Two-thirds of buyers have seen trust increase with the C-suite © Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images
Two-thirds of buyers have seen trust increase with the C-suite © Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

Buyers get increased board access following Covid-19

28 August 2020

Procurement teams have seen their profile rise in their organisations since May, according to a report.

The report, by business network Procurious and spend management software firm Coupa, said the procurement function was transforming with nearly two-thirds (62%) of procurement professionals seeing trust increase with the C-suite in the past three months.

The report said procurement was being asked to “step up and lead” to solve challenges around supply chain risk, cost control, business continuity, and spend visibility.

The survey, involving 507 procurement and supply chain professionals worldwide, found 41% of respondents were asked by the C-suite for their recommendations more than usual. Only 21% were still viewed tactically with no input on key decision making. Just 7% reported no increase in trust.

Coretta Bessi, CPO at Australian financial services company Westpac, said: “To build executive trust, you need to be consistent, communicate clearly and have integrity. Do things for the right reason, say what you’re going to do, do it, and communicate what you’ve done.” 

The report said the C-suite had been focused on strategic sourcing over the past three months, and half of survey respondents had experienced increased demand from stakeholders in advanced sourcing and category management. 

Meanwhile, 54% of respondents said they were successfully mitigating supply chain risk and 38% were addressing this goal. Two-fifths (42%) were containing costs and 50% were working with the C-suite to achieve this.

Procurement teams are using digital tools for analytics, fact-based decision-making, and sourcing optimisation to meet this rise in demand, said the report.

Technology investment was an area where decision-making power still lay with the CEO and CFOs in 56% of organisations, with CPOs having the final decision only 32% of the time. 

The report said: “Regardless of who makes the final decision, given the stakes, procurement must be involved and have a clear voice to ensure technology investments deliver against departmental needs, resources and strategic objectives.”

Spend visibility was identified as a key risk area that needs improvement, with only about a quarter of organisations having full visibility of spend.

“Spend visibility is not the only issue. Less than half of companies have complete visibility into their contracts, commitments, and clauses – which can negatively impact risk, cost control, resilience, and compliance programmes,” said the report.

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