How can procurement lead through uncertainty, helping businesses not just survive but thrive in a fast-changing marketplace?
That was the subject addressed at a recent Supply Management executive roundtable, in partnership with managed services solution provider blur Group.
A range of procurement leaders from organisations including Shell, Royal Mail and PwC gathered to discuss these issues.
All participants agreed that in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, procurement has a unique opportunity to lead and a bright future ahead – if it can step up. They all shared the view that procurement isn’t just a service to the business and can do so much more than simply cut costs; rather it should be seen as a fundamental, value-adding part of business strategy.
Grabbing this opportunity means the procurement leader of tomorrow must be comfortable with technology. While a survey carried out by SM and blur Group found procurement professionals view technology-led disruptive innovation as the greatest risk to their businesses, attendees agreed that technology must be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.
As CIPS interim CEO Gerry Walsh said: “Technology means procurement people spending more time on the strategic side and less time on admin.”
Laurence Cook, chief commercial officer at blur Group, added: “Don’t be afraid of technology; embrace it. Technology complements business relationships. It doesn’t replace them.”