Deloitte’s global chief procurement officer (CPO) 2018 report, which has just been published, has given an insight into the job roles that will be most valued in tomorrow’s procurement sector.

Today’s procurement leaders said that cost reduction, new products, market development and risk management were their top priorities and that they were focussing on strategies to increase competition, consolidate spend and reduce total life cycle in order to better align business and procurement priorities.

The report is based on a survey of over 500 procurement leaders worldwide. It identifies several key attributes shared by the highest performing respondents, including leading in executive advocacy, strategic decision making, digital procurement, and talent capability. Added to that list for the first time this year are supply chain transparency, leadership, and balanced scorecard capabilities.

A desire for collaboration and partnership with key suppliers through mutual trust and “win-win situations” was found to be prevalent, while the use of data analytics is expected to have the biggest impact on the procurement sector over the next 24 months. With only 3% of leaders saying that they felt their teams had the necessary skills to implement digital strategies effectively, it would seem that job applicants with the relevant IT skills should find themselves in great demand over the forthcoming two years. Currently, only 33% use digital technology such as predictive analytics or believe that digital procurement will help them to meet their objectives.

Training for important skill sets is identified as one of the biggest challenges faced by the sector, alongside achieving supply chain transparency. However, cost reduction is being effectively achieved, as 61% of procurement leaders said that they had delivered a better savings performance than in 2017, measured year over year. Procurement and purchasing professionals will continue to focus on supplier relations, supply chain optimisation, and cost management, but they will also be increasingly involved in product development and specification improvement, the report found.

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