Meet Your New Procurement and Operations Boss: the CFO (Part 2)

In the first post in this series, I shared a number of findings and observations from a recent Accenture study looking at how finance executives are extending their influence and control over their extended organizations. For Spend Matters readers, many of the findings should not be new. In fact, we recently analyzed and compared our list of 2010 procurement/finance combined challenges and these map quite well to how others view finance as getting more involved in cost management and related decisions. Our top challenges and focus areas for 2010 were:

  • Improving forecasting including spend, working capital and liabilities visibility
  • Obtaining incremental cost reduction (including cost reduction based on total cost analysis)
  • Dealing with capacity challenges (in certain markets)
  • Managing the workforce (including both contingent/services procurement in general as well as getting more from the procurement group)
  • Focusing on compliance and risk: supplier performance, supplier visibility, operational/financial stability, etc.
  • Balancing demand/supply volatility (e.g., part/component shortages for the holiday season)
  • Evaluating alternative models vs. business as usual -- shared services, BPO, contingent staffing (for both procurement and A/P)

We shared a number of these on Spend Matters as core themes of coverage in 2010 (and we shared the broader list with various clients and groups we spoke with throughout the year). What will 2011 hold for finance and procurement to collaboratively focus on and prioritize? Our list of 2011 top challenges and focus areas for finance and procurement take the 2010 list and adapt it to a more volatile environment factoring in greater economic and related uncertainties than anytime throughout the professional lives of most people in the workforce today.

Stay tuned as we get to this list in tomorrow's post. In it, you'll see the criticality of not only greater finance collaboration, but greater finance oversight of procurement areas as well.

- Jason Busch

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