While the recession and it effects is a recurring theme of the ISM conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, you could be forgiven for thinking that in many respects this is the chance procurement has been waiting for to shine.
Sounds ridiculous, I know and for the many people who have lost their jobs in the downturn it may appear borderline offensive. But speaker after speaker here has described how the economic situation gives buyers a chance to assert themselves. And to be heard.
Suddenly they have the CEO's ear, their stakeholders are paying more attention. Magically everybody wants to speak to buyers, old ideas and being dusted off and resources are being made available to help cut costs. Contracts can be (should be) renegotiated.
It is bad out there (and if anything the outlook among buyers in the US is even gloomier than in the UK) but this could be procurement's big break. Let's hope so.