Procurement Hot Topics – our agenda for 2014 (part 1)

We have three working days (officially) in the UK during this strange semi-conscious, half-lit time between Christmas and New Year, when we wonder if all that preparation was worthwhile, how many kilos we’ve put on around the waistline, how many units of alcohol were consumed, and whether 2014 is going to be a good year for the economy, the world and us personally.

Over the last few days, I have given some thought to what broad topics we want to cover here at Spend Matters UK/ Europe over the coming year. Whilst events will no doubt take us in different directions,  today, Monday and Tuesday we’ll give you a preview of our thinking. And if there is something you don’t see here that you feel we really should have high on our priority list, then please let us know!

So we will have:

     Ten topics with a serious “thought leadership” feel, where we plan to do some serious thinking, analysis and writing.

     Then ten topics around the public sector. Mainly UK, I should say, but we’ll see what we can do more broadly.

     And today, ten topics driven by wider factors, events and news. These may seem pretty broad – and they are – but they will define much of our writing in 2014.

Here we go then. What external events and issues will be suggesting stories for us this coming year? We believe it will include these.

1.         Major economic events, currency, economic growth data and so on, and their implications for business, procurement and supply chains in particular.

2.         If economic growth does get stronger in 2014, how will recovery change the focus of businesses towards growth rather than cost management, and what does this mean for procurement?

3.         New technology to support procurement and supply chain activities – from big data to mapping and visualisation products, from social media type applications (e.g. polling or rating processes) to expert systems and artificial intelligence.

4.         Corporate events such as mergers and acquisitions in the solution provider industry (or key supply sectors)  - we're not exactly going out on a limb here if we predict another year of much activity in the procurement software and outsourcing sectors!

5.         Offshoring versus onshoring – bringing work back closer to home is getting to be a bigger issue, it already is in the US but we expect to see more discussion in Europe and covering both government work and private sector.

6.         Continued globalisation and emergence of new options for outsourcing, new countries to consider but increased focus on political and other risks.

7.         On that note of risk – we will cover no doubt various supply chain risk news events, whether it is horsemeat, collapsing buildings, natural disasters...

8.         The academic underpinnings for procurement and supply chain thinking. I would like to identify and feature more that is relevant to us in the procurement world coming out of the universities and business schools (or indeed consulting firms where it is more than just marketing junk).

9.         The development of CIPS and perhaps other Institutes  - relationships with other bodies such as IAAPS will be interesting to watch, and of course the licence to practise issue is still very alive.

10.     The World Cup!  That will bring focus on Brazil and South America, and maybe other issues from construction management to corruption and the increasing gap between rich and poor in our world...

More tomorrow.

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