Chief Procurement Officer: Job description

Chief Procurement Officer
August 22th, 2019
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The Chief Procurement Officer, who is responsible for a company's procurement strategy, has become a key role within large companies, especially in the industrial sector.

It is also increasingly common for this role to be included in the company's executive committee or board of directors. Find out more about every aspect of the Chief Procurement Officer role:

  • Objectives
  • Skills
  • Salary
  • Training

What are the objectives of a Chief Procurement Officer?

The role of the Chief Procurement Officer is to define and implement the procurement strategy and policy, based on the environment, business strategy and needs of their company.

A Chief Procurement Officer has five main objectives:

  1. To define the procurement strategy and policy: Communicating with general management in order to harmonise with the strategic objectives, monitoring the company's economic situation, gathering information about the needs of various departments etc.
  2. To manage the procurement department: Optimising their organisation, recruiting new talent, motivating and training their team etc.
  3. To participate in negotiations: Assisting their teams on complex or strategic cases, complying with framework agreements etc.
  4. To manage procurement projects: Implementing the necessary processes and tools etc.
  5. To monitor suppliers and procurement performance: Defining key performance indicators, monitoring all costs and the procurement budget, regularly compiling reports etc.

What skills are required in a Chief Procurement Officer?

As with any job, a Chief Procurement Officer must know how to combine core skills and soft skills.

In terms of core skills, the Chief Procurement Officer must have a good grasp of:

  • Negotiation and sales techniques
  • Procurement management tools and solutions on the market (e-procurement, e-sourcing etc.)
  • The company environment (industry sector, different roles, economic and organisational constraints, products and services required for production and for smooth operation etc.)
  • Essential legal knowledge (commercial law, customs regulations, freight transport etc.)
  • Economic culture and national and international current events
  • Project management and call for tender procedures
  • One or more foreign languages, including English

In terms of soft skills, the Chief Procurement Officer must demonstrate:

  • Charisma and relational skills that enable them to collaborate simultaneously with their teams, other company departments, suppliers and general management
  • Tenacity and resistance to stress, particularly in strategic negotiations
  • Active listening skills that enable them to understand the needs of their many stakeholders
  • Creativity that enables them to devise new optimisation levers
  • The ability to take a step back and maintain an overall vision, which enables them to devise a long-term strategy

What is the salary of a Chief Procurement Officer?

The average annual salary for a Chief Procurement Officer is around €105,000. As you would expect, this varies depending on their level of experience.

During their first years in this role, a Chief Procurement Officer can earn between €60,000 and €70,000 as a gross annual salary. Once they become more senior (that is, when they have more than eight years of experience) or in some sectors of the industry, Chief Procurement Officers can earn up to €150,000 per year.

What training is required to become a Chief Procurement Officer?

Usually, successful candidates for a Chief Procurement Officer role are senior managers with around ten years of professional experience in procurement, and also have a relevant degree, usually at Master's level.

In terms of courses, Chief Procurement Officers may have studied at a business school, a general or specialised engineering school or may have a Master's degree or equivalent in management, economics or procurement.

Currently, the three best Master's degrees in procurement in France are:

  • Master 2 in Management of Strategic Purchasing at Grenoble IAE
  • MAI (International Purchasing and Innovation Management) at Kedge Business School, Bordeaux
  • Advanced Masters in International Purchasing Management & Supply Chain (GAISC) at ESSEC Business School

In the long term, the Chief Procurement Officer may become, for example, an Operations Director, Industrial Director or even a Managing Director.

To find out more, take a look at the current and future challenges for Chief Procurement Officers.