In the midst of an unprecedented economic paradigm shift, Natacha Tréhan, Professor of Purchasing Management at Université Grenoble Alpes and a researcher at CERAG, reminds us that the next major challenge for companies will be to reinvent their business models. Procurement departments will therefore need to support their companies through this process by digitalising their long-standing objectives and creating value.
Long-standing procurement objectives
As you know, financial issues (cost reduction, cash flow optimisation etc.) have historically been the main objective for procurement departments.
However, in the early noughties, procurement departments were tasked with a new challenge: risk management. Buyers had to anticipate and manage all kinds of risks, such as those associated with the supply chain, supplier relationships and corporate social responsibility.
A new objective: Creating value
According to Natacha Tréhan, the next challenge for procurement centres on creating value.
To do this, procurement departments will need to contribute towards four underlying issues:
- Reinventing the business model, by promoting agility
- Helping to increase turnover, by boosting business activity
- Driving innovation, especially through their suppliers
- Playing a decisive role in improving non-financial ratings
With the technological revolution underway, if they haven't done so already, procurement departments will soon be able to rely on various tools (robotic process automation, advanced analytics and predictive analytics)
to help achieve their long-standing objectives. This will enable procurement departments to devote their full attention to creating value for their businesses.