Key procurement trends according to Emptoris

I mentioned here my meeting with Kevin Potts of Emptoris.  We discussed 6 key trends they see emerging - while they have a focus on software and solutions, I thought they were interesting and pretty perceptive indicators of what I suspect is occupying the minds of many top procurement practitioners.

1. Get value faster;  integrate systems and processes, move quickly, capture the value.

2. Clear roadmap for investment; track savings, use a step by step 'business release mehodology' to link investment with returns

3.  Risk reduction; a growing focus throughout the sourcing process, across supply chains and in ongoing contract management

4. Transparency; a need to understand suppliers and supply chains better and know what is going on  (particularly key in emerging markets)

5. Global expansion and approach; self explanatory, but the refocusing of the world economy towards BRIC is making this more important by he day for 'western' firms

6. Focus on adoption; somewhat systems specific, but this stresses the importance of getting a broad user base for procurement systems and technology; the same applies I believe to compliance and processes.  It is not enough any more for procurement to do a pretty good job managing 30, 40 or 50% of the organisation's spend

Getting value and competitive advantage; managing risk; and making procurement effective across the stakeholder base.  They have always been the challenges for procurement in the 25 years I've been involved; they still are.  But as I said before, technology is opening up some very new ways to help us achieve these traditional goals.

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