Help Influence Procurement’s Role and Purpose of the Future – New Survey

International business consultancy, and one of Europe’s leading specialists in procurement and supply chain management, Inverto, is spearheading a survey of procurement leaders across the globe to get a clearer, more accurate picture of procurement’s role and purpose in the future, the impact it will have on the business, and what will be the biggest impact on the function.

Inverto are asking procurement managers, heads and leaders to contribute to the survey (which they tell us will take only 10 minutes of your valuable time) and your input will be used anonymously to help Inverto understand emerging trends and alternatives to help shape the procurement priorities of the future. As an incentive, they will provide a free copy of the resultant report to all participants.

We talked to Lance Younger, Managing Director, to understand a bit more about the reason for, and importance of, such a survey.

What is the background and the business need for this survey?

“In 1994,” he told us, “in a seminal HBR article, it was stated “In most corporations today, people no longer know - or even care - what or why their companies are,” and argues that “strategies can engender strong, enduring emotional attachments only when they are embedded in a broader organizational purpose.” In 1997, John Elkington introduced the triple bottom line i.e. people, planet and profit.

More recently, BlackRock, the world’s largest institutional investor (with about $6 trillion in assets), sent a much broader signal when CEO Larry Fink published a letter encouraging companies to “… not only deliver financial performance, but also show how [the company] makes a positive contribution to society.” The letter continued: “Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential.”

The Business Roundtable (over 180 CEOs of large US Corporations) recently announced a shift in the purpose of the corporation from profit maximisation to leading their companies “for the benefit of all stakeholders -- customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.”

Launched in 2006, ‘B Corporations’ (companies certified on the basis of social sustainability and environmental performance standards) was historically made up of small and medium-sized companies. It now comprises more than 2,600 businesses across 60 countries, and increasingly includes larger multinational companies such as Patagonia and Innocent Drinks.

All in all, organisations with a strong sense of purpose are more than twice as likely to have above-average total shareholder returns (TSR).”

What are you hoping to understand from the results?

“Purpose creates a sense of meaning, inspiring employees and unlocking discretionary efforts to transform and grow. It promotes strategic focus, alignment, and provides guardrails for decision-making. As articulated by Malcolm Harrison CEO CIPS, procurement has a clear impact on people, profit and planet, however the approach to unlocking this impact is often unclear.

So in this survey we will explore the links between procurement purpose and roles, capabilities, mindsets and the impact that procurement delivers. We believe that where these are focused and aligned, procurement can create a true impact, delivering on triple bottom line ambitions. By engaging with procurement leaders we will understand:

  • What will be procurement’s purpose and future role in an organisation?
  • What impact will procurement have in the future?
  • What will shape procurement’s role and performance?
  • Who will influence procurement in the years ahead?
  • What are the building blocks and success factors for procurement transformation in the new organisational context?”

The survey is aimed at procurement leaders across all sectors across all countries. By completing the survey, procurement leaders have the opportunity to self-assess, understand and shape the future of their procurement organisation. All responses, as we said, are confidential and participants will receive a copy of the findings. That’s quite a lot of return for 10 minutes of your time:

Click here to take the survey.

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