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Aug 8, 2022

The end of procurement as we know it


Accenture put out an exciting whitepaper in 2021 looking at what the business will need and expect from Procurement, and how is that different from the role Procurement plays today?

During the past two years, Procurement teams have been putting out fires, making supply security and product availability their top priority. However, as the chaos of the last two years almost becomes a norm, Procurement has to self-reflect and think about how to move forward.

Procurement needs to step up its game, engage stakeholders across the broader enterprise, including stakeholders, suppliers, and communities, provide new kinds of value it should generate and execute on and think about how to get there.

Accenture’s study suggests three key areas Procurement teams have to focus on to remain relevant in the future, providing value to their organizations, stakeholders, and customers:

  • Profitability
  • Growth and customers
  • Sustainability, resilience, and trust

How do you believe Procurement teams have to answer the new challenges lying ahead of them?

Intelligent Procurement
Let’s continue looking at the results of Accenture’s 2021 study on Procurement.

The report suggested three critical areas for Procurement teams to remain relevant:

    1. Profitability
    2. Growth and customers
    3. Sustainability, resilience, and trust

Let’s also look at profitability today and how Accenture sees it:

Historically, Procurement had a price focus on external spend

Procurement needs to develop and adopt leading Zero-based (ZBx) practices to continually look for ways to eliminate unnecessary or undesirable costs in P&L sustainably.

By doing so, Procurement can unlock money that can be reinvested in the business to fuel the growth
CPOs should become “Zero-based Officers” seeking opportunities to shape specifications and demand, changing the buying behaviors of an organization

This also means moving beyond focusing on spending only and assuming ownership of total cost across the value chain
There are some figures and statistics in the report, but I don’t think they’re as relevant as what the approach should become, striving to drive value to sustain profitable growth.

What would you add to the report’s findings from your own experience?

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