MRA Content

Procurement Findings from ISM2018: The Path Ahead

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

Having attended several ISM annual conferences as both a participant and the past few years as a CLC member, I’m always struck by the energy, enthusiasm and growing excellence when it comes to this evolving function. As the quality of the conference has improved via content and companies represented, it has steadily bolstered the number of attendees every year, culminating to their highest turnout to date this year. 

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

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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.

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?

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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

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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.

3 In-Demand Skillsets for Procurement Pros

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

Strategic sourcing is evolving into an agile group that focuses less on savings and more on adding overall value to business partners. The procurement talent landscape is thus an ever-changing organism with several emerging trends. In this post, we’ll examine three specific skillsets that are in particularly high demand for companies currently searching for procurement professionals.