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21 August 2011 | Angeline Albert
CPOs must improve
staff training in areas that are critical to procurement such as analytical
skills, supply chain and supplier management, according to research by the Aberdeen Group.
The research group’s report Dynamic Procurement, the CPO ascollaborator, innovator and strategist, which is based on responses
from 121 purchasing, supply chain, operations and finance professionals who
were surveyed in June, reveals the
most critical competency required is the ability to be analytical (36 per cent
of respondents). This was followed by financial analysis (30 per cent),
implementation planning (30 per cent) and business case development (26 per
they plan to improve training in the future in category and supplier risk
management, financial analysis, and supply market research.
The report revealed
that the largest barrier to strategic procurement is a lack of staff with appropriate
skills (47 per cent). This was followed by a lack of technology and inadequate
spend management technology infrastructure (37 per cent). A total of 37 per
cent said procurement not being seen as strategic was an issue and 36 per cent
said their organisation’s reluctance to follow or adopt processes recommended
by procurement was a challenge. CPOs need to improve category expertise and
encourage cross-functional working between procurement and other teams to
increase visibility of the function, it said.
The survey found
the main pressure facing CPOs continues to be a top-down directive to identify
and cut costs. With increased supply chain disruptions from the impact of
natural disasters in Japan, geo-political conflicts in the Middle East, and the
European Union debt crisis, the second biggest pressure was the inflationary
impact on critical spend categories/commodities. This was followed by increased
complexity in supply chains as a result of globalisation; rising supply risks
(i.e. supplier’s financial health and ability to perform); insufficient
category expertise; and a lack of proper data to drive category strategies.