Purchasers rated as poor at driving innovation

14 December 2010
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14 December 2010 | Angeline Albert

Procurement teams are not doing enough to lead collaboration with suppliers to encourage innovation, according to a survey of manufacturers by consultancy Capgemini.

Capgemini’s Collaboratingfor Innovation research published this week found buyers were bottom of the class when it comes to driving innovation. The survey found just 1 per cent of 189 procurement teams were considered the primary driver of innovation. Purchasers came behind 5 per cent of IT staff, 11 per cent in manufacturing and operations, 16 per cent in general management, 29 per cent in marketing and sales and 38 per cent in R&D.

To address this problem, the report recommended the role of a purchaser should “change dramatically, requiring more innovative and entrepreneurial skills and different supplier performance measurements”.

The study said suppliers are increasingly seen as key partners in driving innovation and manufacturers have improved their ability to develop and measure new ideas by using technology such as the internet to enhance joint working through the supply chain.

It added buyers could help their firms by ensuring suppliers add value to the business “instead of just relying on delivery of defined components. As this happens, suppliers’ roles shift towards risk-sharing models, which require new collaborative processes and tools”.

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