The Future for Procurement – Brilliant or Bleak? Join Our Webinar Next Week

tombstone-151525_1280There is a pretty good chance that the “procurement profession” has passed its peak. Sorry about that ...

But we can all help to make sure that isn’t the case.

Last November, I spoke at a dinner (hosted by Zycus, the spend management software firm) in London. My topic was “Securing the future of procurement – making sure the next ten years are as successful as the last.”

It was a very good evening, so we are covering the topic again in a webinar that is open to everybody, on February 4th at 2:00 pm GMT and 3:00 pm CET. There is some new material, so even if you came to the dinner, I would hope it would be worth you tuning in this time as well.

So, what about the topic? Surely, procurement is on a non-stop track to world domination, I hear you say? Not necessarily, I reply. We’ve been lucky in the past 20 years in that external factors have played into our professional hands. Globalisation and the growth in outsourcing / specialization have naturally driven more “procurement” work towards our profession. But there is no guarantee that the same will happen in the next twenty years – in fact, it can’t possibly simply continue as it has.

So what it all comes down to, is how procurement people and functions can demonstrate they are adding value to organisations. Shareholder value is at the heart of it, in the case of private sector - and something not a million miles away but subtly different in the case of the public sector. That’s what will really matter. But trying to achieve that simply through the same tools, techniques and processes that have succeeded for procurement over the last 20 years will not be enough. Other factors well beyond our control, such as technology developments, are going to mean we will have to do things differently.

Organisations will of course still need to carry out what we might define as procurement activities and processes – they will be using markets and suppliers for as long as humankind exists. But organisations don’t need to have procurement functions. It is not compulsory - they could choose to do without procurement professionals, teams and functions if they so choose. We need to make sure that isn’t a tempting decision!

So we will need to do some things quite differently if we want that success to continue. Otherwise just as external factors supported procurement’s growth, they could start to work in the other direction.

You can register for the webinar 'Securing the Future of Procurement' here  – free of charge. As well as my 15 minutes or so presentation, there will be time for Q&As which I hope will throw up some challenging and interesting points, just as the dinner did. Hope you can make it.


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