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CPO masters of complexity (Part 2): A new approach to augment talent

Deloitte's 2019 Global CPO Survey shows that many procurement leaders are finding it hard to balance a variety of competing demands for their limited resources. One common theme expressed was the challenge of how to find, recruit and retain the talent required to implement and optimize a more digitally complex and increasingly sophisticated procurement function. Many organizations are using this opportunity to challenge the traditional operating model, including the roles, responsibilities and skill sets required for this new digital world.

Demand for top talent in the global procurement space continues to outpace supply, even as the expectations from the corporations they serve continue to increase. While investment in training in both technical and softer skills appears to be rising, the CPOs surveyed felt the negative impact of a “talent drain” on their ability to keep pace with the increasing complexity of reducing costs and risks while implementing digitally-enabled procurement functions.

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.

Deloitte 2019 CPO Survey — Insights Needed on Procurement Mastery in Action

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Deloitte has opened up the 2019 version of its annual CPO survey for participants to share their insights. It’s important to participate because the survey’s depth, rigor and relevance produce influential findings that have set the gold standard for procurement studies.

And this year’s edition is very exciting, especially for me. I’ve been doing procurement research and benchmarking for 20 years, and I was thrilled to not only be given a sneak peek into this year’s study design but to be made me an honorary member of Deloitte’s extended research team to provide input. So, my challenge became how to make a great product even better.

But you can participate too. CPOs and their direct reports are needed — and participants will get an intelligence briefing about the study’s results. At the end of this article, I’ll get more specific about the ROI of participating in this year’s study.

Deloitte’s Game-Changing Analytics Platform Puts ‘Strategic’ Back into Sourcing

In this two-part series turned to paper, Pierre Mitchell discusses the need for a truly strategic supply chain sourcing platform built on a supply network design model rather than just the typical BOM-based sourcing workflows and low-level commodity sourcing efforts that use “empty” e-RFX tools. He details the full requirements for such a supply network-based platform in a four-part series (linked within this paper), but in Part 4, one of the trends highlighted included a pivot from such empty apps to content-enabled apps increasingly provided by large service providers that use cloud-based analytics and intelligence platforms as a way to deliver continuous insight and value. In that piece, he highlights Deloitte’s Global Sourcing Insights (GSI) solution as a prime example. This paper goes a step further and examines the solution as a whole.