Eight procurement challenges for 2019

February 5th, 2019
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The 8 challenges for purchases in 2019 explained by experts from Source One.Source One's experts are looking to the future of Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Their conclusion is that procurement departments will face eight major challenges over the coming year. From skills to business practices via business strategies, have a look at the infographic to find out more.

1. Procurement tells a story

In order to demonstrate their added value and increase their engagement with stakeholders, buyers must be increasingly influential. To do this, they will have to change how they communicate with other departments by using storytelling techniques [1]such as highlighting objectives, capturing attention and stirring up emotion. They must also employ the business language used by specific departments while avoiding technical terms or terms with negative connotations, such as "cost reduction".

2. Cutting through the hype

In the era of Industry 4.0, digital transformation is a strategic topic for companies, particularly for procurement departments. While procurement solutions are becoming increasingly affordable, new technologies are also beginning to prove their worth within certain world-class organisations. For digitalisation, the time is now.

3. Data reigns supreme

For procurement departments, data currently represents a major hurdle for digitalisation. Either this is due to data of poor quality, unavailable or tricky to integrate, or a lack of human skills required to process it. However, the majority of the procurement community consider data analysis solutions to be the technology that will have the greatest impact over the next two years.[2]

4. Addressing the cybersecurity skills gap

In reality, the increase and  expansion of data, combined with the growth of digitalisation, will increase the level of complexity and risk for the supply chain. The most critical risk for the supply chain is now data security[3]. To address the risks surrounding cybersecurity, procurement departments must now support IT services by adopting a proactive approach.

5. Rethinking training

A real paradox exists when it comes to procurement and training. While only 49% of procurement decision-makers believe that their teams are capable of implementing procurement strategies, a significant proportion of organisations allocate less than 2% of their resources to training2. However, with the digital transformation of companies approaching, internal training will soon be essential.

6. Measuring what really matters

It is time to rethink the performance criteria defined both by and for procurement departments to include ethics, sustainable development and social responsibility, to name a few.

7. From profit to purpose

This point echoes the previous paragraph. New generations in the labour market want to join companies that have a real project, which looks beyond (simple) profitability. It is important to remember that procurement departments have a role to play in this dynamic. 

8. Looking past tier-1

65% of organisations lack visibility past their tier-1 suppliers3. As a result, procurement teams are struggling to manage every supplier risk and commit to a genuine partnership relationship with stakeholders.


What resolutions do you have in your procurement department for the coming year?


1: The art of telling a story to create an emotional connection with a listener

2: Deloitte

3: Manufacturer that supplies an organisation directly, with no middleman involved



[2] Deloitte

[3] Geraint