Deloitte on Elevating Procurement Talent: The Final 4 Steps

We are coming to the end of exploration of Deloitte’s recently published paper, Procurement Talent Management: Exceptional Outcomes Require Exceptional People, with an analysis of the final “4 steps” Deloitte suggests to improve procurement talent management (see steps 1-4 here). Spend Matters commentary is included after each step.

  • “Train, in the right way. Instead of simply imparting skills, teach procurement people how to turn skills into business benefits. Apply solid principles, adopt a process, be demand-driven like the supply chain and understand and tailor training to stakeholder needs.”

Spend Matters take: It is clear that one size does not fit all when it comes to training. But taking the time to identify the right training and education environments for each individual (or different “profiles”) can be a lengthy process. Putting some responsibility on those coming into the function to develop their own learning plan can be important.

  • “Invest in your talent, including commitment to mentorship, to expand their skills and knowledge. This can be invaluable to future CPOs.”

Spend Matters take: Those who teach also learn. Mentorship often goes both ways. Procurement teams should follow the advice we previously offered in this series on the topic (see related links, below)

  • “Devise a self-supporting talent management process. HR can provide core training and resourcing, but it
 is procurement’s role to add value by translating the elements of exceptional supplier and procurement performance into capabilities that fulfill talent requirements.”

Spend Matters take: We all know it. Procurement is unique, and while there will increasingly be competition for talent with other functions, core training programs must incorporate procurement-specific training regimes. Certification programs can play a role here – but so too must organizational and category specific knowledge programs and training plans.

  • “Match roles and talent intelligently. Talent processes have been shown to help identify top procurement performers. But however talented they are, it is important that those top performers fit into the existing structure.”

Spend Matters take: unlike the “lone wolf” sales type that the book, “The Challenger,” identifies as a relatively successful “sales type” for companies, there is no lone wolf within procurement. It is essential to make sure that even the best talent assets fit within the broader construct of the organization. Internal collaboration and engagement for procurement will never go away.

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First Voice

  1. Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3:

    Nice, concise coverage on this topic, Jason.

    In my experience, I see a lot of procurement leaders have assumptions consistent with a statement you made: “But taking the time to identify the right training and education environments for each individual (or different ‘profiles’) can be a lengthy process.”

    It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process at all.

    In technology terms, a procurement suite provider wouldn’t leave the CPO of a multi-SBU global enterprise to figure out which module she’d need for which business unit without offering some assistance and examples of how others made similar decisions. The same is true in the procurement training market.

    An experienced, high-quality procurement training provider should know the right questions to ask and provide any necessary tools to quickly make customized training program recommendations based on the client’s goals, organizational culture, leadership style, timelines and constraints. It’s really a wheel that shouldn’t need to be reinvented.

    Looking forward to more coverage on the “people” side of procurement transformation! Keep up the good work!

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