Buyers reveal priorities for 2012

9 January 2012

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9 January 2012 | Adam Leach

Procurement professionals will be concentrating on cost cutting and supplier relationship management (SRM) over the course of 2012, SM research has found.

Those who took part in the Supply Management Reader Research Survey 2011, which concluded last week, were asked to rank nine activities (including costing cutting and SRM) in order of importance.

More than 3,000 people responded and perhaps unsurprisingly, reducing spend was the priority for a lot of readers. Next came SRM, while better stakeholder management emerged as the third top area of attention for 2012.

Influencing more spend areas came fourth followed by risk management; raising the profile of purchasing; sustainable procurement; investment in procurement resources; and finally, more outsourcing.

The concentration on cost cutting was in line with the views of chief financial officers (CFOs) of UK-focused businesses. Priorities for 2012: Cash and Costs, published last week by accountancy company Deloitte, revealed that 50 per cent of CFOs at firms that generate at least 70 per cent of revenues in the UK see cutting costs as a priority for the next 12 months.

While unsurprising that cost cutting remains of chief importance, it is revealing to find for others, investing in the systems and staff that support their procurement function is their prime area of focus for this year. And while average voting figures placed ‘raising the profile of purchasing’ fifth out of the nine activities, it was the number one priority for a proportion of readers and is, no doubt, good news for CIPS and current president David Smith who has made attracting all to work in the profession his theme for 2012.

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