What Keeps CPOs Awake At Night? (Series Introduction)

Much of the content on Spend Matters PRO will be technology related, aimed at helping both procurement practitioners and solution providers understand technology solutions, markets and options.

But in this inaugural series (of many regular series to come), we have a somewhat different aim. We will be writing occasionally but regularly about the key issues facing senior procurement professionals – the Chief Procurement Office (CPO) or equivalent, or executives operating close to that level in larger organisations.

We’ll be looking at the aims and objectives they are likely to face, and the pressure they’re often under. Inevitably we will generalise; but we’ll try to provide a representative and rounded picture. And rather than just explaining the issue, we’ll give some useful thoughts on how CPOs can respond, and indeed how providers might best position themselves to provide support and assistance to the CPO.

That will, we hope, be useful to our two audiences. CPOs and similar may find it useful to see if their issues are typical; or perhaps to help identify some useful actions they can take. Meanwhile providers will undoubtedly be more successful in their interactions with practitioners if they can show they understand life from the other side of the fence.

I spent around ten years as a CPO in three very different large organisations, I’ve talked to countless senior procurement professionals over the years, and indeed still do. But I won’t get everything right! So we also hope that we can provoke some discussion – if you don’t feel like we’re representing the CPO viewpoint accurately, then please let us know. Debate, even argument, is good in our book.

Later today, we’ll start with the first in our series, looking at how the performance of senior procurement executives (including CPOs) is measured. There’s an interesting topic to start with!

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