Arming supply management professionals with top technology delivers more than traditional savings; it helps attract, build and retain the next generation of business leaders.
By now many companies understand that procurement's value can extend well beyond tactical buying and into strategic cost and risk management; however approaches for attracting, building and retaining talent capable of delivering on that strategic potential has not kept pace. When talent management is addressed, the focus tends to be on changes an individual should make (e.g. behavior and professional skills development). There is a better way to transform procurement into a talent incubator: shift from making procurement the place to be from to the place to get ahead. This strategy inevitably requires investing in advanced supply management tools to enable procurement professionals to be effective and efficient.
A Unique Opportunity
Strategic procurement organizations (especially those that are center-led) have unique opportunities to offer employees who demonstrate business leadership potential. Below are two key examples:
The work scope often transcends functional organizations and regional boundaries, enabling employees to better understand the business across its suppliers, operations and finance silos-ultimately making the individual a valuable source for best practices.
Global procurement departments influence large concentrated spend categories, putting individuals in close contact with senior-level business stakeholders and enabling them to build influential relationships through which they can be change agents.
However, these opportunities cannot be realized unless procurement can provide valuable insights and deliver results that the business cannot easily obtain in other ways. If you can attract top talent, the value is often short lived without robust tools that provide access to internal and external supply market information in hand with core e-procurement capabilities. The talent will either stall in place or leave, often because your competition has wisely decided to invest in the resources needed to be successful.
Imagine for a moment trying to convince an all-star athlete to join your professional sports team. When the athlete asks for scouting reports on your team and the competition, along with the required equipment to play, you tell that all-star to "Google™" the other teams and talk to dozens of individuals across the organization, many of whom you don't know how to contact. Upon seeing the tools you do have, the athlete realizes better systems were available at his university. This is not unlike trying to attract someone with the ideal balance of strategic thinking, analytical category expertise and collaborative leadership skills using procurement tools that can't provide timely and accurate spend and information to manage supply relationships.
The situation is further exacerbated with the increased rate of baby boomers retiring, Gen Xers moving into management roles and Millennials entering the work force. The new generation of supply management professionals grew up with the Internet. They not only expect, but demand access to sophisticated technology tools and market intelligence, especially given the rise of productivity objectives per headcount. Investment in the right people and tools that will attract and retain new talent has never been more important and must be seen as a critical "to do" for procurement leaders going forward. Tomorrow's chief procurement officers want targeted market intelligence to help monitor and research suppliers, as well as manage risk and identify opportunities.
The Way Forward
The good news is that a new generation of tools is in the market to help supply management professionals mitigate risks to their supply chains. Failure to familiarize your organization with and take advantage of the latest technology and market intelligence may become a risk in itself, creating not only short-term challenges with suppliers but a long-term organizational talent management crisis.
It's safe to say the most often-cited reason for not investing in supply management technology is cost, but in the end, how much is lost not only in traditional savings (e.g., lost employees and opportunities) but also in the multiplier effect top talent can bring to an organization? Back to the sports analogy: Getting the all-star athlete to sign without access to robust technology will be at best difficult, and keeping that person afterward, unlikely. Why should we expect all-star business talent to be different? There are numerous case examples documenting significant ROI with supply management tool investments, but the value goes beyond traditional unit price or staffing savings. Repositioning your organization as the place for top talent to get ahead should be a critical part of the technology investment discussion.
Procurement professionals are flooded with information…from supplier data and
alerts to industry trends and analytical tools…the amount of information
received is astounding. Sifting through those sources to identify red flags can
be daunting and impractical. This breakout session will focus on how to filter
and prioritize targeted content to help proactively mitigate supply risk and
identify market opportunities.
YOU WILL LEARN:
How To Address The Challenge Of Leveraging Data To Produce Actionable
Approaches For Filtering, Synthesizing And Prioritizing Information
Pertinent To Your Supplier Risk Strategy
How To Assess Analytical Tools And Dashboards Available For Monitoring
Suppliers On An Ongoing Basis