Talent shortage is a major procurement challenge admit CPOs

13 September 2011

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13 September 2011 | Angeline Albert

Talent management remains a problem that organisations are trying to overcome, according to a survey of 432 global procurement executives published by Accenture.

The Accentureresearch and insights into high performance in procurement report identified areas in which purchasing professionals will focus more attention on over the next five years, and found CPOs are keen to overhaul approaches to talent management.

They said the main procurement shortfall is in the area of competency building at all levels, spanning traditional purchasing techniques and new skills necessary to lead the charge into sustainability, risk management and product innovation.

“Talent may well be the procurement organisation’s single most scarce resource in the next decade. Yet it appears to be the one procurement dimension in which organisations still do not excel. If this situation persists, procurement will be hard-pressed to hire and retain the talent needed to support long-term success,” said the report.

One CPO said he had too many buyers who were comfortable only with competitive bidding competencies. The report said the ability to conduct more advanced strategic thinking is becoming more important and “procurement organisations should balance strong competence in competitive bidding with advanced strategic skills”.

Jeremy Robinson, head of UK & Ireland sourcing and procurement at Accenture said: “Getting talent management right is an issue. As well as developing buyers, companies need to look outside the function.”

He highlighted the case of a financial organisation involved in motor claims insurance management that trained some of its engineers to become buyers because of their in depth technical knowledge.

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