Author Archives: Brian Umbenhauer, Deloitte



For CPOs, Life Is Getting Complicated

During a routine meeting with one of our clients, the Chief Procurement Officer at a large Fortune 500 company, we were struck by something this person said: “I feel like I’m wearing so many hats these days, I need a hat stand to keep them all in one place!” Our client’s observation encapsulated something we were starting to see more often: a dramatic broadening of the role of the CPO.

A mere decade ago, a CPO’s job, while often difficult, was relatively straightforward: Find the best deal possible when sourcing raw materials or setting up production. But increasingly, that’s a fluid concept. What’s more, the changing nature of both technology and the manufacturing workforce has pulled CPOs into decisions that were once outside their purview.

Intrigued, we wanted to delve deeper into this trend, and we decided that this would be a fascinating area of focus for our annual “Chief Procurement Officer Survey.” Every year Deloitte conducts this global, cross-industry study to take the pulse of sourcing and procurement professionals. So, this year we’ll be exploring the role of the CPO — how it is evolving, and how procurement leaders are navigating and mastering complexity in the areas of technology, workforce management, and both the business and political environment.