Is Procurement Doomed? Two Weeks to the Pub Debate!

"Grandpa, tell us about procutement again, please!"

Procurement, you mean. Oh I don't know, young Alex, I've told you before ...

"Please Grandpa!"

Alright then. Well, in the olden days I used to do this job called a Procurement Manager. All the people from my company thought I was very important, because I bought all the things they needed to do their jobs.

"But why didn't they just do it themselves?"

Well, we didn't have all the clever technology in those days. I mean, we didn't even have 3-D printing or CareBots! So buying was quite hard work, we didn't have the automated sourcing algorithms that everyone uses now, we didn't have apps giving the full transparency of costs or visibility of the capacity that every supplier in the world has to offer."

"But didn't firms realise that it would be better if operational executives took responsibility for something that was so key to their success?"

You're sounding very mature for an 8 year old, Alex! No, most firms had not caught on to that yet. Once a few did though, and realised the benefits from having all their managers thinking commercially and working with suppliers in the right way, then of course the whole idea of a separate procurement function just faded away. I never had to spend hours to find a new supplier on Google again.

"What's Google, Grandpa?"

Now that's another whole story, youngster.... (The End)

If you want to hear more on this topic, from me, Jason Busch of Spend Matters US and two special guest speakers, we are holding our next Procurement Pub Debate (kindly sponsored by Trade Extensions) on Tuesday June 23rd and titled, “This (Public) House Believes that Procurement is Doomed!”

The sub-title is "The digital revolution and other factors will make procurement functions a thing of the past by 2025."

Come along and join us at the Old Bank of England pub in Fleet Street, just past the Royal Courts of Justice. 5.30pm start, the main debate will begin 6pm on the dot, and after four short speeches (7 minutes per person) there will be time for questions and a vote on the motion before we wind up at 7pm. So we do hope you can join us – it is free, with refreshments provided, but we’d be grateful if you can register here just to help in planning the food!




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First Voice

  1. Take 2:

    I can just hear ol’ Satchmo singing ‘What a wonderful world’ as we fade to a sepia sunset…. I know – why don’t we apply the same reasoning to finance, HR, facilities, afterall since we’re all buyers now, we presumably can all do sums, manage people, and clear up our own mess…..

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