More firms to outsource purchasing

13 November 2003
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13 November 2003 | David Arminas

More than half of UK companies will outsource part of their procurement operations by 2006, according to a new survey from consultancy Accenture.

The survey of 219 procurement directors from companies in 14 European countries and the US found that, on average, 22 per cent of companies now outsource some purchasing.

Companies in France are most likely to outsource procurement in the future, with 64 per cent of respondents there saying they would do so by 2006.

The second most eager were companies in the US and the UK, with 58 per cent of respondents, according to the survey on present and future procurement operations.

In Italy, the figure saying they would outsource was 42 per cent, ahead of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, all on 39 per cent.

Alex Milward, partner of UK procurement at Accenture, said that for many forward-looking procurement professionals, being outsourced would mean a more diverse career and the chance to deal with many clients.

"It's about the depth of experience a professional wants to have," he said.

He acknowledged that for others, it may force them to question why they are in procurement.

Milward said Accenture was in the process of bringing procurement back in-house three years after outsourcing it to ICG Commerce - as exclusively revealed in SM earlier this year.

Respondents to the survey were from the manufacturing, telecommunications, retail, services and public sectors.

Eighty-three percent worked in organisations with sales of more than $500 million and 67 per cent had operations at five or more locations.

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