Procurement's priority

30 June 2009
Speaking to the CPO of a UK retail giant recently, he told me the number one duty of a procurement function is to get costs down and deliver savings for the business. Now many will raise their eyebrows at this mantra, which is so often associated with the retail industry. Indeed many supermarkets traditionally gun for savings, usually at the expense of suppliers. Other readers will champion the array of skills procurement brings to the table, including delivering value for money and mitigating risk. But if you were pushed, what would say the first priority of a purchasing department is? Is this ever likely to change?
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