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Public procurement / private procurement: converged practices on the horizon?

Private and public procurement
December 21th, 2017
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As part of its Thursday series of procurement expert group discussions, the CNA (French National Procurement Council) recently organised a roundtable on the different strategic approaches between public procurement and private procurement. The first question invited participants to discuss whether there was still any relevance in pitting the private and public sectors against each other or instead whether there were actually any gateways and interactions between both sectors.

Didier Sallé, President of the CNA's Paris Office and CPO of the Atalian Group, led the event and opened the session with the following statement: "We still tend to separate the public sector from the private sector, which is a pity, because I believe that both worlds can be mutually beneficial. Sharing and contrasting our points of view is how we move forward." That certainly set the tone!

What were the key points?

  1. In terms of how they define and build procurement strategies, the public and private sectors are on the same page.
  2. There are variations in procurement performance management, methods and indicators. These differences are related more to the sector of activity than whether the sector is public or private.
  3. In terms of processes, resources management differs between the public and private sectors. However, they are both facing the same trend, i.e. a shrinking workforce but the need for increasingly advanced procurement skills.
  4. Operational approaches are extremely similar.

In conclusion, the procurement function is playing an increasingly central and strategic role in both the public and private sectors. The need for procurement professionals with greater expertise is essential at a time when processes are being digitised at a growing pace.

If you are interested in this topic, we would advise you to read the article (in French) entitled "Public procurement / private procurement: two worlds, one universe" at Décision-Achats.fr.

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