07 November 2007 | Rebecca Ellinor in Brussels
Just under one in five purchasers think it is their role to outsource their own job.
A straw poll taken at the Procurecon conference in Brussels yesterday posed the statement: "Procurement's role in the next three to five years is to outsource itself."
Respondents were asked if they "strongly agree", "agree", "don't know", "disagree" or "strongly disagree".
Of the 120 senior procurement professionals from across Europe questioned, 9 per cent strongly agreed and 12 per cent agreed. Half said they disagreed, 27 per cent strongly disagreed and the remainder did not know.
A panel of buyers then debated the responses. John Dickson, head of global procurement at Diageo, said: "It's a bit like turkeys at Christmas."
Panellists agreed outsourcing would continue but it was more likely to focus on particular areas rather than entire functions. "We'll see some drive towards outsourcing some specific tasks and functions," said Peter Cottiss, director EMEA manufacturing and research procurement at Merck, Sharp & Dohme.
"We'll see more and more outsourcing until it's the strategic categories remaining," added Kath Harmeston, lead partner of procurement transformation at Atos Consulting, and chair of the debate.