'Massive opportunity' for procurement to optimise Middle East investment

4 November 2014

Current procurement functions in the Middle East may not be "sufficient" to keep up with the rapid development and economic growth occurring in the Gulf region, a report has suggested.

The survey of 100 chief procurement officer and directors across firms including Qatar Airways, Shell and PepsiCo, found a "massive opportunity" in which investment could be optimised with the help of procurement functions.

However, it warned the increasing number of mega-projects in the region, as a result of Dubai Expo 2020 and Qatar World Cup 2022, would "add to the pressure" given the pace of rapid growth, resulting in organisations not being given the time to develop their procurement departments to the level that is required.

Informa’s Procurement Leaders survey polled procurement professionals in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. 

As many as 95 per cent believed procurement could play a part in the region’s new developments and projects, while 94 per cent saw a role for strategic, sustainable procurement in spurring regional growth.

However, a quarter said that their organisations did not invest in its procurement function last year.

Although more than half (52 per cent) of companies identified becoming more strategic was one of the main drivers for their procurement functions, more than 85 per cent agreed this was the biggest challenge they faced.

Over two thirds (78 per cent) said they struggled to shift from tactical to strategic activities and 76 per cent admitted experiencing difficulty in aligning their objectives with business strategy due to a lack of standard processes and integrated solutions to drive them.

The survey also revealed procurement officers were struggling to raise awareness around the importance of procurement with internal stakeholders within the organisation itself.

“Without having the procurement officers reaching the top of their organisations and being involved in the more strategic aspects of the business, the shift to strategic functions cannot be complete,” the report concluded.

 Book your ticket now for the CIPS Middle East Conference 2015, taking place in at the InterContinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi on 11 May 2015. Hear from procurement experts in the region, network with more than 200 peers and enhance your career and professional development. 

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