procurement organizations.

5 Things Employers of Choice Understand About Hiring Top Procurement Talent

talent

As a hiring authority in the procurement function, what can you do to improve your odds of bringing in the talent that you need? The 2017 Hiring Sentiment Study conducted by MRINetwork reveals that the inability to find quality talent is driven by lengthy hiring practices, lower-than-expected compensation and an employer sentiment that candidates should feel honored to be considered for their job opportunities. Based on the study’s findings, procurement employers of choice understand these five hiring insights better than their competitors.

Who are the Employers of Choice for Today’s Procurement Leaders?

As a function, we’ve discussed at great lengths over the past couple of years how procurement has climbed up the corporate ladder to take on a more strategic role in many businesses. Although technology and a changing business landscape have undoubtedly increased the pace of this subtle shift, talented professionals have been the driving force behind it. Also well documented are the difficulties in locating and enticing these gifted individuals. While most companies still find themselves struggling to find the right talent, a select few have sourcing leaders lining up to work for them.

How to Become an Employer of Choice for Procurement Superstars

We’ve all heard how difficult it is for companies to attract and retain top procurement talent, and there’s no dearth of strategies on how best to deal with that. What isn’t discussed nearly as much is the other side of the equation: how to ensure you become an employer of choice.

When it comes to the “A players,” there is a criterion they follow that we like to call the CLAMPS discussion. This acronym stands for challenge, location, advancement, people, money and security. Each category represents a motivator professionals use to evaluate a position and company.

Finance: Friend or Foe for Procurement Hires?

interview

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

So, you’re ready for an executive role in a company’s procurement function and getting ready to razzle dazzle your future leadership, including the CPO. Yet you also notice that the CFO is one of the interviewers, and you’re eager to get the nod from this important executive and stakeholder. The savvy procurement practitioner will be cognizant of the difference between indirect and direct spend responsibilities and prepare accordingly.

How to Get Poached for Private Equity Procurement

interview

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.

Generally speaking, private equity firms buy companies and look to rapidly improve their performance by making them lean, efficient and cost-effective before selling. No group does these things better than modern procurement teams. As a result, one of the first orders of business following the acquisition of a new portfolio company is ensuring the procurement function is staffed with “A players.” And there are specific profiles that best suit these newly formed or revamped groups, PE industry leaders have told us.

Procurement Free Agents: Are You Ready?

consultant

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing.

Call them on-demand workers, contractors, free agents or mercenaries — just don’t call them inconsequential. Procurement is no longer immune to to the increase of contingent workers other functions have experienced in recent years. And the shift from employing permanent workers to temporary ones is gaining ground.

Trending in Talent: The Top 3 Factors for 2017

Attracting top performers continues to be a key area of focus for most procurement leaders today. We’ve seen firsthand the steadily increasing demand for strong supply management talent throughout 2016 and early 2017, although the supply has remained relatively unchanged. What’s also evolving is the way in which companies approach hiring and retention of these individuals, as well as the makeup of modern-day procurement groups. In this post, we explore the top three trends affecting supply management talent.

3 Skillsets Procurement Needs for the Cognitive Era

AI

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Nick Lazzara, executive search lead at MRA Global Sourcing.

Procurement is in the midst of a revolution powered by data. IBM has termed this future state the “cognitive era,” a cognitive computing-driven time where computers can gobble up high volumes of structured or unstructured data without flinching and think like a human to deliver more meaningful business insights. To help procurement groups prepare for this upheaval, we’ll cover a few of the skills that will be focal points for procurement employers moving forward.

Don’t Miss These 4 Pearls of Wisdom from a Leading CPO, If You Want to Be a Great One

CPO

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing. I recently had the opportunity to attend a Procurement Leaders forum where a renowned CPO shared his top four attributes that made him successful over the course of his four different CPO assignments with four different companies and industries. It was straight talk that came across as authentic and highly informative on what this CPO learned and what his advice would be for the upcoming executives in the profession. He approached it from a top-down perspective, i.e. how to win support from top management to enable and ensure success as a CPO. Without further ado, here are the top four pearls of wisdom shared by this CPO.