Buyers must "destroy the focus on cost savings" and concentrate more on shareholder value.
That was one of the messages at a purchasing forum in London last Friday.
Professor Paul Cousins, from the Supply Chain Management Research Group at Manchester Business School, told the audience: "Cost savings will go out of fashion and those concentrating on it will go out of fashion".
Instead, buyers must look at what is required by the organisation as a whole and align their strategies with that.
Other speakers agreed, saying procurement had a role in shaping the organisation's products and services. Innovation from outside should be used to shape procurement processes but also to shape work carried out by R&D or marketing, which would perform better with such support.
Are we really at the stage where cost savings are becoming less important to procurement? Is it a buyer's role to help colleagues in other departments? Is a buyer really in a position to help the organisation in the ways suggested?