Procurement Talent Management: An Introduction

Earlier this week, Deloitte launched its latest procurement paper, Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People, a rather provocative analysis – especially for a consultancy – that takes aim at the talent problem in procurement today. Spend Matters will be highlighting some of the findings of the paper in the coming weeks and months, as well as featuring additional “outtake” discussions with members of the Deloitte team on the topic of procurement talent.

Today, we feature the introduction to the paper, exploring how Deloitte frames the procurement talent challenge, and specifically, what’s missing in the transformation of procurement:

“Over the past decade, the people behind the relatively vague label ‘procurement function’ have collectively put billions of dollars into software, transformation programs and third-party services. The goals of this spending have been noble – improve efficiency and enhance capabilities to support objectives such as better M&A outcomes, globally adaptable supply chains, regulatory compliance and brand and product stewardship.

As procurement has worked toward these goals, it has established a core savings foundation built on spending visibility and awareness, first-wave sourcing opportunities such as better bidding, implementation of strategic sourcing processes and compliance tracking.

Now, top-performing procurement functions are evolving into service providers to the business. They help enable global capabilities and align with other enterprise areas in sourcing, savings, and risk management efforts.

They perform source-to-pay integration and manage commodity volatility and broader risk with systematic performance tracking.

Amid all this activity, something is still missing. Other than the imperative to secure executive buy-in, the individuals who perform these roles are rarely mentioned in these initiatives, instead being described generally as a team, unit or function.

Where does human capital – the talent – fit into a new and improved procurement area? By redefining the intersection of human capital and procurement and recognizing that individuals do the work, it’s possible for organizations to change the dynamic following a 4-step process:

  • Plan and design a procurement talent structure
  • Attract and orient new talent
  • Manage and develop the skills of existing talent
  • Retain talent

Through this process, companies can identify and cultivate exceptional people to drive both the procurement function and the broader business to higher performance levels.”

But where should companies get started and what does the intersection of procurement structure, organizational design and workforce planning come together? Stay tuned as we continue to highlight and explore Deloitte’s analysis.

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