08 December 2008 | Paul Snell
A "surprising" 25 per cent of procurement leaders do not know how much they expect to spend in 2009.
The figures are from a poll of 200 procurement leaders by Atos Consulting at last month's Procurecon event in Switzerland.
Mike Zealley, lead partner for procurement transformation at Atos, told supplymanagement.com the uncertainty over next year's spend was primarily the result of worries about price volatility and a lack of detailed spend visibility.
In addition, the poll found fewer than a third of respondents believe they can achieve savings of more than 5 per cent next year. The firm said it was evidence of procurement still not being empowered by their businesses, and companies setting targets too low.
It also found only 15 per cent of those surveyed believed their supplier relationship management (SRM) programmes are mature and delivering value. Zealley attributed this to concentration on improving relationships, and not enough focus on hard facts.
He added there was concern among buyers about whether they had sufficient resources to dedicate to SRM, and a faint scepticism about whether it should be a priority during poor economic conditions.
The survey also found corporate social responsibility has fallen down purchasers' agenda, as economic issues take priority.