The Procurement Disconnect — Not Seeing Eye to Eye with Business Leaders

Though I've yet to dig into the full study that KPMG recently hired the Economist Intelligence unit to conduct on the state of procurement, Supply Chain Digest recently did a good job summarizing some of the key findings from the report. The sample size of 600 respondents makes it one of the most comprehensive reports to come out on the topic in quite a while. Unfortunately, the findings are not all good news. According to Supply Chain Digest's interpretation, "barriers remain to procurement moving up on the corporate ladder … [based on] disconnects in perceptions between procurement execs and other company managers. Procurement-related staff thinks the biggest barrier to procurement becoming more strategic is the lack of understanding or interest by other functions in that evolution; conversely, executives outside of procurement think the biggest barrier is that procurement managers don't well understand the business."

Does this refrain sound like anything new? Not exactly. It's a challenge we've all been fighting for years. But the fact that so little has been done to overcome this disconnect in the past decade, despite the spend transformations that so many companies have gone through, suggests to me that better internal marketing of our accomplishments might be as important as achieving our goals in the first place. Considering that "53% of non-procurement executives either agree or strongly agree with the statement that the procurement function is too focused on cost and not enough on value, and another 40% say the same about the focus on policies versus innovation" we clearly have our work cut out for us. Stay tuned for further analysis of this Economist Intelligence Unit study in the coming weeks.

- Jason Busch

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