Happy New Year for procurement?

4 January 2011
So much to do, so little time. It was true last year, and doubtless it will feel that way again in 2011. As our SM100 survey discovered, cost cutting is once more the most popular priority for the year for a large number of buyers. Others named SRM and gaining control of more spend areas as essential. Sustainable procurement has made an appearance as a focus for purchasers, but is the priority for just 4 per cent of buyers this year. This is in stark contrast to what senior purchasers, academics and consultants tell us is the “future of procurement” in this issue’s cover feature (p28). Over the next three to five years, coping with depleting natural resources and finding ways to reduce consumption will be key, they say. Of the former, one says: “This is the major challenge confronting our profession, companies, nations and the world in which we live.” Managing in the post-recession, “new normal” environment, and doing so in the face of increased risks, are also highlighted as strategic areas of focus. You can add your views to the debate on the future of the profession here. On a cheerier note, if you’ve enjoyed nudging the children out of the way to play a computer game or two over the festive break, the fun doesn’t have to end there. In the main edition (also available online for our readers in southern Africa), we find that purchasing technology that mirrors gaming concepts seen in the consumer world is the way forward. When it comes to boosting compliance and eradicating maverick spend, installing systems users like and understand is the answer. And finally, since raising the profile of procurement and gaining control of more areas of spend are once again important in 2011, we thought we would lay down a challenge to you all on p42. Click here and pledge to take part in “the elevator-pitch challenge”.
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