Finance wants more control over procurement in 2012

24 November 2011

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22 November 2011 | Adam Leach

Finance departments will aim to take greater control and ownership of the purchasing function in 2012, it is predicted.

According to spend management firm Rosslyn Analytics - basing its prediction on interviews with customers, partners and industry experts - buyers will have to deal with more oversight from finance functions which have seen procurement play a key role in delivering improved profitability in 2011.

But as a result of this increased scrutiny, buyers will be given greater responsibilities and act as strategic advisors to internal stakeholders.

The technology company also predicts purchasers will take on greater responsibility for managing compliance, and the function will move away from managing transactional work to focus on more tactical and strategic areas like SRM.

In addition, procurement’s expertise on using technology to manage spend data and analytics will see it acting in an advisory role to other departments as businesses try to roll out spend analysis and technology across departments.

“Procurement’s hands-on knowledge of new technologies such as cloud based data services will be relied on by internal stakeholders, resulting in the proliferation and use of spend intelligence across their organisations,” the firm said in a statement.

Speaking during a recent CPOAgenda roundtable debate, Ian Sexton, director of contracts and procurement at Network Rail, explained his executive team had been surprised at just how wide the benefits were that his procurement team delivered. Discussing a presentation he gave to the board, he said: “I took the opportunity to put a slide up and said, ‘This is what we have done over the past five years’, and a number of people came up to me and said, ‘We had no idea. We didn’t know that you had done all that.’”

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