One of the core problems in the procurement profession these days. The identity of the profession is changing, once again.
Pandemic-related disruptions in consumer and industrial supply chains are making headlines, pushing the once relatively obscure work into the limelight. How companies manage their supply chains has become as important to a company’s success as financial health, market share, and customer relationships.
And that is why many companies have reshuffled leadership, appointing managers from other functions to run supply chain operations. These managers often have limited or no procurement, planning, or logistics background. The logic is that if the talented finance or marketing manager is now in charge of the supply chain, it must be important.
In many companies, this expanded universe of supply chain management, with leadership from finance or marketing functions, is swallowing up the somewhat independent procurement function. Rather than actively driving the supply side of the business, the function may again be relegated into a subservient support role.
How companies manage their supply chains has become as important to a company’s success as financial health, market share, and customer relationships.
Acknowledge the change in the business climate:
Companies have finally discovered the importance of the supply chain and are adding resources to shore it up. Supply chain management is also more customer-facing these days, so adding an existing customer-facing leader may be the best thing for the business.
Some procurement leaders may feel they have lost influence or leadership. But the increase in importance and scope of the supply chain function should lift all participants. Consumer-facing businesses must address questions and concerns about the origins of their products. Are they sustainably sourced? Free of forced labour? Fairtrade? Procurement holds the answers and can shine here
The procurement function is only diminished if you think it is:
Procurement professionals are a resilient bunch. Embrace the change and get ready to contribute to an expanded scope with certainly higher visibility.
Own procurement’s core responsibilities:
Sourcing, supplier performance, and managing supply chain risk are procurement responsibilities that will not be going away anytime soon. If anything, these critical functions are becoming more important.
Those new to supply chain management, or in existing functions like planning, distribution, or transportation, may not fully comprehend the complexities of the procurement process and how tough it is to manage a full range of global suppliers.
This is a perfect time to reinforce our reputation in an evolving organization by doing our jobs very well and teaching others about the nuances of supply management.
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