Procurement Hot Topics – our agenda for 2014 (part 2)

We’ve been thinking about which broad topics to cover here at Spend Matters UK/ Europe over the coming year. Whilst events will no doubt take us in different directions,  we started our preview on Friday with the external events that will drive our coverage. Today, we’ll look at some of the areas of procurement ‘thought leadership’ that we plan to cover. And if there is something you don’t see here that you feel we really should have high on our priority list, then please let us know!

1. How procurement can align with the organization's strategic objectives, developing strategies and structures to move beyond cost management (important though that will remain in many organisations) and supporting profitability / growth through innovation, supplier relationships, etc.

2. And - critically - how do we measure procurement contribution if and when we move beyond simply 'savings'?

3. A key issue - the “democratisation of the supply chain” (as Giles Breault puts it).  We believe budget holders and other stakeholders will play bigger roles in the procurement process - so how can professionals in procurement work best with stakeholders, provide value and preserve spend governance within that framework?

4. Identifying effective processes for managing supply chain risk and corporate social responsibility to move beyond good intentions into real procurement action. That includes supplier diversity; which comes back to how procurement can ensure the best suppliers are used to support the organisation’s objectives (see point 1).

5. And again linking with the last point, we believe that supplier selection is a fundamental task for procurement, and of critical importance, yet one that is often treated as a mundane process step. So choosing the best suppliers, evaluation of bids and suppliers will be high on our list for 2014.

6. Contract and supplier management – another  huge ‘bucket’ of topics there, but particularly identifying the right role for procurement, implementing good practice, and how we can measure the benefits.

7. Using procurement technology in the best way possible – a huge topic of course, covering (just as examples) issues of usability, 'best of breed' products versus platforms and suites, and utilizing the latest developments (big data, mapping tools etc).

8. Obtaining, understanding and using data and information, both externally sourced and generated from internal operations - increasingly key to the success of best in class procurement operations. 

9. e-Invoicing, supply chain finance and dynamic discounting and the role procurement people need to play in looking at this end of the procurement transaction process.

10. 'Talent management' - the really key skills and capabilities for procurement people, and how developments such as social media will affect how we recruit, train and manage our staff.

More tomorrow!

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